Who: John Hilliard & Christine Bruce Where: Lompoc, Santa Barbara…
Who: Simone Fritzen, Interior Designer
Where: Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Who does not dream of it? Living in a beautiful country house, with lots of space for the family, surrounded by endless nature and a large garden with old trees. This dream came true for Austrian interior designer Simone Fritzen and her husband. Since 2003, the couple, with their four children and dog Amy, live in a 200-year-old mansion in Schleswig-Holstein, a one hour car ride north of Hamburg. Previously, the Fritzens had their home in the Hansestadt. How do established urban people become convinced landlords? MyStylery visits the north!
MyStylery: Many dream of living in the countryside. You took the step. Was it planned for a long time?
Simone Fritzen: My husband is a hunter and always had the vision of country life. Then we found this oasis of calm through an auction house. When I first entered the house being pregnant, I knew immediately: This is it. Not visible and still located in the middle of the village. My husband lured me with the argument to be able to make a beautiful house even more beautiful. He has plenty of room for tinkering and – most importantly – a plug for his lawn mower. And for children, there is nothing better than to grow up in the countryside and in the midst of nature.
MS: Was there any major redevelopment effort or were you be able to move in right away?
SF: We’ve made some spatial changes. Where before was a bird aviary, today is the kitchen. The floors were sanded, walls were trowelled and dyed. And then all this ravaged wallpaper. It had to go away. (laughs)
MS: From my own experience, I know that rural life requires a different organization and logistics than life in the city.
SF (laughs): Oh, yes. As a mother you will be the chauffeur of your children whose school is 45 minutes away from here. Almost everything is done by car. You have to compromise. As a passionate chef, I also follow my passions here, cooking jam, puzzling around in the garden. That fits.
MS: You used to accompany international projects as an interior designer. Do you miss this?
SF: I’ve been working from my home-office for years and am still on the road. Right now I am planning for a real estate broker. At first she was interested in my furniture design. Now I organize the entire object for her. The most beautiful thing about my job is that I see many interesting houses and always adjust myself to the customer and the object again and again.
MS: You’re dealing with a demanding clientele. Does it follow your opinion or does it want to make its own decisions?
SF: This is always different and requires a lot of fingertip feeling and empathy. I remain true to my principles. Firstly, a Tuscan country house does not fit into the metropolis. And secondly, never do everything new. Things that are special to the costumers always get their place.
MS: Sounds simple, but it is not. What should be considered?
SF: In principle, you should pay attention to where you step. And this in the truest sense of the word: I would otherwise have stepped on a painting of Chagall lying on the floor in a London apartment of a customer. (Laughs) Another customer first commissioned a swimming pool, had an excavation pit excavated, which then was subsequently reprocessed. Instead he now wanted a billiard room. As an architect, you always live with the spontaneous decisions of your customers.
MS: What is important to you in your own four walls?
SF: I love colors, a passion that was shaped in my time in England, where I studied color theory. The furnishing is a certain casualness. I do not like it when everything is so sterile and stereotyped. Furnishings is linked to a story that tells something about its inhabitants. It is authentic. Like our home. BvH
About Simone Fritzen:
Grown up near Kitzbühel, Simone Fritzen studied interior architecture in Rosenheim. After a year in England, where she worked with color theory at Coloroll, the Austrian went to Hamburg. She knows how to pad chairs and distress furniture. S.F. worked for well-known architects and realized hotel and boarding house projects, among other things such as the “Madison” in Hamburg and Berlin, as well as the “Elbflorenz” in Dresden for the interior installer Holger Stewen. As an independent interior designer, Simone Fritzen looks for an international clientele. She designs furniture and specializes in high-end fabrics such as Rubelli, Pierre Frey, Osborne & Little, Nobilis and Nina Campell.