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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

I need help deciding what to do about the echo in my great room. I have 25 ft. of window.

Diana RobinsonDecember 16, 2012
Do I put window coverings on a 25' window? The ceiling is vaulted, floors are tile. I am re-doing the entire room - sofas, entertainment unit, area rugs, new dining room table & chairs ( with Fabric).
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Area rugs on your floor will help. Even using a rug as a wall covering would help. And certainly draperies would help, but if you don't have a sun problem, it seems like a needless expense. Is the view a good one?

There are sound absorbing wallpapers, though I have no experience with them.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Diana Robinson
yes the view is good, the house has southern exposure, so in the winter we get glare at sunset. I posted some pictures of the room. The house was built in '61 by John Lloyd Wright. It has 4' + eaves. I am renovating the patio too.
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:43AM
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I would not cover up that fantastic view, but rather invest in either some trellis or extending the roof overhang if possible.

Matthews Exterior · More Info

1 Like    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:00AM
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The echo is coming as sound reflects off the large flat, hard surfaces. Anything you do to break up the surfaces and the sound paths will help.

Each thing you do will affect and change the acoustics, so start with the things that you can do easily or would want to do anyway. If you do it all at once you end up acoustically dead and that is not much better.

1 - A rug or more rugs on the floor. Test by placing some blankets where the rug would go.
2 - Books and bookcases (irregular surfaces) and decorative screens.
3 - Fabric hangings, especially if they are an inch or so away from the walls.
4 - Drapes , even sheers and partial side-hung drapes on the windows. Test by taping sheets up there. Shutters also act as diffusors
5 - Fabric-backed mesh doors on the cabinets.
6 - Try moving speakers and TVs to see if you can find a better less echo-y location.

6 - Acoustic damping panels and diffusors hanging in the vaulted area, and installed over the doors. These are an inch or two away from the walls, and trap potential echo sound.

See http://www.audimuteacousticpanels.com/ for one manufacturer.

DIY? http://gikacoustics.com/product-category/building-supplies-diy/
You can make these yourself with frames and sound-absorbing foam.

Taping or hanging a sheet of eggcrate foam glued to foam-core or cardboard up will let you know if an area is contributing to the echo.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I like the angle of your sofa and coffee table, and think you should also angle the chair 90 degrees so that it is straight with the coffee table. Adding a rug under your dining table should help with acoustic problems.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:25PM
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Since you have a historic home I am not so sure you can use this suggestion, but wood on the ceiling is an amazing sound absorber. Our house is all open, even our bedroom is a loft, but since we covered the ceiling with wood the noise level is much, much better. And, as previously recommended, rugs on the floor, especially since yours are tile.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Any kind of fabric you add to your room will help reduce the noise. Area rugs, throws, pillows, curtains, and fabric upholstery (as opposed to leather), any of these things will help.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 2:02PM
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Diana Robinson
OK, I understand leather is out!.... Fabric on chairs, sofas, Etc. will help....Thanks.
The area rugs are coming back ....my dogs & cats are now trained. I just dont want to compromise the view
1 Like    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 3:48PM
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Julie Thome Draperies, Inc.
Agree with the above poster who said that stationary drapery panels in sheer fabrics either end of the windows would help with echo and help soften some of the lines in the room.
    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 4:42AM
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