Who doesn’t love big spacious rooms? We all do!
But sound tends to be a bit harder to control in these big rooms, the echo can sometimes be too much.
In this guide I’m going to cover the best ways to deal with this issue.
Step 1: Get soundproofing Curtains
In order to get rid of the echo you must install some sound absorbing materials in the room which will absorb all of the soundwaves that are bouncing off every surface.
One of the best methods for dealing with this is to install soundproofing curtains.
The great thing about soundproofing curtains is that they are affordable, effective, easy to install and they also dress the room.
In order to get the maximum sound absorption, you should get ones that are longer and wider than the window.
They should go from ceiling to floor. This will keep some of the outside noises at bay while also lowering the echo generated in the room.
Step 2: Install thick rugs
In most cases, the floor isn’t responsible for generating a lot of unwanted noises, however, hard surfaces aren’t ideal for sound absorption purposes, in fact they allow sound to bounce off it and back into the room.
The best materials for sound absorption are thick and dense ones since sound won’t be able to penetrate them and come out the other side that easily.
Getting a good quality thick rug like this one will help reduce the rooms noise drastically.
If you don’t want to get a new rug because you already have one, but your rug is very thin and doesn’t absorb much sound, you can get this rug pad to put under it.
Step 3: Hang artwork/paintings and add absorbing materials to them
Hanging paintings on the wall can also help, since paintings are naturally sound absorbent. But they don’t do it that well, so you have a great option here to make them absorb more.
Transform your paintings/artwork into acoustic panels
How to do it?
Step 1: Get some old towels.
Step 2: Place the painting face down on the table and measure the inside of the frame.
Step 3: Cut the towels to the exact measurements of the inside of the frame.
Step 4: Stack the towels on top of each other.
Step 5: Place them on top of a bigger/uncut towel and sew them together.
Step 6: Simply staple the bigger towel to the frame, making sure that the cut towels fit perfectly inside the frame, and finally cut off the excess fabric.
This method is fantastic for two reasons; It’s extremely cheap, and even better than that, towels are excellent at absorbing sound. You will have created “acoustic paintings”.
Note: They should NOT be covered in glass, since this will reflect the soundwaves.
Step 4: Get a lot of cushions and pillows
Purchasing more cushions and pillow like these ones for your couch or bed is an excellent idea since they work exactly like any sound absorbing material should.
They do a great job at mitigating the sound reflections in the room and they also look great!
I prefer hanging stuff like acoustic panels on the walls, but I admit that they make the room feel less spacious. You won’t have that problem with the cushions.
Step 5: Bookcases
If you fill a bookcase with books and place it in a strategic location in the room, it should add a little sound absorption.
While this may not be the most effective step of all the ones described in this guide, it may add that little extra that you need.
Step 6: Hang some Acoustic Blankets
Acoustic blankets may be my favorite soundproofing item.
This is because they are cheap, effective and easy to install.
Acoustic blankets can be suspended from any surface you’d like; from door frames, to windows, portable frames, floor mounted frames, you could even attach them to the sealing.
How to use them?
Acoustic blankets can be installed almost anywhere you’d like.
If you don’t have soundproofing curtains, you could hang them on the windows.
If you don’t want to invest in acoustic panels, hanging blankets from the walls and even the ceiling will help a lot with reducing the noises.
They are one of the most versatile soundproofing items available, that’s why I like them.
The ones that I’d recommend the most are the Sure-Max Moving Blankets. You can get a pack of 8 or 12 blankets at a very affordable price.
More on acoustic blankets here.
Step 7: Install acoustic panels
Acoustic panels, especially the good ones, are excellent at absorbing soundwaves.
You don’t even need many of them to notice a dramatic difference in the way the room sounds and feels.
You can either get these ones on Amazon, which are of great quality and should last forever, or, and this would take a bit of work but could save you a couple of bucks, you could make them yourself.
To make them you will need to follow the same steps where I described how to soundproof the paintings/artwork in your home.
The one difference is that you would need to build the frame yourself out of wood.
If you got a couple of spare towels laying around, then you could make each of these panels for as little as $2.
Here’s a video by DIY Perks where he explains the whole process.
Step 8: Don’t leave the room empty
If you’re trying to lower the noise, the worst thing you can do is to leave the room empty or close to it.
The more stuff you put in it, the better.
It’s similar to how a closet works. Thanks to the amount of clothes in it, the sound gets absorbed extremely fast and dies out quickly, that’s why there’s absolutely no echo in a closet.
The opposite happens in a big empty room, since the soundwaves are free to bounce all over the place.
The more stuff, especially soft, thick and dense stuff you can put in it, the harder it will be for the sound both to bounce around in the room and also to leave it.
I’m a fan of big rooms with high ceilings, and I especially like having a lot of space in those rooms, so I try to avoid putting unnecessary stuff in them.
I don’t mind rugs and a couple of acoustic panels, but if possible, I don’t want to feel suffocated.
Placing acoustic panels in the right spots can help a lot, but the easiest way to deal with this is by filling the room with a lot of sound absorbing materials.