5 Ways to Soundproof Your Apartment

A white couch decorated with tan, red, and orange throw pillow accessories.
Photo Credit: Pexels

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps, which highlights the importance of soundproofing your apartment from daily activity both indoors and out. The first step of creating a happy home in your Glenwood apartment is to maintain a calm environment to unwind at the end of the day. To tune out sounds of daily hustle and bustle, we’d like to pass along these 5 soundproofing tips to our Manhattan neighbors!

1. Hang Wall Decor

If you’re looking to lessen the amount of sound that travels from room to room in your apartment, hanging a variety of wall decor can help, by creating layers. While it’s important to check with your building manager on what types of cosmetic changes can be made to your apartment, the following ideas are quick, removable, and minimize damage to walls:

  1. Picture frame groupings
  2. Wall tapestries and woven hangings
  3. Large art work
An interior view of Glenwood's luxury apartment building, The Grand Tier, showcasing an elegant dining room with brown table and blue area rug.
Photo Credit: Glenwood Luxury Apartments

2. Throw Down an Area Rug

Not only do area rugs help to warm up your apartment floors, protect hardwood, and tie together room decor – they also muffle noise below your unit! Area rugs come in a variety of sizes to fit spacious living rooms of The Bamford and Hampton Court, and can often be custom cut for front entryways.

Leases in Glenwood buildings (and, indeed, in much of NYC) require tenants to cover 80% of their floors with area rugs for just this reason.

A Helpful Tip: Go for carpets with a “high pile” design to capture the patter of footsteps.

3. Muffle Sounds with a Bookcase

If you’d like to add a touch of sophistication to your apartment’s decor and gain additional storage space, bookcases are the way to go! Bookcases and bureaus of any size can help insulate walls between rooms, especially if you add your collection of books to the shelves. We recommend placing these pieces of furniture in formal dining rooms, living rooms, entryways, and bedrooms.

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4. Add Soft Accessories

Did you know that hard surfaces like wood and glass can amplify sounds? Think about it… before you move your furniture in, aren’t sounds amplified, and have an echo when the rooms are empty? To tune out honking horns and car stereos on the streets of New York, adding soft surfaces like cotton, foam, and felt help absorb sound. Adding a few indoor houseplants to sparse areas of your home, and fluffy throw pillows to living quarters, and setting up a portable room divider also absorbs noise. Upholstered furniture, including side chairs, ottomans, benches, etc. will all help absorb some of the noise.

A view of a neutral tone living room at one of Glenwood's luxury apartment buildings overlooking Manhattan.
Photo Credit: Glenwood Luxury Apartments

5. Hang Soundproof Curtains

It’s no secret that Glenwood apartments on the East Side of Manhattan boast beautiful views of the East River. But what may come as a surprise is that you don’t need to sacrifice these views for peace and quiet. Hanging thick curtains or drapes can help with this, and here’s what to keep in mind:

  • First, check with your property manager on what type of modifications you can make to your unit before hanging curtains
  • When choosing your curtains, it’s all about material. Stay away from light and airy fabrics, as they do not muffle noise very well. Thick cotton blend or thermal sets are ideal.
  • Run into your local interior design or home store for a set of soundproof curtains. Yes, they exist! These noise-absorbing curtains glide along a track for easy opening and closing throughout the day (especially when you need your beauty rest).
  • You can hang a curtain over a blank wall/part of the wall, instead of just your windows. It helps to create an accent/feature wall, softens the look of the room, and helps keep the noise from traveling through the wall. A great place to do this is behind the head of your bed.

Whether your apartment is on the 2nd floor or the 22nd, how do you soundproof your apartment from New York City’s activity below? Share your ideas with us on Facebook and Twitter!