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Meet Darren Palmer: The nice guy of design

Laura Peppas

Although he’s an interior designer by trade, Darren Palmer has never been one to chase trends.  

The photogenic Sydney-sider and “nice guy of design”, who is also an author and judge on hit TV show The Block, says heeding trends too closely may mean the results won’t last the test of time.  

“My general rule is stick to classic colours, with neutrals such as greys and whites,” he says.  

“If you want to incorporate some trend-driven pieces, I would choose to update something like a door handle or a splash back. The idea is to try to keep the majority classic but find something where you can add a little bit of character and pepper throughout your home.”  

Darren, fresh from filming the latest season of The Block: Triple Threat, will be in Canberra this month as part of an exclusive home inspiration event on Thursday 19 March run by Fyshwick’s Southern Innovations.  

Guests at the event will have the chance to speak to Darren one-on-one, purchase copies of his new book Easy Luxury, and preview Southern Innovations’ range of products for the bathroom, kitchen and laundry.  

There will also be local interior designers on hand to give personal advice on decorating dilemmas and the chance to win a $2,000 Southern Innovations gift certificate.  

Darren says the top interior trends at the moment include varying textures and patterns and Moroccan and industrial influences.  

“I’m still seeing a lot of exposed brick and wood accents mixed with interesting patterns, and throwing in things like marble or metallics,” he says.  

And while he believes there is “joy” in every era’s interior style, the 1990s still make Darren cringe – “picture terracotta, mustard and granite – everything was oversized and ill fitting.” 

With his own home occupied by his young son and pets, Darren says it’s possible for practicality and style to be synonymous when it comes to family homes. His number one rule? “Design a brief.” 

“You need to discuss what is important to all stakeholders, for both partners and make  considerations about pets and children,” he says.  

“Ask yourself ‘what do the people who live here require’ and define a mood for your home before thinking about whether that cushion is right. It’s important to have something to refer back to and ensure you are on the right track. 

“Budget and timeline are also very important; otherwise things will drag on if they’re not managed tightly.”  

Giveaway: win a double pass to see Darren Palmer!

If you could ask Darren Palmer just one question what would it be?

Together with Southern Innovation, we’re giving five lucky readers the chance to win a double pass to join us for An evening with Darren Palmer on Thursday 19 March. To enter simply join the waitlist at Eventbrite, and we’ll select the winners from there! Competition closes 10am Tuesday 17 March. Winner will be notified by email (please add the above email to your address book) on Tuesday 17 March.


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author

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