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.

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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! 😛

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.

The Acrophobic Penthouse

My latest creation was designed for The Sims 4 forums Build ‘n Share challenge # 2.  I had a tough time getting started because the concept – to build a ground floor penthouse – just didn’t gel with me.  However, I was able to come up with a little story for it; that the buyer, who was described as a famous adventurer and explorer, has acrophobia, or a fear of heights.  It reminded me of Indiana Jones and his fear of snakes.  It’s funny, and it made the whole thing fit for me.

It took me so long to get started, that once I did, I was fighting to get done before the deadline.  Even though I understood that this one was really about the interior design, I couldn’t resist playing with the architecture and spent way more time on it than I probably should have.  I think the interiors probably could have been more cohesive, but as with the exterior architecture, the interiors were a lot about play and discovery for me.  I’m still learning the new TS4 toolset and still exploring what can and can’t be done.  If I don’t score well because of that, oh well!

Here are some additional images of the exterior.  The home is situated on a 40×30 lot, contains 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and costs 149K (the budget was 150K, so I squeaked in just under!).  It was built for entertainment, with a huge balcony (that includes a fake pool – I want real pools back!) and expansive, open living and dining spaces.  Like my first BnS build, this is so specific, I don’t know who would actually want to play it, but it is pretty to look at, I think!

Moving on to the interior, one of the requirements was to create a lobby, like one might see in a real penthouse.  I wasn’t thrilled by this aspect, but I saw a lobby image I liked and took inspiration from it:

I went in a different direction out of necessity, but I hope you can still see the concept.

Even though I like how it came out, it’s probably a weak point of the build in terms of the challenge requirements.

Moving on, here are some additional shots of my favorite parts of the interior:

It was fun to use high ceilings in this build, but it’s also pretty limited at this point in terms of what’s available in base game for a taller level; very small selection of doors and windows and not many objects built with a high ceiling in mind.  I look forward to having an expanded selection of items for multiple levels in the future.

The next few shots are of the home’s central bathroom.  I really had fun in there, doing a sort of yin yang style, and I refused to let the orange door defeat me!  I sure do miss being able to color both sides of the door, as we could in TS3.

Next is a cute little office for our adventurer with a perhaps not so subtle nod to the acrophobia again (but then, I’m not terribly subtle!):

I had fun giving the master suite a hidden entrance via the “secret” bookshelf door.  They really need to create some matching bookshelves that are also inset into the wall though.

I wanted the master suite to be a refined, masculine getaway.

There is also a guest bedroom that I struggled with.  I just couldn’t get the color scheme and placement of stuff in here entirely to my liking.  I decided to go for somewhat playful, but I can’t say I’m 100% pleased with it.  I think the orange door did manage to defeat me in here.

And here’s the balcony.  I love the shape.  I just wish there were more outdoor items and that I could have placed a real pool.

Here are some overheads, so that you can get a feel for the layout:

And as always, a couple of evening and night shots to show how the exterior appearance changes with the light.

Thanks for looking!  I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the story behind them.  You can find the Acrophobic Penthouse in the online Gallery here, or in game by searching for its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.

Update: I have revised the original lot to replace the fountain with a real pool.  The revision is called Penthouse with Pool (click here to download it online).