Modern home designs feature open plan layouts, stripped back flooring and walls with stylish yet subtle finishes. Whilst they may be easy on the eye, the introduction of hard surfaces such as concrete floors, marble stone bench tops or exposed brickwork, have created a new issue. Acoustic comfort. Acoustics at home are often an afterthought, and not even considered in early processes.

Considerable sums of money are spent on kitchen extensions and beautiful interior wood and stone finishes, but the acoustics are often ignored with nothing to absorb noise in the liveliest parts of the home. With so many hard surfaces in the space, sound waves will bounce off and travel through the air for extended lengths of time. This extended reverberation creates loud echo and can make the space feel uncomfortable, cold and un-homely.

Consequently, it has now become important to consider other aspects of the design to ensure the space remains usable. There are a number of things that can be done to create a pleasant acoustic environment. Acoustically treated homes have an added sense of luxury and class.

Put enough furniture in the space

It may be a surprise that adding other hard pieces of furniture to the space may actually help the acoustics. Sound waves need to broken up, and adding objects that are not soft can be an effective way to diffuse the the sound waves. The space should not be too empty, so fill it up to your hearts (or wallets) desire.

Absorb sound using soft materials or sound absorption

Without something to absorb the sound waves, they will hang around like a bad smell. They bounce off hard surfaces such as windows, walls, ceilings and floors. Using thick rugs, carpet or curtains can help; the thicker the better.

But for larger open spaces. professional treatment may be required using proper acoustic products. The options are endless, but we have completed a few stretched fabric ceilings in homes. This system would require professional installation, but gives stunning results.

Stretched Fabric Acoustic Ceiling

Consider furniture placement near walls

Acoustics at home can be improved through thoughtful and careful furniture placement. As per an article from one of our suppliers Abstracta; "by placing tall, sound absorbing elements, such as bookshelves, against a wall that is at right angles to the wall where the nearest sound absorbing element is located."

Bookshelves are underrated sound absorbers.

Seperate working space

If possible, seperating your working space into a separate room will enable you to be more focused than at the kitchen table or living room. If you are experiencing noticeably poor audio quality during video or phone calls, acoustic treatment will help. For more information on home office acoustics, read our guide here.

Contact us if you have any questions.