Looking for some great foliage interest in your shade or filtered sun that isn't hostas or painted ferns? How about Lamium 'Purple Dragon?' It's a real survivor, thriving across six zones (3-8), and it produces big, beautiful clusters of purple flowers for many weeks. The eye-catching silvery-white leaves shade quickly to dark green around the interesting toothed edges. This groundcover perennial is drought-resistant and evergreen, too, so you'll have this beautiful foliage year-round.
For a different look, try Kolkwitzia amabilis Dream Catcher (yes, I spelled that right). This Beauty Bush does well in filtered sun or part shade in zones 4-9 and is deer-resistant, so it's a great choice for many different gardens. It's rich coppery color seasons to bright yellow in Spring and Summer, and by fall it turns a rich golden-orange with interesting dark tips. It's amazing as a specimen, but even better in mass plantings for a really eye-drawing effect unlike any other.