When most people think of furniture, their thoughts turn to the contents of an average furniture store - sofas, tables, armchairs, cabinets, dressers, beds, and lamps. What doesn't come to mind are the most versatile pieces of furniture - folding chairs and tables.
The idea behind folding tables and chairs is simple, they are inexpensive, yet after you buy them you may find that they have many more uses than, say, your dining room table. The obvious benefit of folding tables and chairs is their ability to collapse for easy storage. However, having folding chairs and tables handy means you can instantly add seating for guests during the holidays. When your car is not in the garage (and let's face it, when is it in there?), you can unfold your folding tables and chairs for extra workspace for virtually any household project - painting, building small crafts, working with bicycle or small engine parts, building model airplanes, refinishing kitchen cabinets, and the users don't stop there.
In addition to being handy around the house, folding chairs and tables make great office companions as well. You never know when you might need temporary help to work through a busy period. It doesn't make much sense to buy expensive office furniture for someone who will only be working for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, you could just unfold your folding table and set up a folding chair and viola - instant workspace!
Churches and schools are also great places to use folding tables and chairs. A school can make use of the gymnasium as a temporary theatre for a pageant or play by setting up rows of folding chairs. In this case, they may want to use ganging clamps to tie the chairs together in rows so they can't be rearranged by the guests. This will also ensure than nobody will thoughtlessly block the fire exits by sitting in the aisle. Church weddings also require lots of temporary seating, and folding chairs and tables are an excellent choice. In that case, you may want to consider using table skirts to make them look more like regular furniture. You can hide the legs and framework of the folding tables and chairs using table skirts and chair covers - which will make them look great for those all important wedding shots.
Folding chairs and tables come in a wide variety of materials and colors and are available for use indoors or outdoors. This makes it easy to choose the correct folding tables and chairs for the task. For your summer barbeque, you may want temporary patio seating for your guests. There are blow-molded plastic folding chairs and tables that are well suited for outdoor applications such as these. For the office or anywhere else you may be sitting for long periods, you may instead wish to choose folding chairs with padding and a contoured back and seat. Padded chairs are typically used only for indoor seating applications.
For large-scale applications of folding tables and chairs, there are folding chair trucks and folding table trucks available. These trucks are made of heavy gauge steel and can usually store 1 to several dozen chairs and up to a couple of dozen folding tables. After they are loaded, you can simply cart your folding chairs and tables into storage.
So you see, even though you don't think of folding chairs and tables when you think of furniture, they are perhaps the most versatile furniture you can own. With so many uses, there is virtually no excuse not to have a couple of extra sets ready to take on whatever your life can throw their way.