Ideas for side light window coverings at the front door

Updated February 21, 2017

Side light window panels next to the front door can be an excellent source of natural light in a dark entryway, but if the glass is not frosted they can become a privacy issue. Even with frosted glass, you may prefer to use window coverings so motion can't be seen from the outside, particularly if you want to see who is at the door without letting visitors know you are there. Window treatments for side light windows can offer varying degrees of privacy.


If you want to boost privacy a little without sacrificing the light coming through the windows, try light-coloured sheer curtains. Long pieces of translucent fabric that are intended to be swagged over a window as both valence and side curtains can be doubled over to increase privacy and hung on a short rod above each side light. Another method to let light in while maintaining your privacy with clear glass is to add frosted window film, an acrylic sheet that adheres directly to the window to give the look of frosted glass. This treatment is available at most home improvement and hardware stores, and varieties with specialised designs may be ordered through some stores.


A type of fabric shade known as a cellular shade can be found in widths that suit side light windows. These shades can come in widths as narrow as 6 inches, which suits most side light windows, as these tend to range between 6 and 12 inches wide. Cellular shades can be pulled down from the top as well as up from the bottom, unlike standard blinds, so you can allow light to come in at the top while maintaining privacy throughout most of the window. Cellular shades come in a variety of colours to coordinate with the rest of your decor.

Wooden Blinds

Generally hung from the top of the window and pulled up to provide daylight, wooden blinds provide complete privacy when fully closed. Side light widths may require special ordering, but the blinds are available in a variety of wood and stain options to match your trim or taste preferences. The drawback to wooden blinds is that the complete privacy they provide also means you cannot see out to determine who is at the front door unless you have another method, such as a peephole, for looking out.

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Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.