In the age of Pinterest, it seems almost too easy to put together a styleboard and carve your dream interiors into reality, right? Not quite. We can count plenty of instances when we laboured under a Pinterest-fuelled delusion, only to find out that we lacked the creative chops to see a full-fledged interior project all the way through.
Introducing Barbara Fritschy – former banker turned interior designer, who is hitting all the right notes with her interior design business cum store, Make Room. Barbara launched her own interior design studio in 2012, offering affordable interior design and interior styling services to both residential and commercial clients. Hard-pressed to find suitable accessories for her interior projects, the only logical solution seemed to be to open a home furnishings store, curated specifically to her tastes. After all, when it comes to styling a space to feel like a home, every cushion, vessel and art piece counts.
Though the fledgling practice is only a few years old, the team has already conceptualised, designed and completed a number of exciting residential and commercial projects. Judging by their portfolio, the team excels in a trendy, Scandinavian aesthetic, playing with a myriad of eclectic materials and textures to enact verdant, breathable spaces. Most notably, Barbara recently collaborated with Courts to style the photo campaign for its newest range of furniture and accessories.
From rainbow-bright setups to sleek and understated layouts, there’s an artfulness that’s present in each of her compositions. We chat with the talented designer about the evolution of Make Room and her vision of an ideal home.
I was a project manager at a Swiss bank. I enjoyed the project management part of my job, but I really did not enjoy the corporate world and the politics that came with it. So I decided to study interior design and now I am a project manager managing renovations.
The Beginnings of Make Room.
After finishing my interior design degree, I wanted to start my own design studio. Since we had trouble finding suitable accessories for projects, I decided to combine having an office with running a retail space. That’s how we now offer interior styling & design and you can come by our store or shop online for brands like Madam Stoltz, HK Living, Zuiver, Ixxi and our in-house label, Make Room.
We are a private limited company and I work together with a small team of four great people. We are three designers, one sales person and one accountant.
We try and cater for all tastes and styles, but you can probably say our style is pure, authentic, cosy, practical, fresh, industrial, and a bit quirky. We also rely heavily on natural materials.
That is a hard one, because we really try to put our heart and soul into all our interior decoration projects. I was very honoured to work with Courts. They asked me to put together their accessories collection and edit and style photos for their Struoc collection catalogue. It was a fun project and I really like the result.
A terraced house with four bedrooms and a garden in the West of Singapore
Life in Singapore.
Living in an environment that is constantly changing and an economy that is growing is something I really enjoy. Asia has so many possibilities! And of course the vicinity to a great many travel destinations and the outdoor lifestyle are great bonuses.
Most places in Singapore are either a lot bigger then the places at home or a lot smaller, like the HDBs. So you have to be quite creative with space, as both scenarios actually require heavy duty space planning. A thing I struggle with in Singapore is the material choices we have here. Because of the humidity and the cost of materials here, we cannot always do what we are used to and have to think of other ways. Luckily, we usually manage quite well.
A house on the beach would be my absolute dream scenario. Because I have lived abroad for the last 12 years, we were never able to buy a place of our own and renovate. You can understand after all these years; I would love to run my own renovation!
Essential elements to a home.
The people that live in it, photos and your artwork.
Theatre, museums, Instagram, Pinterest, magazines and the beach
On the bookshelf.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Love that book!
Quick decorating tip.
Change up the accessories! Change the rug, the cushions, the t-lights and the vase and your place can look completely different.
Local creatives to watch.
Dream creative project or collaboration.
I would love to bring together music and interiors. That might sound a bit weird, but I have got this really great idea of how to do it and if I ever find the time, we will be putting it in motion. Watch our website for more!
We are currently working on a new terrace and bar for the Dutch Club. We are fortunate to be growing rapidly, so hopefully we will start a new design studio at a different location soon.
Singapore Black Book.
Favourite local haunt…
E-Sarn Thai Cuisine, Pasir Panjang
Favourite place to shop…
Boutiques at the Pit Building that goes on twice a year. I love the selection of vendors. The stores on Haji Lane come in as a close second.
Singapore’s best hidden gem…
Hort Park. It has a great playground and sunset view.
One place a tourist must visit…
One simply must have a drink on the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark!
Where can we find you in your downtime…
Sentosa! Love the beach!