This guest post is brought to you by Posh Flooring who have an extensive range of handpicked flooring beautifully designed to suit all of your style and material tastes. They originally posted this article on their website here. Disney may have been on to something when he gave Aladdin a magic carpet. Considering that they can be delicate or hard-wearing, long or short, bright or neutral, we think rugs really are pretty magic. If you already have some chic laminate – or if you are looking at getting in some new wood flooring to freshen up your humble abode – then one of the first areas you will be looking at is how best to protect it, including from children and pets. Research commissioned by Bright PR for Rug Doctor showed that only 25% of people took their shoes off when entering the home, this could lead to scuffs, scrapes and general damage on your floor. From colourful Persian rugs to the warmth of a shag pile, we will give you the low-down on what works best for your room with the aid of a few influential people. Warmth and Luxury The benefits of an engineered wood floor are immeasurable. They are simple, effective, easy to put together and easy to clean. However, a well-chosen centrepiece can often add a decorative spark, as well as an extra homely feel to your living area when you just want to snuggle up and enjoy life’s comforts. Sarah Allchorn from StyleInfusion.co.uk advises: “A wood floor creates a neutral base and it is with carpet, rugs and soft furnishings that a room is pulled together with tones and lustre. As a rule, grey is my usual base and then further colours/tones are added, for example this image below shows a neutral oak floor but the detail is in the rug with grey/blue.” Rooms with lighter tones and neutral colours offer much more flexibility than brightly coloured rooms where you may have to stick with the general theme, or colour co-ordinate. Claire Lancaster, blogger at Cheshire Mum, who provides home and interiors inspiration as she redevelops her family home in Cheshire comments: “Rugs are a talented addition to any room. A good rug can add colour, texture, warmth and style to your home. When it comes to choosing your rug always err on the side of too big rather than too small, furniture can be placed on top of a larger rug, too small and you'll have a trip hazard. Cooking and dining spaces demand flat weave or short-pile rugs, thick fluffy rugs are the choice for lounges and bedrooms.” Creating bespoke rugs from carpet can really enhance a room as Sonia Mundey, from Yellow Book Interiors advises: “It is possible to have a rug made from carpet to fit the perimeters of your room which will add a layer of warmth to living and family rooms. Having a rug produced to this scale would really make a grander statement than a conventional rug, and colour wise can bring a scheme together. They can incorporate colours and patterns which exist in the room already, whether they be found in wallpaper, curtains or upholstery fabrics. The result could be stunning and totally unique to you!” Sonia also gives us a rundown of other rugs available: “Both silk rugs, which can be quite costly and polished cotton, which is more affordable, have a gorgeous deep pile and a luxurious feel. A polypropylene rug is an excellent alternative to wool as it is hardwearing and stain resistant, bleach cleanable, fade resistant and great value.” Location, Location, Location Rugs, small carpets and shags don’t have to be situated just in your living area. They can complement any room, from your bathroom to your bedroom and even a conservatory. They are extremely useful in ‘sound deadening’, which is good for anyone who has neighbours below them who may take offence to Zumba sessions or Insanity fitness training. If you want your room to stand out then they need to be situated in the line of sight when you walk through the door and be vibrant and bright. If you want other aspects of your room to take precedence then use lighter pastel colours. Eleanor Broad from ExpertTrades says: “A large Persian rug will offer your laminate maximum coverage and will draw eyes towards the centre of a room, providing a focal point for your room. If you’re looking for a luxurious look, add a rug runner to your hallway, but if you’re looking for a fun, fresh, youthful look, opt for a colourful throw rug.” It is also important to consider that placement under furniture may cause damage, so be sure to research the fabric of your rug before you buy and ensure it can withstand the pressure. Paul Fildes from Rug Doctor says: “Choose hand-knotted rugs for their durability. When choosing a pattern, consider what works best in your room - a rug with a design that radiates from the centre works well in open seating or centred under a glass table, where the design of the rug will still be visible.” Adding to this, Sonia comments: “Wool rugs are hardwearing, durable and soft underfoot. It is also inherently flame retardant, easy to clean and maintain, and has a good resistance to soiling and cold water based stains. It doesn’t flatten easily and keeps its shape well so providing a great, stylish addition to your home for many years.” She also advises that more softer and natural rugs shouldn’t be placed in areas where they will get a lot of usage: “Natural grass floorings such as seagrass, coir, and jute are not suitable for heavy traffic areas or bathrooms. But in a limited area such as a rug under a dining table, they can give an elegant and contemporary look.” Stripes can help to make your space look bigger, explains Paul: “In rooms with different pieces of furniture or an awkward size, a rug with an overall pattern would work better. Pattern and colour can also create useful design illusions on the eye. Rugs with a horizontal striped pattern can make a narrow room look wider, while a darker rug combined with a paler wall decoration provides a focal point and holds the furniture in a room.” Size is an important factor too. Furniture can be placed on top of a larger rug and it can provide an unbroken effect from one side of the room to another. A smaller rug should always be situated as a centrepiece to a living room, between furniture, however the length should be larger than the furniture itself. In bedrooms placement should be underlapping the end of the bed, again creating the flowing nature, or smaller carpets should be placed either side of the bed to have symmetry. Protection Children can make a mess. They can spill, knock things over or drop things that can damage your floor (though let’s be fair, so can adults after a few glasses of red!) Beloved pets, unaccustomed to laminate flooring, can add scratches as they negotiate the new pet ‘slip and slide’, whilst the more anxious pets can do their ‘business’ indoors whilst owners are out. So our third tip is to always look at getting protection, which minimises those unexpected mishaps. Whilst varnish is a perfectly viable option for your floor, a fabric sheath offers a welcome barrier to prevent against unplanned surprises, whilst also giving you those warming comforts day and night. Darker tones suit these homes better as the likelihood is that any stains will be less noticeable. “If the children are young, go for a pattern and darker tones along with a trimmed carpet in a material that can be cleaned,” advises Sarah. Paul adds: “Intricate patterns meanwhile will also camouflage accidental spills and stains.” And Sarah imparts one final bit of advice: “Do not have a shag pile if you have pets (puppies deem this as an alternative to grass!).” Hopefully these handy tips means that you will be able to find the perfect rug to suit you, your family and your flooring. If you’re currently looking for your dream home whether it is to rent or buy, contact your local Parkers office who will be more than happy to help with your search. Disclaimer: Guest blog posts on the Parkers blog are written by external companies. Parkers do not endorse the products or services of these companies.Images courtesy of Posh Flooring.