French Door Sidelight Window Treatment

November 16

The sidelights for a French door can enhance your decor or spice up the entryway to your home. They also present an area where your privacy can be compromised, requiring some sort of covering so that visitors cannot see inside your home without an invitation. There are a variety of treatments for this and they vary in price. These include custom-designed stained glass windows, curtains and a film that is applied to the glass.

Stained glass

An expensive but attractive option for decorating the sidelights of your French door is a custom-designed set of stained glass windows. An artist can work with you to use the design and colors most conducive to your wishes and current interior decor. These can be panels that are placed inside against the existing window and secured in place or installed in the existing frame. Depending on the complexity of the design and the size of your windows, the price usually ranges from about $100 to $150 per square foot, circa 2009. The result is impressive and enhances the value of the home.


With the variety of materials, colors and patterns available, almost any effect can be achieved with curtains to cover the windows. From a simple white sheer to a dramatic ruffled drapery, the options vary in both design and price. The exact size of the curtains depends on the type of curtain rod you wish to use and the length of the curtain. As of 2009 these range from a little more than $20 a pair to around $200. You can also buy the material and curtain rods and make them yourself for a more economical option.

Window treatments

Another economical option for decorating the sidelights and obscuring them is to use a window film. There are films available that are decorative, simple frosted films, even a type designed to resemble stained glass. Mirrored film is also available so that you can see out but people can't see in. Stained-glass overlay can be custom-designed to match your decor just as stained glass would be and is somewhat more economical than the glass version. Window films as of 2009 range from about $12 for a simple treatment that you can apply yourself to the more expensive custom overlay that ranges around $40 to $90 per square foot depending on your location and the design. Many films also block ultraviolet light.