5 tips to reduce the echo at home

5 tips to reduce the echo at home

There's a moment when you're moving out of your old home for somewhere new. The last box is packed, you carry it out and perhaps go back inside for one last look. As you walk around do you notice how different it sounds?
 
I moved houses this spring and struck me how empty the house sounded after the furniture was out. There's no doubt that the way a room is decorated affects how it sounds. 
 
If you've just moved into a new place and think the echo is pretty bad you’re in luck. Moving in your furniture will help. Here are five tips on how to use ordinary furniture to combat echo. 
 

1. Curtains 

You saw that coming, right?! You might not be a fan, but if you choose to go for curtains then there are a few things you should know. Two factors will determine how well your curtains absorb sound. 1. The fabric and  2. How you hang them. 
 
Generally speaking, thin fabrics will absorb less than heavy and thick curtains will. The best thing would be to buy curtains tested for their sound-absorbing properties. 
 
The second is to make sure you hang them correctly. If you hang them flat and against the glass, it won't have much effect. Hang them in folds and around 10-15cm away from the window, and the effect will be much better.
 

2. Soft furniture 

A large soft sofa, pouffes and armchairs are excellent sound absorbers. But, in order to work,  sound must be able to move inside the furniture to be dampened by the filling. If a sofa is covered in leather, then the cover is too dense for the sound to pass through. Hence it won't reduce the echo like a soft fabric sofa would do.   

3. Blankets and cushions 

If you do have a leather armchair for example, then adding soft cushions or a soft folded blanket over the armrest can help. 
 

4. Rugs 

Rugs go a long way in reducing the echo, especially the higher frequencies. For extra dampening use, a thick felt under the rug. Doing this can help absorb vocal range frequencies. Carpets and rugs can also prevent noises from occurring in the first place. If you place a rug under a dining table you can avoid the sound of chairs being moved back and forth.
 

5. Bookshelves 

Bookcases themselves won't absorb sound but filled with books placed at various depths it can act as a diffuser and spread sound more evenly around the room. 
So there you have it. Five tips that you can test out! Adding soft furniture and curtains will probably have the biggest effect. But remember that you need to hang the curtains correctly! If you need any advice on what textiles to use, then please get in touch or mention it in your room evaluation. 
Know a trick that isn't on the list? We’d love to hear it! Add it to the comments below or send an email to team@rom-tonik.com
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