Darren Palmer

The Block

Darren Palmer

“Be passionate or don't bother. There are so many people trying to get ahead that without that passion you won't be able to last the distance.”

A designer, writer and speaker, known for his stylish and classic interiors, Darren Palmer is an established and well-regarded member of the design community.

Darren has gone from strength to strength in his career, setting up his interior design studio in 2006 and has worked with many high profile clients including Jennifer Hawkins and graced the pages of Belle, Grand Designs Australia Magazine, Design Decoration Annual, Real Living and Renovate Magazine.

Contributing to GQ Australia, Luxury Home Design, Renovate and Grand Designs Australia Magazine and several other respected titles, Darren is an adept and informed writer on the subject of adding value through smart design.

Darren enjoys sharing his expertise and experience with up-and-comers in the industry, leading to his appointment to the highly-acclaimed judging panel of Channel 9’s ratings hit, The Block in 2011.

He is also a sought after MC/presenter having worked on events for Decoration+Design, Coco Republic Design School, Domanye, Interior Addicts and recently filmed a segment alongside Neil Whitaker for Natuzzi as part of the Home Food & Wine Weekend.

Darren released his highly-anticipated first design book ‘Easy Luxury; An expert guide to creating your perfect home“ in August 2014.

1 From designer, to speaker, writer and judge on The Block you have led an impressive career, could you tell us about the tipping point for when things really took off?

It's interesting, from the inside my work is my passion. I enjoy it all and I don't look at it like a list like this. I've just made the most of each opportunity I've been given and worked hard to do the best I can with each new endeavour. There was no one tipping point. Being a contestant on the first show, homeMade was a good launching pad to more exposure and new opportunities to write for GQ and luxury home, renovate and grand designs magazines which is where I realised how much I love to write.

Being a guest judge on The Block in 2010 for a challenge made me realise how much I enjoy working on TV, and led to the opportunity to do TV campaigns and be a full time judge on The Block. Every new opportunity takes growth and risk and faith, but to keep doing these new wonderful things it's a small price to pay.

2 What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

It was very exciting to write my book and have it in my hands as a printed product. Seeing it on shelves is surreal too but I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to produce a book and that Murdoch Books had faith to publish it.

3 In your opinion, what 3 things make an outstanding interior designer?

I don't know that I am an outstanding designer. There are many people out there that do more amazing and innovative work than me. I love what I do and am passionate about the transformations I can make for people and I think my understanding of liveability and intuitive approach to my clients' needs helps give me good outcomes that people enjoy living in and seeing in images.

4 What's the most exciting trend in interior design at the moment?

Customisation and creativity. More people are wanting something unique that is bespoke and are willing to express themselves in their homes in more adventurous ways. That's really exciting to me.

5 Where do you find your inspiration?

Nature mostly. I love the colours, textures and materials of nature and I enjoy thinking of ways to interpret them in my work.

6 What advice would you offer students looking to get into the interior design industry?

Be passionate or don't bother. There are so many people trying to get ahead that without that passion you won't be able to last the distance. Also carve your own path, don't copy others or worry about trends, your style might be the next big thing but you'll never know if you're busy doing what everyone else is doing.

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