Design Hunter Q&A With Darren Palmer

As a judge for the upcoming Gift and Life Instyle Awards (GALA), Darren Palmer certainly knows a thing or two about great design. Darren shares with us his love of art, good food and ice cream.

30 Jan 2014

Your name: Darren Palmer

What you do: I’m a speaker, writer and designer who also has his head on the TV as a Judge for The Block. I’m the brand ambassador for Carpet Court, myLJhooker and a charity called Young Care.

Your latest project: I have 3 projects happening right now: a house in North Bondi – an amazing architecturally designed new build; another home in Woollahra – an equally amazing and exciting architecturally designed new build; and a large apartment in Elizabeth Bay on the water, which my client describes as “restoring the faded grandeur”. I’m equally excited about each of them for different reasons, as they will all be beautiful when complete.

Who are three people that inspire/excite you:

1) I’m married to my greatest inspiration. I’m a better version of myself because we’re together.
2) The work of Christian Liaigre was an early inspiration for me. Such attention to detail and layering of textures, light and colour really helped steer me in the right direction.
3) If I think about who in the world I would most like to be able to sit and talk design with, I think that person would be Tom Ford. His style is a bench mark for all men and his design firm is a world leader.

What is your favourite…

Car/bike/plane/boat model: Favourite car is the Mercedes SLS AMG Black. It’s a modern design classic.

Chair model: If I had the space I’d love a Wikkelso V11 Easy Chair & Footstool. It’s pretty hard to choose a favourite though with so many amazing new products launching every year. I could live my whole life in Poliform too I think…

Residential space: Well it’s a hotel in Bali so it’s kind of commercial/residential but Alila Uluwatu. OMG the most amazing place I’ve ever laid foot. Everything was designed by WOHA. Makes me want to, at the same time, stay there forever and get straight back to work to lift my game.

Commercial space: The Poliform showroom? Any furniture showroom really. I loathe shopping but could look at furniture 24/7. I guess I’m in the right line of work.

Decorative product: How long is a piece of string… Anything that’s authentic and from your travels that has meaning, character and interest.

Functional product: That hands free, keyless, remote control entry. I want this for my house as i love it so much in my car.

Handmade good: Art. The paintings you add to an interior really add life, vibrance and integrity to a room. I love the pieces we own. They each add something different to our home.

Mass-produced good: My car

Meal: Ice cream – Gelato Messina to be precise. Ice Cream is a meal right?

Restaurant: China Doll in Woolloomooloo Sydney

Drink: Water

Bar: As you can imagine if my favourite drink is water I don’t frequent too many bars. I’m pretty much the opposite of fun.

Item in your studio: The wolf sculpture I used on a GQ shoot years ago. I loved it so much it now sits on my desk.

Piece of technology: Has to be the iPhone. I know there are many better but it was the first that worked for the masses.

Historical figure: I’m drawing a blank, so I’ll say the Big Bang?

Fictional character: Ari Gold from entourage is pretty awfully brilliant.

Vice: Sugar.

Virtue: I’m fair.

What does the term ‘Design Hunter’ mean to you? It means someone with an eye for design. I think of myself as a designer rather than a design hunter but it’s always lovely to see new and creative things.

Darren Palmer is an expert judge for the upcoming Gift and Life Instyle Awards (Gala), which coincides with the Life Instyle and Reed Gift Fairs February. At the heart of programme is The People Award category, Retail Rep of the Year and GALA Lifetime Achievement award which will showcase individual commitment to retail success