Accent Your Entryway with Vibrant Stained Glass Sidelight Windows

Accent Your Entryway with Vibrant Stained Glass Sidelight Windows
Table Of Content

The Beauty of Stained Glass Sidelight Windows

Stained glass sidelight windows can add a unique and elegant touch to any entryway. Often seen flanking front doors, these narrow panels allow natural light to filter into a home's foyer or hallway. The colored glass casts rainbow hues throughout the space, creating an instantly eye-catching accent.

What Are Sidelight Windows?

Sidelights refer to the narrow windows installed on either side of a front door. They typically match the height of the door itself and stretch from about 12 to 36 inches wide. Sidelights are most commonly seen in Craftsman, Victorian, and other traditional home styles.

Sidelight windows may be clear glass or feature stained glass designs. The term "stained glass" refers to the pieces of colored glass artfully arranged to form images or patterns. When sunlight shines through, these colored glass windows create a vibrant glow.

Benefits of Stained Glass Sidelights

There are several reasons to consider choosing stained glass over clear glass for entryway sidelights:

  • They add privacy while still allowing light to enter. The stained glass obscures views into the home's interior rooms and halls.
  • They make a statement with bold colors and designs. Stained glass sidelights can reflect your personality or coordinate with your home's style.
  • The glow cast by sunlight through stained glass creates ambiance and visual interest in the entry space.
  • The visible colors and textures attract attention to the front door area.

Popular Stained Glass Sidelight Designs

There are endless options when it comes to stained glass patterns and motifs. Here are some of the most popular design choices for sidelight windows:

Floral Motifs

Delicate flowering branches and bouquets are commonly seen in stained glass sidelights. The vibrant colors and organic shapes create an elegant, welcoming look. Try coordinating pink roses, deep red poppies, or blue morning glories with your front door's exterior color.

Geometric Shapes

For a bold, graphic look, stained glass sidelights often incorporate geometric forms like circles, diamonds, rectangles, and triangles. These windows stand out with their vivid hues and angular designs.

Landscape Scenes

Capture the beauty of nature with landscape views in your sidelight stained glass. Try ocean sunset vistas, forest paths, or seasonal botanical designs. This adds brightness and a feeling of the outdoors coming into your entry hall.

Decorative Borders

Wide or slender border strips in stained glass sidelights define the window's edges. Intricate border shapes like grapevines, floral garlands, latticework, or curved lines offer classic elegance.

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic stained glass uses many tiny colored glass pieces to form an overall design. The result is a pointillist, pixelated look where the colors blend together. This lends visual depth and sparkling optical effects.

How to Care for Stained Glass Sidelights

While beautiful, stained glass requires proper care and maintenance. Here are useful tips for keeping your sidelight windows looking their best:

  • Use a specialist glass cleaner to prevent damage to the original lead camel and stained glass pieces.
  • Keep the putty holding the glass pieces in good condition. Check for cracks annually and re-putty as needed.
  • Install wire screens or guards on outdoor sidelights to protect from impact damage.
  • Keep sidelights clean. Dust reduces light penetration and dirt buildup wears on ancient glass over time.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure on indoor sidelights to prevent fading. Install UV film if needed.

Choosing New Stained Glass Sidelights

Ready to add some wow-factor to your entryway with custom stained glass sidelights? When selecting new windows, there are several important considerations.

Where to Purchase

For specialized stained glass windows, order directly from a glass studio. Many offer custom-designed panels based on your vision, home's architecture, and style preferences.

Frame Material

Stained glass windows require a sturdy frame to support the delicate glass pieces. Most sidelights feature wood or aluminum frames in colors like white, brown, bronze, black, silver, or gold.

Glass Types

Beyond stained art glass, sidelights may incorporate patterned glass, beveled glass, fused glass, or etched glass elements. Discuss options with your chosen glass artisan for the perfect accent pieces.

Hardware Style

For a seamless, integrated look coordinate the sidelights' hardware with other entryway features. Match hinge finishes to door handles and house numbers or complement lighting sconces.

Installing New Stained Glass Sidelights

Once your new custom stained glass sidelight windows arrive, you'll need to have them professionally installed for proper placement within the entry door frame.

Safety Considerations ย

Only work with an experienced and licensed contractor when installing heavy glass windows. Ensure proper measurements, structural reinforcement, and safety practices.


Outdoor sidelight windows require weather stripping, exterior caulking, protective film overlays, and water drainage at the base to withstand outdoor elements.

Difficult Installs

For complicated existing frames or masonry walls, specialty services for staged scaffolding or glass elevation equipment may be needed. This protects both installers and your new stained glass from damage.

With custom designed stained glass transforming an ordinary entry into a work of art, sidelight windows offer curb appeal and wow factor to any home. Let these colorful accent pieces reflect your personal style and highlight the very best first impressions of your front door space.


What is the standard size for sidelight windows?

Sidelight windows typically range from 12 to 36 inches wide. Their height matches the entry door they flank, around 6 feet 8 inches to 8 feet tall.

Do sidelights provide insulation?

Sidelights themselves don't contribute insulation value being single panes. Consider high-efficiency doors or triple glazed side panels to boost energy efficiency.

How much weight can sidelight windows hold?

The glass and framing of sidelight windows vary. Generally allow for 10 pounds per square foot of surface area. Consult manufacturers for specific structural capacities.

Where should I position sidelights?

For optimal lighting place sidelights so the panels flank the front door, with equal spacing on both sides. They go adjacent to any columns or foundation walls.

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