There are number of elements to consider in interior design and you probably won’t have considered it, but acoustics play a integral part in interior design. Interior acoustics actually have a huge influence on how you experience a space in a room. This post explains how and why architectural acoustics are crucial in interior design, and the ways in which you can improve sound quality. We at Chameleon Designs Interiors based in Norfolk, Suffolk and London, have years of experience of bringing acoustic solutions to be incorporated in your Interior.
Any room, be it at home or within commercial environments, including restaurants and cafes will be very noisy if it doesn’t have the appropriate acoustic treatment. Sound waves will reverberate around the space without acoustic treatments such as, wall panels, and possibly carpet tiles to help acoustics and reduce reverberation. The resulting effect is noise amplification and difficulty understanding speech, and for deaf people especially – this would be a nightmare.
Within the workplace, proper office acoustics are required. Acoustic panel solutions in open plan offices facilitate ease of communication and help employees to interact and collaborate with each other. Poor acoustics has been shown to have a detrimental effect, with statistics showing productivity decreasing by 66% in noisy workplaces, alongside an increase in absenteeism and staff turnover.
In restaurants and cafes, this reduces people enjoyment, but it also can have a detrimental effect on your visitor numbers. Something, that all commercial clients need to consider as part of the overall offering.
What Needs To Be Considered?
In interior acoustics, there are lots of things that need to be considered when designing a room. Different materials each absorb sound frequencies in various ways and so you need to ensure that your acoustical treatments are absorbing the appropriate sound frequencies.
Soft, squidgy and absorbent materials such as carpet tiles, curtains, acoustic voiles, wall absorbing sound effects in offices or home offices, or carpet in the home are your friend in interior acoustics. They are not the only solution of course, as well as wall absorbing materials and acoustic barriers. They can absorb sound and reduce sound wave reverberation and echoes; conversely – hard and shiny materials will amplify and reflect sound waves, causing noise amplification.
You will also need to consider the height of the ceiling and what you plan to use the room for. Are you wanting to reduce noise levels to improve productivity and concentration or are you wanting to create a sense of privacy so that workers and customers can have confidential conversations? Careful and strategic interior design can directly address these individual acoustic needs. There are lots of different acoustic solutions available (that are also stylish) and what you have will depend on your unique requirements. For example in offices:
- Privacy booths: These offer employees privacy within the workplace and help to reduce distracting noise reaching those working within the privacy booth.
- Acoustic Carpet Tiles: As carpet is soft, carpet tiles are a natural sound absorber and play a big part in a room’s acoustic environment. There are other acoustic flooring products such as acoustic underlay and acoustic floor panels.
- Acoustic Panels: These are made with foam fillings and are typically attached to walls and ceilings, to dampen echo and sound wave reverberation.
- Acoustic Baffles: They work in a similar way to acoustic panels and absorb reflected noise.
- Acoustic Wall Tiles: These reduce the level of reverberation in rooms by absorbing sounds and dampening its effects, instead of sound ‘bouncing’ off the walls.
In restaurants and cafes:
- Coffee machines need to be separated form the main dining/eating space or cocooned with sound absorbing materials.
- Music, think about wether this adds to the guest experience or makes it more difficult for your customers to enjoy.
- Open plan kitchens, with kitchen noises and particularly extractors can just add to the ambient noise, think about how to minimise this, or add in sound absorbing baffles.
- Flooring, Walls and ceilings – think about things like Cork, naturally antibacterial and due to its natural composition absorbs sound,which can be used on walls and floors, wool and or felt wall decoration which can be used as artwork, and upholstered seating and any types of soft furnishings, even a wall of books will have some effect.
Acoustics in interior design are pivotal in any interior design project and the methods and benefits mentioned don’t just stop there. Looking to make acoustic improvements to a room? Contact Chameleon Designs today for expert advice on interior design and sound quality.
This is a guest post written in conjunction with Chameleon Designs Interiors by Carpet Tiles Next Day.’