Noise in the City – How to Create a more Peaceful Space

City living can be fun, convenient and at times very fast paced. All the action, people, and comings and goings can also make it a bit louder than we might appreciate and living in a condo can certainly accentuate that. While a certain amount of sound coming through windows and ceilings is acceptable, if you’re situated above heavy traffic areas or have neighbours playing loud music at all hours of the day, there are a few things you can do to keep the peace in your home.

A great place to start is adding a rug, apart from being a great piece of décor, it will also be effective in dampening sound. If you have a good relationship with your upstairs neighbour, ask if they can lay down a rug in their high traffic area. Consider adding textiles into your own space to absorb echoing such as an upholstered chair or putting a tablecloth over your dining table.

Take the placement of your furniture into consideration. Books are often sound insulation, so placing bookshelves against a shared wall can serve a double purpose.

Thick heavy weight curtains will not only block sound from a busy street but can reduce echoing within your home as well. Acoustic curtains are also available which are designed specially to decrease sounds from outside. I have found a company out of the States that will ship custom to Canada if you are interested.

I am often asked about “soundproofing”. From what I have learned, while often a feasible option in homes, soundproofing a condo can be a bit more difficult due to the venting and piping systems and you might also need your neighbour to do the same for it to be effective. I would request various quotes before investing in this more costly method.

If all else fails, try turning on a fan or purchase a white noise machine. These are available at Walmart or try an app such as White Noise or Ambience. And never underestimate the power of a good pair of earplugs!