I stumbled upon this article on http://www.sunset.com/ and thought it was so useful and informative for anyone trying to get the Beach Cottage Chic look in their home, even if you're not living beach-side.
Susan Delurgio and Alisha Peterson, co-owners of Beach House Style in Fairfax, CA share their favorite design tips:
File ideas: Create a wish-list notebook to record your dream pieces (with accompanying dimensions and color swatches). This allows you to shop with confidence at flea markets and estate sales.
Paint the insides: Add a splash of color to the inside of a cabinet or armoire. In Susan's kitchen cabinet, aqua paint makes the eclectic display feel like a true collection.
Keep whites white: To preserve the fresh look of white slipcovers, buy extra sets. Wash slipcovers every other month as part of your cleaning routine.
Convert old textiles: Don't stop at recycling furniture. The striped pillow on the sofa and the curtain below the kitchen cabinet were fashioned from a tablecloth from Anthropologie.
Look in your closet: A good way to find your signature style is by assessing your wardrobe. This could reveal your personal color palette as well as your favorite patterns and textures.
Decorate with nature: Gather your finishing accents outdoors ― flowering branches and clusters of single-stem flowers are good bets. In Susan's kitchen, a single palm frond in a simple white bowl creates an almost sculptural display.
Tell a story: Create a vignette with similarly themed items. In the bedroom, a breezy summer tunic hangs next to a vintage oar and raffia beach bag.
Use mood lighting: Keep a collection of white candles on hand to enhance tranquility. Low-wattage bulbs also help set the right tone.