Ring in the Ambiance with Windchimes

Anyone living in an apartment knows it is sometimes hard to make it personal. Landlords put restrictions on what colors you can paint the walls, or don’t allow you to change from the drywall white at all. Carpets can be worn, torn or the most outdated of shags. What’s more, playing music can be a no-no, with paper-thin walls providing absolutely no sound barrier to the lowest of volumes. Fortunately, there’s an answer in the breeze, and it’s carried by windchimes.

Photo Credits:http://www.flickr.com/photos/cool_dry_place/1121456524/sizes/m/

Chiming History

Windchimes were present during the ancient times. They were regarded as decorative objects that could help ward off evil spirits. In ancient Rome, chimes were constructed from tiny bells and hung in gardens or other leisure areas. The chimes were often suspended from materials carved into animal shapes or phallic symbols, thought to further protect against evil.

In other ancient cultures such as China or India, chimes were hung on pagodas, temples or homes. The slightest breeze would put a clapper in motion, alerting the tiny bells and chimes. The tinkling sound was believed to scare off birds as well as any lurking spirits.

Today, they can provide a peaceful ambiance that can ease the stresses of the day. Chimes can mask traffic and other outdoor noises. Available in a wide variety of materials, tones, and sound levels, these chimes are among the many ways you can personalize your apartment dwelling and create your very own sanctuary.

Basic Construction

Windchimes are generally made of metal and wood. Tubes, rods, bells or other sound producing materials are typically suspended from a larger, supporting piece. When hung from a corner, balcony, curtain rod or other area that catches a breeze, these chimes produce a pleasant mix of sound to suit any taste.

You may also find chimes made from a variety of other materials including bamboo, shell, stone, glass, and porcelain. Chimes have caught the fancy of many artisans who have recycled home items such as silverware, cookie cutters, broken pieces of china, crystals or beads into these decorative additions.

The size and material of your chimes will directly affect the sound. Some higher end chimes may be tuned to specific notes, while the recycled creations can range from pleasant tinkling to duller thuds. Decide what type of mood you want to create, then select or create accordingly.

Sources and Selection

The mood and tone you want to set through your newest apartment accessory can also be determined by your source. Like most items for today’s home and garden, chimes can range from the highly customized, artistic end to the mass produced. A lot depends on your end use. Are you looking to set a mood? Do you need to mask noise pollution, fill the silence or provide a natural rhythm for meditation? For those interested in simple accessories, a trip to a local department store or garden center may equip you with a more-than-chiming choice. Your apartment is your home. Windchimes provide another simple way for you to personalize your space and add harmony to the breeze.

Matt Chester is a craftsman and do-it-yourself enthusiast of windchimes and other home decorations.

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