Home reno guru from The Block Dar­ren Palmer shares his top-six style trends

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - News - Words: Cather­ine Nikas Bou­los More gj­gard­­lored

Q I of­ten flick through mag­a­zines and web­sites and see so many in­te­rior de­sign styles that I like. But, when it comes to pulling them to­gether in my own home, I strug­gle. How do I stop my­self from mak­ing an ex­pen­sive mis­take that I A will re­gret? If you thought pick­ing the right fa­cade on your new build was tricky, wait un­til you get to the point where you have to fur­nish your new digs.

Renowned in­te­rior de­signer and The Block judge, Dar­ren Palmer, (pic­tured), has helped hun­dreds of home­own­ers find their de­sign groove, and is de­ter­mined to see many more live com­fort­ably in a stylish en­vi­ron­ment.

He has teamed up with builder GJ

It’s good to iden­tify with a par­tic­u­lar style, but im­por­tantly think about where you live

Gard­ner Homes to re­lease six in­te­ri­ors and fa­cades to make the de­sign process sim­pler.

Re­search by GJ Gard­ner Homes found that one in three new home builders felt over­whelmed by the num­ber of de­sign de­ci­sions to be made, but Dar­ren has sim­pli­fied this process, nar­row­ing down six top trends — Beach, Ho­tel Luxe, Con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian, Hamp­tons, Ja­pandi and Ur­ban Mod­ern — se­lect­ing each el­e­ment and fit­ting, from kitchen, to floor­ing to bath­room hard­ware and paint colour.

“My ethos is to make good de­sign ac­ces­si­ble for ev­ery­body,” says Dar­ren. “I’ve used my in­ter­pre­ta­tion of de­sign prin­ci­ples the same way I would de­sign­ing a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar home.”

Easy does it

The idea is to make choos­ing your style easy, al­low­ing ev­ery­one to trust the de­sign process.

“I think peo­ple are gen­er­ally afraid to make a mis­take dur­ing the de­sign process, and they’ll be stuck with that mis­take for a long time,” Dar­ren says. “With this, I’ve done the de­sign think­ing for them. It’s ap­pro­pri­ate and con­sid­ered.

“It can be quite over­whelm­ing to make these de­ci­sions.”

This way, Dar­ren says, you can walk into a dis­play home or show­room, tick a box, and know that ev­ery­thing will work and match in your home be­cause it’s al­ready tried and tested.

Dar­ren’s in­te­rior styles are on dis­play in var­i­ous GJ Gard­ner Homes of­fices and dis­play suites.

Go-to style guide

Ho­tel Luxe is a nod to lux­u­ri­ous suites with rich car­pets and warm colours, while Ja­pandi ref­er­ences both Scan­di­na­vian and Ja­panese de­sign aes­thet­ics with asym­me­try and sim­plic­ity.

He says the Con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian style is his per­sonal favourite, and ref­er­ences the Aus­tralian land­scape colour pal­ette fea­tur­ing spot­ted gum tim­ber floors, wal­nut and eu­ca­lypt in­spired kitchen and bath­room sur­faces with grey and white stone-ef­fect tiles. The de­sign also in­cor­po­rates sleek con­crete sur­faces, black win­dow frames and grey doors.

There are two beach themes (clas­sic Aus­tralian shack style called Beach and the pop­u­lar Hamp­tons look), and the two should not be con­fused.

“The first is quite youth­ful and the other is con­ser­va­tive,” Dar­ren says. “They will ap­peal to dif­fer­ent buy­ers in the mar­ket.”

If you don’t live by the coast, he warns they may not be for you.

“It’s good to iden­tify with a par­tic­u­lar style, but think about where you live,” he says.

“There’s no point in do­ing a beach

house in The Out­back, nor do­ing a coun­try style in a mod­ern pent­house. You have to choose some­thing that is sym­pa­thetic to your en­vi­ron­ment.”

Equally im­por­tant is to choose a de­sign style that “makes your heart race”.

“Peo­ple who err on the side of cau­tion should know that great re­sults hap­pen out­side the boundaries of great com­fort.”

While most of the schemes have neu­tral un­der­tones with tim­ber or lam­i­nate floor­ing, you can add ex­tra lay­ers to your place with art­work and in­ter­est­ing fur­ni­ture.

“These de­tails add up to make the fab­ric of a home that is more than just an every­day dwelling.”

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