Of all the judges on The Block, it’s Darren Palmer who gets most excited about the gadgets and technology. The term ‘kid in a candy store’ comes to mind! So it’s no surprise to us that he has made his own, recently renovated Sydney home, a smart home. Care to have a look around?
Darren and husband Olivier bought the house two years ago, following Darren’s tradition of buying homes in need of love and transforming them into beautiful spaces. As part of the renovation, he laid new floorboards and painted the whole downstairs (how good are those navy doors?!). He refreshed his home electrical by installing contemporary Saturn Zen switches and powerpoints, as well as a range of smart home technology, including Push Controls and Nero from Clipsal by Schneider Electric.
Of course, while fancy looking switches improve the aesthetics of a home, it’s the functionality and the sensory experience they give you which makes the biggest impact. “What I have done in changing the switches and lighting in this house has really changed the value – it feels more expensive now,” Darren says. “You interact with these switches every single day, they help you create the different moods of light, they look fantastic and they’re a simple thing to change, but they make a massive difference.”
When it comes to smart home automation (the really fun stuff) Darren says: “One of the coolest things about working on The Block is that I get to see all the latest and greatest in technology and all this smart home stuff has blown me away!”
Once he’d seen it, he just had to have Clipsal by Schneider Electric’s NERO and Push at home. “The NERO system is cool because you can control each and every light in your house with the press of a button. Tie it with scenes and you can group things together so it interacts with you the way you want your house to interact. When we wake up in the morning, all the lights are really low and then if we’re home during the day, all the lights become brighter.
“With geofencing [radio frequency identification] we’re able to light the way so when we get home we can get out of the car and it lights up the path, and it plays a playlist for me on Sonos when I open the door. It feels much more luxurious and it brings the house to life in ways we haven’t experienced before. It’s really fantastic and it’s amazing how useful it becomes once you get used to it.”
I know Darren’s recent renovation is only halfway to achieving the vision he has for this longterm home, but we think it’s looking pretty amazing already!