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Distress to Impress

Try a tree trunk: untreated wood gets the star treatment

How to pull off the distressed look with élan…

When it comes to unassuming elegance built around rare antique finds, perfectly distressed vintage pieces and raw elements of nature, no one does it better than Pearl Collins, of ultra-elegant event planners Pearl & Godiva. Here, we show you six ways she has perfected the look in her awe-inspiring West Cork new build. Scroll down for the highlight reel…

1. You’ll rarely go wrong with an antique. This beautifully worn, authentic French dresser is in a delectable state of distress – the fact that the original piece is excellent quality is what makes this look work (it goes without saying, the same approach does not go so well with modern flatpack furniture!).

2. Untreated wood is unbeatable. Bring the essence of nature inside with wholesome chunks of trees that haven’t been processed right down to that perfect veneer of shop-bought sheen. This pig’s bench was sourced from Geert Antiques.

3. Colour is key. The distressed look can get tired and washed-out looking pretty quickly if you have an exclusively neutral or monochrome palette. Repaint vintage finds in bold, uplifting shades, such as cerulean blue and tantalising teal. These unashamedly frayed fabrics above also benefit from their beautiful hues.

4. Salvage treasures that have a story. Not any old thing deserves to take pride of place in your home, just because it’s old. This magnificent black bureau was shipped all the way from Sweden after Pearl’s magpie eye picked it out.

5. Play with contrasts. Pearl and Michael made their bedhead out of a Mercury mirror sourced from Anton & K. To balance the shabby-chic bed frame, it was vital to have the bedding be as luxuriant and inviting as possible – the couple’s sumptuous silk-edged blankets and velvet cushions are from Tine K Home.

6. Seal the style with unusual flowers and foliage. Artfully placed air plants, sweet alien-looking succulents and beautiful blooms (as seen above, courtesy of Pearl’s florist mother, Hanoko) mark the difference between “nice try” and “nailed it” when it comes to a beautifully distressed aesthetic that doesn’t veer into messy territory.

Shop Anton & K, Geert Antiques, Tine K Home

pearlandgodiva.com

Photography: O’Malley Photographers

Love this? Now tour the whole of Pearl’s West Cork new build.

Sharon Miney for @Image_Interiors

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