And so it begins

First impressions matter. For both you and your visitors. There are few areas in your home that are touched more than your door. You experience your entry when leaving every morning, when coming home every night. Greeting friends. The UPS man. The UPS man again. And again.

As an interior designer, I believe deeply in the importance of your home’s ability to positively (or negatively) affect your outlook, mood and perception. Never underestimate the restorative power of a clean desk or a bedroom with a freshly-made bed. And most importantly for us at Porch + Hall, never underestimate the importance of what greets you and says goodbye to you every day. Coming home to a beautiful and functional entry space that serves the purpose of keeping the elements at bay should be just as important as the palette you so carefully chose for your living room.

I have visited homes with interiors so beautiful they take your breath away. Every detail has been perfectly executed. Well, almost every detail. It never ceases to amaze me how many of these spectacular homes have overlooked entry areas. Maybe it’s the beaten-down coir mat or the new coir mat that sheds everywhere. Often it’s just an unattractive rubber thing or a pad with a silly saying on it. In almost every case, that mat is not even close to the caliber of the rest of the home.

There is a professional photographer I’ve worked with who specializes in shoots for interior design and related products. His work has been in countless shelter magazines. He told me the first thing he does on almost every exterior shot is take away the doormat. And these are homes that are being photographed for their beauty and inspired design. You’d think they would have this thing nailed. Sure, every interior design shoot has a bit of smoke and mirrors, with signs of real life (read: clutter) typically removed. But shouldn’t a home’s entry mat be attractive and functional so that it doesn’t have to be removed? Imagine this: it could even be additive. Something that ties the area together. At Porch + Hall, we will strive to make this dream possible.

So let’s change how we think about the entry mat. Let’s start by not calling it a doormat. Too many negative vibes on that one. Our Outsider mat is like a piece of outdoor furniture. It accentuates and enhances your home’s architectural features while also serving an important purpose. Most mats relate to nothing else surrounding them. Why is that? You obsess over your door color, your door hardware, the color of your shutters, the color of your house, etc. Doesn’t that first step into your home deserve better? I thought so, so I searched to find an “elevated cousin” of the lowly doormat. Since you’re reading this, you probably know where that left me: empty-handed. That is when the journey to create my own entry mat began.

It turns out, the process of designing something on paper to getting that object mass-produced is not so easy. Who knew? I could write an entire blog post on all the false starts, sketchy manufacturers, engineering challenges, material defects and my overall ignorance. But after each setback, my husband would ask: ”Yeah, yeah, that sucks, but are you having fun?” And the answer was always yes, because I truly believed in my vision and mission for Porch + Hall from the very beginning. And learning new stuff, even when you fail, is what it’s all about. It also makes for a better product. (If I’m being completely honest, maybe the answer wasn’t always yes…. waiting three months with baited breath to get what you think is the final prototype only to have it look like something your ten-year old daughter put together in the basement was resoundingly un-fun.)

Two years later and the group of amazing people helping to realize the dream of Porch + Hall has grown. I wake up every day excited, thinking about all the ways we can improve, grow, and re-invent a dormant industry (easy layup on that one). Thanks for taking the time to read about us and I hope you will come along for the ride. We can’t wait to see your Porch + Hall.