Interior design maven and host of HGTV's "Myles of Style
," Kim Myles, will answer a question submitted from an ESSENCE.com reader every day. Kim believes that interior design should offer a lifestyle that's chic, vibrant and attainable for every homeowner or renter. "My goal is to offer simple solutions that help the average person achieve the look that they want without going into debt. There is absolutely no reason for great design to be overly expensive or exclusive," she declares. Today's topic: Cramped Up
Hello Kim and Essence!!
My family and home need your help desperately! I have had a major dilemma the past few months with design and organization. My family and I currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment which is definitely too small for me, my fiance and our 3 children (10-year-old girl and 2 boys, ages 5 and 20 months old). Until I can afford to purchase a home or a bigger apartment, we have to make due with what we have. Due to space limitations, the kids all share a room, which is packed between the bunk bed, toddler bed, vanity and dresser. My fiance and I have the master bedroom, which also works as my design studio for my jewelry business and our home office. It is very difficult to keep our apartment clean and organized. We do have some closet space that is currently being used for storage, but honestly could be stored in a neater fashion, and may provide us more room. On top of that, it's very dark throughout the apartment, even when we open the windows and blinds. I know there must be a way that our apartment can look like a clean, cozy home instead of a littered cave! Do you have any kid-friendly suggestions to help our apartment fit us? Thanks!! --Evonda A. Thomas KIM MYLES:
Wow, it sounds like you guys are overflowing! I think your best option is to make use of vertical storage as much as possible. The Expedit shelving system from Ikea and the Elfa system from the Container Store are both great options that won't break the bank, and they allow you to designate one wall in each room as dedicated storage. (The Elfa system allows you to 'build your own' unit, so you could add a desk/work station which would be great for your business.) It's amazing how much floor space opens up once you employ all of the dead space just waiting to be of use on your walls! Read more: Need help selecting furniture for your space? Have a disagreement with your spouse on a color to paint your walls? Toddlers making your home look like a storm rolled through it and need help adjusting for their mess? Send your design question to email@example.com. Please keep the questions brief and as detailed as possible. Remember, the more information you offer, the more Kim will be able to help!