BEFORE he was a judge on The Block, Darren Palmer was a Central Queensland local.
The interior designer told The Sydney Morning Herald about growing up in Gladstone during the 1980s.
"Mum and Dad had an apricot leather lounge suite," he said in the interview.
"Maybe this is where it all started.
"Maybe I sort of saw that and went 'urgh, there's got to be better than this'."
At 17 Darren moved to Rockhampton to study a Certificate III in art and a diploma of arts and graphic design.
Central Queensland TAFE has confirmed he studied at the campus in 1996 and 1997.
After working as a graphic designer in Brisbane and Sydney, Darren fell into interior design.
When his first renovation was featured in Belle magazine Darren decided to followed his passion.
He was a guest judge on The Block in 2011, becoming a full-time judge in 2013.