Skip to content
home | decorate | Do You Have Front Door Sidelights? Try this trick …

Do You Have Front Door Sidelights? Try this trick …

    Apparently I’m on an entry kick. First it was a collection of fabulous fall wreaths to hang on your front door, and now I’m here to talk about a little trick that’s going on inside the front door.


    Come on in.

    On either side of our front door are tall, skinny windows called sidelights. They do a terrific job of letting in extra light into the entry, but at night, they do very little to offer privacy.

    The obvious solution? Hang curtains!

    And that’s just what we did.

    I first shared our entry on the blog in September 2010 (you can see that post here). I was about one year into my blogging hobby and loved decorating, styling and sharing pictures of our home (I still do!). The photos I took back then are terrible, but they were the best I knew how to do.

    Turns out, the poorly-lit photo of the entry with the curtains hung on either side struck a chord and is to this day one of the most pinned images from my blog. I cringe every time I think about that!

    entryfallWhile my style has become decidedly more neutral, bright and minimal since that first entry post, and I’d like to believe my photography skills have improved, the curtains on either side of our front door have remained.

    entrycurtainsThey are just inexpensive white curtain panels from IKEA (which is what we use throughout our house) hung from a metal rod. I use the clip-on rings to make sliding them easy since it is something we do every night and every morning.

    When open, the curtains push out far enough that they don’t get in the way of opening and closing the door. When shut, they offer privacy and make the entry feel cozy.

    entrywithatlasAt one point I had curtain tie back hooks on the wall, but found them unnecessary (and I think one of the kids tried to hang on one and it fell out of the wall. #lifewithkids).

    So if you have sidelights next to your front door and you don’t know what to do for privacy, perhaps hanging curtains is your answer.

    And please, will you do me a favor?! Pin one of these entry images instead of that 2010 one :)

    33 thoughts on “Do You Have Front Door Sidelights? Try this trick …”

    1. Where did you get that wood bench? I have been looking for one exactly like it for our new home entry!!! I love your beautiful home.

    2. Try photographing on a super cloudy day…love this. We have sidelights but our foyer doesn’t open into any of our living areas…I kind of wish it did!! :)

    3. I love everything about your home! This post had something shocking….your dog! We have a rescue dog that looks just like your dog. Our Milley is one year old and we have wondered what mix our dog is. Do you know what your dog is? We would love to find out.

    4. When I saw your email in my inbox with the subject, “Do you have front door sidelights?…” I said out loud, “Yes, I do!” I have wondered what to do. My kids love to put up holiday window stickers, and I would hate to lose the light. But it would be nice to have a LITTLE privacy as well. Thanks for your timely post!

    5. What about privacy on the front door? We are building our forever earthly home, and the front door is leaded glass with a large star in the middle. I’m already worried about lurkers even in the day time. And yes, we are moving to Texas. Luv your blog and style.

      1. i had curtains hanging over my side lights several houses ago; i just had enough width to cover the door as well. it was all full width glass!

    6. We have sidelights and the nighttime lack of privacy drove me nuts. So we installed the “frosted glass” decal paper that’s made for windows (over 10 years ago). Allows all the day time light to come in, but no one can see in, day or night! I think your curtains look lovely!

    7. I have the same. Many years ago a friend sewed a sheer for each side of the door. Two extension rods (top and bottom of the Inside of the sidelights, were used to slip the correct length fabric onto.
      Light comes through, but no drape to catch in the door. Also no opening and closing of drapes!

    8. Emily…did you paint the trim around the windows to match the wall or to match the trim around the door? I’m working on my entry right now and am trying to decide what to do with the sidelights. Thanks.

    9. No sidelights here, but I am envious of your lovely entry/foyer. We have an older house (100+ years!) where the front door brings you straight into the living room, which is a design challenge.

      Love that gorgeous entry rug. Can you tell us where you found it?

      1. Thank you! What you lack in an entry I’m sure your home makes up for in charm. The entry rug was a happy find on clearance at Marshalls a few years ago. I have not been able to track down another.

    10. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before– seems like the perfect beautiful solution! (And I think all of us who started blogging back in the early days took really bad photos, so please don’t feel bad! Yours are so lovely now!)

    11. the 2010 photo is lovely. it evokes emotion– something that is desperately missing from so many bloggers’ home decor pix! the emotion in your photos and posts is what hooked me initially, and what keeps me coming back day after day. embrace the love!

    12. I would love to have the look of this, but we have too many people come to our door during the day that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with it completely open. I hung the lace curtains from IKEA so I can still see out and have the light during the day and in the evening it’s harder to see in!

    13. I love the simplicity and light but especially how your cute dog is perfectly coordinated with your decor! (…and probably those lovely B & W striped towels!) Thank you for the inspiration :)

      1. They are just hung from clip hooks on a regular curtain rod! Just make sure you anchor the curtain rod brackets into studs or use drywall anchors because these do get pretty heavy use and you don’t want the rod falling down.

    14. Ale,

      So interesting you wrote about this. I dream of switching out our double front doors to a single with sidelights to get some (much needed) natural light in. I struggle with the privacy issue and keep flip-flopping between a shade, blinds and the curtain solution. I am glad to hear you are happy with the curtains.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *