Cottage style decor has been popular for quite some time and, in fact, you can buy cottage style furniture that is brand-new or vintage to complete your decor. This style is truly shabby chic since you can revive old pieces and give them a little bit of style for your cottage look. This is one reason the cottage decorating style is so popular among budget minded decorators.
Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s a popular style of furniture was painted pine furniture. This typically referred to bedroom sets which would consist of a headboard and footboard, a tall bureau, a low dresser, a table and sometimes a vanity. These pieces, made out of pine, had beautiful hand-painted decorations on them. While they were not the top of the line items, even as long as 20 years ago, or that expensive, today they are highly sought after and work perfectly with the cottage style decorating theme.
You can also buy antique cottage style furniture that would have been popular in farm of houses in the late 1800s. These pieces consist of long tables usually made from a single piece of wood (something that is very difficult to find today). Sometimes the tables have gone through many hands. Some refinished pieces might be found with traces of old paint that make them very appealing. To go with them, you might find a set of painted chairs or you might decide to go with a mishmash of different styles of old, painted chairs for a little bit of whimsy, and also because a complete set may be very difficult to find!
Locating antique and vintage furniture for your cottage style decor can be a time-consuming and frustrating task, and fortunately for those people that want that look but don't want to spend all their time looking for it, reproduction furniture can be purchased that looks very similar to the older stuff. In fact, if you have a particular style of furniture in mind, you may not be able to find it in a real antique and a reproduction might be the only way to go.
For those on a budget and don't mind some hands-on work, yard sale furniture can be converted into cottage style furniture. All that is needed is a bit of paint and some sandpaper and a good eye for pieces that are interesting. Scour yard sales and fleamarkets for chairs and tables that have a bad finish to them or might need a little bit of repair that you know you can do yourself; you should be able to get these pretty cheap. Then take them home and do whatever repairs are necessary and give them a coat of white paint. After the paint has dried, hit the edges just a little bit with the sandpaper - you don't want to go overboard but you want to give it that time worn look at an antique piece would have. Alternatively, you can use one of the antiquing mediums that you can find a craft store that will give the piece that crackled paint look.