Noise from vehicle traffic, sirens, construction, and the pedestrian hustle and bustle can be a real downside to living in densely populated urban areas. With that, it makes sense to want to soundproof your home (and make it your sanctuary!).
There are some measures you can take (on a sliding scale of cost and effectiveness) to dull outside noise in your home. This includes rearranging some furniture, installing quality fixed picture windows and hanging thermal curtains.
Making changes such as these will guarantee a more peaceful way of life; they may even improve your health, too. According to the American Lung Association, 30% to 45% of urban populations in North America live near a busy road.
Furthermore, a study by the Imperial College London found that people living with an average of 55 to 80 decibels of noise each day have a heightened risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues related to stress.
Without further ado, here are four ways to dull the outside noise in your home.
Grow Plants and Bushes
If you’re fortunate enough to have a window of room between your front step and the sidewalk, consider growing a dense row of bushes.
Not only will this greenery dampen pedestrian and vehicular traffic noise, but it will create the pleasing-sound of leaves in the wind; they will also provide you with some extra privacy. It’s a great act of green, too.
Install Fixed Picture Windows
Installing fixed picture windows in traffic-facing rooms will dampen noise. This is because fixed picture windows simply do not open, thus minimizing points of separation or weather stripping (i.e., areas where noise could seep through).
If you’re considering new windows, seek out companies that use polyurethane foam in their frames and sashes. It’s ideal for blocking noise, and it reduces heat transfer.
Hang Thick Curtains
Not only will hanging thick floor-to-ceiling curtains help you block some outside noise, they will also help your rooms retain heat while blocking outside drafts.
Textured fabrics like velvet work well. An added bonus? Sumptuous fabrics give the illusion of warmth and comfort. You can even find ‘thermal’ curtains online that are backed with a special coating specifically for this purpose.
Rearrange Large Pieces of Furniture
If you have full bookshelves or a hutch that’s chock-full of kitchen gadgets, consider moving it to an external wall. Large pieces of furniture help absorb some of the noise vibrations from outside. They also help block cold drafts.
Use Draft Excluders and Door Sweeps
While usually used for drafts, excluders and door sweeps can also help block rogue noises from seeping in.
While these are all home-centric tips, you can implement some changes on a personal level to block external noise, too.
Consider investing in earplugs for bedtime, Bluetooth headphones for around the house during the day, or even white noise machines to soften the sound.
The best idea is to make peace with the noise outside. Try to rise above the annoyance and not let it get to you. Meditation might be a tranquil way to find peace, exactly where and how you are.