How To Pick The Best Rug For Your Space, According To An Expert

Shag carpet ruled the '70s, and gray vinyl "wood" flooring currently plagues the 2020s — but rugs? They're timeless. They can transform a living space with a single flop on the ground and, therefore, transcend time and trends. So, one would assume that, by now, picking the perfect rug is a simple task. Alas, apartment renters, homeowners, and bedroom dwellers are searching "how to pick the best rug" more than ever (we can't prove this, but you get the point).
Quite frankly, I — a Brooklyn apartment renter — am right there with you. I moved into my first-ever one-bedroom a little over a year ago and knew in my bones my wood flooring needed a fuzzy companion, but what kind? A circle shag? A 5 x 7 Persian piece? A faux cowhide treasure? Luckily, I soon came across Revival, an underrated online rug boutique bursting at the seams with portable carpets of all shapes, sizes, and price points. It gifted me a funky, one-of-a-kind gem that brought my living room to life, as promised. Plus, my co-worker Kate Spencer just happens to have a vintage Revival rug beneath her bed at this very moment, which she swears by.
As a true trustee of the retailer's inventory, I found the only logical next step was to interview its CEO about how one meets their ground toupee soulmate. (Did we mention all orders ship FREE in easy-to-carry boxes within the contiguous US sans furniture and lighting?)
Photo Courtesy Of: Kate Spencer
Kate's Moroccan rug.
First, a little bit about the retailer: It opened up shop back in 2018 and co-founders Ben Hyman and Kurt Korkmaz have since padded its inventory with bedding, towels, pillows, throw blankets, and full-fledged furniture lines. It curates rugs from all backgrounds — vintage pieces are all one of a kind and crafted as long as a century ago while the new collections come, per the site's about page, "fresh off the loom."
My co-worker Kate says, "The site lists all of the important measurements, pile sizes, etc. so I felt like I could confidently make the right choice for my space." She also loves the retailer's packaging. "My rug came neatly folded in a box with a very convenient handle, which made it oddly very easy to get up to my four-floor walkup," she writes.
Funny enough, I too have a four-floor walk up and agree the packaging is more than ideal. I hauled both a one-of-a-kind Moroccan vintage rug and a new washable piece up my stairs no problem — the quality was impressive upon opening (and still is to this day). A fellow owner and reviewer of my washable Shell rug Jamie M. concurs, "It is so soft and comfortable, and perfect for our living room where we spend a lot of time on the floor playing with our toddler." You can find me taking the occasional post-work cat nap atop that dark green carpet any day. But how did I go about choosing both items?

We’ve removed [a] layer of the supply chain, allowing us to consistently provide our customers with lower prices for very high quality rugs.

ben hyman, Revival CEO & co-founder

Giselind, $477

Photo Courtesy Of: Alexandra Polk
My Moroccan rug.
For co-founder and CEO of Revival Ben Hyman, choosing a rug is based on instinct and personal life. "I tend to go with my gut and choose something whose material and design resonates with me," he tells Refinery29. "I also have two kids, so I need to be thoughtful about durability and washability!" Despite picking my pieces prior to this interview, I relatively took the same path. I don't have kids nor any amazing hosting skills, so my living room is a pretty low-traffic place — therefore I picked the swanky, hand-knotted Giselind rug without worry. On the other hand, a busier space would benefit from a lower maintenance product. Hyman even gave us the ultimate inside scoop: his living room is currently home to the elegant Noon rug.

Noon, $459

And, while aesthetics are at the forefront of rug buying, another priority should be quality. According to Hyman, one should focus on the material and fabrication. "A high-quality rug is made with thoughtful materials by a skilled artisan, with the intention to create something beautiful that can withstand the test of time." Sound familiar? My Moroccan gem is hand-knotted and stems from the city of Boujad — all products come with quite the transparent on-site description. I've had it for almost a year now, and it has yet to lose its shine. Meanwhile, Hyman claims "low-quality rugs skimp on materials, use unreliable techniques, and won’t last very long."

Shell, $239

Photo Courtesy Of: Alexandra Polk
My washable Shell rug.
My final, and by far the juiciest, questions for Hyman the rug expert, was “What rugs are trending right now?” and “Do you have predictions in trends for 2023?” To which he spotlighted trendy checkered patterns, those timeless shags, classic kilims, and handy washables. As for 2023, prepare for some risks — Hyman predicts, “ I think next year we’ll see rugs that experiment with form and material: unexpected shapes and textures.” 
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