Decorating Tips

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Better Homes & Castles : Designing and Decorating
Decorating Tips

Tips & Tricks

Decorating your virtual home is just like decorating your
real one: it is partly about knowing what to combine and
what not to combine, partly inspiration and good ideas,
and partly stealing ideas from others. An important difference
is that virtual decorators get their best results by using
items in a way for which they weren’t really meant.

For example, you can achieve some interesting effects by
combining and coloring all sorts of items.

An empty soup bowl combined with various pieces of fruit
makes a nice fruit bowl: .
Simply stack the fruit on top of the bowl, and raise or
lower each piece of fruit until you get the look you want.
This one was made of an empty bowl, 2 lemons, 2 grape bunches,
an apple, a pear and a black pear. Use different fruits
and veggies like bananas or cabbages, or dyed balls of yarn,
for variety.

Use your imagination and combine everyday items to create
something completely new.. The fire in this fireplace consists
of piles of coins, torches (to create a nice glow at night),
kindling, and large pieces of shadow ore to make the ‘coals’.
Instead of coins, you can use cotton dyed yellow-orange
to simulate the glowing embers.

When you raise or lower two objects to the same level above
the floor, you cannot be certain which object will be displayed
on top… sometimes they reverse positions. When you make
a fire for your fireplace like this, make sure that you
raise the ‘coal’ high enough so that the glowing ’embers’
(the coins) will not pop out on top, ruining the illusion.
After making complex items, leave the house completely and
re-enter it to see if any objects have reversed position.


and locking things down extra-high

Interior Decorator tool will let you raise items easily,
except that it will not raise objects to the highest possible
position, which is 16 ‘clicks’ above floor level. You may
wonder what’s so great about that altitude that we have
to worry about it. Well… an item locked 16 clicks above
the floor will disappear if you stand underneath it! What’s
more, standing under such an object will hide all
other objects on that same level. You can use this effect
to create a canopy on the roof of your house, as shown in
this picture.. This canopy will neatly disappear when you
move under it, just like the ceiling of a room will.

So, how do we get objects locked down 16 clicks above the
floor? The old-fashioned way, by stacking! You’ll need two
small tables and a few boards, ingots or fish steaks. Stack
the two tables and place 4other boards on top, and lastly
the object you wish to lock down. Lock down only the object
and simply remove the other items, starting with the
second board from the top
. The object should remain
floating, and will be hidden when you stand under it.


Chests and

you are not satisfied with the granularity of the security
provided on secured chests, then you can use old-fashioned
keys to allow only certain friends of the house into a chest
by giving them the key for it. The nice thing is… secured
chests cannot be picked by a lockpick! If you try, you will
be informed that the chest is secure: In the image on the
right, a Grandmaster lockpick (who is also friended to the
house) has a go at a secured chest that is set to be accessable
by friends, but has been locked with a key. As you can see,
the chest cannot be picked.

By using lockable chests for secure storage, you are completely
free to decide who will have access to your chests. You
will still have tight security, unless someone loses their
key, in which case you may want to replace the lock by replacing
the chest with a new one.


Yew tables

Some objects that take up more than one tile can overlap,
like Yew tables or unrolled bed rolls. Place two of them
in adjacent tiles and the two items will overlap and end
up looking like one single item. You can create really long
Yew tables with this trick, for example.





By placing items in front (south-east) of other objects,
and raising them so they cover the other objects, you can
create the illusion of transparent objects. The best-known
example of this trick is the fish tank. Get some cloth,
a few small fishes, a boat model and shells, a dye tub and
some dyes. First place the cloth that makes up the tank
itself. Place the items to go in the tank in front
of it.. Now… raise the items and voila! The sandy bottom
and fish now look as if they are in the fish tank.

Build the fish tank itself first. You may want to place
communications crystals underneath for a nice green glow.
Place the sandy bottom and other contents of the tank to
the south-east of the tank, on the tiles outlined in red.
Raise them up, and they will appear to be inside the tank.
Add some fish, shells, seaweeds (vegetables) etc. in the
same manner, and the illusion is complete!


items on walls

When you place items on low walls, they will be raised
a little by default. You can still lower these with the
Interior Decorator though! That can be useful, for instance
when you create a pool from bits of cloth for water, surrounded
by a low wall. In some places you will want to lower the
cloth ‘into the wall’ to make it lign up with the rest of
the ‘water’


banners and other deeds

Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the
way banners are placed on walls. Normally, they are placed
too low as can be seen in the first image.

Rejoice, for there is a way to raise them! Simply stack
two small tables, and keep stacking with other items such
as boards or ingots until you get as high as you can. Then
double-click the banner deed and target the topmost ingot.
The banner will be placed in a more reasonable location,
as the last picture shows.


beyond the ceiling.

Is it possible to stack higher than 16 clicks above
the floor? Yes… that is, if you can manage to raise yourself
a little and still see and reach the objects that you want
to place that high. Don’t worry, there’s no difficult self-levitation
trick involved. All you need is a ladder or stairs closeby.

In the first image, you see a stack of 17 boards. That’s
as high as you can stack them, normally. But if you go stand
on the stairs as shown in the second image, you can drop
an additional 7 boards onto the stack.

If you want to go even higher, you will need to replace
one of the 5 topmost boards of the first 17 with a small
table, as shown in the third picture. You can then stand
at the top of the stairs, and drop up to 17 more boards
onto the table. When you’re done, remove the table.

So what’s the point of this staggering pile of boards?
Not a lot… but you can use this trick to do other neat
things such as

  • locking down items against the upper half of a high
    wall spanning 2 floors. Perhaps you wish to lock down
    decorative swords or halberds against the archway over
    your front door.
  • building decorations that span two floors or more, such
    as a really high trellis.or vines that grow high against
    your walls.



Chest trick / Spellbook trick

You no longer have to place items in a chest and chop the
chest up, to make multiple items appear on the same level
above the floor. Similarly, the trick of dragging an item
from a stack of things to your spellbook and letting it
snap back, is now obsolete. The decorator’s tool now lets
you raise and lower items onto the same level above the
floor, without upsetting other items in the pile.

Newbie coins and death robes.

Newbie coins and deathrobes are no longer ‘newbiefied’,
and as such they are indistinguishable from regular coins,
and they take as long to decay. However, since you can now
remove something from the middle of a pile of items without
upsetting the rest of the pile, their function is obsolete
as far as decorating is concerned. There is no longer a
need to stack up items and let one item decay to leave something

Chopping up half a table

It is no longer possible to use a hatchet to chop up only
half of a granite table, leaving the other half standing.
If you chop at a granite table, it will be removed completely,
and the table will be returned to your backpack in the form
of a deed.

Locking things down using a locked chest.

You no longer need to use a locked chest to lock down items
on the front stairs of your home or near the doors, since
such items can now be locked down there normally. The trick
of using a locked-down and locked chest to lock down other
items does not work anymore.

Edited By Stupid Miner. July 2009.

Last modified: March 26, 2011

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