We’re back with a new guest tastemaker for some quick-fire questions and a mini-curation of some fab Chairish finds!
If there’s any interior designer whose name is synonymous with bold floral prints, it’s Bari J Ackerman. An artist, decor expert, and founder of the Bari J Lifestyle brand, she has written the book on how to incorporate maximalist patterns into a cohesively elegant space…literally! Her signature patterns can be found on Loloi rugs, Joybird Furniture, Art Gallery Fabrics, and the colorful pages of her book Bloom Wild.
Read on to find out what curated maximalism means to her, and who she believes was the originator of this eye-catching aesthetic.
What sparked your passion for design?
I was interested in design from the time I was a child. We had a cousin who was an interior decorator, and he worked with my mom on her house. I was always enamored with anything he did. I was that kid who at age 10 was rearranging her space. When things were to heavy to move, I’d sit on the floor and push furniture around the room with my feet. I clipped photos out of all of my mom’s magazines, and I’d make mental notes when I went to friend’s houses of the things I liked.
What would you consider to be your ethos on design?
Years back I coined a term to describe what I do: “Curated Maximalism.” While I love patterns and color, I feel that design should be layered with intention. The things we bring into our home should be — as William Morris said — either beautiful or useful. The choices are not random. They have meaning. Maximalism is not about “stuff” to me, and it’s not the opposite of minimalism. In fact, I think you can be a maximalist and still make minimal design choices.
I recently moved into a neighborhood that is about 100 years old. Yet our house was built in 2010. And it looked like it was built in 2010. Which was really not so long ago. Because of this, I started thinking about design in a different way. I want everything I do here to give you the feeling that it’s neither old nor new; rather timeless. I recently read a quote in AD at 100 from Pierre Berge. He said that when you walk into a room, you should not know whether it’s old or new. And I agree 100%.
Who is your ultimate style icon?
My ultimate style icon is William Morris. I believe he was the original “Curated Maximalist.” In fact, when we moved into our new house we wallpapered the foyer in his wallpaper.
Do you collect anything?
I collect vintage floral paintings… probably because I paint florals.
What’s a current design trend that you hope doesn’t exist in 100 years, and why?
I tend to think that anything that is trending in an extreme way has a shelf life. I’d rather people just decorate with things they like. Does it make you smile? Yes? Then do it. But if you’re putting shiplap in a house just because it’s a trend, then don’t.
Header Image Courtesy of Carley Page Summers