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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 8th Mar 2015 at 11:34 PM Last edited by veronica55 : 9th Mar 2015 at 3:11 AM.
Default Let's Share Building & Decoration Tips for TS4
As we know there are many creative people who play the sims and they generously share their awesome houses around. On the other hand there are those who claim that they are "not talented enough" to build nice houses and all their houses end up being a plain boring box.

Here I wanted to make this thread to share tips and tricks about how those gorgeous houses come alive and show everyone that nobody is actually that incapable of doing it as they think they are. I think every sims player can create awesome houses if they want to. So let's share ideas and helpful information about decorating with eachother. I hope this thread becomes big and contain lots of great information in time like a free sims4 architecture course book LOL

So, I go first :

here's some of my humble tips, tricks and suggestions on building & decorating in TS4:

- If you are using custom content, download good clutter (rugs, paintings, curtains, books, random objects..etc) so that you have a big variety of small decorative items to use around. Don't underestimate the power of those little pixels. They are the key to make a sims house look like a home.


- While decorating a house don't try to match everything perfectly and exactly. Use colors and shapes that slightly mismatch with the main components of a room. That makes the houses look more realistic and alive.


- Use "bb.moveobjects on" don't be afraid of it lol Try different approaches, hold "alt" key, be creative, go crazy while decorating. Make a small item look like a larger one piece version by placing multiple of it stuck together or place different pieces of furniture to make it look as a unique item. Think out of boundaries of what game dictates.



LOL this ↑is my replica of the the famous Resident Evil mansion "diningroom" those who know the game will recognize

- When you start building a new house, first create it in your mind, try to imagine how it should look in terms of style, size.
Don't try to build all walls, don't decide on all areas and room shapes & sizes at once. Do it gradually along with decorating.
Like, first decide what kind of an entrance, living room you want, first build those and decorate. Those will guide you at the beginning how the rest of the house should be shaped.



-Avoid unnecessary empty space inside the rooms as much as possible. Make each wall, each corner have a function. Use the whole space and/or create the space as small &large as you need.


-Use "form follows function" trick. Like place the furniture you need and decide how walls & windows should go around them. See how much space you need & want for what.

Also, when decorating think about what you want to emphasize in a room. (like emphasizing the oven & cooking function in a kitchen or highlighting the sitting &tv area in a living room or you can squeeze the sitting area in a corner but emphasize the piano or fireplace, make the double bed the heart of the bedroom...etc)To do that use columns as vertical borders, use different wall angles, different wallpapers and floors. Create a harmony using variety.




By doing all those, the house will build itself and the rooms will have characters. Shortly create and find your own reference points. It's pretty much same principles like in real world. I will add more as more comes to my mind.

Happy Simming !



Sul Sul! Hooba Noobie?
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 9th Mar 2015 at 2:49 AM
Nice tips and also:
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#3 Old 9th Mar 2015 at 2:59 AM
Haha thank you and that gif is so cute

I'm sure there are a lot of awesome TS decorators around with many more design secrets. Come on guys spill them out ! LOL

Sul Sul! Hooba Noobie?
Lab Assistant
#4 Old 9th Mar 2015 at 3:47 AM
Had to take some screenies. You covered most of the aesthetics, so I'll just do the split level thingie then.

First start by making the house's walls, the ones that will be the barrier between the home and the outside world. It can be any shape you wish.


Next, make a second inner room.


Then use the sledgehammer (default hotkey: K) to destroy the newer room's floor.


After that, you need to raise the foundation. It can be as high or low as you want.


Lastly comes the doors, stairs, and windows. Keep in mind how tall your foundation is, and place windows in the lower floor accordingly. You also cannot have full rooms or doors on the lower portion of the house. To place things up against the foundation's wall, you need to use the cheat code: bb.moveobjects .The house's main entry way and all exits/entrances must be at the foundation's upper level. You can not have a split level with an entrance/exit on the first floor... Unfortunately. :C



You can also have more than one dipped down room, and you can also have walls or fences bordering between the two different floors. You may also place walls in the middle of a room if you wish, as long as it's not a full wall (from one side of the room to the other). As you can see in the first picture, attempting to place doors in a wall bordering the 1st/2nd floor will result in a floating useless door. So again, no doors for the ground level. You can place arches or windows to make some interesting designs in the house's inner walls, though.

Field Researcher
#5 Old 9th Mar 2015 at 1:44 PM
Oooh really useful! Great stuff so far, and if anyone has some advice about how to arrange landscaping so it doesn't look terrible, I'd really appreciate hearing it.

I'm a decorating and building noob. Even though I've played the sims games forever, this is the first time I've really gotten into building/decorating stuff. The only piece of advice after my last round of fumbling around with bb.moveobjects + alt is: to use a sim to test the interactive objects in the room as you go along. It's a lot better to find out that the sink and toilet aren't useable because the footprints of a deco objects/shelves on the walls are overlapping too much as you go. If I had realized this, it would have saved me the trouble of tearing a bunch of stuff apart after I thought I was finished. *facepalm.*

Anyway, I have been having an existential decorating crisis lately and this seems like a good thread to seek advice in. When you decorate a room, where do you place things like potted plants? Do you place them wherever you think they'd look good (for instance clustering them in a corner) or do you take into account where the windows are and where natural light might actually hit them so they won't die? Part of me is like "Gah no plant could actually live in that spot, dumbass!" and the other part wants to say, "Screw it. Just pretend they're silk, and put them where they're pretty!" (I realize I am probably way over-thinking this... *doublefacepalm*)
Mad Poster
#6 Old 9th Mar 2015 at 4:34 PM
I have been playing around with the split level decorating and I have found that piece of the foundation that borders around the top will cut in your objects, so I have to place them first and use "ALT" to push into place so it looks better.



Resident member of The Receptacle Refugees
Let's help fund mammograms for everyone. If you want to help, Click To Give @ The Breast Cancer Site Your click is free. Thank you.
Instructor
#7 Old 9th Mar 2015 at 11:10 PM
Less is more. Too often I see people place plants or clutter on every visible surface. Place it all and then try to gradually thin it out. You want to have a few focal points to draw the viewer's eye, the rest of the space should be mostly functional with some visual touches here and there.

Also, symmetry is boring. Not much more advice I can give here other than try not to create perfectly symmetrical houses, which seems to be a rookie thing. Asymmetry is interesting and the best lots are often built this way.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#8 Old 9th Mar 2015 at 11:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Merricat
The only piece of advice after my last round of fumbling around with bb.moveobjects + alt is: to use a sim to test the interactive objects in the room as you go along. It's a lot better to find out that the sink and toilet aren't useable because the footprints of a deco objects/shelves on the walls are overlapping too much as you go...

LOL I agree with that. I said "use moveobjects, go crazy while decorating" but forgot to mention about this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Merricat
...if anyone has some advice about how to arrange landscaping so it doesn't look terrible, I'd really appreciate hearing it.

How does your landscape look "terrible" exactly ? Can you post an example pic ? Because the beauty of landscape depends on personal taste. I mean for example I like the look of randomly, naturally grown flowers bushes and trees sitting together more than a perfectly arranged, clean and symetric royal garden look. Depends on what kind of an outdoor look you are trying to get for what kind of a building.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Merricat
When you decorate a room, where do you place things like potted plants? Do you place them wherever you think they'd look good (for instance clustering them in a corner) or do you take into account where the windows are and where natural light might actually hit them so they won't die?...

This made me laugh too. I think there's no need to consider such things so seriously in TS4. I personally just place them where I think they look cute. I mean, I am an interior architect in real life and if I considered everything that realisticly in the sims, I would lose my mind lol In the sims there are tons of stuff that would be totally absurd and useless epic fails if they were actually applied in real life architecture. It is just a game, you are all free to do whatever appeals to you and entertains you At least that's my humble opinion.

Sul Sul! Hooba Noobie?
Theorist
#9 Old 9th Mar 2015 at 11:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorsal Axe
Less is more. Too often I see people place plants or clutter on every visible surface. Place it all and then try to gradually thin it out. You want to have a few focal points to draw the viewer's eye, the rest of the space should be mostly functional with some visual touches here and there.

I think this really depends on the person. For instance. My mother is a very neat and tidy person so she would LOVE the way you decorate. For someone like me who is a hoarder who never throws anything away and every flat surface of my irl house is completely buried in stuff so much so I forget what kind of surface it had, your style feels very cold and un-lived in. Your pictures feel like a house I would be uncomfortable visiting. Though they are beautiful. This one is a matter of personal preference and there's no right or wrong when it comes to clutter. In my opinion.

I guess it matters if you're trying to design a house that looks like a busy family home, or what you would see as a beautiful advertisement in a real estate magazine.
Instructor
#10 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 12:00 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShigemiNotoge
I think this really depends on the person. For instance. My mother is a very neat and tidy person so she would LOVE the way you decorate. For someone like me who is a hoarder who never throws anything away and every flat surface of my irl house is completely buried in stuff so much so I forget what kind of surface it had, your style feels very cold and un-lived in. Your pictures feel like a house I would be uncomfortable visiting. Though they are beautiful. This one is a matter of personal preference and there's no right or wrong when it comes to clutter. In my opinion.

I guess it matters if you're trying to design a house that looks like a busy family home, or what you would see as a beautiful advertisement in a real estate magazine.

I- I haven't posted any pictures...

Well clutter is clutter. I think there just needs to be some rhyme and reason to its placement instead of splurged absolutely everywhere with no regard for its purpose, at least in a Sims game. The worst offender are the plants though. So many potentially good lots ruined by FPS-killing landscaping, though it does seem to be less common than it used to be.
Theorist
#11 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 12:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorsal Axe
I- I haven't posted any pictures...

Well clutter is clutter. I think there just needs to be some rhyme and reason to its placement instead of splurged absolutely everywhere with no regard for its purpose, at least in a Sims game. The worst offender are the plants though. So many potentially good lots ruined by FPS-killing landscaping, though it does seem to be less common than it used to be.


Oops, I must have been looking at the pics above your post and spaced out for a bit. As they too look very clutter free.

I confine clutter to specific rooms, kitchen clutter, bathroom clutter bedroom clutter. I don't use a lot of plants though, even though I like plants a lot, as I am myself in fact a plant. Too many feels like overkill. Like, what are you, a Sanome?
Mad Poster
#12 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 12:15 AM
That house is not lived in yet. I was taking pictures to share the lot. Once my sims move in, the collectables and other items start filling up the spaces and not so uncluttered. That is why I loved unmade beds, laundry on the floor and dirty dishes all over the place because it does feel lived in.

I do need to work more on the landscape for my lots, I usually leave them sparse until my sims move in. Once I see what they will do and their personality then I can do more for the outdoors. Also I can spend up more of their simoleons. This is the house that the above pictures came from.

Resident member of The Receptacle Refugees
Let's help fund mammograms for everyone. If you want to help, Click To Give @ The Breast Cancer Site Your click is free. Thank you.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#13 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 12:57 AM Last edited by veronica55 : 10th Mar 2015 at 1:17 AM.
2 more small tips which might be obvious for some, but I think can be helpful for some other.

1- If you keep your foundation at the lowest setting, you can use staircase tool to create a small, cute single step. This can be made indoors too using the same method as n Lil_Puddin's multi level tutorial.



2- This one I had posted on another thread earlier so I'm just quoting myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veronica55
If you place some horizontal wall lights right under the kitchen cabinets, you get a nice, illuminated effect on dark counter tops.
Just hold < ALT > and place the light as close as possible to the very back corner of the cabinet.
Any wall light would do, but for me "Picture perfect art lighting" (unlocks for painter profession at level 2) and "the cuttless of light" work really good as they are flat and thin.




Sul Sul! Hooba Noobie?
Scholar
#14 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 8:30 AM


Oh my god. Those curtains.
Forum Resident
#15 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 12:05 PM
This thread is amazing!

And you guys are so fucking talented, you even managed to bypass the game's terrible plastic furniture and make those houses look comfortable!
Forum Resident
#16 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 12:23 PM
I LOVE this thread! I look forward to a roofing tutorial, because I suck at roofs. I build houses organically (room by room), and always want the roofs to be realistic--that is, you don't have parallel roof peaks next to each other, which would mean, IRL, that you'd get ice dams and leaks into the house!

Here at MTS since 2008; avid S2 player/blogger; didn't care for S3; bought and hated SimCity 2013; am choosing to remain upbeat about Sims 4....

My Sims 4 blog: Veil's Utopia House Challenge Blog
Top Secret Researcher
#17 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 1:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorsal Axe
Less is more. Too often I see people place plants or clutter on every visible surface. Place it all and then try to gradually thin it out. You want to have a few focal points to draw the viewer's eye, the rest of the space should be mostly functional with some visual touches here and there.

Also, symmetry is boring. Not much more advice I can give here other than try not to create perfectly symmetrical houses, which seems to be a rookie thing. Asymmetry is interesting and the best lots are often built this way.


Yeah, symmetry is good only when you are building humongous mansions, castles, great halls and dining rooms... but even then asymmetry is a great option.

Smaller homes - More clutter, a bit of green, curtains (but not too much, just as you said).
Modern homes - descrete clutter, more windows and light.
mansions and castles - less clutter, higher walls, pillars, sculptures, big chandiliers, pictures... make it look grandious. Big gardens are usually great, especially in symmetry.

Try to build a shell first, then decide what will go where and tweak the home shell to be compatible with it's interior desing. I would sometime end up with too small or too big rooms.

Do not try to match everything, instead choose a few colours that will match nicely and affect overall feel of the room. Do not try to match clutter if your house is meant to be a family home, however if your house is a modern house, matching clutter is a good addition sometimes.
Lightning also plays a great role ih how the room feels to the eye. Choose lights placement, colour and intensity carefully and don't try to place too many lights to make room look bright. Instead, change their colour and intensity. Celing lights are ones that are most unnoticable (as an object) but most effective. For bright rooms go with those.

BTW, Veronica55, i wish I had that CC you have... but my game lags even without CC.
Forum Resident
#18 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 2:00 PM
I'm a no-clutter person myself, but spend hours designing my rooms. Here's what I did with that hideous waste-of-space 1st-floor bedroom/gardening station in the in-game Cypress Terrace house (where the Spencer-Kim-Lewis family lived before I evicted them and moved in Rafael, my internationally famous Latin soap opera star). I had already replaced the ugly scrubby garden with a pool, so this is the room just off the pool. Two shower stalls, two toilet enclosures with a generous sink between them, and a laundry area (because there are lots of wet pool towels). A rubber non-slip floor. To Rafael, spaciousness is the ultimate luxury. He's also an art collector, so much art is displayed in the room:
Screenshots

Here at MTS since 2008; avid S2 player/blogger; didn't care for S3; bought and hated SimCity 2013; am choosing to remain upbeat about Sims 4....

My Sims 4 blog: Veil's Utopia House Challenge Blog
Forum Resident
#19 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 2:01 PM
The two shower stalls:
Screenshots

Here at MTS since 2008; avid S2 player/blogger; didn't care for S3; bought and hated SimCity 2013; am choosing to remain upbeat about Sims 4....

My Sims 4 blog: Veil's Utopia House Challenge Blog
Forum Resident
#20 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 2:03 PM
The sink area:
Screenshots

Here at MTS since 2008; avid S2 player/blogger; didn't care for S3; bought and hated SimCity 2013; am choosing to remain upbeat about Sims 4....

My Sims 4 blog: Veil's Utopia House Challenge Blog
Forum Resident
#21 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 2:04 PM
The laundry area:
Screenshots

Here at MTS since 2008; avid S2 player/blogger; didn't care for S3; bought and hated SimCity 2013; am choosing to remain upbeat about Sims 4....

My Sims 4 blog: Veil's Utopia House Challenge Blog
Forum Resident
#22 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 2:05 PM
The door to the pool, a huge mirror, and new doors to the kitchen and garden:
Screenshots

Here at MTS since 2008; avid S2 player/blogger; didn't care for S3; bought and hated SimCity 2013; am choosing to remain upbeat about Sims 4....

My Sims 4 blog: Veil's Utopia House Challenge Blog
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#23 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 2:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chax


Oh my god. Those curtains.

They are actually 2 totally different curtains I placed together from different TSR artists. The short curtain isn't even a curtain. It's listed under paintings.

Short ones are from Severinka's forest hut set :
http://www.thesimsresource.com/arti...set/id/1279375/
(can be downloaded seperately just click 'set creations' tab)

Long ones are from Shino's 'elegant bathroom' set :
http://www.thesimsresource.com/arti...oom/id/1265797/

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixa97sr

BTW, Veronica55, i wish I had that CC you have... but my game lags even without CC.

mixa97sr unlike TS2 and 3, in TS4 CC doesn't effect lag. (For me it happened like that at least, I have a crowded CC folder right now and haven't realized even a slight lag that I didn't have before) I don't know how, I guess game is using a different loading method. So you can actually get some CC. At least a few that you really like & will use frequently. I think your game will lag equally as it does without CC.

Sul Sul! Hooba Noobie?
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#24 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 2:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by veil
The two shower stalls:


Can I ask where did you get that great simple shower, the sink and the metalic shelves? That place looks great btw.

Sul Sul! Hooba Noobie?
Forum Resident
#25 Old 10th Mar 2015 at 2:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by veronica55
Can I ask where did you get that great simple shower, the sink and the metalic shelves? That place looks great btw.


The shower is by Severinka: http://www.thesimsresource.com/down...wer/id/1285935/

Here at MTS since 2008; avid S2 player/blogger; didn't care for S3; bought and hated SimCity 2013; am choosing to remain upbeat about Sims 4....

My Sims 4 blog: Veil's Utopia House Challenge Blog
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