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    Urban living has many benefits – good restaurants, shops, arts and culture are all at your fingertips. Often though, square meterage is the trade-off. A small apartment can make a big impact if you plan layout and dressings accordingly. When space is at a premium, every piece of furniture and every corner has to work for you.

    A clever way to maximise space is to think outside the box of your floor plan and go up the walls. Stylish wall mounts and floating shelves can store items that would otherwise take up space on the ground, like plants, lamps and books.

    Layer floating shelves like the ones available at Howard’s Storage World in place of a bookcase, or make a feature with a circular shelf like the circular oak piece from Adairs. Hanging shelves at eye level keeps them easily accessible for storing well-used items, or hang them higher to give your space a feeling of openness and light.

    Display the items on your shelves like a real home stylist by creating vignettes, which is a grouping of objects. You can do this by stacking books, varying the height of objects, grouping things in odd numbers and adding artwork behind your collection. Changing these up is an easy way to refresh a space without having to move around any big pieces of furniture.

    Another timeless trick for making a space feel bigger is adding a wall mirror. It visually expands the room and gives you somewhere to check your look before you head out. A gilded mirror is an excellent statement piece for a bedroom or living space, adding glamour to just about any décor style. Entryways and bathrooms are the perfect spots to add mirrored cabinets, which are even harder working because they double as storage space as well. If you’re looking to renovate your bathroom, pair a mirrored cabinet with a wall-mounted vanity for a look that is both stylish and practical. Recess your cabinet for a really clever use of space, or mount it for an easier finish. Mount a full length mirror on the inside of a wardrobe door, or get mirrored doors on your built-in wardrobe to give you somewhere to check your outfit in the bedroom. This way, you’re not taking up floor space with a leaning mirror or freestanding mirror.

    Take another look at some of your big-ticket items for clever storage solutions. In the lounge room, this includes your coffee table and ottomans. They can take up space, or they can give you space. Ottomans can store cushions, blankets, or extra bedding for when guests stay the night. Coffee tables with drawers like those available at Early Settler and Nick Scali give you the perfect place to hide away books, magazines, laptops or even rarely used tableware.

    Ideally, a master bedroom has room for a king bed, chest of drawers, bedside tables and a desk, but more often than not that’s not the case. Sometimes you’re hard-pressed to fit in more than just a bed. If that’s the case, opt for some space-saving under-bed storage. Built in drawers, like the Focus on Furniture Montego bed are a great option if you’re in the market for a whole new bed, or storage on wheels like the drawers from Snooze will fit well under the bed you have already. Keep the colour palette in your bedroom light and neutral to give the illusion of space. White bedding, light curtains and natural fibre rugs will all add to this, making it the perfect space for relaxing and sleeping.

    For more ideas visit Homemaker The Valley at the corner of Wickham & Ann Streets, Fortitude Valley.


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