I recently mentioned that after spending a good few months on-and-off sorting out the island home and getting it just so, I’d started fiddling with it again.
It’s not that either of us was really dissatisfied with anything; it was simply the case that a hunt for a building which might form the basis for making a new house along the lines of Scotney Castle, started a hunt in-world and through the Marketplace, which uncovered a delightful cottage by Domineaux Prospero. It wasn’t precisely what we were looking for, but it – and Propsero’s popular Cottage Dock were enough to get me wanting to tinker and play again; and truth be told, the cottage really is a lovely unit.
The Leafy Hollow Cottage, to give it its full title, is a 94-LI single-piece, materials-enabled mesh build (+ extras) – no rezzer required. It’s perhaps the first dwelling to appeal to me since getting into Alex Bader’s house designs two years ago – which is saying something; it generally takes a team of wild horses and a stout harness to drag me from Alex’s work! With a 27 x 12m footprint, this is a two room build, the larger one offering the full 12m width, the second being slightly narrower, and suited to use as a bedroom.
Core features are a working fire (with the nice touch of smoke rising from the chimney when the fire is lit), lockable front / back doors, opening / lockable windows, working exterior / interior lights (the latter provided by boards of candles suspended from the roof, complete with colour options), and control options accessible from the light switches. The main room offers room enough for a comfortable lounge and something like a kitchenette for those so inclined, but for me the main attraction of the house is the ceiling. This has beautiful exposed beams with arched bracing, giving the interior of the cottage a classic look and a feeling of age which perfectly contrasts with the plaster-like finish of the interior walls.
Being Modify, the cottage is open to a range of opportunities. For example, I’ve swapped-out the exterior wall maps for a set which match other elements on our island and re-tinted the roof tiles. LI can be reduced, if required, by removing the external uPVC style guttering. The extras included comprise planter boxes, semi-circular steps for the front / back doors, rain barrels, and plants for the planters.
The Domineaux Effect Cottage Dock is the first prefab dock facility I’ve really liked (as opposed to using pier building sets). At 54 LI, it provides room for up to three boats, one of which can be under the roof. An additional floor section allows the covered area to be used as a party deck, if preferred. Various accessories – chairs, a beer cooler, dock extensions and two versions of a little boat – are provided, and the dock itself is provided in two finishes: weathered or “new”. Being Modify it is also open to some degree of personal tweaking.
So what of the rest of the island? I won’t bore you with reams of details. Suffice it to say we took the opportunity to make things look a little more natural. The southern end of the island is perfectly suited to the Cottage dock, and so behind this, I put Alex Bader’s landscaping kits to work, using his Scots Pine, Rocky Trail and Enchanted Wood (minus the trees, which I swapped for his Scots Pines) to offer a more natural feel to the island as things gently slope upwards trough a wooded area in which sit some of the old ruins.
Kris Lehmann’s Botanical forest Ruins Tower – which really started the whole “house among the ruins” thing for me – now sits at the north end of the island, giving arched access to a new, broad ribbon of beach looking out over totally open water. We’ve also retained the little “formal” garden, built using Alex Bader’s Tiered Garden Wall Set – fast becoming a feature in many public regions, which offers a natural break between the more “natural” end of the island and the house with its lawns and terrace.
For those looking for a small, comfortable house offering a fair degree of flexibility with the internal space without running to multiple rooms, the Domineaux Effect Leafy Hollow Cottage could be just the ticket. The Cottage Dock is similarly a great addition to land which features water, whether or not you have boats to dock. My only quibbles with them are really, really minor: the Cottage Dock could perhaps benefit from a gap in the handrails on the left side for boarding craft moored there, while the default texture and materials maps on the exterior of the cottage can require flipping in order to make the mortar between the stones look recessed, rather than raised – but this is easily done. Certainly and obviously, neither of these factors prevented an investment in both cottage and dock.
To see the Leafy Hollow Cottage and the Cottage Dock in-world, hop over to The Domineaux Effect at Musing Meadows. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.