My roommate and I long debated what to put on our kitchen floor. As someone who’s a fervent cook and baker, regularly producing lavish, saucy pastas and custardy lemon squares, I spend a lot of time in that room. And, in a desperate effort to maintain some order, I’m a seemingly constant dishwasher, struggling to clean a kitchen that will never be spotless given its endearing well-worn nature.

When we moved in, we inherited a kitchen floor made of scratched, stained wood that felt uninspired and looked dirty even after a good mopping. We quickly acquired a colorful nylon floor mat and moved it into its new home under the sink for a splash of pigment and softness. But it didn’t take long for us to lose patience with the mat’s tendency to migrate around the kitchen, given its featherweight qualities.

Next came a woven rug—I know, what were we thinking? In our defense, it possessed the rough quality of an outdoor rug, like a tasteful jute. Not quite comfortable, but competent at keeping my feet soothed while brawling with the charred pasta bits on the bottom of a lasagna pan. Well, surprise, surprise, if you bake enough lasagnas on your so-called kitchen rug, it will become so horrifically stained that you’ll fantasize about burning it (and maybe tossing the lasagna pan in alongside it). 

But finally, I met my mat, and it hailed from Slash Objects, an architect-founded design studio based in New York City. Its floor mats come in a variety of shapes, including oval; rectangle; half-moon; and some other galactic, Rorschach-like situations.

All of the mats are made from USA-sourced recycled rubber that is nicely weighted and slightly clings to the floor so, you guessed it, they won’t travel around the room. The colors are earthy—we’re talking black, tan, terracotta, navy, and gray that can nestle into a space with striking ease.  

My Capsule floor mat is a sandy hue and sits snugly under my kitchen sink. I’ve had it for more than a year, and it shows no signs of wear, tear, staining, or disdain for my general presence. It’s easy to vacuum right over or wipe clean with soap and water when I drip something saucy on it. Slash Objects says “these mats stand up to heavy foot traffic,” which I’ve interpreted as “very comfy for long periods of standing over your sink.”

Their weatherproof quality makes them incredible for a patio or deck (or fire escape), but also for underneath dog bowls or wet shoes. Mine still lives in the kitchen, though, where my weathered hardwood can rest easy, knowing it’s adorned with a beautiful recycled garment that does not quiver in fear at the first whiff of a red sauce. Next project: a nonstick lasagna dish. 

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