Tips and Guides

Designer Q and A for October 28 (Part 2)

Find out how to make your entertainment room soundproof and why unusual staircases are best


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Read the original article ("Ask It”) in the January-February 2009 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Sound Check

Q: My husband and I are thinking of making our mini entertainment room soundproof for when our family indulges in videoke sessions and when my son plays drums. Can you recommend specialists who can provide this service (note: We have a tight budget)? Also, what should we do to remedy unsightly electric gadget wires that are making the room cluttered and cramped? - Lydia P.

A: Building supply stores have acoustic boards that provide sound insulation. But for a less expensive solution, you don't have to go any further than your local grocery store. Egg cartons have been found to dampen sounds. It's inexpensive but it has its cons-first, there's salmonella! Even if you buy new unused ones though, they're not aesthetically pleasing. You still want your soundproof entertainment room to look chic? Try rugs on your floor, tapestry on your walls, heavy drapery for your windows are not only effective sound absorbers, but they're decorative, too. And don't forget that sound can leak out of the small openings around doors and windows. Weatherstripping can be used to cover these gaps. As for those annoying gadget wires, I find that bunching them up in one place using cable ties and cable wraps instantly removes the clutter.

See more photos and view the full home here: 

Long and Winding Stairs

Q: I want to change our stairs-a straight up-and-down staircase with wooden steps-into a more sassy winding one, preferably a wrought-iron staircase. Is this possible? How much do you think this will cost us? Please give us an estimated working time, too. - Santos Family

A: Winding staircases are definitely more interesting than straight ones but they're also more complicated to build. With its curvature and flow, a winding staircase is almost like a sculptural piece. Unfortunately, I can't really give you a proper estimate. You need a professional [wrought iron manufacturer and] welder to go to the site and assess the required working time and cost. These depend on the size and specifications of the project.

See more photos and view the full home here:


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