In today’s show we are joined by not one but 2 television personalities as we look inside and outside a property to see what adds value. Graham Ross from Better Homes and Gardens takes care of the outside while stylist and judge on the Block, Darren Palmer has some great advice about getting the inside of a property looking great.
Kevin: My next guest is Darren Palmer. Darren, of course, interior designer, author, and much-loved judge and mentor on Channel 9’s The Block.
Good day, Darren. Nice to have you on the show.
Darren: Nice to be back.
Kevin: We see spectacular rooms on shows like The Block and magazines like House & Garden. Are they all that easy to create or replicate, given the guidance you can get in a book like Easy Luxury?
Darren: If it was easy, everyone would do it
Kevin: That’s true.
Darren: It is hard. It’s a real skill, and it takes years to hone. What people are able to achieve on The Block is truly mind-blowing especially considering, generally speaking, they are everyday people who don’t have any experience in renovation or design. With that in mind, it’s spectacular.
But if you look at what gets done in magazines by professionals and the amount of layering and detail and the principles behind things, yes, you can study all that stuff and you can learn it, but it really takes practice to master something like that.
There’s this anecdote of someone coming across Pablo Picasso on a riverbank and saying to him, “Can you sketch me?” In 15 minutes, he did a quick sketch, and it was a Pablo Picasso original. He said, “That will be €8000,” or whatever. The person said, “Really? That only took you 15 minutes.” “No, it took me my whole life.”
Kevin: Great story and very true. Darren, thanks for your time. All the best. I look forward to seeing you again on The Block real soon.
Darren: Thanks so much, Kevin.
Kevin: Another famous name, another famous face, Graham Ross from Better Homes & Gardens joins us.
Graham, thanks for your time.
Graham: My pleasure, Kevin? Are you well?
Kevin: I’m very well. Thank you.
Graham: Good, mate.
Kevin: What sort of impact, in your experience, does a nice garden or a very well-maintained lawn have on the price of a property if it’s being sold?
Graham: Well, it’s street appeal, street appeal, and street appeal. The whole objective, Kevin, is to get people out of the car. The real estate agent has either sent them, or they’re in his car driving to XYZ and he has to get them out of the car. Street appeal is really where it’s at. Don’t go over the top. Don’t make it look like it’s a botanical garden that people are going to have to spend months and months looking after.
Kevin: One of the great things about living in Australia, Graham, is that we have this opportunity to have a great outdoor lifestyle. That affords some great opportunities, and I���ve seen you do this on Better Homes & Gardens, create some of those outdoor rooms.
Graham: It’s a great idea. Again, the sound of water, the look of water, if you can go to the local garden center, the local nursery or the hardware store and buy just a simple… You think, “I’m not going to spend $400 on it,” but if it looks $1000 and the image and the feel as they come through the house and look out onto the back, there’s a bit of splash, there’s a bit of water, there’s a bit of a tinkling of the water, that’s another real bonus.
You have them out of the car, through the front garden, into the house. The house and the setup of the furniture and the smell and aroma of cooking and all those sorts of things that interior decorators are professional at, but when you start going through to the back, sometimes they’re just backyards. While the old backyard was a very popular place to play cricket, in the 21st century, it’s an entertainment space, it’s another extension of the room of the house.
In the houses that we’ve landscaped over the years and done a little bit of work in the backyard and in the front yard that we might have spent $10,000 or $15,000 on – that sounds a lot – you can get a 30% to 40% increase. We’ve been able to say that time and time again that you spend that bit of time outside as well as indoors.
Kevin: Great advice, Graham. All the best with your show. I love your show, too, mate. It’s going very well for you.
Graham: Thank you, pal. It’s my 21st year with Better Homes. Last Friday night was my 856th episode. I don’t know who’s counting but someone told me that during the week.
Kevin: You’re not that old. Come on.
Graham: It makes me feel a bit old, but it’s been great and it’s a great show to be part of this year.
Kevin: It’s great having you on the team too, Graham. Thank you so much for your time.
Graham: Cheers, mate. All the best.