Many of us dream of having a home that is a peaceful, serene oasis that we can relax and recharge in. But often, the perfectly tidy and calm homes that we see in design magazines are a far cry from real life. Whether it be kids running through the house, your teenager learning to play the drums, the dog chasing the cat, or partying neighbours, there are plenty of ways that our homes turn from quiet places into bustling hubs of activity and noise. If you’re looking for a little more peace, here are our tips for how to create quiet in a noisy home.
It’s not something we immediately think of when designing a room, but the way you place your furniture can have a big effect on noise levels. Empty rooms create more of an echo, so filling any gaps you have in your home will help keep that to a minimum. If your walls are thin, try placing bookshelves along them to muffle any noise coming from adjacent rooms.
Identify and remove noise makers
Some sources of noise in our homes can’t be removed (aside from sending your kids over to a friend’s to play for the afternoon!) But for ones that can, if they’re really driving you crazy, it may be worth investing in fixing or updating them. For example, noisy appliances can be replaced – companies are always coming out with new technologies for quiet dishwashers, laundry machines, etc. Alternatively, consider running these machines when you’re asleep or out of the house for the day so you’re not around for the noise. Other things like leaky pipes and creaky floors could require a renovation, so it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it or not.
It’s a little counter-intuitive, but actually sometimes adding more noise can make a space seem quieter. If you’re finding yourself distracted by noise from elsewhere, try playing some soft music or turning on a quiet fan to add some white noise. Since it’s more immediate, it should help drown out anything coming from further away.
Seal doors and windows
Whether noise is coming from somewhere inside or outside your home, making sure your doors and windows are all properly sealed will help keep it contained.
Walking on hard flooring creates more noise than carpet, especially for those a floor below. Adding area rugs to rooms or runners in hallways will help muffle footsteps in any area of your home.
If there’s a specific room in your home that is especially noisy – or alternatively, that needs quiet – you may want to consider soundproofing the walls using acoustic tiles or panels. There are many DIY options out there that are easy to install and have an enormous impact.