20 Entry Window Design Ideas to Add Character and Light

pale blue front doors of white colonial exterior with stone pathway
Photo: Julie Soefer

An entryway can be so much more than a door. Windows bring light, views, and architectural character to entry areas on the front, back, or side of a house. Use these design ideas for a bright, beautiful entrance to your home.

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Entryway Window Placement

cheery entryway with colorful wallpaper and white doors and windows
Peter Molick

Entry windows are often installed directly above or alongside a door, but when space around the door is limited, building windows into surrounding walls is another way to boost light and character. When outfitted with glass panes, the front door can also serve as a window.

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Entry Windows for Light

white entryway bold rug
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Entry windows brighten the area inside the door, providing the necessary light for tasks like putting on shoes or grabbing coats. To let in the most light, choose designs without muntins or grids, which separate the glass panes. In this entryway, the front door and sidelights feature clear glass panels that allow in the plenty of natural light.

03 of 20

Entry Windows for Curb Appeal

painted brick exterior of midcentury-modern home with wood front doors
Anthony Masterson

Besides offering light and views, entry window designs contribute to a home's curb appeal. Choose windows that reflect and complement the overall style of your home. The sleek, angled shape here perfectly suits the midcentury-modern architecture and draws eyes toward the front entrance.

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Interior Entry Window Ideas

entry stairway red rug white door
Joyelle West

Entry windows are seen from both the interior and exterior, so give equal consideration to both faces. Inside, the paint or stain you choose for the frames should complement the rest of the decor. In this case, white paint lets the sidelights recede, focusing attention on the colorful rugs and striking light fixture inside the door.

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Entry Transom Windows

pale blue front doors of white colonial exterior with stone pathway
Julie Soefer

A transom window above the front door is a traditional architectural touch, and its size should be in proportion with the rest of the entryway. Here, the width of the French doors is balanced by an arched transom. The additional windows also play up the height of the entryway.

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Entry Window Trim

white painted brick exterior with black front door and shutters
Edmund Barr

Along with the size and shape of entry windows, consider the finish you'll choose for the trim. These sidelights are painted black to match the door and pop out against the white brick exterior. Color-matched sidelights make the entry feel wider by appearing to be extensions of the door.

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Entry Window Grids

home entrance pillars door vignette
Greg Scheidemann

Adding generous amounts of glass around your entry door can bring lots of light into the interior, and has the effect of opening up the exterior of your house as well. Grids can help break up large entry windows and provide visual texture. This design creates a classic look that coordinates with the home's stately columns and traditional wooden front door.

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Entryway Window Shutters

ranch-style home entry way shutters
Werner Straube

Lend character to your entry windows with shutter-style blinds. Simple sidelights without muntins complement the no-fuss look of this ranch-style home. These interior shutters subtly frame the doorway and usher light into the foyer, while also providing privacy.

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Sidelight Entry Windows

home exterior wrap around porch
Helen Norman

Simple sidelight windows complement the classic divided-light design of this entry door. The tall, narrow sidelights echo the verticality of the porch columns and the upper-level windows. Horizontal muntins on the windows and door echo the lines of the siding.

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Victorian-Style Entry Window Designs

Victorian foyer stained-glass windows
Werner Straube

Entry windows often flank the door, but they can be above it, too. Here, a half-round unit is a perfect topper for the elegant entry to a Victorian-style home. The semicircular shape is consistent with the original architecture of the home, and stained-glass windows admit light without leaving the entry completely exposed.

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Back Entry Window Ideas

outdoor table chairs french doors
Jean Allsopp

There's only one pair of French doors at the back entry of this home, but a clever window design makes it appear that there are two sets. The units flanking the doors are perfect matches, except they don't extend all the way to the floor. Well-positioned container gardens aid the disguise. The divided-light pattern offers a unifying exterior design feature.

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Entry Window Shapes

entry way teal door stairway
Ed Gohlich

For added interest, choose entry window designs in various shapes. The large multipaned window above this front door emphasizes the entry's height and echoes the design of the windows that run alongside the stairs. An adjacent round unit provides charming contrast and an eye-catching feature indoors and out.

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Tall Entryway Windows

home exterior portico vaulted foyer
Jeff McNamara

A soaring portico frames the entrance to this home, and the entry windows soar right along with it. The glass panes reveal the grandeur of an atrium-like, two-story vaulted foyer. In this case, entry windows are not only a source of exterior light and views, but they're also a way to showcase an interior architectural feature.

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Matching Entry Windows and Doors

glass doors deck area seating
Emily Minton-Redfield

Create a seamless transition from the inside to the outdoors with a window-like glass door. Surrounding the door with windows in a similar style enhances the open feeling even more. If more privacy is desired, frosted or etched glass obscures vision and lets in plenty of light without leaving your entry in clear view from the outside.

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Entry Sidelight Ideas

brick home wooden door entry
Stacey Branford

For a cohesive look, match sidelights to your front door. Here, simple slots provide light for an entry without overshadowing the beautiful wooden door. Because the sidelights are only half-height (not full length), they don't skew the scale of the home. The lack of muntins leaves a clean look.

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Unique Entry Window Designs

home exterior porch geometric details
Emily Followill

Repeated shapes add interest and continuity to an exterior. Use entry window ideas to highlight forms used throughout a home's design. Here, an oval window features a diamond motif that's repeated on the railing on the porch above the entry.

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Welcoming Entry Windows

decorative home entry doorway
Jason Donnelly

Besides bathing the front of the house in light, entry windows widen the perceived width of the door. This is especially true when the sidelights are attached as part of a single-door unit that installs in one piece. Surrounding the door with windows helps create an open, warm, and welcoming look.

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Stylish Entry Window Designs

two-story grey home exterior
Stacey Branford

The front entry often provides the first impression of your home. Employ window designs that set a stylish tone before guests even walk in the door. For example, this stunning design features an arched awning over the entryway that relieves the home's boxy lines and reflects the shape of a porthole-style window.

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Entry Window Muntins

multi story family home brick path
Michael Partenio

Pay attention to muntins (the narrow strips that divide windows into multiple panes) when considering entry windows. This home's rectangular windows vary in size and height, but consistently square muntins unite them in visual harmony. Crowned by a stunning fanlight and framed by sidelights in pilasters, this front door extends a warm invitation.

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Functional Entry Windows

home entry way archway details
Greg Scheidemann

Entry windows, including sidelights and transoms, are often stationary and installed simply to enhance the views or to light an entryway. But if you want to bring in some breeze as well, look to other types of windows that can open and close. This entry window features an arched top that's purely decorative, but the bottom section can be thrown open to welcome in fresh air.

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