Darren Palmer’s designers and trends to watch in 2019

Darren Palmer’s designers and trends to watch in 2019

The Courier-Mail caught up with The Block judge Darren Palmer to find out what’s happening this year when it comes to home decoration.

When it comes to lighting, Palmer said Christopher Boots, the Australian lighting designer based in Victoria, was one to watch.

“He’s doing some of the most exciting stuff I’ve seen, full stop, in the world,” he said.

“His work is amazing and his lights are more like sculptures, with strong use of metals and natural crystals.

“We’re going to see more sculptural artisan lighting next year, but we’ll also see ultra-paired-back flat colours or natural timbers in simple geometric shapes as sconces.

The Block judges Neale Whittaker, Shaynna Blaze and Darren palmer.Source:Supplied

“So, it’s a case of simplified fittings on one end of the spectrum and beautiful, detailed handmade designs on the other.”

When it comes to furniture, Palmer said you didn’t need to look any further than Jardan Furniture, who design and craft all their furniture in Melbourne.

“They have some really interesting furniture forms based on 1980 reinterpretations that continue to be popular,” he said.

“Zuster, also a Melbourne local company have an amazing array of intricate and detailed furniture.

“With the successes of businesses such as Jardan and Zuster as long standing, authentic Australian design alongside the smaller and handmade, craftsman based furniture, people have such an amazing array of design choice which means they don’t really have to think too much about trends, but can rather, find something that suits them, their house and lifestyle.”



The great thing about bathroom design today is that there’s a style to suit everyone’s design aesthetic — gone are the days when bathrooms were all white with a strip of coloured feature tiles.

Pay attention to handles, accessories and tapware, as the right choices here can make a bathroom.

One of Darren Palmer and G.J. Gardner Australia's bathroom design in the Australia Contemporary home.Source:Supplied

In terms of bathroom trends, rose gold and copper are fading trends and we’re now seeing more champagnes metallics — the evolution of lighter approach to golds and brass colours — as well as the continued popularity of anthracite or gunmetal as a softer alternative to black.

For my collaboration with G.J. Gardner Homes, I designed six very different bathrooms, but what they all have in common is super durable finishes, like easy clean surfaces and the ability to be easily updated ten years down the track.

As long as you get your bathroom floor plan right first up, it’s actually quite easy and cost effective to change benchtops and tapware in the future.


With so many options now available when it comes to colours, materials and textures in kitchens, the only restriction is don’t be boring.

Even a white kitchen can be interesting if materials and textures are combined carefully.

What’s important is to pay attention to zoning, storage, detailing like handles and tiles and surface choices — all the separate elements are what add up to a great kitchen.

Our lifestyles have changed dramatically since the 1940s and 1950s, when the kitchen was a closed off room that only one person worked in.

For the G.J. Gardner Tailored Collection Darren Palmer designed, he used Laminex Possum on the kitchen cupboards. It’s a brand new eucalypt colour from Laminex and a great celebration of what’s great about Australian nature and how green is so dominant within it.Source:Supplied

I used the five-zone approach when designing the kitchens for the Tailored Collection.

Zone 1 is consumables, so this is a space for groceries.

Zone 2 is non-consumables like plates, cups and storage containers and this zone needs to be near the dishwasher so it can be unloaded and items stored without having to move around the kitchen too much.

The third zone is the cleaning zone and it includes the sink and the rubbish bin and the final two zones are for cooking — this is the stove and oven area, and finally, the preparation area and here it is important to have an uninterrupted surface area.

Storage solutions are paramount in kitchens, so you can store things away so you have more working space and an uncluttered kitchen.

Häfele is doing some super cool stuff with kitchen cabinet hardware and accessories that include pullout pantry and blind corner systems, lazy susans, drawer dividers and rubbish and recycling bins.

Darren Palmer's surge gold quilt and palm leaves design.Source:Supplied


Bedrooms are our place of sanctuary and a room not many people venture into, so this room is where you can really get creative and let your personality shine.

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