Lesson 2 - Interiors
Welcome to your next lesson. In the following we will discuss...
~Wall and floor treatments
Let's get started.
Now that you have a build that is not a box, how are you going to fill the space? Hopefully while building, you had an idea about where you wanted things to go. Sometimes people are unaware and do not know where to begin. With this lesson, we will cure that.
First, let's put a floor in the build. Go to the roofing section in build mode and select roof tile. Place on the interior of home and shift click. It will fill the entire space of one room. Now do it for the others. Color
There are many options that you can choose from as far as color. The easiest route would be to create a color palette or choose an already made one. The site, Colourlovers has thousands to pick from. Here is a link. http://www.colourlovers.com/
You may want to bookmark it and create an account for future reference. Although a color palette is not needed, it is a good starting off point. Do spend some time thinking about the colors you want to use. Colors can make or break a build. Too many and your main colors can get lost. Too little your build may look a bit monotone and bland. A nice balance would be three colors plus an accent or two. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish and your style of build, whether it is modern or traditional, your colors ought to reflect that. Modern build usually have a few colors and nothing too over the top. Traditional will use neutral tones with maybe a bit bolder accents. You may consider looking to real life and use colors according to that. It takes time to get it right with color, always remember if you need assistance, do ask in Help for Beginning Builders thread.
Here is the color palette I chose and the hex codes. Patterns
Patterns can be hit or miss. Like color, if you have too many it can get out of control. Too little and it becomes lackluster. EA does provide us with a variety to choose from. And the beauty is, even the ugly ones can be aesthetically pleasing with the right tweaking. Don't be afraid to use patterns. Just ensure that your choices are appropriate for the style. You wouldn't use a damask pattern in a modern, usually, and some of the abstracts would just be wrong for traditional. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Textures include paints, fabric and wood while bold patterns would be geometric, abstract and themed. Best bet is to use max one geometric with one floral per room and use textures for the rest. Use your judgment. Also, be sure your patterns do not clash. If you have a certain pattern on the wall, you want to make sure what you choose for the sofa works with it, not against. Do not be afraid to experiment as well. Like this guy.Furniture Placement
This can be daunting as there is a lot to think about. Some people are lucky though, they just plop things down and they work. Others spend much time debating over placement. Do not over think it and if you find yourself stuck, ask for help! To have a good layout, you want to first and foremost allow for proper routing. Make sure your sims can navigate freely through and traffic is not an issue. A lot to think about here. Also, there is selecting appropriate furnishings. Consider once again the style you are building and select furniture according to that. Don't use regal furnishings in an ultra modern. Also, be sure to include skill builders. Think of the sims that will be living in the space. Are they artistic? Get them an easel. A genius? Provide a chess table and/or telescope. Make sure your layout is inviting. Also think of your showcase pictures. Can you get a good view while snapping? A good thing to do for inspiration is to Google images. If you are doing a traditional, Google traditional interiors and browse the images. Don't worry about copying something. Sometimes it's a good starting off point. Later as you develop, so will your skills and individual style. Room to room, make sure your layout is cohesive. It ought to blend and not be awkward. Rooms should compliment one another. Pick a starting point, for picture purposes we will start off with the living space. Our build is a starter of more the traditional route. If you notice, there is a space between the front door and archway. We will need to keep this relatively clear for routing.
Here is the basic layout of the living space. Doesn't look like much right now, but once the space is filled in with wall treatments, flooring, clutter and lights, you will see a big difference. Wall and Floor Treatment
This part can be really fun because this is what ties it all together. Retrieve your palette, if you are working with one. Now, you want to work with colors and patterns for the walls and flooring. We will discuss walls first. As mentioned, consider your style...there are ample choices in the wall menu in build mode, but you can also do a bit with Create A Style, or CAS. We will talk about CAS later as we go, but as for now, remember the pattern rule? One bold pattern with a flowery one, depending on your style, and the rest textures. Decide here if you are going to use a pattern on the sofa in the living room. If so, you may want to use a texture for the wall treatment. Or vice versa. Less is more, once again. Now, decide on what style of wall treatment you want in Build Mode. There are many choices from paint to wall sets. Your style will influence what you choose. Once you have selected your wall treatment, it's time to CAS it. This goes back to patterns...as mentioned earlier. Be sure to use the appropriate one.
As you can see here, I went with the wall with dado which is the first wall in paints. I placed one section, which I will CAS before covering the wall.
After I CAS the wall, according to the yellow and white in our palette, I held shift and clicked to get the wall treatment all over the room. Already our room is looking more cheerful.
Floor treatments are fun as well. As always, what you choose depends on the style you are working with. Wood flooring is always attractive and there are nice options that are free. If you are working with a budget, that could be ideal. General rule is different flooring for living spaces and bedrooms, and kitchens and baths . You can have all the same, but it is more appealing to mix it up a bit. Flooring in baths and kitchens are usually tile. Again, consider patterns, textures and colors when designing your flooring. Instead of using a tile pattern from build mode, you are welcome to use any floor you want and CAS it. Also, you may want to experiment. The floor tiles can go in one direction or opposite directions as well. You can achieve custom flooring with not much effort if you just play around with it. More will come on that in later lessons.
With the floors, I selected wood from the freebie section.
Then CASed it the brown in our palette. It's really beginning to take shape. Clutter
Another fun part. Here is where you can make your build look like a home. You can score that lived-in look, or with less clutter, an unoccupied establishment. But...what is the rule? Less is more! Less is more! Less is more! I cannot emphasis that enough. A build can look tacky with too much clutter. Find your rhythm. EA does provide us with a good supply of clutter. And just a shopping trip away, great third party custom content can be found. There is a whole section of decor in Buy Mode. From plants to misc. decor.
A good starting point is wall art. Do not clutter up every space on your wall with art. One painting per wall, given that it's a modest size, shall be sufficient. Also, choose appropriate wall art that suits your theme. Look to make sure the colors coordinate with your room as well. Wall art can be moved up and down the wall by holding down your left click. This is valuable as it adds to many dimensions of the space.
As you see in the first pic, I added one pic to the two walls, but made sure the size, color and content of the wall art is appropriate for the room. I also adjusted the photographs on the right.
The next pic I chose to leave out one wall with wall art because of the door and windows. To balance the opposite wall, I chose wall art that mimics the size of the other space.
Next up is plants. Empty spaces on the floor just scream for plants...but not too many. Also, consider what else you will need to include in the spaces. You may have forgotten something while filling in the furniture. No more than 3 large plants per room on the floor, in a modest space, and assuming it's not a sunroom. Take breaks from working your space. Once you come back, have a look and if something doesn't feel right, take it out or replace it. This is not a science. All interior design is art. Creative art.
Empty corners are great places for plants. Don't force them into position, let it be natural. In our room, there are limited places on the floor for plants, so a hanging plant is a good option.
Let's talk about mirrors. Of course you want to place them around your sinks in bathrooms, above dressers in bedrooms, but they can also be used to enlarge a room that lacks many windows. In real life that is a decorating trick as well for small spaces. Depending on your style of design, you can also attach a curtain to a mirror and use it as a window. In the style of Feng Shui, mirrors are a great usage for energy. Mirrors are also a skill builder for charismatic sims.
Curtains in real life have a dual purpose. One is aesthetics and the other is to block light, or let it in depending on your mood. In the sims, curtains are purely decorative. Curtains can be a nuisance at times as not all fit every window. So that must be taken into consideration as well as the style of your build. Curtains cannot be manipulated up and down the way wall art and some lights can. You must make due with how they hang, unless you want a mod for that. One can be found at Mod the Sims.
The chosen curtains fit the window and adhere to out theme.
Rugs are a great way to add balance and warmth to your room. There are not too many style and sizes to choose from, but with proper CASing, any rug can look like a million bucks. You can place a rug straight a ways or angle it for a bit of drama. CASing is important as well, and once again we go back to the pattern rule of one bold with one flowery pattern in your room, so keep in mind which are which and use textures for the remaining. A great idea is to go by your wall color and use that in the rug for the bigger part. Your accent colors could anchor the rug around the border. Make sure your border and main part work together and not against each other. Your rug design ought to compliment the room and tie it together.
In our room, I added 2 rugs to each sub area of the room. The rugs should balance and define the sections. They may look out of place for the moment, but once we CAS them, they will take shape.
For the next part, we will combine the usage of sculptures and misc. decor. They are pretty much the same stuff, sculptures are just a sub category of misc. decor. There are many items to sort through and it can be intimidating to locate just what you need. If you mouse over the arrow icon to the right, it says click to increase the size of the catalog. Below it is an icon that allows you to filter. You can sort from EP's, SP's and store content with it. It is very helpful if you know where the item you are looking for is from. Clutter from this subsection can make or break the build. What's the rule? Less is more. You may want to go clutter crazy, but keep in mind that each item of clutter increases your file size. Too large and it could cause game lag, or if you plan to upload, a large file may not go through. Plus, there is aesthetics. Too much of anything is never good. Be sparing with your clutter. Have enough that it makes sense, just like real life. You'd want in a bathroom, toilet paper, a towel rack, a towel next to the shower, maybe some soap, etc. There are a few other decorative pieces as well, but in general, don't go hog wild.
Here is the filter menu.
I added one bit of clutter, the globe. Our room is small and does not require too much.Create a Style or CAS
CAS is a wonderful tool that allows you to really customize and individualize your design. It has it's temperamental moments, but if you have patience, you can really create an amazing space with it. So how does it work? First, select the icon in either build or buy mode. You can also press 'R' on the keyboard. Next, it pulls up a CAS menu with patterns/textures ranging from fabrics to misc. Some take a bit to load, depending how many are in the particular category. While in CAS, you will want to remember the pattern rules. This is where you will fine tune your walls and floors, as well as furnishings and clutter. There are some neat tricks to play around with in CAS. If you note, there are color channels. 1-4 of them. Each one can be customized if you select it. You can also save your patterns that you CAS for future use which is done by clicking the folder icon on the very right. You can add a pattern to favorites by clicking the heart. Only do that if you plan on using it regularly. Below the channels, you will see the color wheel. Below that are three different selections. One is a color palette with pre made colors. In the beginning, you will find yourself wanting to use these. I suggest you don't. Do not depend on these colors. Create your own or use a hex code from a color palette. The second position is the color wheel where you can manipulate your color. It takes a bit of practice to get comfy with it, but once you do, it is a piece of cake. Last position is the color numbers where you can enter in a hex code or red, green or blue hues. The hex code is the easiest to deal with. Simply locate your hex code, enter it and away you go. Another remarkable function of CAS is Grab Preset. Mouse over the very left of where your on board patterns show up. There are six dots, three in a row going vertical. Grab it and you can transfer the preselected patterns to another object.
It is a time saver. But make sure you do mouse it over the correct object. Sometimes if you move to fast, you may CAS the wrong thing. In that case, note the undo button on the bottom left. After selecting undo, it will take you to the other pattern, but after it loads, simply click on the intended CASable object. The tool seems difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can be your best friend.
Now we have a fully CASed room. Notice I kept the wood grains/color the same. This helps to unify the room. Also, there is a bold pattern in the sofa and matching chairs, so I did not use a pattern in the rug and curtains, but texture instead. I followed the colors of the palette. Lighting
Lighting is so important to any room. It doesn't just allow visibility, it creates a mood. Again, style of your home plays an important role in selecting the right type of lighting. Look at the different styles and eliminate the ones that you know you will not use. Then go back and see which are left. You do not want to have an overabundance of lighting. Less is more still holds true here. A smart thing to do with lighting is to go from light to dark in build/buy mode. That way, you can see how the lights you have chosen will look in each environment. To do this, click the ying yang looking icon or press 'L' on your keyboard. If you spot some dark areas and/or shadows you do not want, you can use buydebug lighting. To access buybebug, first open your cheat menu by pressing control shift c on the keyboard. Next, enter the code, testingcheatsenabled true. Just like that. Now open cheat window again and enter buybebug. Once open, you will note six subsections. You want the one on the furthest right, titled misc. objects. Scroll through and you will find different sizes of lighting. Use your head on which size best fits the area. If it's a shadow in the corner, you will only need the one by one light. If you want to do an entire room, like a garage, you may want to use the circular lighting. When it comes to windows and floor lighting, I would suggest you avoid placing them near each other. Also, in a bedroom, if you have lights on nightstands, you may not need wall lights above. That might be overkill of lighting. Less is more and do not be afraid to use buydebug. Do not simply rely on it, but do know you can use it. Another cool thing is you can set the color and intensity of the lighting. If a light is really bright, it is nice to be able to dim that individual light. To do that just click on the light and the menu will appear if you are in live mode. In build/buy mode, use shift click. Another thing that really adds to mood is using the flame color as opposed to the white default lights. It adds a nice cast of light and workable shadows that make the surrounding more homey.
Here, I used two overheads for the separate spaces and a floor lamp next to the chair that is away from the window. When I turned day to night, I could see shadows, so added three buydebug lights to the corners.
This concludes your lesson in interiors. I hope it helps and do not forget to ask for help with any aspect of your build. Remember, there are no stupid questions. So fire away. Happy building!