Ditch dirt, disarray with a custom doormat

The roughly 4-foot square area just inside our entry teeters on the brink, a minefield of dirty footprints, stray leaves and stuff the dog dragged in. Judging strictly on visual evidence, you might have a hard time determining if a family or a herd of goats has been passing through the door.

The age-old, supremely practical answer to all that dirt is a two-doormat system — one outside, one inside, to catch wet footprints and whatever else makes it across the threshold, stopping it at the door before it wrecks your floor and your sanity.

The indoor doormat is key to that system. Trouble is, it’s a household essential that can be tough to get right. It should hang on to dirt but not look dirty. It needs to be the right size for your entry, should stay put and should fit under your door (our door, for instance, shoves most mats aside). It should make a cool design statement or blend sleekly into its surroundings, depending on your space and your preference.

In other words, what you need is a custom doormat.

Luckily, in the ever-more-custom world of home design, there’s a ready-made solution: carpet. Not the kind that blanketed your Nana’s house in wall-to-wall weirdness. We’re talking Flor, those sturdy, inexpensive carpet tiles that come in a wide selection of trendy patterns (camo, geometrics, deconstructed Persian rugs) and the full rainbow of solid colors.

There are floor-hugging felts that slip easily under any door (and trap dirt and lint like crazy) or full-on chunky textures. You choose the size by choosing the number of tiles you need for your space — our small entry now gets generous coverage from a mere four tiles — and the nonskid backing means they stay where you need them. Which means our doorway is now a lot cleaner than your average barnyard.

Starting at $8 per tile, www.flor.com