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Homehome designThe Chic Home: Dutch designer’s bungalow filled with art and colour

The Chic Home: Dutch designer’s bungalow filled with art and colour

SINGAPORE – Dutch designer Barbara Fritschy, the owner of Singapore-based interior design firm Make Room, has called Singapore home for 13 years.

Having rented this 1,500 sq ft Whitchurch Road bungalow for six years, she and her husband – who are in their 40s and have three children, two cats and a dog – decided that it was time for a renovation.

The works included revamping the kitchen, splitting the existing master bedroom into two new bedrooms so the three children could each have their own space, creating an outdoor living and dining area, and adding new cabinetry.

Ms Fritschy loves all things vintage and colourful, so the house is filled with these, along with personal artefacts and trinkets from her travels. Incorporating art was important to her, she says, as she loves how “art shows your personality, evokes emotion and ties spaces together”.

The outdoor living and dining area beside the pool deck makes the most of the surrounding greenery. Ms Fritschy used neutral colours and natural materials – such as rattan chairs and a lacquered wood table – as a base, then incorporated pops of colour to ensure continuity across the indoor-outdoor threshold. Warm, earth-toned artwork by Australia-born artist Jai Vasicek reinforces this connection.

The family love reading, so their library – which doubles as a transitional space between different parts of the home – is lined with open shelves, with colourful book spines juxtaposed against the burgundy laminated shelves. Paint in the same shade was used for the walls and ceiling as well.

The Japandi-style kitchen features a natural-looking, wooden Lamitak laminate paired with a beige, stone-like Kompac Plus countertop. The old kitchen felt too crowded with cabinets and shelves, so Ms Fritschy replaced the top cabinets with open shelves and added roomy new drawers.

The priority for the new master bedroom was to create more storage. Instead of a standalone wall of wardrobes, the cabinets are designed to resemble a portal over the bed, with a ledge behind it that serves as the bedside table. Ms Fritschy used linen wardrobe doors for a lighter look that would also ensure the clothes inside were aired out. 

As a teenager who loves sleepovers with her friends, Ms Fritschy’s 15-year-old daughter gets a double bed in her room. The former master bedroom is now two bedrooms belonging to the 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.

The daughter’s bed is tucked into a cosy nook underneath full-height built-in cabinets, which divide the space between daughter and son. The bed features drawers and a trundle below for sleepovers, and has a dresser by the side.

The son’s blue and green bedroom features a large desk for him to play with his Lego and skate ramps, with deep shelves to showcase his Lego builds.

The renovation, which took place about 1½ years ago, needed six months to complete: two to renovate and four to furnish.

As it is a rental property, Ms Fritschy chose furniture and lighting that the family can take with them if they move in the future. She also refrained from replacing the white floor tiles, and kept the paint colours of the doors and door frames.

Many of the pieces in the home were sponsored and she forked out about $40,000 for the renovation and some furniture.

This article first appeared in the July 2023 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the August and latest issue of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes at

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