Sidelight windows effectively open up your front entrance, designed to add natural light and more personality. Because they’re installed on either side of the front door, you may be wondering if they need to be the same color. We’ve carefully researched if your front door and sidelights should match.
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It isn’t necessary for sidelights to match the front door, as they can also match the trim on the house. The best direction will depend on the size or style of the house, the height of the roof, and the texture of the sidelight windows.
Entryways are your home’s first impression, so it’s crucial to establish a balanced relationship between your sidelights and the front door. Keep reading to learn about matching your sidelights correctly, their standard sizes, and how to measure front doors with a sidelight.
Why Should You Match Your Sidelights And Front Door?
Painting your sidelight windows the same color as your front door will make your entryway appear larger. It is often best to reserve this option for larger homes.
Otherwise, the front door can seem disproportionate to the other features, like nearby windows.
This can apply to the inside of the home, too. The foyer, hallway, or any other entrance will appear smaller. This contradicts the primary purpose of the sidelights, which is to open up the place through more lighting.
If that isn't your goal, you can control the lighting with sidelight film or curtains that are available in sizes that fit every window.
It’s also important to consider the height of the house since matching sidelights and doors are sometimes wide enough to make the facade appear shorter.
This will emphasize any overhang from your roof, too.
Further, it’s always crucial to keep the texture of the sidelights in mind. Depending on the material, if this feature was an afterthought, it may look more like trimming than the door.
In this case, it would look strange for the sidelights to share the same color with the front door, even though they’re installed right next to it.
Consider The Style Of Your Home's Exterior
Lastly, you should make sure the sidelights and front door will reinforce the overall style of your home. For example, minimalist exteriors need a simple facade with less décor and intricate details.
So, adding any sidelights in the first place would not be a good fit. If you want the sidelight windows to fade away altogether, you should paint them to match the house's siding instead.
But some rustic designs, such as a cottage or cabin scene, prefer a cozy look. Matching your sidelights with the front door could create this effect by making the entrance look shorter.
If you're only looking to spruce up the look of your front door, you might avoid sidelights altogether by reading our post: 13 Front Door Window Covering Ideas.
Should Your Sidelights And Trim Match?
This is often considered the best option for sidelight windows because it remains coherent with the rest of the facade without drastically changing the look of your door.
If the sidelights appear to be an extension of the trim, the door will still pop without creating too much visual noise. Again, this may apply indoors if the sidelights are installed into the same framing device as the front door.
Giving the sidelights an accent color may not work if the design is asymmetrical. Sometimes, sidelights are only installed on one side of the door. In this case, letting the trim lead down to a single feature can look odd.
While this always happens with the gutters and drainpipes, those serve a more practical function. So, they tend to go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, sidelights are front and center, so you will lose any clean lines. That won’t work for most modern scenes, which require a tidy, smooth, and symmetrical look.
Then again, if the texture of the sidelight frame matches the trim, they could be a better fit regardless. For example, sometimes, the front door is intentionally wooden for contrast.
It would be best for the sidelight windows to keep their natural look and preserve the accent design rather than forcing on a grainy wood stain.
Can You Buy Sidelights On Their Own?
Yes, door and window specialists explain that sidelights can sometimes be purchased and installed individually. However, this is probably going to be quite expensive.
Adding sidelight windows to an existing door requires someone to carve out rough openings and add new trim pieces that resemble the front door’s framing device.
Otherwise, the two features will look too different. Remember that most sidelights are installed into a shared framing structure with the front door.
But that isn't always the case if the sidelights are a new addition to the home. This also occurs when the sidelights are designed as standalone structures, which can open and close on their own.
By comparison, the window glass itself is very easy to find and replace. Smaller wooden pieces from the sidelight framing are easy to be purchased by themselves too.
What Are Standard Sidelight Sizes?
There are three general standards based on the size of the sidelight windows rather than the framing structure itself. That’s because the frame should always be congruent with the front door.
So, your options will include a full-size sidelight window, a three-quarters window, or a half-size window.
Door installation experts like Zabitat advise that these windows should measure around 66 inches, 50 inches, and 38 inches tall.
However, it's also possible to find them shorter elsewhere, generally ranging between 36 and 64 inches. The width of a sidelight tends to be either 6, 12, or 18 inches.
How Do You Measure A Front Door With A Sidelight?
If you’re looking to install or replace a new front door with sidelights, either you or an installation company will need to have correct measurements beforehand.
But this can sometimes be confusing since the door and sidelights typically share the same frame.
Mastercraft Doors suggests that the actual door size does not include the sidelight windows. However, they stress that it is often best to replace the entire door system.
You would have to include further measurements than just the door slab for that process. This would require measurements for the door frame, rough opening, and brick opening, including any exterior casing and trim.
Should All Of My Exterior Doors Match?
Balance is the key to any design, but it isn’t always necessary for every exterior door to match. Each entry should serve the purpose of the area it leads to, as long as it agrees with the home's overall style.
For example, exterior doors that lead to a side yard or pool don’t necessarily need to match the front door. The front entrance is often more flashy and is sometimes treated as an accent piece to draw more attention.
This can quickly become overwhelming if you try to use the same color on every door.
However, it’s usually best for the garage door to match the front door. The garage is often a separate structure, even though it faces the street.
So, a garage door needs to be tied with the front door to feel more consistent.
You can read more details about matching your exterior doors in our post: Should All Exterior Doors Be The Same Color?, covering more obscure additions such as the Storm Door.
To Wrap Up
Sidelights are a helpful window addition, but they aren’t always the right fit for every entryway. Now that it’s clear how sidelight windows are installed and what effects you’ll create by matching them with the trim or front door, you can successfully make the right first impression.