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The Sims 3 - Room Ideas

Intermediate Home Building Guide

By Tom Thigpen

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So your Sim has been living in a tiny house with amazing objects for a while now and you're thinking perhaps it's time for a change. Well stay tuned folks and I'll show you how to turn all those extra Simoleons into an amazing intermediate-level home!

Before going any further I recommend that you read Carl's Newbie Guide - How to Play and, of course the beginner home building article.

Movin' on Up
What's the difference between a starter and intermediate home? Well the most noticeable difference will be size. With a bigger budget you can make larger rooms and won't have to worry about cramming everything in a small space; writing novels in the bedroom and sculpting in the backyard will become a thing of the past! A large contributing factor to the new home's size will be something I call 'unnecessary rooms' (from here forward referred to URs because I don't want to type 'unnecessary' ever again). Examples of URs include, but are not limited to: foyers, sun rooms, powder rooms, reading rooms, trophy rooms, and my personal favorite - the man cave. Other topics we will touch on are furniture options, decorating, landscaping, and floor plans.

If you followed my previous article your Sim is probably living in a nice starter home with great kitchen and bedroom objects, possibly an upgraded bathroom, and most likely a few entertainment items (TV, computer, etc.). To make the most out of your move I recommend having a net worth of $65,000-$75,000 first. Otherwise, your new house will be rather small, and your Sim knows all too well about living in a small home. How long it takes to earn this much depends on the size of your household and what jobs your Sims have, but for my single Sims this is usually after they reach level ten of their careers, your mileage may vary.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

Know Your Sims
Before we can get down to the actual house construction you'll have to assess your Sim's particular needs. The basics still apply: kitchen/dining area, bedroom, bathroom; but what else will your Sim want to have? Artistic skill objects can be combined in one room to create a studio, Logic skill objects can make a great reading room or den. Basically, I like to have my larger rooms reflect my Sim's personality; my Five-Star Chefs have giant kitchens, my Sports Legends have immense gyms, and so on. As we progress through the descriptions of the URs think about what your Sim would want.

UR on the Side of Excessive
I'll now provide examples of the URs I've mentioned. This is not a definitive list - be creative! The Sims 3 gives us great building tools and the only limit is your imagination.

The Foyer
Ahh the foyer, a wonderfully ostentatious addition to any home. A foyer is an extended entryway to your house and is great for showing other Sims that you mean business, and all you have to do is create a small-to-medium sized room on the interior side of your front door. What you place in this room is essentially fluff: a catch-all (small table that you'd place your keys or mail on), family portraits, impressive sculptures and the like. For a multi-level house there is usually a staircase included as well, and in some instances a loft overlooking the foyer. Now I'll show you a single-level and multi-level foyer.

Single-Level Foyer
The foyer's main purpose is to create a first impression and show how fancy you are, and here we have bookshelves (which means I'm smart), chairs (which means I'm well-off and have time to relax) and themed decor (which means I hired a great interior decorator). You can really put anything in here that you want to show off, like great paintings or treasures that your Sim has collected throughout their travels.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

Multi-Level Foyer
This is just a bit larger than the single-level foyer to allow room for a staircase, which is placed in the middle and is begging you to go up. This creates a air of wonder in the sense off 'wow there are stairs as soon as I go in, there must be a ton of stuff in this house!'. The same principles apply: I have fancy stone flooring, tables with knick-knacks, plants, statues, rugs and a chandelier. Big windows allow for great lighting, and it lets everyone outside see how awesome my Sim's home is.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Sun Room
The sun room is essentially an attempt to bring the outdoors indoors. I'll provide two examples: open and enclosed; open has no roof and enclosed is roofed. The sun room generally has tons of windows (think glass walls), a lot of seating, and plenty of greenery. There isn't much else that goes into it, maybe a bar, radio, or bookshelf, but the purpose of a sun room is relaxation and being closer to nature in the comfort of your own home. In the course of the day, your Sim probably won't spend too much time here, but the room looks great, creates atmosphere, and other Sims will love it during parties. The sun room is the epitome of an UR - not needed at all but is fun to have.

Open Sun Room
I built this sun room on a lot with a foundation by deleting a large square of the foundation in the middle of the home and putting in stairs that lead to it. The benefit of having this room on open terrain is that I can place outdoor shrubs on grass instead of being limited to potted plants. All I have here is a firepit and six outdoor chairs, some roses and a few azaleas - but it looks great. Like I mentioned before, the sun room is all about simple relaxation.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

Enclosed Sun Room
This is the same lot and all I did was put walls around their deck, roof it, add some plants, and place tons of windows. In the most basic sense that's exactly what an enclosed sun room is: a deck with window-walls and a roof. The sky's the limit with furnishings in an enclosed sun room since there's no danger from the elements (save for sun fading!) so put some couches and a stereo in there if you want!

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Powder Room
This room is for your lady Sims to get pretty in the morning. The powder room is separate from the bathroom, the big difference is that you bathe/handle business in the bathroom and you get glamorous in the powder room. Here you'll have sinks, lots of mirrors and decor items. It's a relatively small space but it makes your home look good. After all, who wants to beautify themselves next to a toilet? As you can see from the picture, the powder room is super easy to build and really adds some zazz to your master bedroom.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Reading Room
Light your cigars and bring out the latest issue of The New Yorker, the reading room is where your Sim shows the other townies how civilized she is. The concept is simple: books and impressive ways to read them. In The Sims 3 this translates to bookshelves, comfortable seating, classy decor and perhaps a fireplace. As a rule of thumb the only electronics allowed in the reading room should be a stereo at most (playing classical of course), no TVs, no phones - it's all business here.

Traditional Reading Room
I prefer a traditional style when decorating the reading room, including dark woods, leather upholstery, classic furniture and old-world decor like globes and paintings. In traditional reading rooms there is very little lighting because reading by firelight was considered sophisticated; so if you're going this route be sure to include a fireplace, some candles, and as few lamps as possible.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

Modern Reading Room
This is the exact same room as above, but updated to current housing trends. I added big windows, placed some sleeker furniture and ditched the fireplace in favor of more lamps. 

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Trophy Room
Another easy room to build that will give your home some oomph. Trophy rooms are great for displaying things that your Sim has collected, but you can still make a great room just using decorations from the buy menu. I like to give my rooms a theme; the trophy room shown is a collection of the relics I found in Egypt, so I used Egyptian-styled chairs, tables, and lighting.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Man Cave
Being a man myself, almost every intermediate home I build has a man cave. A man cave is essentially just a mash-up of things that a typical guy would like. The room will be heavily influenced by entertainment and comfort - so lots of seating and prime electronics. Probably the funnest part of building a man cave is decorating it! Instead of using expensive paintings, cheap trinkets and knick-knacks are preferred. Challenge yourself to clutter the room with objects you normally wouldn't place, as if you were giving $50 to spend at a yardsale (in real life) and that had to decorate an entire room. Forget about symmetry, just make sure your Sims can path through the room then go all out with the clutter. You'll notice other odd things like two TVs, one for sitting down to watch and one to watch while playing foosball. These obscurities are what create the essence of the man cave.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

A Quick Note on Furnishings
When decorating a room many people default to placing the most expensive objects, because if they cost a lot they must be the best, right? Not always. Don't always go for the item with the highest environment rating, instead look at other stats like comfort (ranging from + to +++), fun, hygiene, hunger, energy, etc. Find objects that match the look of your house, then pick the ones with the best stats. It's fine to completely ignore environment on furniture. You're better off getting Beautifully Decorated through a few high-environment paintings than lots of small bonuses from furniture anyways.

For example: here is a small bedroom with the most expensive bed, end tables, table lamps, and dresser - this room looks awful because none of the furniture matches.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

Price: 7840
Bed comfort: ++
Bed energy: 10
Environment (from furniture): 20
Environment (from decor): 0
Moodlet: Nicely Decorated (+25)

Now here is a bedroom where I picked a great bed and matched the rest of the furniture to it. The dresser is actually the cheapest one and all the furniture costs over $2,800 less than the previous room.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

Price: 5018
Bed comfort: +++
Bed energy: 10
Environment (from furniture): 7
Environment (from decor): 7
Moodlet: Nicely Decorated (+25)

So I've been able to create better stat results than the expensive room while saving over $2,800, plus my bedroom looks great. Plan smart and enjoy your savings.

I touched on this briefly in my previous article and the same principles apply to the intermediate house. This is a side-by-side screenshot of one of the nicer homes in Twinbrook: on the left I've deleted all the landscaping from the lot; on the right the home is untouched. There really isn't much of greenery on this lot but as you can see it makes a difference. Plant some trees, drop some shrubs - it's very easy and will make your home look great.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

Sample Homes
It's that time again, and this time around the houses are three times bigger and much more satisfying! All of these homes range from around $65,000-$75,000 and include mid-to-high level objects from the base game only, no CC. Each house features some of the URs I've talked about and cater to very different Sim lifestyles. Let the building begin!

The Mason
This is a Traditional-style, 2 bedroom, 2+1 bath on a 30x30 lot that features the basics of moving into an intermediate home. It's furnished with just the essentials for those who want to style the house on their own; and the giant backyard is left untouched to allow for a pool, large patio, garden, or any combination of the three. At just $63,000 you'll have plenty of funds leftover to foster your creativity and decorate the home as you see fit. The house is obviously bigger than any starter home, has a small foyer and two spare rooms that could be used as a den or study, and has tons of windows to allow a lot of natural light.

Available for download at the Sims 3 exchange here

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Getaway
If your solo Sim likes living in luxury and hosting great parties then this house is for you! At just 1 bedroom and 1.5 bath this Modern-style beach home is designed for a young hotshot or a powercouple at most. However, this house has more than enough great features to entertain guests. Designed for a 20x30 lot on the beach, this home features full open-construction with the only doors being at the entrance, bathrooms, and bedroom. There is a sunken, open sunroom in the middle of the house with ample seating and an enclosed patio sunroom with a bar and plenty of lounge chairs. With a pool in the backyard and room for a barbecue you'll be able to impress your Sim's friends with ease for only $73,881.

Available for download from The Sims 3 Exchange here

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Barclay
Here is a Sims 3 version of the house I grew up in. It's another Traditional-style house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, with a good-sized backyard and pleasant landscaping on a 30x40 lot. A full 2-car garage, combined kitchen/nook/family room and large master suite complete the traditional American home feel, and the backyard has space reserved for a garden or perhaps outdoor games. The high vaulted ceilings and use of natural wood and stone create a great log cabin feel and at $74,057 this house would be perfect for a small Sim family.

Available for download at The Sims 3 Exchange here

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Elizabeth
Last but certainly not least we come to our most expensive and most family-friendly home. This two-story, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath Victorian home is perfect for a Sim couple with 2-4 children. With a full guest suite downstairs and a large wrap-around patio, this home loves company. The house is exquisitely decorated with appealing furniture and has two empty rooms upstairs to serve as bedrooms or hobby rooms. The enormous kitchen has an attached full dining room and breakfast nook, and all the trees outside provide great shade for outdoor dining or just relaxing on the patio. At $76,594 on a 30x30 lot, this is one investment your Sim family won't soon regret.

Available for download at The Sims 3 Exchange here

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design
The Sims 3 Home Building and Design

The Build Goes On
Well there you have it! I hope my tips help you create the perfect intermediate-level home for your Sims, get creative and build some great houses! Stay tuned for my future articles that will show you how to build specific architectural styles, landscape, decorate and more! Happy Simming and feel free to contact me on our Sims 3 Forum with any building questions.

The Sims 3 Home Building and Design


Build and Edit in The Sims 3
Edit TownEdit LotsHousesHouseholdsBasements/MultistoryGaragesRooms
PoolsRoofsSlopesStairs/ElevatorsWall CurvingMovingSwitch 'hoods

Share Tips and FAQs (6)

Our Sims Forum is the place to go for faster answers to questions and discussions about the game. Use the form below to share your own experiences and provide helpful tips to other readers.

SimsLover says...
Floor plans please? Great houses, especially the last one. Thanks a lot!
1st June 2014 2:20am
Derp says...
Can I just say that Twinbrook is a place in Ireland. Its a real place, Its rundown and covered in graffiti, hunger strikers posters and stuff. Its the equivilent of the Bronx.
20th August 2014 2:55am
Rod says...
my the sims 3 dont show me the size of the room or the foundation while I'm doing it in the construction mode, how can I activate it (sorry about bad english rsrs)
1st June 2014 2:31pm
Emily says...
Do you have any custom content? You may have downloaded something which is making the room dimensions not appear. Move all your CC to the desktop and reload the game without it all.
If that's still not working/you don't have any CC, try clearing all the cache folders from your sims 3 folder (in your documents) that will also speed up your game if it's getting slow.
Sorry if this is no help at all, that's the process I would take if I had a problem with my game.
11th June 2014 8:49am
Kim says...
I hope you don't mind but I made a house that looks just like the Elizabeth. Just for personal use. I can't get my computer online that's why I didn't download it. Anyway, I love it. I changed the layout slightly inside and mind is slightly wider on the patio side. But the house is gorgeous. Probably the coolest Sim house I've ever made and I just wanted to give you guys your credit. I love your site! So helpful.
6th November 2015 2:03pm
jaceon says...
fireplaces really brighten up the place and make sims happy good thing theirs tons of different sizes and designs with fire places just ad a coffee table and a plant and some pretty chairs and their you go a perfect place for your sims to stay and relax if you really want and need it to look great to the next level ad book shelf's or paintings.
14th April 2020 3:26pm
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