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