House & Home

Window & Door Trends: Entryways, drop zones, window treatments & more

Let's discuss some of the latest design trends for windows, doors, and entryways and see what local builders are adding to their new homes.

Posted Updated
Don Ricardo Massenburg Jr.
, writer for New Homes & Ideas; Photography by John Cooley of Chillsboro Media

Windows and doors ... would a house be a home without them? The fact is most people don’t think about doors and windows much at all until faced with having to make selections for a new home. There are tons of style, color, and material options to choose from. Let’s discuss some of the latest design trends for windows, doors, and entryways and see what local builders are adding to their new homes.

Welcome Home

In the most basic sense, a front entry door separates public from private and protects the home from the elements as well as intruders. However, the front door is a part of the first impression. It sets the tone for what can be expected upon entering a home. The front door is also a very important factor in the home’s overall energy efficiency. A nicely finished front door contributes to curb appeal. It helps introduce a home’s style and tells visitors that the space on the other side of the door is well kept and comfortable.

Photo courtesy of Homes by Dickerson

Bigger doors are what’s trending right now. Front doors are becoming larger. Some new homes are boasting eight, and even nine-foot-tall entryway doors. Single doors are also getting wider; some designs are three-and-a-half feet wide. Buyers want homes that are connected with their surroundings and larger doors provide a perfect way to bring the outdoors inside. This desire for the indoor-outdoor connection has grown in popularity. With this trend, we will also see large scale glass doors and grand patio door or glass wall systems. Builders suggest that the order of monumental doors will become much more common for new homes, especially in areas where weather conditions are pretty consistent.

Not only are doors getting bigger, they are also getting darker. Darker-colored doors in black, gray, or deep rich shades of blue are making appearances in entry ways and some interiors as well. A darker finish can add a bit of visual drama and sophistication to a stock grade door instantly.

Another interior door trend that has taken off very quickly is the sliding barn door. Sliding doors are becoming more common with the growing emphasis on small spaces and flex rooms. They are a great space saving solution if there is no room in the home for a traditional in or out swinging door. Sliding barn doors can also serve as a temporary partition in an open floor plan to divide a large living space or to open a room for entertaining. The sliding barn doors are available in a variety of woods and metals with different designs, and typically feature interesting and stylish hardware. The sliding door is an innovative way to create separation in both traditional and more modern home designs.

Hang Your Hat

The mud room has a new functionality and a new name: The Drop Zone. Whether at the front of the home for guests or in the rear of the home near the garage, the drop zone has become one of the most popular built-in requests for builders. The drop zone includes multiple types of storage, usually for shoes, keys, bags, backpacks, and anything else you want to "drop" when you enter the home. Many builders are adding small benches, cubbies and hooks near the front entrance of the home where guests can hang their hats, or kick off their shoes. Near the garage, where the homeowners enter, the drop zone becomes more personalized and specific to what the owners need. These small areas could include built-in filing systems for mail and charging stations for phones or tablets.

Let the Light Shine In

Big and bright will continue to be a popular trend for windows. Builders are now making huge window walls the main focal point of the room. However, the frames and trim around those large windows or glass doors are becoming smaller. Frames are trending to be as slim as possible so that there is little to no visual separation between nature and home. Slim frames also allow for the maximum amount of sunlight to enter the space.

White wood window frames are taking a backseat to vinyl. Vinyl frames are popping up in an array of colors. For a little added visual interest and contemporary note, more homeowners are incorporating dark tones into their color scheme for both exterior and interior window frames. Because of this, many companies are incorporating a black color option in several of their window product lines. Black trim windows are an eye-catching alternative to white or wood frames. Choosing darker colored vinyl frames is a creative way to use your home’s trim to add extra polish and detail to exterior decor, without sacrificing efficiency or durability.

While windows are traveling wider and taller, drapery panels are remaining stationary. Designers are using window treatments that stand out and highlight the window, rather than cover or block the light. Window treatments continue to be installed high above the window and along the outer edge. Metallic finishes are an ongoing trend and they are being used not only in drapery hardware but also in fabric. Silver, bronze and gold metallic fabrics draped from a classic metal rod make a grand appearance in living rooms and bedrooms. For a more contemporary or transitional interior, large-scaled, geometric-patterned draperies continue to be a popular trend that creates a dramatic focal point within the space.

Don Ricardo Massenburg Jr., owns DESiGN iNKREDiBLE LLC, a Durham, NC based interior design company which offers residential and commercial interior styling services, custom headboards and window treatments. Ricardo’s portfolio of bright bold interior projects can be seen on his website at and also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @designinkredible.

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