Homes in London are shrinking in size but our thirst for new technology keeps increasing.

Stats show the UK has some of the smallest properties in Europe, with the average sized UK home 44 per cent smaller than a century ago.

In the capital, the average first-time buyer is paying out £421,553 but the average one-bedroom flat is only the same size as a London Underground carriage (46sq m).

With an ever-increasing assortment of smart-home devices and gadgets that are essential to our lives, it can be a squeeze to have the living space we desire.

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But you don’t necessarily have to compromise as there are ways to make clever use of very limited room.

Here are some useful tips from interiors stylist Cate St Hill to help you make the most of what you’ve got and still live in stylish surroundings.

  • Utilise dead and awkward spaces – push furniture up against the walls to maximise every inch and raise shelving or storage units off the ground onto the walls to make the most of limited floor space. Use pull-out storage boxes on wheels under the sofa to hide away clutter.
  • Use lighter colours on the walls to make spaces appear bigger than they are. Take the same shade up onto cornicing and the ceiling to draw the eye up. Lighter floors, especially light wood or painted white, will also give a greater sense of space.
  • Streamline your technology so it integrates into the look and feel of your home instead of over dominating it.
  • Decorate the room with a few carefully chosen accessories that are larger in scale, such as a big art print or a few large coffee table books, rather than lots of smaller pieces that will crowd the space and make it look cluttered. Likewise, choose a large rug that will extend underneath furniture rather than stopping short of it.
  • Use mirrors to give the illusion of more space and bounce light around the room.
  • Choose furniture with thin, slender legs rather than chunky bases – being able to see the flooring running under the furniture will add to the appearance of more space. Mount the TV and any technology on a wall or fit into built-in shelving to stop heavy units taking up much-needed floor space.
  • Keep window treatments to a minimum, if you're not overlooked or worried about privacy, do away with them entirely and make the most of the natural light coming into the room. If blinds or curtains are a must, opt for a very discreet white roller blind that can be rolled up during the day for minimal impact to the room.
  • Use furniture with a dual purpose that can be stored away when not in use – a shelving unit with a panel that folds out into a desk, for instance, or a collection of nest side tables to bring out as and when they’re needed.

Cate said: “It’s important that we adapt our style and furnishings to fit into our changing homes.

“With housing getting increasingly smaller, I have found that my style has had to change somewhat.

“These tips provide a good starting point for those who want to create a beautiful home within their small home – whatever the situation.”

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Cate has been working with tech giant Sony to create some styles that work well in limited spaces.

Croydon Guardian:

Sony is keen to show how its own gadgets work well in modern homes, such as the HT-MT300 compact sound bar.

This is a great bit of kit which provides excellent sound while taking up not very much room.

Available in black or white, mine’s black, this sleek and stylish sound bar is small enough at 50cm long that it can go unobtrusively in front of or behind your TV, underneath on a cabinet or tucked away on a shelf.

Croydon Guardian:

It’s very easy to set up for most simple heads like mine, with hooking up the optical cable in the back of the TV about as complicated as it gets.

While it might not be big in size, it provides big sound that will fill most living rooms giving you an immersive cinematic audio. We're not talking Imax levels here or full surround sound as you don't really hear it behind you but it will likely be a powerful upgrade from the noise that comes out your telly. It works very well at fairly low volume levels - you don't have to turn it up very far to add a good amount of boom to action scenes in films, and your neighbours get to listen in too as an added bonus.

The high-quality sound is great for movies, TV and games (working well with the Playstation 4), while you can also connect it to other devices via Bluetooth to use as a speaker system for listening to music.

Croydon Guardian:

The sound bar comes with a wireless subwoofer, which adds depth and bass. While this takes up space, it can be hidden under your sofa or slid alongside your telly to keep in inconspicuous.

An all-in-one remote control handily allows you to change modes, set volume and so on for both the sound bar and subwoofer.

Being able to use the sound bar as a music speaker as well as a virtual surround sound system for the TV saves on having different products for different purposes, and on having lots of wires winding around the room.

For around £200, the HT-MT300 compact sound bar is an affordable entry-level option if you’re looking for an enhanced audio experience in your home.