While today's modern apartment communities are built for quiet with thicker walls and strategically placed sleeping and living areas, outdoor noise and sound from neighbors and visitors in common areas are inevitable. If you desire to take your interior spaces to the next level in peace and quiet, there are ways to stop or at least reduce ambient noise streaming in from outside the home.
Increase Soft Surfaces to Reduce Noise
Noise has a bouncing quality that is magnified when a home contains more hard surfaces than it does soft — like large wood furnishings, hardwood floors, and kitchen surfaces. Add as many upholstered surfaces into your decor as possible, including padded dining chairs and breakfast bar stools, a pillow headboard, area rugs, table cloths, hanging tapestries, thick bathroom ensembles, and fabric window treatments.
For even greater quiet, hanging acoustic panels, acoustic fabric, or heavy-duty soundproofing window curtains can really reduce the decibels coming in and going out of your home.
Reduce Noise Entering Window and Door Gaps
No home is a perfect vacuum. Windows, HVAC ductwork, and entrance doors all provide gaps or openings that seamlessly allow noise to enter your home. These gaps are also useful for good circulation and help to prevent indoor air from becoming stuffy and dry. Add window inserts, which are clear glass panes that create an airtight fit and can decrease noise infiltration by 50 percent.
A simple solution for gaps at the bottom of doors is to use the same fabric-stuffed draft stoppers that homeowners use in the winter or a commercial-grade door sweep (a thick rubber strip) — allowing apartment dwellers to reduce noise slipping in under doors.
Add Shelves of Books in the Home
Books are great sound absorbers and there are many ways to incorporate bookshelves into homes. Open bookshelves that double as room dividers, standing shelves, corner bookshelves, wall-mounted shelving, tabletop shelves, and finally — piling old books underneath a bed or sofa are all ways you can use books to soak up sounds and increase thermal efficiency.
Hang a Thick Door Curtain
A door curtain can serve as both decor and a noise-reducing element for your entrance doors, interior doors, and wall openings that don't have a door. Consider heavy blackout curtains for bedrooms to gain the greatest sound reducing qualities or consider it a creative DIY home project to make your own curtains.
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