Reflections – Gym and Spa

Front Exterior View – Sunlit Tides

At long last, I am pleased to present my latest completed project, Reflections Gym & Spa!  I have been working on this build for several months, and I think it’s unique – at least, I’ve never seen anything like it before.  The concept was to use mirrors both inside and outside, as part of the architecture, in order to create interesting and ever changing color combinations and to reflect the sims and their environment.  Inspiration for this lot actually struck me way back when I was working on The Austere.  I was playing with a lot of reflective surfaces in that build, and I saw an image of a “mirror house” on the web that really caught my eye:

Inspiration Home

I thought, ‘Why not use mirrors to create a similar effect in The Sims 3?  Would it work?’  It did!  However, I found that the effect took away from what I was trying to achieve with The Austere, and I decided to table it for a future build.  Once I had time to experiment more with the idea later, it became clear to me that while it might make for an interesting residence, it could do wonders for a community lot.  I didn’t know what type of lot I would build at first, but I had just embarked upon a weight loss and fitness journey in my personal life, so a gym seemed appropriate.

I wanted to provide a gym that would go above and beyond, not only in appearance but in activities offered.  In addition to the standard weights and treadmills, you’ll find a boxing ring, martial arts studio, climbing walls, ballet studio, basketball court, soccer court, swimming pool, trampoline, racquetball courts, VR/Media fit room, and much more.  I wanted Reflections to be focused on whole body-mind health, so you’ll also find two spas, a salon, and a healthy juice bar to keep your sims refreshed and rejuvenated.  Feel free to bring the whole family; Reflections offers activities for all age levels, including a large, marine-themed kids club that will keep the little ones engaged in hours of fun!  Reflections is the perfect blend of art and functionality and will be an attractive asset to any neighborhood.  Take a look at how it appears in Sunlit Tides, Lunar Lakes, and Simkyo (a custom city world made by Remmo).

Reflections in Sunlit Tides:

Front Exterior

Exterior Overhead Corner View

 

Close-up of Corner

Back Exterior

I just love the colors that Sunlit Tides infuses into the building – such vibrant blues.  Check it out at sunset too!

Sunset in Sunlit Tides

Back Exterior Sunset – Sunlit Tides

I think Sunlit Tides is a great location for Reflections, although I will admit that the build is quite modern and doesn’t have the same island vibe as the other community lots; perhaps it will fit better into Island Paradise!

Reflections is an interesting addition to Lunar Lakes:

Front Exterior Lunar Lakes

Closeup in Lunar Lakes

Back Exterior Lunar Lakes

I think the modern architecture fits right in with the futuristic feel there, and I love the warm, golden color reflections.  You could easily recolor the blue stripe I used on the building to another color that might work better with LL too.

I couldn’t wait to see how Reflections would look in the city.  Bridgeport wasn’t really working for me in terms of having an appropriate sized and positioned lot to place it, so I decided to use another user created city world that I like, Simkyo by Remma.  It’s amazing there!

Front Exterior – Simkyo

Front Exterior Simkyo Sunset

Front Exterior Simkyo – Night

I think Reflections is a natural for the city!  I could keep placing it in additional neighborhoods to see the effects, but I’d never get it released, so moving on…  Let’s look a little more closely at some of my favorite areas.  This is a huge build, so to really see it all, please take a look at my slideshow.

First, I love the layout of the roof level with all of the sports available.  There’s basketball, soccer, running/jogging tracks, and a trampoline.  Enjoy physical activity outdoors with a phenomenal view!

Basketball

Soccer

The swimming pool is another of my favorite outdoor areas.  It’s open but partially covered to protect your sims from the elements.  Placed in the right spot, the view from the pool can be incredible.

Closeup of Pool Area

View from Pool – Sunlit Tides

Moving inside to the ground floor, the multi-story, 4 sided rock climbing wall is sure to be a hit with your sims:

Climbing Structure from above

View from 2nd Floor Landing

Ground Floor View

The ground floor also features a unique martial arts studio; here I borrowed some ideas from a recent residential build, Cole’s Place.  As always, I’ve used in game photography to enhance and personalize the interior.  In this case, silhouette shots in vibrant colors add a great punch.

Martial Arts Studio

Speaking of punch, there’s also a boxing ring.  This is one of those art over functionality moments, but why not send your mean sims here to pick a fight and make it functional?

Boxing Ring

Feeling like a bit more peaceful activity is in order?  How about something that requires a combination of athleticism and exquisite grace?  Yep, it’s a ballet studio!

Ballet Studio

Every ballet studio needs a barre

In addition to the areas above, the ground floor also features weights, treadmills, women’s locker room and restroom, juice bar, and gift shop.  Please view the slideshow for images of these areas.

Making our way up to the second level, we can get a bit more risque with one of the trendiest exercises around these days, pole dancing:

Pick up some sexy new moves!

Sims peaking into the pole dancing area may need to head over for heart rate monitoring next; you can never be too careful!

Just how healthy are you? Here’s the place to find out!

This is definitely art over function again, but super cool looking, I think.  However, originally I had grander plans for this area.  I wanted to create my own version of stationary bikes:

Stationary Bikes

Unfortunately, community lots seem to be incompatible with bicycles.  I could get them on the lot via cheats and a mod, but they wouldn’t stay there, so I gave up on it.  Maybe EA will come out with an actual stationary bike at some point – we definitely need more exercise/gym equipment!

When your sims get tired of all that exercise, they can relax and unwind in one of the two spas on this level.  Each spa includes a sauna, massage tables, and a jacuzzi.

Entering the Spa

Massage Tables

Jacuzzi

Sauna

If your sim is interested in a new look, check out the nearby salon:

Get your hair done

Or try a complete makeover

The second floor also features aerobics, mens’ lockers and restroom, a step studio, yoga, exercises for elders, and racquetball.  To see the additional content, please view the slideshow.

Moving on to the third level, my favorite area is definitely the ocean/beach themed kids club.  I wanted to get creative but still include plenty of functionality and an ideal environment for babies, toddlers, and children to enjoy while their parents are working out.

As you can see, security is a priority!

There’s lots of fun and fantasy to experience here.

Note that toddlers and babies have their own secure little area.

Kids can explore behind the aquarium and discover a steerable seahorse (art over function here!)

Other areas I’m proud of on this level include what I call the Gaming Fitness room, which contains my version of a Kinect system and VR machines:

Get fit with the Kinect!

Virtual Reality Machines

I also set up an area for gymnastics:

My version of uneven bars

Mat for floor routines and balance beams

I have to show you the little office, too; it’s got a bit of a personal touch.  As I mentioned, I started a weight loss journey near the beginning of this project.  By December of 2012, I reached my goal.  I lost over 50 lbs and got into the best shape of my life, and this project became dearer to me throughout the months that I worked on diet and exercise to reshape myself (although ironically, I never went to a gym).  I thought that before and after shots would be a cute touch for an office, and I couldn’t resist taking shots of my sim avatar.  So when you see her before and after, you’re not too far from seeing mine!

Seek a consultation to learn how you can transform your body!

This level also features a fast walking studio (a nod to the program I used to lose weight and get fit), gyroscope room (get astronaut fit!), and a second pole dancing room as well as restrooms for both genders.  To see these areas, please view the slideshow.

Reflections is situated on a 50×50 lot and is custom content free!

Requirements for furnished version:  As I uploaded this version to the Exchange, you can view the detailed list and download the lot here.

I am not offering an unfurnished version of this build because I have ideas for making future use of it (possibly as a resort in Island Paradise), so I’d like to keep the shell proprietary, so to speak.  If you want to revise the lot in your own game, you are welcome to do so, but please do not re-upload it.

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Annual Single Story Build Competition – Top 10 Homes

Bry’s Single Story Home Building Competition

I recently wrapped up my (now annual) Single Story Build competition.  I love hosting this contest, since it generates so many wonderful, easy-to-play lots.  The response this year was amazing – over 50 entries!  It was quite a task to review and judge them all.  I scored the entries across a number of categories, including architecture, interior design, landscaping, lighting, functionality, and forums presentation.  I also awarded bonus points for things like innovation, cool water features, attention to detail, excellence in decor, etc.  All homes are custom content free.  The builders this year really stepped up to the challenge and created some of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen in the game!  Without further ado, here are my top 10:

10. Rest Haven by Simphomaniac1

Rest Haven is an architectural wonder.  It was one of the two top scorers in that category due to the level of interest and detail put into the exterior.

rest1

I especially loved the effect of the diagonal slats in the outdoor pavillion building.

rest2

The pool area is brilliantly designed.

rest3

The interiors are nicely done.

rest4

I’m especially fond of the rooms that take advantage of the additional ceiling height.

rest5

rest6

9.  Fairytale Charm by WrathofCath

This home has a charming exterior with fanciful landscaping that I really enjoyed.

FT1

Wandering through the backyard, you will slip right into Spring as you are surrounded by lush flowers along the walkway.

FT2

You can pause to relax by the lovely small pond with water feature.

FT3

The interiors are nicely done as well, with a comfortable warmth to them.

FT4

I especially loved the romantic master bedroom.

FT5

8. Eyre House by liquidy

I really like the architecture and layout of Eyre House.  The diagonal garage attached to the house by a mostly glass walkway is an interesting touch.

Eyre1

The backyard is lovely, offering a great play area for the kids, a large shady patio, pool/jacuzzi, and large vegetable garden.

Eyre2

Eyre3

The interiors are nicely done; the master bedroom and bathroom with its step-up tub area were my two favorite interior spaces.

Eyre4

Eyre5

7. The Soho by Kementari

I was not super wild about this home’s architecture from the front, but taking a look from the back is a whole other story.  The level of detail really makes it stand out.

soho1

soho2

One particular spot I loved was the outdoor room with skylight.

soho3

Where this build really comes into its own though is in its interior design.  It is one of only two builds in the entire competition to achieve a nearly perfect score in that category.  I think the images from the interior will speak for themselves as to why.

soho5

soho6

soho7

6. Rise of the Phoenix by VanessaMendieta

Rise of the Phoenix’s architecture is unique.  I love the extreme high rise and the added ceiling height.  The neutral brick and woodwork is also well done.

rise1

The backyard with its windowed pool and jacuzzi + water feature is also obviously very eye catching.

rise2

The interiors are airy and chic with distinctive pops of color.

rise3

rise4

My favorite interior space was this funky little bedroom; I loved all the play with striping.

rise5

5. Dream House for Contest by Agnezawars

Agnezawars’ entry is inventive, well balanced and fun.  I appreciated the distinctive architecture and clean landscaping.

dream1

dream2

Placing bubble columns by the jacuzzi was a cute touch.  I didn’t take any pictures, but this home also has excellent night lighting.

Screenshot-2084

The interiors are colorful and creative.  In-game photography was used to nice effect.  Unfortunately, the images didn’t appear properly in my game, but you can see them as they were meant to be in Agnez’s photos here.

Screenshot-2086

4. Haven House by HappySimmer3

This home is well balanced, with good architecture, clean landscaping, and a nice interior.  The exterior is well proportioned with interesting details, and the excellent landscaping really enhances its curb appeal.

haven1

The interiors are crisp and clean, done in a very pleasant color palette, and I was pleased to see in game artwork used, as well as other little personal touches.

haven2

haven3

haven4

3. Modish and Modern by luvalphle

This build is quite impressive.  I love the modern architecture with a variety of heights and the creator’s choice of columns, pillars, and fencing to enhance the landscaping.

modish1

The home packs an extra punch at night with its exterior lighting.  I love the glow around the roof.  I think that lighting is an often overlooked asset to a great build.

modish2

The backyard pool area is lovely; I really appreciate the water effects cascading from the jacuzzi to the pool.

modish3

The interior is well planned out and nicely done as well.

modish4

modish5

2. Jewel of the Golden Sands by luckyheather

Jewel of the Golden Sands is like a desert dream come true; it shimmers with beauty inside and out.  The exterior architecture is clean and well proportioned.

jewel1

The landscaping and outdoor areas are beautifully done; I especially love the shaded pavillion area.

jewel2

The interiors are bright and modern, with a hint of the exotic.

jewel3

jewel4

jewel5

1. Chula Vista by Blacksand

While many of the the Top 10 homes were very close in score (some just fractions of points away from each other!), Chula Vista was the clear overall winner.  This home really has it all and received high marks across the board.  The exterior arhitecture is beautifully done, and the landscaping perfectly suits it.  It has a subtle, old-world charm.

chula1

The outdoor living areas are lovely and inventive.

chula2

chula3

The interiors are beautiful.  I love the colors and patterns and how well they flow together.

chula4

chula5

For a real touch of luxury, I adore the master bedroom.

chula6

This Top 10 really is a “best of the best.”  There are so many more wonderful builds that came very close to making it into the top that you really must stop by the thread and take a look.  I guarantee you’ll find the perfect single story home for your sims there!

I want to conclude this post by thanking all of the contest entrants – thanks to their hard work and creative insights, we have amazing options for single story play rather than a boring box!  Thanks as well to everyone who supported the contest with well deserved praise for the builders and encouragement to keep the thread moving along.  And last but certainly not least, thank you to my sponsors, Ivanna, DangerDanger, and Candyeyedsimmy, who jumped in to cover additional prizes; I so appreciate your support!

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Big, Big News!

I just found out that I’m a finalist in the Design and Engineering category of EA’s Inspiring Creativity contest!  I could not believe it when I saw my name!  What an honor it is to be selected!  Of course, in order to actually win, I need votes.  I would really appreciate it if you would take a look at my entry, found here (note that the pictures take a bit to load).  If you like it, please vote for me!  You can vote daily.  I’m super happy just to be a finalist, but if I won…<mind boggling>!

Update:  I won!  It’s still hard to believe even now, but I actually won the contest!  I’m so excited and pleased.  I will be receiving a 3D printer, and I’m thrilled at the thought of what I might be able to create with it.

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Status Update

It’s been a while, and I’m afraid I don’t yet have a new build complete.  I have so much going on in my daily life that I find very little time (and energy) to focus on building.  However, I am making progress on my gym, Reflections, and I don’t think it will take too much longer to complete.  Here are a couple of WIP pictures:

Front Exterior View

Back Exterior View

As you can see, it’s a huge structure, so the inside has taken some time to define, and I’m now in the process of furnishing and decorating.  I hope that this gym will offer something for everyone.  It will have the expected workout equipment, of course but also some surprises.  I’m building it in Sunlit Tides because I love the way the colors of the world are reflected in the mirrors on the building – they really show off the concept I was going for.  I think the structure could also work as a hotel/resort, and perhaps down the road with the Island Paradise expansion, I will explore that aspect of it.

I’ve also got a couple more builds going that are in the very early stages.  I’m not ready to show off WIP pictures of them yet, but I will show you the homes that inspired them:

Apache Peak

Chattanooga

Finally, I’m hosting a new building contest on The Sims 3 forums.  I’m challenging builders to create single story homes that are innovative and interesting.  I ran this same competition last year and had some excellent entries.  Interest seems strong this time around, and I’ve already got quite a few submissions.  The contest will be open until March 31st, so there’s plenty of time to join!  Click here if you’re interested (lurkers are welcome too!).

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Cole’s Place

Exterior Front - Day

Exterior Front – Day

This will be my last build for 2012 – what a wonderful year it has been!  I have really enjoyed all of the builds I’ve tackled as well as the contests I hosted.  Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!  I started Cole’s Place for a contest I was in, but the requirements were bumped down from building a house to a single room.  However, I decided to carry on with the build as I really liked the architecture of the inspiration home:

Inspiration House

Inspiration House

I liked that it was modern but somewhat gritty with lots of touches of greenery.  The home was originally to be designed as a bachelor pad, so I scaled it down to fit on a 20×20 lot.  For the interiors, I wanted a really graphic feel, so I used a lot of vivid colors offset by steel and other reflective surfaces to keep that modern industrial edge.  As in my previous builds, I used in game photography to help achieve the look(s) I wanted.  The property is custom content free and costs 163k furnished.  Two separate, self-sufficient units let you have roommates but keep them at a distance.  Each unit contains all the amenities you’ll want.  Great outdoor areas too with a pool, jacuzzi, lounging and dining.  The lot is Seasons enabled.  Moderns can’t have holiday house lights?  I couldn’t accept that!

Decorated for Winter

Decorated for Winter

You may download the furnished version here.  I am also offering an unfurnished version so that those with fewer expansions/stuff packs/store items can still make use of the home; download it here.

Here are some additional images of the property.  To see more, please take a look at my slideshow.  If you’re looking for an exciting, new modern, I hope you’ll give Cole’s Place a try!

Exterior Back - Day

Exterior Back – Day

Balcony at Night

Balcony at Night

Outdoor Dining

Outdoor Dining

Jacuzzi at Night

Jacuzzi at Night

View toward entrance from pool

View toward entrance from pool

Main Unit Living

Main Unit Living

Main Unit Dining/Bar

Main Unit Dining/Bar

Main Unit Bedroom

Main Unit Bedroom

Main Unit Bathroom

Main Unit Bathroom

Main Unit Basement Gym

Main Unit Basement Gym

I especially had fun getting the martial arts photos for Cole’s gym/martial arts/dance basement.  In real life, Cole Horibe was a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance, a reality TV show where dancers of all types/styles compete to become America’s favorite dancer.  Cole performed a a unique blend of dancing and martial arts, which was what inspired me to set up the basement as I have.  Here are a couple more shots:

Another basement shot

Another basement shot

More of the basement

More of the basement

Moving on…

2nd Unit Living

2nd Unit Living

2nd Unit Dining/Kitchen

2nd Unit Dining/Kitchen

2nd Unit Arcade

2nd Unit Arcade

2nd Unit Bedroom

2nd Unit Bedroom

Bridge between the two units is a sunroom/office on the 2nd floor

Bridge between the two units is a sunroom/office on the 2nd floor

And just one last shot to show how I’ve decorated the main unit’s living area for the winter holidays:

Ready for Snowflake Day!

Ready for Snowflake Day!

I used a smaller tree, which made sense for the space, and utilized fog emitters to give it the lighting effects.  My seasonal decorations for the property are minimal – just the lights and the few winter holiday decorations you see above.  I leave spring/summer/fall to you!

Requirements for furnished version:  As I uploaded this version to the Exchange, you can view the detailed list here.

In the unfurnished version, I used items from Late Night, World Adventures, Generations, Showtime, and Ambitions.  I did not use any stuff pack objects.  I did include the following store items:

  1. BahHaus Stupendous Door
  2. BahHaus Immaculate Window
  3. Concrete Boarder Window
  4. Laddered Window
  5. Cube of Light
  6. Shrub of Tranquility
  7. Modern Mailbox from Lucky Palms

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The Breezeway (redux)

The Breezeway

It’s been quite a while, but I’m back with a great home for Seasons!  Enjoy casual beach living in this custom content free 3 bedroom, 2-1/2 bath home with granny unit on a 40×40 lot. Home includes living, kitchen, dining, den, office/home salon, pool, firepit, and jacuzzi, as well as a custom fish tank. Its wrap-around decks afford amazing views as well as places to dine and sun. The home’s interior design is enhanced by many unique, beach and ocean themed in game photographs. The home costs $150k fully furnished, including automatic seasonal decorations.

You may download the furnished version here.  I am also offering an unfurnished version so that those with fewer expansions/stuff packs/store items can still make use of the home; download it here.

This is another older build of mine that was originally stuffed with custom content.  I was using the home for one of my primary gameplay families and wanted to renovate it to do away with the CC.  I wanted to keep that CC look though, and to do so, I took photos of my favorite beach themed CC that I then used to decorate the house.  I also wanted to replace the original awkward staircase with a spiral stair that allows much better use of the space.  I decided to add a pool and jacuzzi and to repurpose the original home salon space to a granny unit, so that the family’s mother could move in with them (the home salon is now part of the original office).  I made various other enhancements and also set up the house to change its decor with the seasons.  The home has been thoroughly playtested, and it’s working out quite well for my family; I hope yours will enjoy it too!

You can read about my original inspiration and home here.  Here are some images of the home.  To see more, please take a look at my slideshow.  Hope you enjoy the new and improved version of the Breezeway!

Front Exterior Day

 

Back Exterior Night

Pool and Firepit

Downstairs Entry – decided to do something fun with the area behind the stairs, a fish tank (complete with fish swimming and bubbles rising).

 

Den

Sitting Area

Dining

Kitchen

Girl’s Bedroom

Kids Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom

Requirements for furnished version:  As I uploaded this version to the Exchange, you can view the detailed list here.

In the unfurnished version, I used items from all the expansions, but there are no stuff pack or store items.

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Forest Retreat Redux

Forest Retreat Redux

Embedded in nature, this CC free, 4 bed/4 bath A-Frame offers rustic living on a wooded 50×50 lot for 168k furnished.  Amenities include living room and den, both with fireplaces, open kitchen, dining, and bar area, and oversized garage with an attached workshop.  The backyard offers a pool, jacuzzi, treehouse, outdoor dining, and relaxing.  In game photography was used throughout the home for an authentic feel.

You may download the furnished version here.  I am also offering an unfurnished version so that those with fewer expansions/stuff packs/store items can still make use of the home; download it here.

This is not a new build, but rather one of my old favorites that unfortunately was crammed full of custom content.  At the time, there just wasn’t that much store and expansion pack content suitable for the type of home I wanted to build.  I especially felt that it needed the CC windows and chimney that I used.  Now, since the release of the clear story windows in Lucky Palms and with the advent of additional rustic themed objects in the store and in the latest Supernatural expansion, the custom content is no longer necessary.

You can read about my original inspiration and home here.  In addition to revising the home to remove CC, I also tried to improve the property in various ways, from structure and roofing to landscaping and interior layout.  Again, I used in-game photography to create beautiful and unique moments in the interior.  Here are some images of the home.  To see more, please take a look at my slideshow.  Hope you enjoy the new and improved version of the Forest Retreat!

Pool/Jacuzzi – I did some reshaping here to make it look more natural

Kids Play Area – so nice to be able to use a real treehouse. That rabbit is so cute! Or is it creepy?…

Living Room – the new lounger from Supernatural is perfect for this space, as is the faux animal rug

Kitchen – I hope it’s quite an improvement over the original

Revised Den

Revised Master Bedroom – I really wish the rustic column could be extended beyond a single story, but since it can’t, I tried to top the columns in a way that would look good

Nursery – was an empty room in the original; I decided I shouldn’t be lazy and should go ahead and give it a purpose in this edition

Requirements for furnished version:  As I uploaded this version to the Exchange, you can view the detailed list here.  Note that the store list does not include (but should) pieces from The Complete Castle by Castle Kits (unfortunately, they cannot be purchased individually – I used them to build the chimney), Greek Window from the Olympic Physique set, and the clear story windows from Lucky Palms (again cannot be purchased indvidually, at least at the current time)

In the unfurnished version, I used items from World Adventures, Late Night, Ambitions, and Pets.  I also used the following store items: The Sims Classic- Knot-Hole by Log Creations, The Sims Classic- Forever Redwood Potted Tree, Mega Nega-Door, pieces from The Complete Castle by Castle Kits and the clear story windows from Lucky Palms.

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