A klutzy guest knocks over a bottle of pinot noir, and suddenly a party transforms into an emergency room. Someone rushes in with paper towels and another starts dousing the spot with seltzer, but everyone knows the off-white carpet is now going to look very off-white indeed. But must the host either live with the darkened reminder of that party foul or replace the sullied wall-to-wall? No way. With a few tricks from decor professionals, no one will ever know about the wine incident or your home’s other scars from various spills and scrapes. For the carpet stain, pray it’s smack in the middle of a “conversation area,” with sofas and chairs, said Kathy Alexander of Alexander Interiors (703-222-9100). That way, you can easily throw down a rug — and there’s nothing wrong with layering a rug on top of carpet. “An Oriental rug on plain carpeting can add a lot of color to the space,” she advised. More traditional tastes could opt for Persian styles, as the often multi-colored patterns can hide a lot. If your pad is more mod, think about going Tibetan: “They have simpler designs and a more limited palette for a clean, sophisticated look.” There’s a wide selection of both at Shayan Oriental Carpets (14240 Sullyfield Circle, Chantilly; 703-968-6969). When Alexander worked with a family with seven kids, she used a vinyl wall covering with a faux finish effect. Marks washed off easily and, thanks to the textured look, fingerprints and other marks didn’t show.