Cottage furniture is light on the eyes and requires little care. This decorating style brings back memories of childhood vacations at the seaside and. The furniture in those cottages might have been second hand and a bit worn out. Thus, the furniture you want to employ in your cottage style decorating theme will be timeworn but chic.
One great choice for cottage style furniture is wicker or rattan. White painted wicker actually goes quite nice with this look. If you do go for wicker furniture, however, you want to get something sturdy and not the kind of stuff that goes out on the porch as this won't be as comfortable or long-lasting as furniture that is meant for interior locations.
Another good choice for cottage furniture is overstuffed chairs and couches that you can put slipcovers on. The slipcovers are great because you can use them over furniture that is a little bit older and might have some wear on the fabric. They're also fun because you can buy different types of slipcovers and change them out when you get bored with your decor.
A decorator might also consider painted furniture, especially pieces that are antiqued or made to look old (faux-antique has a certain chic). These pieces are great, especially tables - coffee tables and even the dining table and chairs. Decorators on a budget can buy pieces that are a little worn and paint them. Be sure to use the appropriate type paint for the surface. Test a portion and let it dry before doing the whole item, to be sure the color is appropriate. After an item is painted, the worn look can be achieved by taking some sandpaper and rubbing it on the edges and places where there would normally be wear - don't overdo it a little bit of wear goes a long way. Be sure to pick pieces that are still sturdy and don't have any broken parts. With tables and especially chairs, pay particular attention to joints, making sure they are still holding well, or can be repaired without too much trouble.
When you're shopping for cottage furniture, keep in mind the whole idea of the cottage look which is to get the same feeling that you do on vacation. Comfortable, easy to care for, and chic is the way to go.