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Kim Myles: Life, Style and Design

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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: Old Fashioned vs. Modern Lifestyle Dear Kim, I have recently moved in with my grandmother to help her out and to help me out. I am struggling with what to do with her living room, so that it is conducive to both our living styles.  Can you help me to spruce up her living room to suit both of our needs?  I am more modern and love African Art pieces and she has more of a traditional antique style. KIM MYLES: You've got the answer already! Your seemingly opposing styles have the potential to "help each other out," just as you and your grandmother are doing for each other. First, you both need to edit your things down to only the most essential/beloved items, because nothing is more annoying than clutter. Next, remember that modern, ethnic, and traditional can co-exist, but you'll need to be specific with the relationships between pieces. For example, a traditional couch can look stunning and fresh when topped with a few kente cloth pillows in the same color family. A modern arm chair gets a new lease on life when juxtaposed with a classic side table, and an antique mirror looks amazing when hung between two pieces of modern art that are equal in size. Have fun with it, and remember that the magic is in the mix--rooms with real character always feature more than one style. 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 webmaster@essence-online.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!
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