A table is a form of furniture with a flat horizontal upper surface used to support objects of interest, for storage, show, and/or manipulation. The surface must be held stable; for reasons of simplicity, this is usually done by support from below by either a column, a “base”, or at least three columnar “stands”. In special situations, table surfaces may be supported from a nearby wall, or suspended from above.
Common design elements include:
- top surfaces of various shapes, including rectangular, rounded, or semi-circular
- legs arranged in two or more similar pairs
- several geometries of folding table that can be collapsed into a smaller volume
- heights ranging up and down from the most common 18–30 inches (46–76 cm) range, often reflecting the height of chairs or bar stools used as seating for people making use of a table, as for eating or performing various manipulations of objects resting on a table
- presence or absence of drawers
- expansion of the surface by insertion of leaves or locking hinged drop leaf sections into horizontal position.
Desks are tables specifically intended for information-manipulation tasks, including writing and use of interactive electronics.