At home with
Sarah Parry-Okeden, Founder and Director of Wild Orchid Spaces
A creator of experiences, with every new project Sarah Parry-Okeden embarks on, a fascinating journey unfolds. The Founder and Director of Wild Orchid Spaces, a visionary business that creates considered and transformational spaces that elevate how you feel in your home, Sarah incorporates layers of materials and influences, with an extraordinary assurance of quality. Sarah’s unique designs are personalised to suit specific environments and landscapes in a way that weaves harmony and synergy inside and outside. We caught up with the design aficionado to discuss collaboration, design goals and her origins as a designer and developer.
Tell me about your origins, how you became a designer and where do you draw your inspiration from?
I have always been drawn to all forms of art and design – both spaces and pieces… Particularly those with character, layers and vibrance. A lot of my early interests centralised around art during my schooling years, which flowed into further studies at college. My early career days saw me in the fashion world, working with creatives on various wavelengths before I landed on properties and interiors. Wild Orchid Spaces initially came about through numerous conversations with my beautiful mother, who gently initiated that I explore the design space further. After she passed, I spent many nights revisiting our final conversations together, and from those, I knew I wanted to begin Wild Orchid Spaces. And I have never looked back. My lovely husband encouraged me to get started on my first property 10 years ago, and since then I have completed 10 houses and estates, both in the USA and Australia. The name Wild Orchid Spaces is a homage to my mum, she continues to inspire me every day, along with travel, art and reading.
You can transform a home in the most unpredictable of ways, often collaborating with artisans and creatives. What do you like the most about collaborating and how do collaborations with creatives come about?
I absolutely love working with all creatives and seeing how their design mind works. It fascinates me to see another person’s approach to a design solution. So much inspiration! Past collaborations have been born from like-minded creatives who have a love of vibrance within design and strive to push the boundaries in the creative spaces we find ourselves in.
What was the last object or piece of furniture you bought?
A vintage Indian console that I’m currently turning into a vanity. She’s a beauty, so many intricate carving details. India holds a dear place in my heart – a lot of my favourite pieces are from there. This piece will be included in our soon to be released product collection, launching later this year!
What’s your most recent, favourite design or art discovery?
So many – but above all, I have an avid love affair with sculptor Jim Budish. He adopts a playful, endearing, and oversized approach to all his works, often finishing them in a beautiful artesian bronze that warms any space, inside or out.
What are you doing next, any particular future projects you’re excited about that you can share?
We have an exciting few years ahead! We have two residential projects currently under construction; one in Bowral and one in Berrima. We also have two commercial projects currently in our pipeline. One of these commercial projects is purely focused on creativity and providing artists with a space and place to create their craft.
We are also very excited about our Wild Orchid Spaces product collection launching later this year – both exclusives and refurbished antiques. Watch this space!
Landscapes are an integral part of your design aesthetic – where does your love of nature come from and why is it so important to infuse within a home?
My love for nature, organic layers within foliage and its natural energy are strong. One of the first things I consider when working on a new project is the environment around it and if there is an existing and natural flow between the house and exterior. Creating a synergy between the landscape and the interiors is a huge part of what I do at Wild Orchid Spaces. There is a particular peace that comes from a lush garden or landscape that no item of furniture or finish can evoke. We look to bring as much of the outside in where possible.
What are your design dreams and goals?
Ah! So many! But mainly to keep doing what I am doing and stay true to myself when designing. I am so lucky to love what I do, and it's not lost on me that it is rare to live out your dreams. I am very excited for all our upcoming projects, but have always loved the idea of doing another project in Colorado in the coming years, there is so much beauty in the landscape. I am also excited by the idea of Hawaii.
What is your favourite Palm Beach fragrance and why?
Oh that’s an easy one…Vintage Gardenia! I love all the fragrances, but this particular one reminds me of my mother-in-law and our visits to see her in Hawaii. We love our family, and any time together is always cherished.