Re: Re: great rooms and ommon house spaces
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 11:41:17 -0800 (PST)

On Dec 17, 2005, at 4:25 PM, Dave and Diane wrote:

Hello all,
The size of our great room is good for community meetings but with one large room community dinners can be painfully noisy. I think the 3 contiguous rooms/alcoves that
can be used separately would work out better for this function.

I think the beauty of a large room is dividing it artfully using large plants and soft furniture so there are human scale seating and dining areas that can be rearranged and removed all together if a large meeting space is desired. Good acoustics are just plain must haves, including carpets. Our acoustics person said carpets were the best bang for the buck, but of course we love our hard wood floors too much. And carpets in "multigenrational" dining rooms are so hard to clean.

These separate rooms
would not work well for a community meeting, though, so you'd have to figure out another way to handle that. Has anyone tried those sound-absorbing felted wool screens from

I don't know the wool screen you refer to but at the college where I used to teach and from experiences in hotels where they make small rooms out of large banquet halls, I would save your money. The panels I've experienced don't work as sound barriers if amplification is used or if voices are raised above quiet conversation. Voices in "giving a speech mode" go right through. We spent $10,000 on one about 25 feet long about 20 years ago that was never used because it did no good. $400 a foot. Occasionally we would pull it out so we had more wall space to hang pictures on. Very expensive walls.

Sharon Villines
Building Community: A Guide to Creating New Neighborhoods

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