One big concern when you share walls with other folks is how to reduce noise. There are ways to lessen noise pollution and help make your space more comfortable and more private, by using fabrics and furniture placement effectively.
Soundproofing Walls with Heavy Fabrics
That obvious echo you hear when you walk into an empty apartment just goes to show how open space can amplify even the most minute of sounds. One way to help dampen noise is by effectively placing fabrics in areas where noise is most prevalent. Curtains are an easy solution for this issue. Think of all the areas in your apartment where noise could either escape or enter. Of course, windows would be an easy area to tackle. First off, start by hanging mini-blinds to all the windows, which not only offer a simple solution for privacy, but also offer the first layer against sound. Next, hang a curtain over the blinds. There are many inexpensive choices for curtains at stores such as Walmart or Target in designs and styles to suit every taste. Pay special attention to the actual fabric of the curtain. The thicker the fabric, the greater the noise barrier. For an added layer of noise protection, you may want to also hang a valance, which is a decorative piece of fabric that sits at the top of the curtain rod.
Using Area Rugs to Absorb Noise
Curtains are not the only fabric solution to dampen noise. Area rugs are also a great option. Remember that sound bounces off walls and bare floors, so the more “cushioned” you make your space, the less area noise will have to bounce off of. You may also want to consider fabric covered couches or chairs versus bare wood, leather or vinyl.
Furniture Placement for Sound Reduction
Where you place your furniture also has a big impact on sound reduction. If you have the option of placing your television on a wall that is not adjacent to your neighbor, that would be the easiest solution to preventing noise from your T.V. set to travel. Another option is the use of speakers for your T.V. set. By using speakers, you can direct where the sound travels before it “hits” your ears, so to speak. If you live on a top floor, you may want to direct the speakers up towards the ceiling and have the sound bounce down towards your couch. This way, the loudest sound impact happens as it hits the ceiling and dissipates as it comes down towards the ground.
A few, larger upholstered pieces of furniture placed near windows or doors work great at absorbing sound. Also think about placing these items next to high traffic areas as well, such as between the living room and bathroom. A substantial love-seat placed near a high traffic area, along with a well-cushioned rug, will do a terrific job at absorbing sound.
By combining some common, everyday items such as window blinds and curtains, along with some strategically placed upholstered furniture, you can achieve a quiet, comfortable space.