This Vinyl Floor Mat Fakes the Look of Vintage Tile for Less than $300

published Apr 20, 2023
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Arched entry ways in neutral kitchen with gray-green walls, wood floors and open shelving
Credit: Tessa Cooper

If you love vintage design, but live in a more modern house or apartment (or just a plain white box of a space), sometimes you have to get creative with your decorating choices to bring your vision to life. Large furnishings, like distressed dressers or retro-style refrigerators, are great ways to give your home more charm and character, but they can be a bit expensive. One New York City renter found a smaller design element that sets a decidedly old-school tone in her space, and trust me when I say that it delivers a lot of bang for your buck and may even be more practical than the real thing. 

Shelby Vanhoy and her husband, TJ Roebock, live in a 1000-square-foot apartment on the Upper West Side of NYC with their son, Brooks, and their dog, Pearl. Vanhoy runs a popular website and Instagram account, Pretty in the Pines, where she showcases her vintage-forward, Parisian-inspired design style. Heavily influenced by classic architecture in New York City as well, Vanhoy likes to play up the more traditional details in every room of her home, and if a feature she covets doesn’t already exist in her place, she’s not afraid to add it in a rental-friendly way. “The newer modern apartments never interested me,” she says in her house tour. “I find myself wanting to make every space look older than it is.” 

To make her apartment feel a little less modern, Vanhoy added details like removable wall molding, ceiling moldings, faux fireplace surrounds, and decorative appliques throughout the spaces. Because she’s a renter, though, the floors couldn’t get a period-style tile makeover quite so easily. So Vanhoy found a fun workaround for that, too. Instead of using a peel-and-stick product in her kitchenette area, which can be messy to remove upon moving out, she purchased a faux mosaic vinyl mat that looks just like real tile at first glance.

Credit: Tessa Cooper

“I’m very inspired by historic architecture, as well as intricate stone and woodwork details that take you back in time,” Vanhoy says, and the mosaic design of this Spicher and Company Floor Cloth that immediately transports you back a century or so, with its faux hexagonal field tiles “laid” in a classic floral border design. Available through Rugs Direct and made from durable vinyl (which is also super-easy to clean), this mat shines in a kitchen, where it can provide extra no-slip traction when splashes and spills occur. It also provides a light layer of cushioning underfoot for things like food prep and dish-washing. Vanhoy chose a smaller area rug size for a fair amount of coverage in her kitchenette area, but you can go even bigger with this carpet, too, should you have more to conceal. There’s even a black colorway that might downplay dirt and grime even better than the ivory for your highest-traffic areas, like an entry or mudroom.

For a lot of renters, personalizing a house or apartment that you don’t own can feel like a daunting task. But Vanhoy’s home stands as proof of how far a little effort can go. “There are so many ways to make reversible or temporary home updates to make your apartment feel like home,” she says. And if you’re more traditional in style than your home may currently be, then this floor mat is an easy place to start. All you have to do is roll it out!