Darren Palmer

Darren Palmer is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most renowned and influential interior designers. Darren began his career designing beautiful and personalised homes for discerning clients.

As a professional, Darren’s instincts and design aesthetic have influenced Australia’s design culture, while his youthful and energetic presence have propelled a public career spanning across publishing, licensing, television, brand ambassadorships, events, corporates, and leadership in design.

His extensive expertise combined with his understated approach to design has made him a household name, known his professionalism, integrity, and industry expertise.

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Getting to know Darren Palmer

The two things all successful interiors have in common are compliment and contrast.

Getting to know Darren Palmer

Q: What are your favourite products used in your Caroma capsule and why did you choose them?

For "City Lights capsule", the direct influence of form for the entire bathroom was the geometry of the accessories range within the Urbane II range. The perfect straight edges and the regular radius were the inspiration for the curves and edges within the City Lights bathroom. The floor tiles were a lucky last edition to the room that also have this perfect blend of straight edge and radius. The Gunmetal colour was also the perfect subtle nuance to the black and white palette.

For "Nature Refined" capsule, the brushed brass finish in the Liano II tapware range is so perfectly matched across the entire range. It made it such a perfect choice to offset the raw, natural textures and tones across this bathroom. I chose the shower rail to contrast against the sage green concrete tile wall. It really pops beautifully. A close second is the shower and accessories of the same finish from Urbane II range, with their perfect straight edges and beautifully regular radiuses.

Q: Describe your approach to design?

I like to think that my design is led by the brief and its constraints and parameters. They’re always set by the requirements of the user of the space, its geographical location, the timeline, budget and must haves and must nots. The feeling, the mood, the tones, colours and patterns that are part of the type of design that the brief requires, all of these things are what make each of my designs different to each other but unified by my aesthetic.

Q: What inspires you in your design and how do you come up with your ideas?

I’m always inspired by nature. I love the tones, textures and colours of nature and the combinations that occur naturally. They’re often surprising but always harmonic. It’s interesting too to see the different combinations at different times of the year, in different places and in different geographic locations. Spring often brings fresh and vivid colour combinations whereas autumn will show you a subdued colour palette. You can find the most intricate neutral tones on the bushland floor. The ocean provides yet another completely different set of inspiring colours and forms. It’s an endless array of inspiration and it’s everywhere we look.

Q: What is the biggest single influence on your creative thinking? 

Time. I like to let inspiration happen when it happens. Sometimes it’s instantaneous. Sometimes I need to process and mull and roll an idea over in my mind. Sometimes for myself I will live in a home for 6 months studying the light and thinking over details, moving things around in my mind over and over and over. It does become all-consuming and there really is no escape from the process. Often ideas come at unexpected times. In fact, I designed the Nature Refined bathroom at 1am whilst lying in bed for 2 hours thinking over the already chosen pieces when they finally snapped into place in my mind. I woke up, went to my computer and documented my design for 2 more hours before finally going back to sleep at 3am very satisfied with what you now see as the result.

Q: What is your strongest skill? 

I know that I am a perfectionist and I know I’m self-critical and I also have learned to try and rise above both of those challenges to realise that as long as the design meets the brief the design doesn’t have to be perfect to be right and I don’t have to be the best to produce great work. I’d rather produce 100 things well than 10 things perfectly.

Q: What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work? 

I enjoy learning about consumer trends, buying patterns, what is currently being developed, why people are responding to the things they respond to, looking at why eras resurge in popularity and thinking about what the next swing of the pendulum will be. I like the thinking behind what drives trends more so than looking at what trends are happening right now.

Q: What are you passionate about besides your work? 

My family. I spend all of my time that I can with them, and I prioritise that time above all else. I eat well, stay fit and work as much as I need to so that I can continue moving closer to my goals, but my number one priority is spending the precious time I have with my husband and son.