THERE is a line between cosy and cluttered, and these tips and tricks from Luke Rix-Standing will help you not to cross it.

SPACE is a hotly contested commodity in our homes today.

In England and Wales the average square metre of property costs £2,395, but that rises to more than £3,000 in Bristol, almost £4,000 in Winchester, and nearly £5,000 in Brighton. In Kensington, London, one square metre of floor space sets you back an average of £19,439.

It's not just a problem for the nation's city dwellers, with many of us trying to eke every drop of use out of nooks, crannies and corners.

Here are a few ways to help make the most of every inch of space.

- Think vertically

Just as blocks of flats economise by stretching skywards, so too can almost any aspect of your interior.

Bunks are a good bedroom option: not the sort with your sibling sleeping below, but a single raised bunk that leaves space beneath for a sofa or work station. Consider a drying rack elevated above the sink, rather than using up valuable space next to it, or a set of bathroom shelves that prop neatly atop the cistern.

If you're not averse to more major adjustments, install a slim slide-out storage tower by your cupboard or fridge, perfect for cans, jars or cereal boxes.

Use your walls wisely: mounted TVs are nothing new, but cups, racks, hooks and boxes can be fixed to almost any surface cheaply and without professional help. For those in the advanced class, MADE's fold-out, wall-mounted desk (£199, is a retractable table that flips up into the wall, cunningly masquerading as a small cupboard.

- Furniture efficiency

The big, bulky must-haves like beds and tables define how a room's space operates.

Consider two main tactics: reducing the size of a piece of furniture, and making one piece of furniture perform multiple and different tasks.

For many years the sofa bed has been a space-saving staple, and Ikea's Utaker stackable bed (£150, consists of two separate mattresses, fusing to form a single bed, double bed, twin beds, a single sofa, or a long reclining couch.

Coffee tables, counters, and cupboards can all come complete with extra pull-outs. Ikea's Granboda table set (£50, is the Russian doll of Swedish furniture, as moving the top table reveals a second surface slotted underneath, and a third beneath that.

But the most extendable of all is surely Marmell Furniture's multi-functional dining table (£420, In its trimmest form it measures a mere 20cm in length, but three large inserts increase this to 240cm.

- Corners are your friends

Though angular and faintly awkward to install, you can cover your corners with specially designed wraparound corner shelves (again, Ikea is a good bet). Conventionally visual items like televisions and floor lamps can fit well, or try out a so-called "corner armchair'"or right-angle settee.

- Store smart

Under-the-bed storage is a time honoured space-saver, and with good reason.

Pull-out drawers allow you to stow items still in daily use, while rubber "bed risers" will hoist your mattress further from the ground, making room for another seven inches of stuff. Fill these with Argos's vacuum storage bags (£9.99,

Your aim should be to maximise what is already there. Instead of a traditional coffee table, could you instead put your drinks down on an elegant, varnished oak storage chest, or use the edge of your desk as a makeshift bedside table?

Small spaces seem larger if there's less in them, and if all else fails you can have a big clear-out. Adopting an "if in doubt, chuck it out" approach for even one short tidy-up will massively reduce clutter.

- The spacious aesthetic

Now your home is feeling little more spacious, you can set about making it look even more so.

A light, textured colour scheme lends any room an airy, open feel while mirrors help build the illusion of depth. Stripes can elongate a room the same way they do a person (we recommend a rug; wallpaper might be overkill), and opt for a clear shower curtain.

Canny decorators follow the "cantaloupe rule": when sprucing up a small space, use only ornaments larger than a cantaloupe melon, to sidestep the clutter that can so easily ruin a tiny room.

- The designer mini-home

YO! Home, the same company that brought us Japanese restaurant chain YO! Sushi, now offers a range of futuristic, boutique mini-homes in which all your domestic needs emerge seamlessly from walls, floor and ceiling in the 40 sq m space.

The dining table pops up from below, with the floor itself taking the place of seats, and cupboards are replaced by giant underfloor storage hatches.

The party piece is a luxurious double bed which descends silently from the ceiling and comes to rest atop a square of sofas that, during daylight hours, passes for a lounge.