Get rid of unnecessary items. Give away old clothes and sell any unnecessary junk or old furniture - only keep what you need.
Where possible, keep storage hidden to maximise the living space. Invest in built-in storage solutions. Build wardrobes with sliding doors into the wall, install pull-out tables or even a pull-down bed.
Use furniture as storage. Build a base with drawers under your sofa, or have pull-out drawers beneath your bed.
Plan what kind of lighting you will need, and where. Where will you sit to eat, work or read?
Invite in as much natural light as possible. Enlarge windows if you can.
Position lights at the extreme ends of the room to make it feel larger.
Create ambience with soft, low lighting.
Choose furniture that fits the space. Do not squeeze in an old inherited cabinet just because you like it. Ask yourself whether it will fit in the flat, or could you use the space for more functional storage solutions?
Do not buy too many intricately detailed pieces. Instead focus on solid-coloured basic pieces and invest in a few key statement furnishings.
Use light colours to create the illusion of space.
If you can't live without colours and patterns, try to restrain yourself in the amount you use. Work with similar tones and shades.
Apartment Therapy's Smallest, Coolest Apartments Contest
(www.apartmenttherapy.com/scc). Browse through more than 50 stylish space-constrained apartments across America. With detailed images, floor-plans and ingenious solutions to the smallest spaces, this is a great resource for inspiration.
Desire to Inspire (www.desiretoinspire.blogspot.com). Get lost in the world of interiors as two bloggers with a flair for design try to inspire the world, one room at a time.
decor8 (www.decor8.blogspot.com). Writer and interior-design consultant Holly Becker catalogues her favourite finds in a colourful and informative website.