Tru-Log Cabin

In January, Maxis released the first game pack for The Sims 4, Outdoor Retreat.  I was looking forward to it because I love a more nature oriented setting, and I couldn’t wait to build my own cabin in the woods.  There were a lot of great new objects included in the pack, but I was disappointed in the “log style” siding that came with it:

As you can see, it really looks more like striped wall paper.  Contrast that to how log siding was done in The Sims 3:

You might argue that the “logs” were too thin perhaps, but there was no mistaking them for striped wall paper; their textures were right on.  Another thing I felt like I was missing in the pack was a true stone column.

As I looked over the new pack objects, a solution to both of these issues occurred to me; I could potentially stack the log benches or chairs in the walls to simulate log siding, and I could stack the new stone garbage cans to form stone columns.  I always like to find a novel use for new items!  It was laborious, but that’s exactly what I wound up doing, and I hope you’ll like the results.  I call it the Tru-Log Cabin:

This build was inspired by a Sylvan Lake cabin designed by Lands End Developers:

I love all the stone work, the landscaping, and of course the cabin architecture itself.  The new stone benches included in the pack were a great help in constructing the plant terraces and bases for the stone columns in TS4.  I was thinking about trying to construct a large waterfall, but I decided this lot was more suited to subtlety and so designed a small but attractive water feature near the side porch.  I did add some pops of color that you don’t see in the original, but I think it works better that way for the game.

Let me show you more of the exterior.  Here’s another shot of the front entry:

The left side:

A close-up of the water feature:

The right side (this is right on the property line, so not much landscaping here):

The back:

A close-up of the picnic area:

When it came to the interior, I was going for a rustic and romantic feel, using plants as often as I could without overwhelming the relatively small spaces.  As you enter the home, you’ll first step into the split kitchen area.  This is similar to the inspiration home’s interior design:

I would have preferred to go with an open ceiling area similar to what you see in the inspiration, but it really isn’t possible in TS4 right now.  Exposed roofing is just plain ugly and dark, and there are a lot of graphical glitches, so it just doesn’t work.  Here’s what I came up with instead:

The kitchen is open to the dining and living areas on the main level:

It’s tough to get a good picture of the sitting area by the fireplace because it is so small, so here’s a more overhead perspective:

I tried to do something a little special with the bookcase, again using the stacked garbage cans as columns:

I also added a little nook with a bar and more private seating:

Also on the first level, there is a bedroom and full bath.  Here’s a glimpse of the hallway leading to them:

Here is the bedroom; I was definitely going for some romance in here:

And the rustic but serviceable bathroom:

It’s such a small space, that it was tough to get decent pictures of it, but take a look at the overheads a bit further down to get a better idea of the layout.

Moving upstairs, here’s a couple of shots of the landing:

There are two bedrooms and one full bath upstairs.  With the master, I wanted it to be spacious, airy, and again romantic:

The second bedroom has been decorated for a child:

And finally, the shared bathroom:

Here are the overhead shots to show you the layout of the property:

2nd Floor:

Close-ups of bedrooms and bathroom:

1st Floor:

Close-up of bedroom and bathroom:

And I’ll close out with some night shots:

Tru-Log Cabin can be placed on a 30×20 lot and costs $202,956 (or $1,984/day to rent).  If you would like to take a look at it in game, click here to download it from the online Gallery.  Or if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  I also created a video for this build, which you can view by clicking here.

Note that the lot contains MOO’d and resized objects.  In order to retain the positions and adjusted sizes, please add the home to your lot in build mode rather than via Manage Worlds with MOO turned on (CTRL-SHIFT-C to bring up the cheats console, then type testingcheats on, and then bb.moveobjects).  Once the lot has been properly placed, you should be able to turn MOO back off (just type bb.moveobjects in the cheats console again) during play.

If you experience any oddities during placement or play, I do apologize.  I tested this build to the best of my ability, both from a play testing perspective (the only issue I found is that the downstairs bathroom mirror is not entirely functional; just use the mirror in the bedroom next door) and in placing it from my Library (several times!).  However, the MOO cheat does have its bugs and quirks.  One that I should note is that sometimes when you load a save with the lot, the game may place an object or two in your household inventory.  You can avoid this if you first go into build or play mode on another lot and turn MOO on before playing this lot.  Saving and/or loading with MOO turned on seems to reduce the frequency of this happening, and unlike in TS3, playing with MOO on does not seem to have any detrimental effects.

 

Moody Blues

Sims 4 builders received some happy news in December in the form of one of our favorite cheats that we have long missed from The Sims 3 being patched into Sims 4, bb.moveobjects, formerly and affectionately known as “MOO.”  The cheat allows us to theoretically place any object in any location, and the developers gave us a bonus in that we could also height adjust objects, which is new in TS4.

I was incredibly excited as there several things I have been wanting to do but couldn’t without MOO.  As you’ll see in my newest build, Moody Blues, I tackled a few of them with varying degrees of success.  The new MOO is not without its foibles, unfortunately, but  I hope that over time it will smooth out.

Moody Blues was inspired by another real home called the D-House by Tamizo Architects:

It’s a relatively simple structure, but to me, very striking.  I love the contrast between the dark grey brick and white walls as well as the reflective glass (which I knew I couldn’t do in TS4 but maybe one day).  As I worked on the structure, I felt it was looking a little squashed, so I brought the white column portion up one more level, and I really like the height offset it provides:

When it came to the back of the house, I was not quite as inspired by the original:

It just needed something…like a pool!  Make that two pools!  And how about a waterfall?  Might as well make two!

This is where I got to have some real fun with MOO, using it to build water features.  They were kind of my signature in my TS3 builds, and I was so happy to be able to create them once again!  I wanted to make them very modern and in keeping with the rest of the structure.  I also used a lot of color so that they would light up nicely at night:

Let me show you a bit more of the exterior:

As you can see from the images above, I built a second structure at the back of the property with a long, glass walkway bridging it to the main house.  The lower story of the second building contains a gym and the upper, a bar, which you’ll see more of soon.

The name “Moody Blues” riffs on MOO of course, and also the emotions that were added with TS4, but it actually originated from my work on the outdoor bar area where I was experimenting with trying to work in a color gradient of sorts:

I really liked the look of it, and so repeated the technique a bit in the driveway, walkway, etc. and of course the colors are also reflected in the pool lighting and waterfalls.

Here are a few more exterior shots I like:

No, those aren’t real lounge chairs – I wish!  They are MOO’d chairs and settees, but sims can sit on the settees at least.

And I couldn’t resist a couple of behind-the-waterfall shots.

Moving on to the interior, I carried the lighting theme on inside, and I really wanted to tackle doing something with the ceilings.  I have been annoyed by the utter lack of options for ceiling recolors and decoration in TS4 from the beginning.  I’ve done some work in previous builds with shelves and thought that MOO would make it easier.  Unfortunately, it didn’t really, so I didn’t attempt further ceiling work in other areas, but I do like what I managed on the ground floor:

I hope it at least gives the living room a bit more interest.  I also did a lot of MOOing of furniture in this room.  There is some tessellation in live mode, but I liked the combinations too much to be bothered by it.  Here are some closer shots.

 

Again, with the kitchen, I tried to add to the ambiance with ceiling shelves as well as curved counters that have the look of wrapping around the walls.

The kitchen is open to the dining area (the entire ground floor is open concept):

And a small full bath completes the ground floor of the main building.

Because it is so small, it’s really best viewed from above:

Heading upstairs, I once again tried to make the landing a bit special, this time by creating my own “aquarium.”

 

This was an experiment with limited success.  I built a 2×2 pool, placed a window and MOO’d counters to give it the correct exterior, and then placed objects inside that I hoped would give it that fish tank feel.  However, at this point, we are pretty limited in terms of objects that we can use for a project like this (sunflowers as sea grass are not exactly ideal).  The other problem I ran into was window reflections dulling the interior lighting and clarity.  There just seemed to be no way to get it to be as clear and bright as I wanted when viewed through the window.  Also, I found that fountains placed inside don’t show up at all (I was hoping to give it sort of a bubble effect).  What is cool though, is that when viewed in live mode, you can watch the water shifting, which has a very realistic look.    At any rate, I think it illustrates what I hope can be done with greater success in the future.

The landing also has a small area for chess with a great view:

There are 3 bedrooms with 3 attached bathrooms on this level.  I will start with the largest master:

Lots more MOO and light play here obviously.  I also created a special little partly open closet/dressing area:

The master bath for this room is long but narrow, so a bit of fish eye lens in the photos can’t be avoided.

Here is the second master bedroom:

It definitely has the best view!

And a fun little closet area:

Its attached bathroom is pretty narrow:

It is really probably best viewed from above:

The final bedroom is decorated as a child’s room.  I wanted to do something special with the bed but had some trouble with enlarged shelves.  I was still able to do something fun with smaller shelves over the bed though:

The kids attached bath is again pretty narrow but cute, I hope:

Here’s a shot of it from above so you can get a better idea of the layout:

Let’s move on to the secondary structure.  To get there, you can exit on the ground floor or cross the long second story walkway.  Let’s do the latter:

We can always pause to get another view of the pools:

After crossing, you enter the bar area:

And you can then head downstairs and enter the gym with its pool view:

One thing I did with MOO here was to stick a couple of TVs on the treadmills.  The runners could gaze into the pool, but I thought they might want a bit more entertainment:

From a play mode standpoint, it doesn’t really work as one might wish; another sim has to turn on the TV and be watching it.  The sim on the treadmill doesn’t actually watch it.  But hey, it could still work for pictures.

The gym also has an attached small full bath:

It’s again probably better viewed from above:

Let’s close with overhead shots to show you the layout, starting with the entire property:

2nd Level:

Closer view of the large master:

Closer view of other two bedrooms:

Ground Floor:

Closer view of living area:

Closer view of kitchen/dining and downstairs bathroom:

Bar:

Gym:

And that concludes another build!  I certainly faced my fair share of challenges getting this one done, and I had to make several compromises to my original design.  MOO did not turn out to be as stable or predictable as I’d hoped, and there are still a lot of challenges to precise placement even when using it.  Nonetheless, I still feel like my creativity has more space to roam now, and once the glitches are fixed and the game is enhanced, it should really burst the doors wide open!

Speaking of trying new things, I decided to attempt to create a video for the build and actually managed to figure it out!  Feel free to view it on youtube here; I wanted to get this house on video so that I could show off the waterfalls and aquarium in action.

Moody Blues is situated on a 40×30 lot (I used Arid Ridge in Oasis Springs) and costs $341,167.  If you would like to take a look at it in game, click here to download it from the online Gallery.  Or if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.

Note that the lot contains MOO’d and resized objects.  In order to retain the positions and adjusted sizes, please add the home to your lot in build mode rather than via Manage Worlds with MOO turned on (CTRL-SHIFT-C to bring up the cheats console, then type testingcheats on, and then bb.moveobjects).  Once the lot has been properly placed, you should be able to turn MOO back off (just type bb.moveobjects in the cheats console again) during play.

If you experience any oddities during placement or play, I do apologize.  I tested this build to the best of my ability, both from a play testing perspective (the only issue I found there is that sims can’t dance with the stereo positioned as I have it; if this bothers you, just re-position it) and in placing it from my Library (several times!).  However, the MOO cheat is a new addition to the game, and it does have its bugs and quirks.  One that I should note is that sometimes when you load a save with the lot, the game may place an object or two in your household inventory.  It seems entirely random as to whether this happens or not and which object(s) are selected.  You can either try reloading or just replacing the objects if you know where they went (turn MOO on first).  Or you could just ignore it if they’re not objects you’re particularly concerned with (a soap dispenser perhaps).  Saving and/or loading with MOO turned on seems to reduce the frequency of this happening.

Open Corners

How do you follow up a build like my Rock N Roll House that I posted last month?  Well, the answer is… not easily!  Inspiration like that just doesn’t strike every day, at least not for me.  I’ve had several “normal” builds in the works for a while now and decided to follow up on one of them.  This one is something of a companion piece to my Brick Wall House. Like the Brick Wall, Open Corners was inspired by a real life home designed by 123DV Architects.  I liked the concept they were playing with here – a very boxy design but broken up by lots of glass: However, as I worked the design in The Sims 4, I found that it was just falling pretty flat and needed some jazzing up.  I decided to extend the second floor deck out in order to provide more space for entertaining and taking in the views.  Also, the brick pattern was looking pretty monotone, and this particular build doesn’t have such striking architecture to carry it off, so I broke it up a bit with another wall style.  I don’t know that there’s much of a “wow factor” with this build (and it’s Gallery picture is certainly disappointing), but I still tried for small innovations where I could, and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I’ll show a bit more of the exterior during the daytime: The second story deck deserves a closer look.  It comes complete with a nearly 360 degree bar as well as a cozy outdoor fireplace area and a special ceiling treatment:   I do love the house at night; I couldn’t resist playing a bit more with colors and water features, even though this was not technically a rock star build: Moving on to the interior, the entry provides a good bit of room for shoes/coats/storage but in a very open way. To the immediate left is a small but full bathroom: The rest of the entire downstairs is open concept, so I will simply highlight each area in a clockwise fashion.  We’ll start with the kitchen: We continue to the dining area: There’s an artist’s nook in one corner. And as you can start to see, a sitting area to the right of it: Continuing clockwise, is the den, with a TV, bookshelf, and fireplace. That’s it for downstairs, so let’s head up.  It’s tough to see it, but I tried to make even the landing interesting with the opposing stairs and clear glass structures.  You can get a better idea of the layout of it when you view the overhead shots though. From the landing, sims can exit directly to the deck, which we’ve already seen, or they can enter one of two master bedrooms, each with its own walk-in closet and separate entry to a shared master bath. The first bedroom:   The second bedroom: And the bathroom they share, which is narrow but long: One final room to show you; its entrance is from the deck.  I’ve currently got it set up as a home gym, but it could easily be reworked for a third bedroom, hobby room, etc.  Here’s how I decorated it: Last on the list, the overhead views. 1st Floor: 2nd Floor: Open Corners is situated on a 30×20 lot (I used Dusty Turf) and costs $190,117.  If you would like to take a look at it in game, click here to download it from the online Gallery.  Or if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations. Note that the lot contains resized objects.  In order to retain the adjusted sizes, please add the home to your lot in build mode rather than via Manage Worlds.

Rock n Roll House

My latest build sort of came out of nowhere, interrupting my other projects.  It started from an abstract idea I had to build a small house, maybe a starter, that would vaguely suggest the shape of an electric guitar.  However, to my surprise, as it developed, it got more and more literal (and much bigger – it wound up on a 50×50 lot).

I have poured the hours into this one, but I had so much fun designing it, every aspect of it really, because I was trying for something really different.  Also, I finally had a chance to really get into playing with lighting.  Oh, and it has nothing to do with Build ‘n Share this time!

As you can see above, in addition to the unique exterior architecture, this $472,821 four bedroom, four bath modern mansion also sports a huge piano pool with (decorative) diving board and beautiful gardens.  But pictures definitely speak louder than words in this case, so let’s get on with some!

First, I want to show more of the exterior.  Here’s what the front looks like at night:

And a closer look at the walkway and “neck” or extended balcony:

A view of the front entry:

A view of the side of the property (back exit of house):

And I really love the back at night, so here are a few more shots of it:

I love the house at night obviously, but it looks great by day too:

Before we move on to the interior, I’d like to show a few more specific outdoor areas.  First, the front gardens:

For technical reasons, I didn’t know quite what to do with the little area just outside of the back exit, but I found a humorous approach for it:

Also, it’s tough to see in those panoramic shots, but I’ve got a little gnome eagerly anticipating her first dive:

Okay, so the reality is, she hates me!  She has a great view though:

Here’s a closer look at the covered outdoor dining/bar area:

You can just see a hint of the mini-garden beyond.  Here’s a closer look:

And it would probably be good to see it by day too:

Here’s the outdoor bathroom (conveniently located right by the pool (in the diving board structure):

Let’s head inside now.  My goal for the interiors was to do my best take on a color saturated, over-the-top rock star style.  If you were to arrive for the nightly party (fashionably late of course), this is how the tour might go.

Front entry:

Psychedelic stairs:

Side note:  I actually wanted to name this build “Psychedelic Rock House,” but I was worried that some might find the context of the word offensive.  If they were to report the lot, Maxis might have to remove it from the Gallery.  And that would really suck!  In the end, I took no chances, but now you know the real name. ;)

To the right of the stairs, is the living area:

I really liked setting up the unique wall features using animated signs that I’m sure Maxis intended for commercial use, but they work so well through the window (see it in game for the full effect).

To the left of the stairs is the music area.  I imagined a small group, maybe jazz players, able to entertain the entire downstairs (because it’s open concept).  Definitely looking forward to Maxis adding that real band functionality in the future.

Again, you can see the signs through the window in the third image (and if you look closely a galaxy spinning in the small windows.  Yes, once I fall in love with an idea, I tend to use it…a lot!

Walking down the hallway from the piano, you will find the bar on your left:

Turning from the bar, you’ll find the dining area centrally located between the bar and kitchen:

And naturally, this leads us to the kitchen:

You can see that throughout this level, I took a lot of chances in terms of combining different patterns/styles and some quite loud colors, but I figured if anything should be over the top, it’s rock ‘n roll!  It doesn’t get much more demure on the next level, so let’s head on up:

I wanted this large second floor room to be mostly open (only the pillars divide it and to include a lot of activities but also have a few spots where sims can just sit and observe:

To the left, artists young and old can hone their skills, play video games, or settle in for a good read:

To the right, it’s game time!

There’s also a chess table tucked out of the way, as you can see in this shot looking down the length of the room:

From this activity hub, you can also access a small home gym (time to work off all those nights at the bar!):

And also a full bath:

But of course the real place to be on this level is out on the extended balcony, sitting at the bar and enjoying the views.  It’s a long walk, but it’s worth it!

On to the third floor, our final destination in this rockin’ tour.  View from the landing, again playing with color and the signs:

To the left is the first of two master bedrooms:

I went a touch more romantic with the wall features in these rooms:

To the right is the other master:

Both bedrooms share a full bathroom:

And they also share a balcony with a bar.  They can choose to socialize or keep their distance, as they please.  Violins are there to set a more romantic mood:

The other two bedrooms on this level are designed for a teenager and child/baby.  We’ll look at the teen’s room first.  I was definitely going for a cluttered, somewhat rebellious vibe:

And now the child’s and/or baby’s room (could hold both).  Originally, this room was pretty mundane.  I looked through the stock EA kids wall papers and furniture, found some styles/colors that worked together, and just went with it.  But I had to ask myself, where was the rock ‘n roll?  So I took a second pass at it, and I like it much better now:

Last, and if I’m honest, least in terms of my favorite spaces is the kids’ shared bathroom.  It started as another fairly formulaic room.  I altered the lighting to at least achieve more of an effect, but I didn’t really revise it beyond that.  The thing is, I really wanted to complete and publish this build before Dragon Age Inquisition comes out next week. :P  But here it is…I can’t imagine anyone downloading this build (or not) due to one of the bathrooms anyway. ;)

Here are the overhead shots, so that you can have a look at the entire layout.

Property (roofs up):

Ground Floor:

2nd Floor:

3rd Floor:

Outdoor Dining/Bar:

If you would like to take a look at the Rock n Roll House in game, click here to download it from the online Gallery.  Or you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.

Note that the lot contains resized objects.  In order to retain the adjusted sizes, please add the home to your lot in build mode rather than via Manage Worlds.

Also, there is one small glitch I encountered in this build.  In one small area outside, my walkway designs would not remain as I had placed them; the game kept switching the tile orientations.  I have deleted and recreated them I don’t know how many times, but they continue to get turned around.  It is very minor, and you can easily tweak them back to how they should be if it bothers you.  I will be reporting this bug, and I hope Maxis will fix it soon!

Green’s Blue Victorian

I proudly present my fourth entry into The Sims 4 Build ‘n Share contest, an elaborately detailed Victorian era home created for a ghost!  I had been planning to skip this round in order to focus on some of my own ideas, but there was one Victorian house image that I’ve been hanging onto for a while:

I’ve never built a Victorian before, and I didn’t think I would be able to get anywhere close to approximating this home given the limited building options in the base game, but I figured there was no harm in seeing what could be done.  Next thing I knew, I was deeply engrossed in the build!

While I was inspired by the original, I let the architecture in the game take its own shape based on the challenge requirements: formal living/music room, kitchen, and dining room, 2 bedrooms (which had to be masters with attached baths) and a third full bath.  I struggled with the interiors a bit, but I am really happy with the final result!  Before we get into the interior, here are some additional exterior shots:

I had a good bit of fun in the backyard.  I looked up Victorian landscaping, and was pleased to learn that they had a sense of fun and liked to throw in a few exotic details.  In particular, I liked this image and wanted to do something similar (but obviously on a smaller scale):

Here’s what I came up with:

Here are a few close-up shots from the garden that I really like:

And originally, there was a gravestone with mourning gnomes!

This was because, in order to create the ghost sim required for the sim portion of the challenge, I had to ..ahem, arrange for a tragic incident involving a bit of hysteria.  I figured my ghost would appreciate having his gravestone placed (with appropriate humor) in the garden.  Unfortunately, graves and urns don’t transfer (yet), so I later revised the area.  I still wanted to give a nod to Halloween:

Well, enough spooky stuff; let’s move on to the interior!  For the challenge, it needed to be Old World, and the judges are, I think, looking for a luxurious feel, so that was what I went for; no modern conveniences, etc.  There is a small foyer upon entry.  I was originally inspired by this shot:

I thought maybe I could do something roughly similar with spandrels inside the house.  It’s a bit complicated in TS4, because if you create fences and spandrels inside a building, the game can get confused about what constitutes the inside vs. outside of the home.  Also, the game has a very aggressive fade in live mode, such that columns and ceiling lights completely disappear, even when you are still a good distance away from them.  I wound up using spandrels but not columns because of this.  It worked out better for object placement anyway.

There’s my foyer, and here’s another shot of it from above.

From the foyer, you can go left to the living room/music area or right, into the kitchen.  Let’s head left first.

The beautiful grand piano is the focal point of the room, of course, but I was disappointed that he chandelier would not show up in my live mode pictures.  I took a shot in build mode (angles are not so good) to at least show the effect.  I do hope EA reduces the fade or gives us options for this soon.

From the living room, you can access a full bath.  Nothing too thrilling, I suppose, but it is functional and pretty:

From the living room, you can also proceed through a back foyer to the backyard or dining room.  There is a small closet too, not shown.

Here is the dining room:

I’m taking a chance in the dining room, because one of the paintings is not strictly speaking “historical,” but I could not resist as its colors were perfect, and its frame is ornate (not the hen, although its colors worked really well too).  And I was again annoyed about the ceiling light going missing in my live shots, so here’s a build mode shot of it:

Now, let’s take a quick look at the kitchen before heading upstairs:

Moving upstairs, there is a small landing:

And then on, to the first of two indulgent master suites.  I call this one, the Blue Bedroom:

Again, I’ve got a slightly unconventional painting in here, but its colors were too perfect, and its frame fits.  Here is the attached master bath:

Not my usual style, but I thought a little water closet was called for here.  On to the second master suite, which I call the Pink Bedroom.

And its romantic en suite bathroom:

Here are overhead shots of the property and floor plan:

Ground Floor

Second Floor

Roofs On

Garden

I thought it might also be fun to show you a few images of my ghost, William Green.  It was no joke trying to get him to die of hysteria; it was ridiculously hard!  It also took forever go get my other sim’s relationship with him up to the level required in order to add him to the household.  I’m glad I didn’t wait until the last minute to try to get that all done!

Here he is checking out his new digs:

No risk in getting a little hysterical now, so might as well!

I had a good laugh when he possessed the ghost gnome!

How about a duet?

And of course, the ubiquitous selfie!

I almost forgot – a few more shots of the exterior during evening and night time:

Green’s Blue Victorian is situated on a 30×20 lot and costs $285,379 (Old World charm doesn’t come cheap!).  If you would like to take a look at the home in game, you can download it from the online Gallery here, or you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Note that the home contains resized objects.  In order to retain the adjusted sizes, please add the home to your lot in build mode rather than via Manage Worlds.

Colonial Coalescence

Another Build ‘n Share challenge creation, and one that definitely took me outside of my comfort zone, at least partially.  It was a bit of an odd one (perhaps they all will be) in that it called for a traditional colonial exterior but a modern interior.  It also had an extremely tight budget for the requirements (2-3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, and a workshop for 100k).  Boy, did I struggle with this one, mostly due to the budget, and it took up a ton of time.

I started with a completely different design, that was shaping up like this:

As time went on, I realized it was just too big and would cost too much to complete.  I attempted to downsize it, but it just wasn’t working, so I scrapped it and started over.  I’m glad that I did, as the new build moved along swiftly after that.  I may just come back to the original at some point though, and complete it as a traditional home throughout (without worrying about the budget).  This was another build where I found a ton of issues and oddities, particularly with regard to the way the game handles color and lighting, but that’s a whole different story (I do have a build mode feedback thread on the forums if you’re interested.)

Moving on to the completed home, here are more images of the exterior:

We had to create the home on a huge lot, 50×50, and as you can see, the landscaping is minimal.  I would have liked to do more, but there was just no way on such a limited budget.  I was amazed by how much the various trees, shrubs, and flowers cost!  In fact, I was amazed by the prices of objects in general once I was really paying attention.  $30 for a Kleenex box?!  Anyway, back to the images.

You can see the couple for whom I built the house, Don and Judy Olsen, in the shot above.  I plopped them onto the lot at one point for play testing and pictures.  Most of the time, I just let them do their thing on free will.  I would ordinarily ignore sims during a build, but I had to say, these two really charmed me, and I may well play them.

I love the oversized windows on the workshop, gives it an almost dollhouse quality.

Moving on to the interior, I’ll start with the open kitchen and dining, which is on one end of the first level:

Don loves the color brown, whereas Judy goes for blue, so I tried to keep that in mind for a mostly blue and brown color scheme.  Don is a woodworker, so I tried to put in wood touches where possible, envisioning that perhaps he had crafted the kitchen cabinets and/or built the dining room table.

I wanted to use the industrial kitchen style, again because of the woodwork and also the cool off blue color of the metal, but I ran into my first color problem here – the windows.  These particular windows are darling from the outside, perfect little shuttered windows, but the interior color cannot be changed, and that green which I wanted on the exterior is not the best for the kitchen.  I also could not seem to get a style I was happy with for the window coverings.  I fear my kitchen may be a misstep in terms of doing well in the challenge.

I really like how the dining room turned out though – for once, all of the colors were working perfectly.

Here’s a peek-a-boo study nook.  See the shadows under the lights?  Sigh…

And a view of the nook and entry leading to the living room.  I couldn’t resist trying to do something with the ceiling again to give it texture, this time using a window treatment enlarged and placed at the top of the wall.  You’ll see more of it in the following shots.

I just think touches like these really help a modern space, which should grab the eye and refuse to let go!

There is also a half bath on the first floor, but it’s tiny and utilitarian, so I’m not going to bother with pictures.  Let’s move upstairs to the landing:

It’s funny how, enlarged, a child’s picture can work quite well as modern art.

Obviously, I couldn’t spend a ton of money on the landing, but I tried to put in a couple of flourishes.  One of my favorite areas in the house would have to be the master bedroom and bathroom:

There’s that inescapable green on the bay window though, argh.

Since I really went for a minimalist but luxurious feel in the master, there wasn’t a whole lot left for the other two bedrooms and bathroom.  I had a ton of color problems in the first bedroom, but it worked out in the end.

The shared bathroom is basic but functional (green window again though):

And the last bedroom is barely furnished so hardly worth looking at.  it was not actually required but was considered a plus to have, so I hope its barren nature won’t be a detriment in the challenge.  It does have a bed!  And curtains! :P

Finally, here is Don’s woodworking worshop.  It provides a good sized space for any hobbyist.

Here are some overheads so that you can see the property layout:

And to close, of course some evening and night shots.  Nothing hugely special about them though.  I didn’t have extra money to do something impressive with lighting.

And that’s it for this one!  Once again, I had fun, got completely frustrated, and learned a ton.  I may skip some of the upcoming challenges, as I’m not finding any time to work on my own ideas.  But watch, the next challenge will wind up being somehow irresistible to me!  If you’re interested in checking out Colonial Coalescence in game, you can download it from the online Gallery here, or you can search for it in game by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Note that the home contains resized objects.  In order to retain the adjusted sizes, please add the home to your lot in build mode rather than via Manage Worlds.