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If you have more than one child, you probably can’t even remember what it’s like to experience silence. Real quiet—the kind of stillness you remember from pre-dawn jogs or late nights studying at the library—is long gone. It’s too late to build a soundproof fortress, but a few decorating tips to reduce noise in your home might just save your sanity.
You deserve the occasional five minutes of peace. If you’re working from home, it’s especially important to muffle the chaos outside your office, particularly if you’re on a video conference or you just need to focus. Some amateur soundproofing benefits everyone else in the family, too. For instance, if your kids are napping or already asleep for the night, you’ll want to avoid the clatter of a dropped dish at all costs. These tips just might take it down a few decibels.
Before kids, you adored the look of hardwood floors. Now, they’re creating an echo chamber. The easiest way to reduce vibrations and absorb noise is by strategically throwing down some rugs—doing so can add a new touch of style to neglected décor. If your carpet is looking shabby, you’re completely justified in replacing it. Be shrewd when you select something new, and you’ll increase the beauty of your home while decreasing the hubbub. The carpet alone can reduce airborne noise by 35 percent, and if you make it wool, its effectiveness climbs to 46 percent. A generous underlay can cut down on 50 to 70 percent of the clamor.
If you’re a busy parent, window treatments might not be high on your to-do list. It’s time to move them to the top because pretty windows mean quieter rooms. That additional fabric insulates your room from any commotion outside and mutes some of the action inside. You can find thick, heavy drapes that are specially designed to stop noise and that can double as blackout curtains when you need some real rest. If you want to spend less, you can hang up a rug for some temporary relief. If you have the budget, investing in custom glass inserts can decrease the decibels and increase the value of your home.
Clutter in a room can actually make it quieter because all those textures absorb sound waves. But don’t give in to all that junk. Bookshelves will have even more impact while adding some elegance to a room. If you actually fill the shelves with books, you’ll even create the impression that you’re a family of culture. Placing bookshelves against reverberating walls can block out the sounds of the room next door. Plus, those literary classics will dampen the noise and might even stimulate your mind.
Try to find a little more serenity with these easy decorating tips to reduce noise in your home. It’s better than the alternatives: adding five more layers of drywall in every room or wearing noise-canceling headphones all day.