They used to be known as doormats, and the word came to reflect a perpetual lowly status. Then some stylish marketer emblazoned the word "Welcome" across one and a new day dawned. They've come a long way since. These fun and functional mats not only invite you and your guests to brush away the outside but also add panache to the process.
Got lots of little feet in your house? This cast-iron creation featuring a vintage scroll and flower design will stand up to almost any wear and tear. Available in a shining array of patinas from bronze to cast-iron black, it makes a style statement to boot. $39 at T.J. Maxx, Bethlehem, 610-317-0930, and Whitehall, 610-266-6172.
You can announce your love of the garden to your guests even before your plants are blooming with a pretty pattern. Welcome spring with the garden-themed jute mat from Tag. It will help keep the dirt outside in the garden where it belongs. $7 after customary 50 percent discount at Cocoon, Wescosville, 610-395-3995.
Bring an attitudinally urban twist to your doorway with Feet First's flexible, life-size manhole cover mats, made from recycled tires. You can be clean and green with patterns copied from manhole covers in cities around the world. Find one for $26 at Home and Planet, Bethlehem, 610-866-7370.
FIBER AND STYLE
American Arts & Crafts designer Dard Hunter's clean graphics adorn this thick coconut fiber mat for a modern, trendy look that's at home anywhere. $38 at Strictly Mission, 3946 Lanark Road, Coopersburg, 610-797-8640 or toll-free 866-MISSION. See additional Dard Hunter designs at www.strictlymission.com.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times