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Darren Palmer on his Husband, Fatherhood, The Block and More

Darren Palmer on Fatherhood, The Block, Staying Fit and More

Darren Palmer is soon to be back on our screens as a Block judge, but the nice guy of design is one busy man outside of his TV commitments.

The interior designer and author is also a working dad to son Hugo and is kept occupied by a slew of client projects, gruelling gym regime and attempting to learn French.

In this interview, Darren Palmer talks about fatherhood, his husband, misconceptions about The Block and more!

Darren Palmer talks to TLC Interiors…

Darren Palmer on Husband Olivier and Life at Home - TLC Interiors

The Block will be back on our screens soon. What’s one of the biggest misconceptions you think people have about the show?

“That the judges judge on personality or who is likeable. We have little to do with contestants and only judge spaces on their merit.

We each judge in different ways; my judging being a process of judging four elements each with 2.5 points to give. These are design (structure, planning and overall direction), Inclusions (furniture and decor), Finish, and Appropriateness to the market (geographically as well as salability). I don’t judge on whether I like something or not, I judge solely on these four, equally important elements”.  

It was so lovely to see your family in Sunday Style recently. How do you juggle life as a Dad with your work commitments?

“We have our son with us just less than half the time, so we have a little more time to work or rest than some parents. We use our time with him to do fun, family stuff that builds good memories and we use our time without him to achieve our goals in work and life.

It’s a good balance but we would happily spend all of our time together as a family too. There are many things to do but nothing is more important than my family”. 

I find that, as a stylist, I can never pick things for my own home. Do you find decor decisions for yourself tough to make? 

“Not at all. I’m my favourite client. I enjoy making my own homes more beautiful, taking on our own renovations as often as I can manage.  I tend to have a very clear idea of what is right for the house in its area so that makes it simple and I don’t have to explain or paint a picture as I know what it looks like complete.

I tend to buy anything I see in shops and love and just keep it for later or use it in my home until it finds its way onto a shoot or in the case of the things that wait patiently in the cupboard, into someone’s home”.

Darren on fatherhood, and staying fit…

Darren Palmer - The Block

What’s your home’s design aesthetic like? Does your son have the coolest kids room ever?

“No, he has a good boys room, with blue paint, orange bunkbed (his favourite colours at the time were blue and orange), his name in big letters on his bed, Spider Man decals on the wall and some cool bed linen. But otherwise it’s a practical space that he sleeps in. His toys take up lots of space in the living areas so there’s not much need for toy storage in his room. He’s about to get a bigger bedroom in our reno, but only until we sell this house to move onto the next one! 

My home is very comfortable, friendly and practical. There’s lots of things from our travels, beautiful art and otherwise really durable non-fussy furniture that we don’t have to obsess about. I like to be in a friendly, happy space. There’s no need for a beautiful house to be uptight. 

I saw a while back on Instagram that you and Shaynna were into green smoothies. Is this your stay-in-shape secret?

“It’s one of them for sure. Shaynna gave me her recipe which is good for vitamins, anti inflammatory, nutrients and general energy in the morning.

I start most days with one and train at the gym five days a week unless work interferes. I don’t drink much and we’re very much introverted home bodies that barely do much else than hang out with each other as a family. It’s a quiet life that allows me to do so many things with my career”.  

Darren Palmer on what’s up next…

The Block Judge Neale Whitaker with Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer

Last time we spoke you were keen on revisiting sculpting and making things this year. Have you found time for it?

“No way. That aint going to happen any time soon, either. I need to learn French before I take on any other projects. I have french in-laws and a French husband, so it’s pretty embarrassing that I only speak the most basic french. Hugo will learn also so I need to get up to speed. That would be even more embarrassing…”.

Are you working on any projects at the moment that are exciting you?

“Pretty much everything I do excites me at the moment. We have business and personal growth, new projects, a change in some of the key supporters in my business, lots of opportunities, a new office I move into this week and just more and more amazing things every day.  

I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given and continue to be blessed with and I have found the right team to support me to the next stage which is a huge relief.

There are several projects finished that have yet to be shot, some appearing in mags, some ear marked for the next book and more projects for myself and clients on the horizon. Life is good!”.

Want to know more about The Block? Read our ultimate guide to every season!

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If you’re obsessed with all things The Block and decorating your home, you might wanna join my Private Facebook group here.

We discuss decorating and design on the daily. Members share snaps of their homes and ask advice. We support one another though shopping, style choices and more.

It’s loads of fun, so click the link above and drop me your email address.

Chris Sig


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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