At A.H Beard, we’re proud to be an Australian made and owned business and want to celebrate the remarkable creative talent around our beautiful country.
Our Designer Series showcases some of Australia’s best local designers and creators by taking a closer look behind the scenes at their work, the creative journey and what motivates and inspires them.
This week we sat down with Sarah Parry-Okeden from Wild Orchid Spaces, a property design and interior styling consultancy for high end, boutique style homes and rental properties.
Wild Orchid Spaces works closely on all aspects of a property’s design, landscaping, finishes and furnishings to create a sense of comfort, luxury and synergy between the outside and the interior.
What inspired you to become a designer?
Ten years ago just before my son, Ollie was born my beautiful Mum, Helen and I were having a conversation about one of her friends, Author Carolyne Roehm (@carolyneroehm) and how she had created a fabulous collection of Interiors books. Mum suggested to me that I consider pursuing a career in Design and Styling as she had watched my love for all things property grow considerably over our time in the US. As I had made the move from Fashion at this stage, I was definitely open to the idea.
A year later, Mum passed from cancer and a tsunami of grief followed. As a source of comfort during the following days, weeks and months, my time was spent searching my memory for our treasured conversations. Among many others, one stuck with me – almost like her last message of guidance – to pursue all things interiors. I started slowly in the US with a few very small renovations to get my feet wet, followed by bigger projects and clients when time allowed. A few years later upon arriving home, Wild Orchid Spaces was born and launched in Australia in 2020. The name – Wild Orchid Spaces – is a nod to my mum who loved her gardens and especially her orchids.
What’s your favourite part of your own bedroom and where did you draw inspiration?
I designed our bedroom in the Ruskin Rowe property, Avalon Beach so that it had unparalleled views of the Northern Beaches’ reservoir trees, and a bedframe that sat higher than most so that, upon waking up, we had an uninterrupted view of the landscape from our pillow. It’s a peaceful, beautiful way to start the day and I’m grateful for it every morning.
What homewares are essential to making a bedroom feel complete?
A beautiful throw for the end of a bed adds texture and comfort while a generous armchair or sofa allows for another place to relax. Wallpaper or stone on a wall creates an excellent textural backdrop to support furnishings and give the room some life.
What’s your favourite bedroom that you have designed and why?
It would have to be our Master Bedroom in our own home – Ruskin Rowe. A lot of thought was put into long-term living in that space as we have no plans to ever move!
I ended up combining two rooms to create a little haven for my husband and I; it’s an open plan bedroom with a living and lounge room combined, complete with a stone fireplace and cathedral ceilings. The bathroom design was given the same amount of attention during the planning phase resulting in a huge amount of space and comforts, including an extension of design elements taken from the bedroom such as full length sliding door that opens onto the trees of Avalon creating that continued connection to the outdoors.
What do you think makes a well-designed bedroom?
The consideration around colours you introduce into a space can make or break a room. Warm whites or the right blues/greens can evoke a sense of calm, while introducing reds and oranges creates energy. The use of layers and textures through textiles is also important to create a sense of comfort. This is the first place you start your day and the last room you finish in, so it has to be both calming and inviting at the same time.
What should no bedroom be without?
All bedrooms need to feel like a place of calm and comfort created through the right finishings but having an excellent mattress to get a good night’s rest, like those from A.H. Beard themselves, as well as the right bed frame to support it is the most important thing. I also always like to make sure there is a plant to help purify the air and bring life and energy to the space. Sleep is the world’s best medicine!
Do you have a pre-bed ritual?
Yes! After the kids go down a warm shower, or even better – a hot bath is the first thing I do… It warms me up and calms my mind, allowing me to switch off from the day and sleep well at night. I also like to catch up on my latest Netflix series while getting to the daily emails.
Who should we be following for design inspiration?
- Kelly Wearstler (@kellywearstler) is as fabulous as she is unpredictable.
- Carolyn Roehm (@carolyneroehm) has an incredible ability to curate some of the world’s top interior designs and author those into beautiful books.
- @AnthroLiving in general would have to be a favourite as they work with designers who know how to beautifully execute layers and texture. They never neglect a wall, bringing in incredible wallpapers to complete a look.
- House of Hackney (@houseofhackney) and Emma Hayes (@emmahayestextiles) makes the most fabulous collections of wallpaper – some of which we have used in a few of our latest projects (@bellevueave & @theavaloncottage) and plan to use in our current project: (@cordeauxestate)
You can find Wild Orchid Spaces on Instagram at @wildorchidspaces