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How to balance natural light and privacy at the entrance to your home

Wondering whether to choose light or privacy for the entrance to your home? Would you ideally like both? The location of your property will play a part in your decision but sidelights, glazing added to either one or both sides of your front door, is a stylish and contemporary design choice. Increasingly popular, there are lots of options offering different levels of privacy. Read on to find out what might work for your home.

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Vision panel

If you don't have room or don't want sidelights, a vision panel within your front door is a great option. If you opt for clear glass, you'll be able to see out. If privacy is more important to you, go for sandblasted glass and light will still come into your hallway. 


Ridged glass sidelights

If you don’t need total privacy, consider glazing with added wood elements – see our Ridge sidelights above as an example of how well this can work. Visitors can still see in but only if they come close to the glass and it’s a lovely design feature. 

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Canopy or porch

Using wood or steel, a canopy or porch around the entrance to your home can create privacy and make it more difficult for anyone to see in (unless they are very close to the door). Using slated wood, solid dividers and reducing the amount of glazing visible helps create privacy. For more about the example above click here


The simplest way to create privacy and allow light in is to opt for sandblasted glazing. This a whitened glass that allows light in but is almost completely obscure. We recommend sandblasting if you want to ensure privacy and need natural light in your hallway. For a less permanent solution, you could opt for window film.

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balancing privacy and natural light glass etching

Privacy screen

A privacy screen, like the one pictured above, is a great way to showcase your personal style and add privacy to your home's entrance. Available in a variety of materials and designs, you could go for a bespoke option. The screen can cover some or all of your glazing depending on how much privacy you want to create. 


Glass etching

Glass etching allows you to add a design words or numbers to your glazing. It’s either created on sandblasted glass and etched clear or, if your glass is clear, the etching will be in a sandblasted finish. It’s a great way to provide a degree of privacy and be able to see out. Do bear in mind that visitors will be able to see into your home from some angles.

tinted glass
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Tinted glass

Tinted glass is the perfect solution to privacy during the day. It does what it says on the tin and reflects light so that the glass behaves like a mirror. However, at night, with your lights on, people will be able to see in. Also, be aware that tinted glass is not completely clear but has hints of brown or grey.


Planting for privacy isn’t a new thing, so perhaps our contribution to this idea is to go big! Consider planting tall trees with a tropical feel to create architectural detail and privacy at the same time. This can also be done by using large potted trees and climbers by the door or planting directly into flowerbeds.