Small may be beautiful, but when it comes to living space this means that one has to furnish it in a smart, practical and flexible way to maximise what little room there is.

Owners of doll-house flats and studio apartments would concur that these types of homes often lack adequate storage space, and may find it a challenge to create more without compromising on design and style.

Instead of resigning yourself to a life of minimalism, give these handy tips from IKEA a shot and make the most of the limited space in your home:

Five small-space living solutions from IKEADOUBLE DUTY
When you have half the space you need, invest in furniture that does double duty. This HEMNES day bed frame (pictured right, $799) can function as a sofa during the day and a bed at night, and comes with drawers for additional storage space too!

If you’re throwing a party and worried about having enough seats, try planting a few footstools around. Not only are they convenient to store later, they can double up as serving tables as well.

Five small-space living solutions from IKEAHIGH PERFORMERS
Think of ways to maximise your vertical space instead of cluttering up the horizontal. By getting a loft bed (pictured left) instead of a regular one, you’ll be working your vertical space doubly hard and leaving the lower portion of your room free for work or relaxation.

Use the height of a wall with an extension on a bookcase, a shelf above a door or simply an extra box atop your cabinet or wardrobe. Just ensure that these extra storage solutions are easily accessible by keeping a step-stool or ladder close by.

Five small-space living solutions from IKEASPACE SAVERS
Products that can extend, stack or fold help save space when not in use. Try a work desk that doubles up as a dining table when extended or get the PS LOVAS chair bed (pictured right, $345) that unfolds to accommodate the occasional guest, and can be wheeled into a corner when not in use.

Shelving units can easily double-up as statement features – a wall of box shelves can work fabulously for storing your treasures, but also for showing them off.

Five small-space living solutions from IKEAMEET IN THE MIDDLE
Do away with leaning the sofa against a wall and position two KIVIK chaise lounge chairs (pictured left, $475) in the middle of the room. This instantly splits the room into two segments for different activities and also frees up space for storage by the walls.

GO BIG ON COLOUR
Well-chosen colours and patterns can make a space look bigger than it actually is. Light colours and materials give the illusion of space, horizontal stripes widen a narrow room, and vertical stripes give the illusion of height to a room with a low ceiling.

Mirrors also make a space feel larger and hide clutter at the same time. Consider their placement carefully though, as mirrors facing each other can create a feeling of distortion.

IKEA is located at 60 Tampines North Drive 2 and 317 Alexandra Road, and is open from 10am to 11pm daily. For more information, visit www.ikea.com/sg or call 6786 6868.