Neighbors are a fact of life, but if you live in tight quarters or a noisy area, it can sometimes feel like they're ruining your life. While there are plenty of soundproofing options out there, many of them are, shall we say, less than chic. But even if you share space with a musician or live next door to the neighborhood bar, you don't have to sacrifice style to get a little peace and quiet. Here are five ways to soundproof your space that are so discreet, no one will even realize you've done it. Except you, as you're snoozing blissfully.
- Heavy curtains: If you're dealing with noise issues, it's time to stow away your light, airy curtains and invest in a heavy-duty set instead. These thick, cotton-lined Pottery Barn Velvet Drapes ($109-$369) will help block out outside noise drifting in through your windows, and will help absorb noise within the room.
- Thick rugs: If the source of the problem is below you, add a layer of insulation between you and your noisy neighbor. Look for a thick, high-pile rug that covers as much floor space as possible, and if you have hard floors, add a thick rug pad underneath. The big, plush loops of West Elm's Pebble Rug ($70-$550, reduced from $89-$699) should do the trick, plus it'll feel heavenly underfoot.
- Build a barrier: If the offending sound is coming from a shared wall, create a barrier along that wall. Install floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and fill them up, or if you really want to fight back, consider building a wall of speakers like this room from the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse.
More tips after the break!
- Create a second wall: If you're renting, you probably can't install a permanent extra layer of Sheetrock or drywall to further insulate your space, but you can create a more temporary solution. Pick up a few large plywood panels — enough to cover an entire wall. Cover them in fiberfill, and then wrap the whole thing in a fabric you love. Hang or lean the panels from the wall, and simply take them down when you move out.
- Soften things up: When you're talking about noise-proofing, every little bit helps. In rooms like your living room or bedroom, try to soften up the space with as many noise-absorbing materials as possible: extra throw pillows, cushy ottomans or floor cushions, and soft throws will all do their part.