Interior designer Darren Palmer left nothing untouched when he renovated his Federation-style home in inner-city Sydney.
The judge on renovation smash The Block says it took six months to renovate the home, adding two new bathrooms, redoing the kitchen and knocking down internal walls.
“It’s all redone, re-covered, restored, repainted or resurfaced,” he says.
“I restored the original plaster ceiling in one room, it has a lovely level of detail. I think it’s a shame to smooth it over and have something completely modern.
“You just wouldn’t get the beauty and subtleness if it was just a flat gyprock ceiling.”
And while he laments the fact he didn’t have the time to get stuck in and do more of the construction work himself, he says there was no question of that when it came to styling the interior.
“As if I would let anyone else style my home!”
"As if I would let anyone else style my home!"
He describes the renovation as “a classic take on a heritage look – modern with a historical approach”.
And his favourite room? The courtyard.
“Before it was really unwelcoming, there was nowhere to sit. I opened it up, there’s a raised terrace with a bbq and the space flows through to the kitchen and living areas.
“I’ve got a functional dining space and a functional lounge space outdoors.”
Palmer says open space is crucial and people considering renovating should really look to include indoor-outdoor space that flows easily.
“This is Australian living. In England not so much as you need to be able to close off rooms to keep the heat in,” he says.
“Here you do need to shut out the weather occasionally, but you need to connect the outdoors to the indoors.”
Place to relax: Darren Palmer loves the simple pleasures of home
He says he’s incredibly pleased with how the home has come together and that he’s been able to build a place where he can relax.
“It’s just come together really nicely and I am really proud of it.
“With my job, judging other people’s renovations, it does put pressure on you that it has to be perfect.
“I have to be happy to put my name to it and thankfully I am.”