3. Kitchen - the counter tops should be clean and sparkling and have nothing on them except your kitchen decorations, no dish rack full of just washed dishes. Stove and oven should be clean and fridge washed out and in a tidy order. Kitchen table and chairs in good shape without clutter and the walls painted in light colors to match the rooms furniture color.
Find a spare room--empty bedroom, walk-in closet, furnace room or bathroom if need be, and turn it into your serenity room. Darken the walls. Furnish the place with very little--a stand for candles, a small stereo, floor pillows. Heavy shades will enhance the mood. Install a lock on the door. Better yet, make the room off limits to anyone under the age of thirty, or shorter than three feet. Make that four feet. And no pets, either. One suggestion, unless cost is a factor, is an actual contracted remodeling. Look in the Yellow Pages or Online under quiet rooms, in-home theater construction or meditation rooms and peruse all the offerings. There are elaborate window shades, a product called QuietRock that is, drywall fabricated specifically for sound deadening applications. There are indirect, or mood lighting resources, even lighting that enhances the amount and kind of light if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, in addition to noise pollution. . The same affect in reducing outside noise may be achieved by hanging blankets on the walls, and that may be a novel solution for couples. The wall hangings can be an art project, or a garage sale/antique store/self-spoiling expedition.
Finally, there's too much outside noise--of all kinds--including all the above, plus one very important kind of interference, the sound of your spouse's voice, and how it gets drowned out in the din. This is not good. Especially for men who have a higher incidence of hearing loss than women, the serenity room can greatly assist your relationship. The serenity room can easily become the place you retreat to when things are too hectic to be true, the kids are driving you nuts, the bills are screaming to be paid, and you've neglected the one person whose voice calms you more than any other. And the best part of all is that, once you have the serenity room created, the resulting peace and comfort you'll derive is free! Your serenity room will quickly become your shared, private
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