The other day, I posted a picture on Facebook and a reader asked a question about the paint colors on the sidelights and transom.  As I crafted my response, I got to thinking about the various tricks that are used to make doors {and doorways} feel bigger than they actually are.  It’s amazing to me how our eyes can trick our minds and what a few decorative touches can do for a space!


Here are 5 ways to make a door feel bigger, without replacing the door!



1. Transoms & Sidelights

A transom is a horizontal beam that separates a door from a window above it, but we often refer to the window itself as a transom.  A sidelight, on the other hand, is a vertical window that runs parallel to the door.  Both of these elements, whether used separately or in conjunction with one another, help to give a door a larger feel and presence.

Here, two sidelights help to give a single door the perceived width of a double door.

Front Door with Curtains
{via Makeup By Tiffany D}


Notice that the sidelights are painted to match the door, further widening the visual presence of the door itself.  As an aside, you really should check out the Before and After of this entry space!  What a transformation!  See it {HERE}.


2. Paint

No trim?  No problem!  Just look at what some paint can do to give the illusion of a larger doorway!

{via Skona Hem}
{via Sköna Hem}



3. Trim, Crossheads & Pediments

Architectural details are a great way to enhance the visual size of a door, whether you just add some trim, or extend the height with a crosshead or pediment.  Sandra at Sawdust Girl has a great tutorial for installing your own trim!

{via Sawdust Girl}
{via Sawdust Girl}


4. Glass

Glass is a quick and easy way to make a space feel larger.  Decorators and realtors use this trick all the time by adding mirrors to a space to give it a more open feel!

Glass Front Door
{via Most Lovely Things}


Even if you don’t replace your door, you can still add glass by removing the panels and adding glass.  Sarah from The Yellow Cape Cod did this makeover for only $100!  Full tutorial {HERE}.

Glass Front Door Makeover
{via The Yellow Cape Cod}



5. Sliding Doors

Sliding doors, whether pocket doors or barn doors, help to open up a space and make a doorway feel bigger.  Look how much bigger this standard sized door appears when flanked with this gorgeous barn door over at The Lettered Cottage!

{The Lettered Cottage}
{via The Lettered Cottage}



So if you can’t make your space bigger, then fake your space bigger!


Tidbits&Twine - Signature




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  1. Kim,
    I love the black doors and sidelights, as well as the barn doors Layla installed. I’ve always wanted a transom, but alas, my tract house doesn’t have tall enough ceilings. Great ideas.

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