Every small room is a design challenge. With small living rooms, the challenge is finding the perfect balance between making the space look as big as possible while incorporating more seating places as well.

A limited space shouldn’t hinder you from having company over for fear of overcrowding. But ensuring plenty seating space shouldn’t mean you have to let go of a stylish living room.

Here are five ways you can strike a balance between the two to create the perfect living room for entertaining and lounging.

Seating meets smart storage
To have more floor space, choose chairs which can double as storage places wherein you can store books or magazines. Note that some couches come with built-in seat storage underneath.

Avoid incorporating bean bag chairs or many floor rugs as they just tend to crowd up your living room floor. If you must, choose one floor rug that has a solid color. You should also stick to seating that is lifted off from the floor.

And if you’re willing to commit some time and effort, you can also turn the area below your window into a reading nook with the bottom area serving as bookshelves.

Decorate with Mirrors
Designers advice on strategically placing mirrors to give the illusion of a larger living room. You can hang a large mirror in a central location of your space or place it across a window to reflect the view outside. One floor-to-ceiling mirror can easily double up the visual space of your living room and even make the room brighter by reflecting light.

Mirrors will reflect light and provide an ambiance but be careful of possibly invading your neighbors privacy if you’re living in a building that has another residential building next to it. You can always place it across or near other light sources like lamps.

Choose small-scale furniture
Trade in full-sized couches with smaller ones to save up on space. Designers recommend buying antique furniture as they tend to be smaller than modern ones. Go for settees and love seats instead of long sofas. You can also go for a combination of one long sofa plus an assortment of smaller seating options.

Another tip is to avoid sofas with skirts. The furniture you choose should match the small space you have as a living room. It’s also wise to purchase furniture that are significantly raised from the floor.

Use neutral colors
Painting your living room with neutral colors (walls, ceilings and floor even) is one of the simplest ways to make a small space seem bigger. A palette of off-white and beiges tend to widen a space as it seems to push back the walls. And of course, light colors can illuminate a room as they easily reflect light. Not to mention, neutral color schemes gives an air of sophistication and calm.

Install smarter lighting
To further save up on precious floor space, opt for wall-mounted and floating lamps to light your living room. Light placing is also key. Be sure to focus lighting in dark areas and near mirrors. Cool light tones will also help illuminate shadows and corners to enlarge your visual space.

Mixing and matching these tips, you’ll surely be able to find the perfect combination that will turn your living space into the perfect hang out spot for your friends and family with room to spare.