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Feet first  

It may be time to toss that frayed old coir doormat with the kitschy saying in favor of something sleeker. This 20-by-32-inch mat is made from sustainably forested teakwood and features a raised and slatted design that won’t trap moisture. It’s unfinished and weather-resistant, and isn’t slippery when wet. Find it for $89.95 at Crate and Barrel in Upper Northwest D.C.’s Spring Valley neighborhood (202-364-6100,

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Who’s there?  

A knocker is like a little bit of jewelry for the front door. A classic ring shape is always in style, or you can go bold with a quirky, unexpected design such as the fancy bronze-colored Ida Peacock knocker. It measures 7½ inches high and retails for $54 at Anthropologie in Bethesda (240-345-9413,

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Fresh facade 

Something as simple as a new coat of paint on the front door can change a home’s character. This red door is cheery and inviting, thanks to Benjamin Moore’s Caliente (AF-290). Find it, and dozens of other colors from the brand, for $50 to $95 per gallon at the Regal Paint Centers store in Rockville (301-424-8555,

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Hot pot  

Potted plants add interest, dimension and year-round color to a stoop or front porch. Assemble a collection of vessels in various sizes for a casual vibe, or use two to flank the entry for a formal, symmetrical look. Campania’s Sem planter, in graphite, is available in four sizes, priced from $105 to $300 at American Plant in Bethesda (301-469-7690,

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All aglow  

Exterior lighting is essential for safety and convenience, but sconces or a pendant can also serve as standout design elements. Coordinate the finish with the hardware on the door for a pulled-together look. The Duvall recycled-glass outdoor sconce, crafted from iron and blown glass, is 13¾ inches high and available in bronze or brass finishes for $149 each at Pottery Barn in Bethesda (301-654-1598,

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Letter getter  

Who says mailboxes have to be boring? Opt for a stylish version of the very necessary accessory. This handsome model is wall-mounted with a tilt-down teakwood front and steel box, and comes in a nickel, black or antique brass finish. Get the “Modern Metal Mailbox” for $180 to $200 at West Elm in North Bethesda (301-230-7630,


Carolyn Weber lives in Silver Spring and frequently writes about architecture and home design.

This story appears in the July/August 2022 issue of Bethesda Magazine.