Inside the head of Barbara Fritschy

Barbara Fritschy of Make Room is a livewire of an interior designer and stylist whose goal is to, as she professes, “help people bring their prettiest Pinterest boards to life!”

We recently moved in and became neighbours on Amoy Street, so, what better way to kick off the week than to introduce ourselves and lounge around together.

Barbara, you transitioned from working in banking to interior design. Changing careers is not an easy decision to make... and you managed to transition so well! Can you share your journey with us?

Thank you! It hasn't — and still isn't — always easy sailing, but I can't believe that Make Room will be celebrating a decade soon! It was obviously a huge change, going from working crazy hours for a massive corporation where you're one among thousands, to being my own boss and getting to do something I have a genuine love for. I think I just got to a point in my banking career where there wasn't enough joy and stimulation in my day. That was affecting who I was outside the office, as a mother and wife and friend, if that makes sense.

With interior design, I come in to the office every day with an energy and excitement that then stays with me for the day. I can't fully explain how rewarding it is getting to meet people from all walks of life… to work so closely with them on an aspect of their life that is extremely personal and seeing them smile from ear to ear when the project is completed.

What's the hardest part about being an interior designer?

Tough question! Tough because there genuinely isn't something that comes to mind straight away. Of course, it can be challenging working with small spaces or limited budgets, especially when the client has expensive taste. Personally though, the hardest part comes down to having the self-control to not implement every trend in my own house or to hold back from not buying all the cool furniture and decor for myself when I'm supposed to be shopping for clients!

Barbara in her studio at Amoy Street.

Speaking of your house — you've lived in different countries. What's your idea of home and are you attached to any specific place in the world?

I think we're pretty good about creating a home in every place we go to. Right now, we live in a very jungle-like and rural part of Singapore, which has become a lovely home for my family and me… I would hate to leave!

Sydney was the first place my husband and I moved to together so that will also hold special significance to me — and can you blame me? The food, the beaches, the design are all to die for!

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Definitely a night owl! My daily routine starts off with a quick workout before heading to the office, where the first point of business will always be fixing up coffee. If I'm lucky, I'll finish the day with an evening yoga class before curling up in bed with a hot tea and Netflix… or just a good interior magazine — that will always leave me in a good mood!

We're new to the neighbourhood! Can you give us a quick tip sheet of what's good around here?

Amoy Street is my second home in Singapore — there are so many good cafes and bars around! We all know Plain Vanilla around the corner has Singapore's best cupcakes and My Awesome Café, a little further down, is my go-to for a quick drink after work. For a healthy lunch, an office favourite is Shake Farm, but of course there is also Burger Joint a stone’s throw away for when you want to treat yourself.

Find your decorating style with Barbara

Barbara identified four trending interior styles for us: Minimalist, boho, classic, and scandiavian. First, take our Instagram quiz to help you find your style, then check below for Barbara’s pro tips on decorating for your style.


  1. Use vintage pieces.
  2. Mix colours and patterns with abundance.


  1. Arrange your furnishing elements in a symmetrical manner.
  2. Use quality materials like oak, walnut, mahogany, cherry and marble.
  3. Use large rugs and heavy curtains.


  1. Use natural materials such as leather, wood, linen and hemp.
  2. Pick furniture with clean lines.
  3. To add texture and subtle colour to your Scandinavian interior, decorate your couches with throws and pillows that have simple geometric prints.


  1. Keep your space simple and uncluttered.
  2. Stick to a monochromatic colour palette like whites, beiges and greys.
  3. Feature an array of tonal textures for colour and warmth.

Pillow Talk is an interview series done in collaboration with Public Culture, an editorial experience studio that believes in connection over communication. This feature was photographed by Christopher Wong for Sunday Bedding and Public Culture.