Barking dogs, nonstop construction, neighbors with a penchant for midnight dance parties: If only you could’ve known the less-than-ideal noise situation before committing to the joint. Thankfully, (shy of moving) there are several steps you can take to optimize your room for undisturbed slumber. Below, how to soundproof your bedroom in five easy steps. (They're basically a genius.)
How to Soundproof Your Bedroom in 5 Steps
1. Use Your Books as Insulation
For a paper-thin wall shared with noisy neighbors, or perhaps your street-facing wall, consider installing an epic floor to ceiling bookshelf—or even just loading up a bookshelf or two. Surprise: All that paper essentially acts as acoustic soundproofing.
2. Spring for Soundproof Rug Pads
While they don't actually help in the no-slippage department (you'll need a regular pad for that), the addition of a thick felt or foam density rug pad works wonders for soaking up errant sounds. Plus, they're soft and cushy underfoot, and even protect the fibers of your rug.
3. Incorporate a White Noise Source
Seems counterintuitive, sure, but adding in a layer of noise —if said noise is cohesive—can lead to more peaceful slumber. Turn up the white noise whir of a fan or air conditioner, or invest in a soothing sound machine when it's time to hit the pillow.
4. Buy Blackout Liners for Your Curtains
Hang a thick-weave blackout liner behind your regular curtains as an extra sound barrier. Since most street noise seeps in through the windows, closing these double-duty drapes at night can have a big impact. (P.S. If the problem is seriously dire, you can also spring for less discrete but totally effective soundproof curtains.)
5. Layer Up on Thick Textiles
Bottom line: Any hard surface or bare wall exposed is a noise-disperser. So consider this your opportunity to get really playful with your layering efforts—and to treat yourself to all things soft and snuggly. Think: Extra pillows, full-scale area rugs, pooling cloth drapes and upholstered furniture. (Thick fibers like wool and heavyweight cotton will subtly tone down noise by absorbing it.)
(Above, plush textiles and cloth-covered furniture muffle sounds stylishly in a bedroom designed by Cecy J. Interiors)