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This Scottsdale Home Is Always in Full Bloom

Maximalism meets Mother Nature in the horticulturally inspired home of a local artist.

By Carly Scholl | Photography by Bari J. Ackerman

Stepping into Bari J. Ackerman’s Scottsdale abode is like wandering into a secret garden out of a cherished childhood storybook—billowy blossoms hand-painted on walls, woven into rugs and swirling across vibrant canvases greet visitors from every room. This botanical bounty is a testament to and product of Bari’s career as an artist. She specializes in floral design for everything from fabrics to wallpaper, and has coined the term “curated maximalism” to describe her dynamic yet cohesive style.

“Maximalism isn’t necessarily about acquiring more decor, furniture or collections,” she says. “For me, it’s about layering color and pattern in a beautiful way that expresses my personality. The trick to making sure this look doesn’t become overwhelming or exhausting is to maintain neutral space around all of the energetic prints and hues. I tend to keep the walls and floors in classic whites, blacks

Set against bold black walls, a technicolor painting by artist Bari J. Ackerman pops in her dining room. A farmhouse-style furniture set is enlivened with a modern white tulip chair at the head of the table.

and beiges, and then I’m able to introduce a blush-pink couch and a floral rug without it feeling like overkill.”

Built in 1996, the 3,500-square-foot five-bedroom custom home has, as Bari describes, a subtle Frank Lloyd Wright quality about it. “It has wonderful architectural bones. There is sand-colored flagstone flooring throughout most of the rooms and a nice balance of indoor and outdoor space,” she says. “I remember driving up to the property for the first time and being able to see through the front windows into the living room and all the way to the backyard. It was so light and airy but also very striking. When my husband, our two daughters and I moved in in 2012, we wanted to stay true to the essence of the original house but bring in some  traditional elements to contrast with the contemporary style.”

Click here to read Bari’s 6 best tips on how to incorporate florals, color and patterns into your home!

A pink velvet sectional with midcentury modern lines perches atop a floral rug. Brightly patterned pillows are easy to change out, which helps Bari keep her maximalist look feeling curated and intentional rather than cluttered and disjointed.

After some mechanical updates and major remodeling projects, including a kitchen overhaul, spatial adjustments in the living room and the replacement of dated bedroom carpet with hardwood floors, Bari set to work slowly and thoughtfully creating an eclectic atmosphere in her new home.

“I am definitely a collector at heart. I want my house to feel interesting, mindful and curated instead of looking like it was designed all at once,” she says, noting that she frequents local antique stores and boutiques in search of one-of-a-kind pieces. “If I could, I would exclusively shop vintage for housewares. I try to upcycle as much as I can because I don’t want to add to landfills.”

ABOVE The master bedroom is an effortless display of mixing and matching. An ornately carved mirror from Asia holds court with a Hollywood Regency-style velvet sleigh bed, while a pair of neutral rugs balances the vivid wallpapered ceiling. RIGHT Bari’s hand-painted mural of voluptuous pink blossoms transforms a guest bedroom into an English garden escape.

Blending retro and new furnishings as deftly as she mixes florals and color, Bari transformed her home into a whimsical wonderland dipped in daring shades of green and pink, bedecked in cheerful blooms and outfitted with furniture and decor that span eras of style. “When it comes to mixing and matching,” she says, “I try to play up contrasts but always keep a common thread, such as a certain shape or color. The items can be completely different aesthetically and still complement each other. I always feel that if you buy something you love, it will fit in no matter what.”

LEFT “I kept pinning green tile on Pinterest over and over, so I decided that was the direction I had to go for the kitchen,” recalls Bari. “I also didn’t want an all-white look, so I picked black cabinetry to offset the marble countertops and sink.” ABOVE Open wood shelving in the kitchen displays a charming collection of vessels, artwork and botanicals—both real and painted.


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