When purchasing any piece of furniture, it's important to consider its use, appearance and how it will fit into your home. There is one item we take for granted more than any other in our living room: the humble sofa. While a bad purchase can suck all of the fun out of your interior, a great seating area can make your home an inviting, comfortable and friendly place to spend time.

Taking time to consider your needs before taking the plunge will ensure that you're left with an item that is as practical as it is stylish, blending seamlessly into your home. Highlighting our favourite picks from leading sofa-retailer Furniture Choice, here are some questions you should ask yourself before you buy your new settee.

How many people can I seat?

While a young couple might be content to curl up together on a small sofa, a larger family will be in need of something much bigger, with robust arms to cope with the rough and tumble of children's play. Choose a three-seater or extended corner sofa to maximise space for your brood. This stunning silver sofa has enough room for a full family to snuggle up, and looks great with a few well-placed cushions.

Classic or modern?

Our elders may have encouraged us to buy furniture that would last a lifetime, but with so many modern families moving house on a regular basis, it may be more appropriate to select a cheaper, more transportable option. Sofa beds are a great option for people who are anticipating a house move, such as this neutral offering - multi-functional, stylish and easy to store.

Can it inject colour?

A bold sofa can often bring new life to tired décor, without the hassle of painting or wallpaper. Stick to a simple pattern or block bold colour to ensure that you won't regret your choice in years to come. A great example is this cheerful teal number, perfect for injecting some fun into your home.

Is it pet friendly?

Although the notion that leather is prone to scratches certainly rings true, animal lovers need not despair - there are actually many advantages to owning a leather couch. A good quality hide will be odour resistant and much easier to wipe clean, which cannot always be said of a fabric sofa. If your cat or dog is particularly prone to using your chair as a scratching post, consider a distressed model or one made from dyed leather to better absorb nicks and scuffs - this red suite should do the job.

Competition Time

The New Year is nearing so we've teamed up with furniture specialist, Furniture Choice, to give one lucky winner the chance to win a £500 voucher to spend online to help give homes an update this winter. Perhaps you have a sofa in need of replacing, or you're desperate for some extra space at the dining table, whatever your needs, Furniture Choice can help.

Furniture Choice's contemporary sofas and dining, living and bedroom furniture is beautifully crafted from solid oak, high-quality leather and hardwearing fabrics to ensure that any home looks stylish, while being super comfortable.

Renowned for high quality, stunningly designed sofas, Furniture Choice is the ideal destination for anyone looking to spruce up their home, especially the living room. From unbeatable quality on stylish leather sofas and corner sofas great for lounging on to comfy fabric sofas in a variety of colours, you're sure to find the furniture perfect for your living room.

So if your home is in need of a bit of attention this New Year, make sure you enter this fantastic competition!

For this competition there's no question! Simply enter your details below for your chance to win.

T&Cs

· Delivery subject to product availability

· Furniture Choice reserves the right to re-pick a winner if the original winner doesn't respond within 3 weeks,

· Over 18 only

· UK only - please check delivery areas - http://www.furniturechoice.co.uk/Delivery.htm

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Closing Date : 2nd January 2015

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