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.

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 or call 6786 6868.