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: Re-organize My Basement

Mar, 16, 2010

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: Re-organizing My Basement  Dear Kim, I live in Chicago in a 1,200 square foot Raised Ranch home. My basement is my dump/storage area and has in it everything I haven't used in 16 years. I've had one good garage sale and will do that again this Spring. In the meantime, I need to organize and tie this space to my upstairs living space. There are things that I'd like to store down there, like gardening equipment and supplies, suit cases, extra furniture, exercise equipment, books, summer stuff, chairs, tables, etc. My washer and dryer and other cleaning supplies are stored there, also. What is the best way to section off this rectangular space and yet give each section its own flare? I also want to create a hidden space with curtains, which I tried, but I didn't choose the right hanging stuff. The walls are brick in the upper half and cement on the lower half, with a combination of 1960's tile on the floor or cement floor in other parts. KIM MYLES: As you found out, it's all about the correct hardware when you're hanging things. I do love the idea of a curtained area, so I'd check with your local hardware store for the proper tools, and give the curtains another go. I also think that you shouldn't have multiple areas with individual flair--you need to concentrate on just 1 or 2 in order to keep the space from feeling cluttered. Consider a wall of closed storage closets: sleek, chic and very functional. For the rest of the space, invest in paint (painting the brick would lighten and brighten the space immensely), and some great area rugs. That will help you divide and conquer, as well as unify the disparate flooring materials. 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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