Standing in a cold warehouse full of antiques, waiting for your lot to come around isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Nor is trawling through the local charity shops hoping to find a diamond in the rough. I enjoy both of these things, but I also enjoy flicking through the pages of glossy catalogues and looking at perfectly presented living rooms full of teal sofas, industrial chic light fittings and enviable soft furnishings.

1295 rockett st george table
Vintage industrial steel trolley table, Rockett St George

Like many of us, I can be a dedicated bargain hunter… until I fall into the rabbit hole that is Pinterest and develop an obsession with a velvet armchair that costs the same as a city break in Paris!

With that in mind, I thought I’d try to publish a regular ‘splurge or save’ feature, starting with the ever-popular living room feature; the coffee table.

bamfords auctioneers salvage coffee table
Industrial salvage – Bamford’s auctioneers


My first pick is from the eclectic Rockett St George, which is a complete treasure trove! If you happen to have a healthy bank balance, it’s worth checking out (or they sometimes have a pretty good sale for those of us with less disposable income). The vintage industrial steel trolley table with aged leather top (by Ines Cole) is a thing of beauty, but will set you back £1,295.

650 rose and grey
Rose and Grey H. Lis Fox coffee table

If you’d prefer a cheaper version and you don’t mind a bit of a fixer-upper, get to Bamford’s auctioneers and valuers on The Sale Room and place a bid on this ‘salvaged scaffolding planked coffee table on ‘an earlier industrial base’ and castors. The live auction is on the 4th October and the auctioneer’s estimate is £60-80. Unless you live in Derbyshire, where Bamford’s is based, you’ll have to factor in the delivery costs too.

vintage mid century teak mag rack east bristol auctioneers
Vintage mid-century teak coffee table


Not your vibe? How about this beauty from Rose & Grey? The H. Lis Fox coffee table (large) is £650 and has been designed to complement other items from the same range but works on its own as well. It’s ‘hand-finished by a team of specialists in Poland and carries a Green Friendly Certificate’, which is one feature that’s definitely worth paying for.

If you don’t have the cash to splash, why not buy a preloved version, like this mid-century teak coffee table from East Bristol Auctions? It even has the magazine rack underneath as well. The auction is live from 5th-6th October and the opening price is £18 (auctioneer’s estimate is £30-50).

Bear side table
Bear side table, NotontheHighStreet

OK, so my last pick is a bit silly and not strictly a coffee table… This bear side table is by I Love Retro, for sale at Notonthehighstreet. The little brown grizzly is quite cute and definitely quirky. It’s also £169 and, like I said, not strictly a coffee table. So how about this – my final auction find – a glass-topped coffee table, the base of which is shaped like a bear?

It’s reminiscent of Mark Stoddart’s tables, where the glass top is like water and the base is an animal, which appears to be breaking the water’s surface.

Busby auctioneers 5 Oct bear table
Glass-topped coffee table, Busby auctioneers

I’m not sure who designed this table, but it is up for grabs at Busby auctioneers for an estimated £5-10.

I’m not sure what the condition is like, so if you’re in Dorset you might want to check it out before you bid (live auction on the 5th October).

Whether you love a bargain or enjoy an indulgence (or both), I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Feel free to comment in the box below with any suggestions.