March 12, 2014

Sim house – The Barcelona


As I write this, there are 810 lots on The Exchange that were designed for Aluna Island, the world created by James at The Sim Supply.  This lot is number 806 in that list, and it’s my latest contribution to the simming community.

Inspired by Spanish Colonial revival architecture, this spacious house is ready for the up-and-coming Leader of the Free World.  There are three bedrooms and three full bathrooms in this house on a 25x40 lot.  The main level features an open floor plan with a great room that encompasses living, kitchen and dining areas.  A home gym resides at one end while an office and study room is at the other.  The great room's expansive windows look out over a wide deck that is a perfect location for extraterrestrial exploration by telescope or just for a grill next to the dining area.  Stairs lead down from both the great room and the deck to the lower level with a bar, small library and its own deck and hot tub overlooking the ocean.  The master suite has a private full bathroom.  The other two bedrooms and the second full bathroom are also located on the lower level.  A central climate control system keeps this home comfortable regardless of the weather.  Outside there is a carport that can be expanded to hold three cars, and there is a series of solar panels installed on the roof to help defray energy costs.  Growing families can easily expand the living space by adding another level above the main level; there is space for a staircase, currently used as a sculpture display, next to the wide stairs leading down.


This was a fun lot to build and required more extensive use of the constrainfloorelevation cheat to get the lower level to work the way I wanted.  I had started on another Sears house build and had the main floorplan set for it when I saw a couple more videos that James released this week.  One of them was the first of what I hope will be many lot showcase videos where he took a closer look at fifteen of the lots that have been created for the world.  He commented in that video that he wanted lots that were a bit more colorful and that would be more appropriate for a tropical island.  The other video was a tutorial on building multilevel houses on cliffside lots (actually two videos: building on cliff lots and building multilevel houses on cliff lots), of which there are many on Aluna Island.  I hadn’t had much luck building walk-out basements and these tutorial videos solved the problems I was encountering.  So I decided to try building something new based on Spanish Colonial architecture with a walk-out basement that would fit on one of the island’s cliff lots.  This house is my first entry following those suggestions.  The lot is on The Exchange (download).  I didn’t go very far with the color palette, just started with an ever-so-slight pink stucco for the exterior wall and used lighter colors on the interior.  I did add a few color accents here and there as I thought appropriate.  Since this house was built on a lot with a cliff (Aluna Island lot number 60), it might do weird things to the surrounding land in worlds that don’t have lots with terrain like this one.

By far, my favorite part of this house is its walk-out basement and bilevel deck.  When placed on the Aluna Island lot, the hot tub is at the edge of the lot that is above the ocean.  I can imagine sims lounging in the hot tub watching boats go by as they sip Avornalino and Gralladina Fran nectar (that they may have obtained from an adventure and stored in their nectar rack just inside the deck).  Another interesting feature is that the foundation on the main level is just one stair-step high.  Since this house descends down into the cliff, I didn’t want a full four-step foundation on the upper level, and I really liked the way this one-step foundation looked.  This didn’t require a cheat, but was easily achieved by holding down the Alt key when I placed the first foundation piece (I am so looking forward to the variable height floors and foundations that are promised features in build mode for The Sims 4!).

Really the only part that I don’t like is that the lower level’s perimeter walls (except for the wall with the windows and door) are actually foundation walls, so I can’t put any wall-mounted decorations on them.  I didn’t want to sacrifice another square perimeter row of real estate to build interior walls, so I’ll have to live with bare walls that are all the more apparent in the master bedroom.  I put a sturdy concrete fence around the carport mostly because of the comments about vehicle safety in the lot showcase video.  There probably should be an entry from the carport into the office space; having a separate exterior door would be perfect for clients visiting that office.  The only other change that I would make right now would be to add more landscaping around the gym, but as this lot is already well over $120,000 furnished, I didn’t want to push that cost up yet.  I’ll let the future residents of this lot add to the exterior.

The sculpture area on the main level could easily become the location for a stairway leading up to a future expansion of the house for more living and/or skill-building space.  The resulting third floor could also extend over the carport area for additional space.  I had originally envisioned that the main level bathroom would only be a half-bath, but added the tub anticipating that the gym and office might be converted to bedrooms.

Now let’s take a tour of the house through screenshots: