How Darren Palmer decorates his Jervis Bay pad for Christmas

The Block judge has put a coastal twist on festive at his Hyams Beach hideaway.
Photography: Abbie Melle

At Home Beautiful we love the festive spirit so we sat down with five of our favourite interior designers, stylists and experts to watch as they deck the halls with a wide range of decorations. Here, we see Darren Palmer’s Christmas tree in all its restrained glory.

You might know Darren Palmer from one of his most famous roles as judge on The Block, but that’s just a small slice of his life which is also spent working on many projects as an interior designer (with his own range of rugs, art and more homewares to come), as well as renovating with his husband, Olivier, and of course seeing beloved family and friends. With such a busy schedule, he’s counting down the days to celebrating with his loved ones over Christmas and is going all out to make his place feel festive.

We chat to Darren about how he likes to celebrate, his festive table decor and how to create a show-stopping Christmas tree at his Hyams Beach coastal cabin.

What is your table decorating must-have?

“I like Australian native leaves and flowers and I like to play with heights of serving dishes and candles, flora arrangements and decor pieces.”

Darren Palmer Christmas table
The table is surrounded by leather folding chairs from Few & Far. (Photography: Abbie Melle)

What dinnerware do you use for your Christmas table?

“We don’t really have the good china – I prefer a natural look, and the Few & Far onyx set on this table is special.”

“My go-to host gift is champagne.”

Darren Palmer Christmas dinnerware
For a neutral Christmas look, Darren combined Few & Far onyx plates, simple cutlery and a checked tablecloth in earthy hues for his table setting. (Photography: Abbie Melle)

Do you celebrate on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

“We celebrate on both. My husband is French and they celebrate Christmas Eve. I love a Christmas lunch. Our son is old enough now that we don’t have those early morning wake-ups and can enjoy a Christmas lunch together.”

How do you like to decorate your Christmas tree?

“We have been through the bauble free-for-all phase when we had a younger family, now we can refine a little and I get to style Christmas trees for Yourtown charity, as well as for our own house.”

Darren Palmer Christmas tree
Darren Palmer’s Christmas tree is made using preserved palm leaves from Elme Living and Florabelle, sourced and assembled by Samantha Cox @samartisanfleurs and Diana Moore @dianamooremethod. (Photography: Abbie Melle)

Favourite tree decoration?

“I have some cool wattle in glass balls from years ago. I like anything that has that Australian coastal vibe.”

Is your Christmas celebration formal or no-fuss?

“Low fuss. I put effort into styling an informal table for Christmas lunch and we love to prepare a big feast, so the food often takes centre stage.”

Darren Palmer Christmas tree
It’s all about a natural vibe for Darren at his place on the coast, with the impressive Christmas tree taking centre stage. (Photography: Abbie Melle)

Your signature gift-wrap style?

“Neutral or colour-blocked paper with a simple bow or raffia. I like a stylised look without too many tricks.”

For Christmas, there’s no place I’d rather be than…

“At home with my family and closest friends.”

What’s on the menu?

“I love to bake a glazed ham. We also love fresh seafood, often a prawn, avo and mango salad, good champagne, homemade rocky road and if we’re lucky, we make a chestnut gateau.”

Darren Palmer Christmas table
The table is inviting at Darren Palmer’s home with warm tones and a glazed ham. (Photography: Abbie Melle)
Want more Christmas decorating inspiration? See the other expert homes in the series:

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