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In the modern age, several key details of classic Americana home decor have disappeared from interior design. Some for the best – like tacky shag rugs or wood paneling. Others, like quirky light fixtures, colorful wallpaper, and mid-century furniture have, in one way or another, made an impressive comeback. But there’s an element of sincere kitsch missing in today’s decor: the welcome mat.
The utilitarian functionality of a welcome mat is clear: wipe off the grime and grit of the outside world before entering into one’s home. But the bold patterns and colors, not to mention the catch-phrase nature of these floor mats brings a much-needed splash of personality as well as an unironic earnestness to your front door. Nothing says “Welcome Home” like a decidedly uncool yet still charming “Home Sweet Home” mat.
The customizable and colorful Tile Mat from homegoods brand Letterfolk has popped up across social media as a modern solution for adding a dash of old-school Americana to your entryway. With the pop-in tiles, available in a variety of colors, folks can create their own vibey welcome mat that’s a healthy blend of cool and kitsch.
Letterfolk: Customizable, Thoughtful Homegoods
Letterfolk has established itself as one of the primary destinations for charming, personalized homegoods. The DTC home decor brand, which launched in 2018, was founded by husband-and-wife team Johnny and Joanna Galbraith as a way to bring authentic and expressive designs to the homes of their friends and family. They launched with the Letter Boards, which range from The Mini ($35) to The Wordsmith ($200), and have added more whimsical products like the Cuckoo Clock ($140) and the Calendar ($95). Ultimately, though, Letterfolk is most well-known for its customizable and colorful Tile Mats ($75).
While Letterfolk operated independently for a few years, the company joined the likes of Open Spaces, GIR, and Equal Parts as part of the Pattern family in 2021. We’ve written about the amazing storage solutions at Open Spaces but across all of the brands there’s a focus on eye-catching aesthetics and crafting excellent products. Ultimately Letterfolk was a perfect fit.
“For us, a family of brands, who's always been about marrying form and function,” shares Suze Dowling, Pattern’s Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer. “Something can't just be beautiful. It has to be deeply functional. That's something with Letterfolk that we certainly felt.”
What makes Letterfolk particular, though, both within the Pattern family of brands and in home decor more broadly is making well-designed, functional products that operate as a blank canvas for your own brand of home decor.
“Letterfolk is a brand that–from decor to stationery to gifts–ultimately it's about offering you premium, but meaningful products that help to tell a story and create experiences,” Dowling notes.
And that DIY, customizable-ethos gives Letterfolk’s customers the agency to feel comfortable bringing their own sense of style to their homes.
How To Add Personal Touches To A Stylish Home
When it comes to adding a personal touch to your own home, sometimes less is more. While Letterfolk offers an array of customizable decor, interior design sometimes calls for restraint. So deciding which products fit your own home is the first step.
“I think, by being able to add a sense of personality and, importantly, a sense of versatility where you're not always buying whole new products,” shares Dowling, “you can create a whole new aesthetic or design or feeling within a room or space.”
Additionally, Letterfolk understands that many folk don’t necessarily own their own homes so they craft their products to be both customizable but also fully portable. One’s sense of personal style doesn’t have to be tied to a physical address, it can travel with you.
“We like to joke that home is wherever your Letterfolk Tile Mat is,” Dowling shares.
But beyond having personalized objects, there are plenty of ways to bring yourself into your space.
“One way is certainly in your use of color,” says Dowling. “ Obviously a number of rooms can be great places for color, but a room that particularly comes to mind is your entryway.”
Vibrant paint might not always be the perfect solution, but Dowling even recommends trying to incorporate bold wallpaper as a source of color – as long as they’re landlord approved, of course.
“If you don't wanna go all out with color, you can add a couple of bold accessories,” Dowling suggests. “You could add some hooks or colorful shelves that just get a similar feel.”
Textiles, plants, artwork – there are many small yet meaningful ways to bring a sense of personality to a home that don’t require any dramatic design choices or commitments.
The Tile Mat: Add Some Flavor To Your Floors
Letterfolk’s retro-inspired customizable Tile Mat comes in a couple of shapes and sizes and is perfectly suited for indoor or outdoor use. Obviously the big seller here is that by using pop-in tiles in a variety of colors, customers can not only create their own Floor Mats, but can also change them throughout the year.
The interactivity is a highlight for the Letterfolk team and has really cemented the Tile Mat as the brand’s core product.
“It's an area that allows people both as individuals, but also as families, to create designs together,” shares Dowling. “This is a really amazing activity that folks like to do with their extended family members.”
And based on first-hand experience making my own Tile Mat, it is pretty fun! Scroll through Letterfolk’s Instagram and you’ll find genuinely impressive, intricate designs. But, even a simple Tile Mat like mine receives tons of comments about how charming it is.
Using it is simple. Ours is positioned in our kitchen below our sink which is great for catching crumbs and spills. The tiles stay well-locked in place so between shaking it out or simply vacuuming over it, I haven’t run into any problems.
Unfortunately, the white tile backdrop does get dirty relatively quickly, so if you want a pristine look, that’ll require consistent cleaning. All of the tiles are machine washable so you can actually pack them up in the included mesh drawstring bag and run them through the dishwasher. The downside is having to physically remove every single tile and then put them back into place. But, if you’re ok with not having a spotless mat, you can simply wipe it down every now and then and it’ll look just fine.
With a wide variety of tile colors from more muted options to bright neon sets, the Tile Mat is truly a blank canvas for your own creativity.
5 More Reasons to Love Letterfolk
1. Not sure how many tiles you’ll need to make your ideal welcome mat? There’s a handy Tile Mat Design Tool that lets you create your custom design with the exact number of tiles required.
2. Need some stylish kid-friendly home goods? The Letterfolk Kids Shop has some great games and gear to bring little ones on a big adventure.
3. Letterfolk also has a dedicated affiliate program perfect for burgeoning influencers or folks with friends and family who might dig Letterfolk, too.
4. If you’re not thrilled with any of Letterfolk’s products, the brand also offers a no questions asked 30-day return policy.
5. While Letterfolk’s products are great for homes, the Tile Mat, Letterboard, and more could all be great in schools, businesses, or anywhere you really want to add some personality.