Home Truths

Home Truths | Style Stories

Darren PalmerDarren Palmer has a broad portfolio, having studied fine art & graphic design, originally working in advertising and owning his own graphic design company. After succumbing to his true passion, Darren now operates his own interior design studio and has been a judge on numerous seasons of The Block.

1.   Describe your home’s style?

Always comfortable, welcoming and making our guests feel at home, and very rarely looking photoshoot-ready. We only have that insta-perfect look when we have a shoot or have guests over. Otherwise, it’s normal family life with pets and a child, nothing too fussy or valuable, and filled with items that can be easily cleaned or replaced.

2.   What rooms/design elements did you prioritise in your home and why?

Our first priority was giving the house a coat of paint as it was a yellowish-cream colour, and I always feel like if you apply a layer of paint to a new home (properly prepped of course) then you wash away the old and provide a fresh new start for the house and its occupants.

After I painted the house, I laid new, vinyl plank flooring. I chose this as it can be cut with a box cutter and it interlocks, making it the perfect DIY product. I laid the entire house with some help from my Dad over the course of 2 months. It’s a great product to lay over the top of a flat substrate and it unified my entire home, where it previously had 3 different coloured timbers and a vinyl sheet which really detracted from the size and appeal of the home.

3.   When you purchased your home, did you renovate immediately, or live in the it first to decide how to best configure the space for your needs?

We lived in the house for a while so that I could get my head around what would work best, but mostly because we’d spent all our money buying the house!

We have since renovated the kitchen, replaced the ceilings in the kitchen and lounge room, panelled the walls in the lounge and dining rooms, installed skylights, applied wallpaper to our bedroom, changed all the light switches and installed the Nero/Push home automation system, hung curtains and furnished and decorated the house - and it looks like a far more appealing version of the same home we bought.

I have plans in mind of what I would like to do to the house to really bring it up to the next level, whilst minimising the changes to the house itself. I love thinking about how to most efficiently make the biggest change and I can see very clearly how a few simple tweaks and a couple of walls removed internally will really make a huge difference to the look, light levels and appeal of our home.

4.   What flooring considerations were kept in mind?

I only have hard flooring in my home as I have 3 dogs and they tend to not really consider what the floor is made of if they have an emergency. We have a few lovely Carpet Court rugs in solution dyed nylon, which are robust and easy to clean. The price of Carpet Court’s Evoke range is hard to overlook, as the pattern works well with the beachy vibe we have at home.

5.   You have the most beautiful dogs - what decor considerations were made to ensure style was maintained, but were robust enough to accommodate an active household?

Our dogs are family so there’s no place they’re not allowed. We cover our sofas with two large blankets, and we have a gigantic sofa. The blankets cover literally two thirds of the couches, so the dogs have many options to sit, and you know where they want to sit? On the section that has no blanket covering. We have really sturdy and robust floor coverings and rugs. We don’t have anything that’s precious and we have found that buying furniture that looks better with age and wear is wise. While my house isn’t always
photoshoot ready, I do get to fill that void through my professional work, be it a client’s home, renders for an apartment building, the range of GJ Gardner houses I have, or
with the charity work I do with Yourtown each year for their Christmas prize home.

6.   Dog bedding and accessories - what tips do you have to ensure their furniture pieces seamlessly fit within the home’s aesthetic?

I try to buy grey or charcoal dog beds and accessories so they blend, but at the end of the day we get whatever is comfortable and cost effective so that when the dogs have destroyed them, there isn’t much of an issue to replace them.

We like to buy them new toys every now and again and I have a place in a tray under the coffee table to keep them, but inevitably they end up scattered randomly around the house. It’s really sweet that our little Frenchie likes to grab her favourite toy and travel around the house with it.

Home Truths | Style Stories

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