Get the look: Coastal cottage style

Get the secrets to creating a beach house look (even if you're nowhere near the water)

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 Ocean hues

  • Coastal cottage stripe

    The prime source for Susan Delurgio's decor is her store. Her core palette consists of three colors from Benjamin Moore Paints (www.benjaminmoore.com; 800/672-4686), including a custom-blended formula (OY-2 blended into a gallon of pastel base) for the living room and bedroom walls.The fabric is available at Beach House Style (www.mybeachhousestyle.com); sisal rugs provide a neutral base.

Susan Delurgio and Alisha Peterson, co-owners of Beach House Style, 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.

Info:  Beach House Style , 779 Center Blvd., Fairfax, CA (415/454-3138).

See more of their style: Summer Retreat home

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