A little while ago, I wrote a blog post about the pro’s & con’s of open plan living. One of the main con’s of open plan is the noise issue which is unfortunately sometimes unavoidable & can mean that privacy is affected so many people are put off by opening up their current layout.
I personally am a huge fan of open plan living, especially as we are a social family who love entertaining & being together. I now couldn’t imagine living any other way although completely understand why it’s not everybodies cup of tea.
We have experienced the noise issue however, for example when my husbands trying to watch TV but I’m cooking with the extractor fan on (which is great for the other issue….odour!). This obviously isn’t ideal BUT the pro’s outweigh the con’s for us.
I’ve been thinking about solutions to reduce this negative aspect. So, how do you stop sound from travelling round your open plan home?
Soft furnishings –
Soft furnishings naturally absorb noise so fill your sofa with cushions, pop down rugs on hardwood flooring & so on. The thicker the better with these so go with shaggy luxury materials that give a warm & cosy vibe.
Dress your windows –
This links with the soft furnishings above, make sure to dress your windows as large areas of glass bounce noise around a room. Curtains will halt sound waves in their tracks so go for these over blinds if you can.
Definitive zones –
Break up your open plan space to help contain noise. Creating a defined lounge for example, even if your living area is one large room, will help with making the space feel more intimate as well as keeping the particular noises of that ‘room’ in one space.
Putting storage solutions against a wall, especially if said storage takes up a lot of a wall is a great way to seperate spaces as well as reducing noise.
Clad walls –
The more insulated the walls within your space, the less easy it is for noise to travel. For example, the wall that we have kept between the extension & the kitchen/dining room is structual so unless we wanted to spend a fortune on steals, it needed to stay. I love how it breaks up the space though now.
We made sure this wall was well insulated to block some noise but this can even be created into a feature such as tongue & groove panelling or cladding.
Go for carpet –
Although carpet isn’t always ideal for family life if you have young children & pets, nothing beats its noise reducing effects. Fabric will absorb sound waves! Have you ever gone into a room with hardwood floor & felt that echoing effect? Kitchens are the worst for this, although I’d never recommend carpet in a kitchen for obvious reasons but by installing carpet in another part of the space will instantly define a new living area as well as help muffle some of the clatter of pots & pans.