Boreal Springs

February 14, 2010

Anniversary – House Tours

Filed under: Anniversary — Mao @ 11:03 pm

Someone mentioned on the suggestions post that they might like to see the homes of Boreal Springs.  I’ll preface this by saying I’ve built all of the homes that the sims are currently residing in, aside from apartments.  I’m not much of a builder, but I hate downloading lots due to their ability to completely render your neighborhood into a pile of burning rubble.  Building all the lots myself also added a new challenge and made things interesting.

The first four lots all began as starter structures, meaning I built them with somewhat of an idea… but given that I’m not a builder?  Yeah, how they ended up isn’t quite that great.  In fact, there are only two houses I’m remotely happy with!  But, this is Anniversary stuff and as such, a look behind Oz’s curtain, so come along… it’s sure to be a laugh!

I should note that I would be a lot more detail oriented if this were my only blog/etc.  I started out that way, decorating the homes meticulously… now?  Not so much!  I try to add some homey touches here and then when the mood strikes, though.  Since a normal houses tour would be boring, given my inept building and decorating, I’ll give some insight and random facts where I can.

Some of the pictures fluctuate between night and day, this is mostly because of the random times I took the pictures.  These were taken over the course of a few days.  This is also why some exterior shots are missing.  :(

The O`Hanlon House

The O`Hanlon house is relatively simple.  I wanted a ranch style house and while these guys have a considerable amount of cash, I prefer to keep things white picket fence and single floor simple.  I see this family has the type that puts family before possessions and I want their home to just feel small, but cozy.  The layout drives me nuts, I’ll admit.  I had to add a bedroom behind the garage and an extra bathroom when Mary and Derek had children.  I would rid of the garage, but that would ruin the exterior look, so it stays and we get a very disjointed bedroom.  I also hate that they ALWAYS go through the front door, they never use the back door.  Ugh.  I built Isolde a little witchery room on the back.

This house has undergone some huge changes on the inside.  The entire layout was scrapped and redone.  You’ll see a difference between older pictures and newer ones.  The kitchen was once closed off and tiny.  Now the living space is nice and open.

The Anderson House

For the Anderson house, it’s pretty similar to what I had envisioned in the beginning.  I wanted a house with stately columns and 2 floors of large rooms.  The Andersons, at the time, were the “it” family in the hood… so of course, they had the biggest, most status-conscious house of all!  The layout doesn’t bother me as much as other houses, but I wish I could make better use of the space.  The hottub area was added for Nevio and the greenhouse hasn’t been touched in a very, very long time.

I had originally envisioned a grand staircase, but this was long before they were available and now?  There’s just no space!

The living room recently underwent a huge overhaul in looks.  I was planning to hit the kitchen, too, but didn’t get around to it yet.  The living room had been the same since Thomas Anderson was an adult!

I’m not entirely pleased with how huge the rooms upstairs are.  I’m planning on doing a layout overhaul at some point, I just have to be in the mood.  For now, things are thrown everywhere and I have to be careful with how I frame my shots.  Katarina’s room hasn’t changed since she’s been there and Alyssa’s old room still has photos of her in it!

The only room that’s had a slight change would be the “office” area that once belonged to Thomas Anderson.  It’s changed a tiny bit, lookswise, since then.

The Saunders House

I never had any intention on the Saunders house being huge, but Henry’s super sperm forced me to make it bigger.  The first floor kitchen and living room have had their looks changed, but prior to this recent development, they hadn’t been touched since Henry was alive.  Yeah, scary.

The bedrooms have been the same since the first few rounds and are in dire need of a remodel.  Things in this house are just thrown about willy-nilly… mostly in the rooms you never see, heh.  Behind Oz’s curtain, things are messy!  The layout doesn’t bother me here, it seems to work pretty well.

You can see the forgotten home business started by Aiyana off to the side.  I’ve since decided I hate home businesses.  It’s been years since I had one and yeah, not digging it.  So, it’s forgotten…

The second floor layout drives me insane!  Everything was thrown together so crazily and quickly and it just built on and on, like a ramshackle of huts that became the Forgotten City.  Anyway, the art room hasn’t been used since Damien and Aiyana’s days in the house… the nursery was added specifically for River and Basil, as was the small room with two beds.

When Gordon was a child in the house, his bedroom was in the area that the train set and the computer now occupy.  Just a fun fact.

The Yu House

For the Yu house, from day one, I wanted an Asian-themed house.  I had never had one before and I wanted to make use of all the neat new decorations.  Anyway, the main house was once very small, but grew.  I had thought about putting a second floor, but instead just added an addition.  They’re connected by a pathway that’s covered by a roof.

The house has undergone some minor cosmetic changes here and there, mostly as the layout changed, but it remains true to the original theme and intent.  The cluttered room in the main house with all the browns was Lilith’s summoning room where Katy Saunders (now Lauren Davis) rejoined the story.  It’s now just a cluttered, forgotten room.

The house still has the paintings done by Sun-Tzu of Eileen and their children hanging randomly around the house.  You’ve probably seen them in update pictures.

The Anderson 2 House

The second Anderson house was originally started by Florence Anderson, the CAS daughter of Thomas and Janine Anderson.  She had alien babies and then hooked up with Shaniqua Saunders.  The house has undergone some huge changes since then.  The changes only recently took place, though.  I’ve been slowly revamping the houses as this generation takes the helm.  Anyway, the kitchen used to be a nursery with patio doors that lead back to the enclosed pool area.  The kitchen was once in the open, but crowded, living area.

Lydia and Rosa’s childhood room is just a recolored version of the room Hugh, and even before that, Lilith and Nathaniel stayed in.  Not much there has changed furniture wise!

The upstairs is pretty simple and straight forward.  It hasn’t really been changed much since Hugh’s birth.  Katie’s childhood room was what the hallway now is and her bed was where the desk now resides.  Not a whole lot more to say about it.

It’s worth mentioning that I keep their house relatively small for a reason.  It’s the same thing as with the O`Hanlon house, I don’t want everyone to have some epic, huge house.  Not everyone is like that!  The families in this house are usually a simple bunch… Hugh and Kenya are family sims and so is Rosa.  Status isn’t a big deal to them and Florence, the originator, left her house to escape her father’s status craving ways.

The Anderson 3 House

For the third Anderson house, I wanted a very modern looking home.  It was started by Nathaniel, who was a start-up sports star turned injured seaman.  The house was intended to be very bachelor pad like and not very child friendly.  It was the first house to feature spiral stairs.  It started out very muted and black and minimal, but as Nathaniel and Sara had children, it became a bit more of a family home.  Now in the care of their son, Cole and the current mayor, Shelly, it still has its sleek look with the homey bits tucked away.

The upstairs is woefully sparse, but it’s mostly just bedrooms.  The bedroom on the bottom right was added with Cole and Shelly’s engagement.  The skilling room was once Sade’s bedroom when she was a teen, with Cole staying in the downstairs room.

You can see I have the lot sync timer and the romance thingy isolated off by themselves.  I rarely get a chance to do this, so you see them all over the place in other houses!

The Yu 2 House

The second Yu house was started by Gordon (as Saunders 2), but certain parts are barely recognizable when compared to when he lived here.  The living room and kitchen/dining areas haven’t changed much, but the bedroom area is completely different.  What was once just a large bedroom with stairs to the basement has been divided into two bedrooms and a hallway.

The layout of this house doesn’t bother too much, though the openness of the dining room annoys me.  The patio was added on during Ryu and Tracey’s marriage and the hottub gets used quite a bit by Marcus and Valerie.


  1. This was so fun, seeing behind the scenes of all the houses in BS. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the exterior of most of these houses before!

    “For now, things are thrown everywhere and I have to be careful with how I frame my shots.”

    Oh, you’re not alone there! I’m always framing everything so the room in the background looks as good as possible.

    Love the abandoned home business. I hate those too and I only ever have them temporarily (like to sell cars). But I really like the Saunders house. Every time I try to build a house from scratch, I come out with a box. The Knight house is great too but I can see how those stairs could cause traffic jams! It’s the worst when you have pets in the house and those kind of stairs – they love just walking to the landing and stopping.

    If I had to build the kind of settings you do for AoL, I’d be making “movie” type sets too!

    Comment by Carla — February 15, 2010 @ 12:37 am

  2. Ah, I love it!!! I love seeing behind the scenes of things because, as a reader, you have NO idea what things really look like…only the bits that are “sets” for the action of the story. Thanks for doing this!

    As for building…I’m by no means a builder either, but your decoration skills exceed mine greatly. I never have a very pretty-looking outside to my houses, or at least very rarely do. I’m not good at making houses look the way they should on the outside. However, Liz (silvervale) and I have become ADDICTED to and house plan books because they give such neat ideas of how to arrange homes in different ways. Most of my self-built homes are adaptations of houseplans I saw and loved. The thing I like best about is that you can also tell it how many floors you want, how many bedrooms and baths, whether you want a garage or basement, etc, so it’s easier to hand-pick the type of layout that will best suit a family. When I try to design a house myself, it usually ends up as one huge box with all square rooms! I like your use of diagonal walls…I need to try to do that more often.

    Anyway, thanks for this! It was very fun! I actually love the layout of the Saunders house, first floor. Really unique setup there. Also, on the second floor, is that the train set that killed Chuck? ZOMG, how fun to see it in situ!

    Comment by Shannon — February 15, 2010 @ 9:32 am

  3. I almost always plot out my houses on graph paper. Makes it so much easier to build, because you’re correcting your mistakes with an eraser, not the build tool.

    Then again, I purchased house plan books so I could build real houses in Sims…

    Comment by Janet — February 15, 2010 @ 10:36 am

  4. I like the layouts! At least you’re creative. I download lots and use Clean Installer to minimize the chance of BFBVFS. It’s funny, every time you do an update, the more I wanna load up the Any Game Starter and try my hand at it. Cool, getting a look behind the scenes. Thanks for the tour!

    Comment by Fini — February 15, 2010 @ 10:51 am

  5. Thanks, Carla! So glad I’m not the only one. Camera tricks, it’s all camera tricks, LOL!

    As for box houses, I was notorious for that. I had another hood where I tried to make houses. I came up with ONE interesting one and the rest were all boxes with squared off interiors. You can see the interesting house here. It looks very similar to the Anderson 3 house. ;)

    Comment by Mao — February 15, 2010 @ 11:17 am

  6. Haha, thank you, Shannon! Now when I post updates you’ll know where the rooms and everything are. ;)

    I like decorating. Before I had so many blogs, I was very meticulous. I don’t download a lot of clutter/etc, though. My CC file is ridiculously huge just with hair, clothes, and some furniture sets. I wish The Sims 2 had more options for family photos… but I love what Carla does! If I had more time, I would be all over that.

    My friend, Christina, uses house plans and things like that. I’ve tried, but I’m just not any good at it. I’m really terrible at replicating something sitting in front of me. I hated art class for this reason! I can draw people and certain things somewhat well, but still life or anything I’m not imagining myself? Impossible! So, the houses end up way too huge and nothing like what they are supposed to look like!

    Comment by Mao — February 15, 2010 @ 11:21 am

  7. Yeah, I suck at anything involving graph paper. I can’t even draw a straight line with guidance! I usually have to work it out and take forever doing things with the build tool, LOL. That’s a really good idea for the house plan savvy, though.

    Comment by Mao — February 15, 2010 @ 11:22 am

  8. Haha, thanks, Fini! I have downloaded a few lots, here and there, but I think my total is maybe 2 in the past year? I just don’t trust them, even with clean installer. I used clean installer and this mailbox default replacement got past it and now I’m stuck with funky mailboxes, LOL! I also lost multiple hoods to random BFBVFS and blaming lots is the easiest way to come to terms. ;)

    Comment by Mao — February 15, 2010 @ 11:24 am

  9. LOL, framing the shots! I think we all do that! I’m always pissed when I get the camera to just the right angle and then realize that, dammit, I’ve got a freezer clock or lot debugger in the background, lol! And I only ever decorate on an as-needed basis, so most rooms of my homes are only functional.

    I loved seeing this though! It must have taken forever! Just like hood shots, it’s need to see everything in relation to everything else.

    My favorite is Cole and Shelley’s house – I love the modern/minimalist look, it reminds me a lot of my Deppeisse house :)

    This is a neat conversation too, about how everybody builds. I’m also a graph paper plotter, lol! And I often get ideas from real life pictures and house plans. I tend to make my Sims live in much smaller spaces than all these though, lol! Probably because my computer can’t handle the very big lots.

    Comment by laura — February 15, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

  10. For me, taking gameplay shots is a different beast than storytelling. This is mostly because for storytelling… I can mess with EVERYTHING–nothing has to be functional! My sims haven’t aged a day and there’s no harm in moving/altering/posing/etc. But with gameplay, houses have to be playable and somewhat pleasing as background, not to mention I’m following what sims want, not what I want… so getting shots can be a test of patience, LOL! I love taking shots for both, I love taking shots in general. I’ll admit that it’s my favorite part by far. ;) I don’t know how you mingle the two. I could never play in the houses or lots I’ve used for stories, LOL!

    And I love the lengths people go to when creating RL houses in The Sims! I’m always amazed. I can’t do that, I have no idea how folks do. I have another friend that does building contests and everything and I am just continually like, “wow!”

    All of the lots are the same size when it comes to BS… although I think maybe I gave Roman’s lot a slightly bigger size. I wanted everything to be sort of uniform, no ridiculously huge lots next to tiny lots and the like.

    And this took a few hours last night. Husband was playing Bioshock 2 and I was working on this. Just got it finished before midnight!

    Comment by Mao — February 15, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  11. I love these houses! They have such big gardens too… mine all have really small yards because I’m terribly at building so I stick with the Nightlife ready-builts unless they’re an established offshoot who can afford something bigger and better (that’s also a pre-built)! Also, the O’Hanlon house is making me realise I need to work out how to play witches.

    Comment by Zoë — February 15, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  12. Thanks! I’m not great at decorating yards, but I wanted the lots to have enough room to grow and possibly add some yard features. :) I used to rely solely on pre-builts, so I definitely know how that goes.

    Comment by Mao — February 15, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

  13. Thanks for pulling back the curtain, it was very entertaining. I love that your houses are simple and not over the top in terms of the perfect decor. Apparently, my cat agrees since he won’t move from in front of the monitor.

    Comment by starrsim — February 15, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

  14. Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it! LOL and it’s always nice to have feline approval, too. ;)

    Comment by Mao — February 15, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  15. I love having a peak into other sims houses!
    When I build houses all the rooms end up being rectangular or square, and I hate that! But I did build almost all the houses in SimsVille myself!
    I love the idea of a sneak peak into the houses, maybe I’ll do that one day too!

    Comment by Tanja — February 16, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

  16. It’s so cool getting to see behind the curtain and seeing an overview of the houses as a whole instead of individual pieces. I’m a terrible builder and like Carla, mine always end up as boxes, LOL. I actually do like remodeling and so I often take pre-built houses and change things around, but I’m no good at starting from scratch and building everything myself. I love the Knight and Saunders 3 houses. :)

    Comment by Shana — February 16, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  17. Gordon’s house, Patrick’s house, and Cole’s house are my favorites. I love Cole’s house becase of how sleek and futursitc looking it is, I love Gordon’s house because it’s Gordon and his kitchen looks like my kitchen with the way it’s all black. Though I bet Gordon doesn’t have his mother saying that his kitchen looks like something out of the Hot Topic version of IKEA. Patrick’s house is is really cool and I love teh green in it.

    Micheal has masculinty?

    Comment by Victoria — February 16, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

  18. I’m glad you enjoyed it! :D

    That’s so cool! Committing to building everything is a huge endeavor. I’m tempted to try an apartment building, but I just haven’t had the time yet!

    Comment by Mao — February 16, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  19. Haha, thanks, Shana! I used to download pre-built houses and gut them, too. Sometimes the layouts just didn’t “work” for me or other times I just wanted more control over how things looked. I was just lucky I didn’t have to build these all immediately! It’s been a slow, steady work in progress for most.

    Comment by Mao — February 16, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

  20. Green is another one of my favorite colors, go figure. ;) Haha, the Ikea and Hot Topic comment made me laugh. I didn’t realize how black their kitchen was until I did this! You can’t even see the cabinets. xD

    Haha, Michael is may be quiet and reserved, but he’s not very feminine at all. He likes his hair, it’s something he got from his father, but other than that? He leaves that stuff to Sade, LOL!

    Comment by Mao — February 16, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

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