Got kids, friends and family headed to your house for the summer?  Have a new home with high ceilings and an open floor plan? Are you already worried about all the extra noise headed your way to disrupt your summer enjoyment?  Here are some tips for reducing sound to make your summer (and fall, winter and spring) more quiet and restful.

Cover Hard Surfaces

Hard, highly reflective surfaces are among the worst sound offenders. While your gleaming hardwood and new big tile floors may look beautiful, they aren’t as beautiful to your ears!  Since you can’t replace the flooring, add some softer materials to the space such as area rugs with a sound-absorbing pad underneath, and fabric-covered furniture.

Reduce Echoing

In open floor plans, sound can bounce everywhere!  To reduce echoes in open spaces you can use fabric-covered decorative panels on walls to help with sound absorption.  Artwork can also be used as a sound barrier – and there are even foam products that can be put behind canvased art to mitigate noise!   Another option is to add bookcases against walls to help absorb sounds.  Even without filling the shelves you’ll get some sound deadening benefits.

Shades & Drapes

There are all sorts of window covering options to reduce noise.  Drapes and curtains made with heavy fabric are effective at absorbing noise.  Heavy window treatments not your style?  Try Roman shades, cellular shades and plantation shutters.  All help reduce indoor sound and also outside noise.

Seal Doors & Windows

Soundproofing companies offer acoustic door seal kits that fit snugly around doors or window edges to reduce sound coming through cracks.

Greenery

Plants not only improve air quality, they can also help reduce noise, especially on hard-surface floors.  Sound will bounce from the wall onto the foliage, rather than throughout the room.  For best results, use a tall potted plant in the corners of rooms.

Enjoy

Take a deep breath and enjoy your new-found quiet!