One of the things I like doing in SL is messing around with houses and homes, kitbashing and modding – as I’ve often yabbered on about in these pages. This fiddling has also included those Linden Homes I’ve utilised, again as I’ve tended to record here as well, as a part of my general coverage of Linden Homes in general.
I currently have an over-the-water Stilt Home, to which I applied a modest amount of modding to produce something a little more individual. However, the release of the Chalet style of Linden Home with its open-plan variants of each house style got me thinking about doing something more extensive by way of mods, notably with the Tortuga style of Stilt Home, the single-floor, largely open-plan layout of which just cries out to be played with.
So, over the past couple of days I’ve been fiddling around with ideas and looking at what might be done with the design.
Now of course, given the time the Stilt Homes have been out and available, there are likely a lot of conversion / add-on / bolt-on kits for this Theme that can be had through the Marketplace – just as there are for the Houseboats, et al – and these can provide the easiest solution. But fiddling for yourself can result in something far more personal, particularly if, like me, you having a rezzing system such as Ydille’s Multi Scene Rezzer & Multi Scene Erazer Pro V5 (reviewed here) in which to store your layouts so you can swap back and forth between them whenever you wish.
For those unfamiliar with it, the Tortuga Stilt Home is a single-floor design, with a large primary room and single separate room to the front. That large room, split somewhat by a rectangular arch is simply ideal for modding. In fact, that’s where I started: putting in a “proper” dividing wall and door within the existing arch.
However, rather than put in a solid wall, which would look odd given the wooden trim around the archway, I opted to put in two wood-framed windows and matching sliding door. To achieve this, I used the 2 x 6 windowsfrom the ER Sunroom Windows Mesh Multipane kit by Ecko Riven (EckoRiven). At L$200 full permissions, this is an excellent and flexible builder’s kit that I’ve used in a number of my own conversions and scratch-builds. These I rotated through 90° to stand them vertically, with a third offset to form the central sliding door for which I wrote a simple script – if you’re not up to doing so yourself, take a look on the Marketplace, there’s bound to be a script there that will work for you.
With the “window” sections linked, a simple room divider of this nature weighs-in at just 3LI. And as a side note, given the additional doors provided by LL for use with the Stilt Homes come in at 3 LI apiece, I opted to duplicate my “sliding door” and use it for the single additional room in the Tortuga, changing the “glass” texture on it for something more “frosted” as I use that room as a bathroom. So, for 1 LI more than a supplied Stilt Home door, I gained a room divider and two doors.
As I said, a simple solution, splitting the Tortuga along obvious lines to provide a large “main” room space and a “bedroom” space. But for me it was just the start – the “main” room still felt a little too big, so I opted to split that as well.
Again, this was most easily done by following the shape of the house. With it’s “stepped” design around the front door, it’s easy to put in additional walls to create a “vestibule” area between the front door and the rest of the house. So as not to have this feel too claustrophobic, I extended 2 solid walls part-way across the space, then created a rectangular archway in the same style of the one built-in to the house. This allowed me to again add elements from the ER Sunroom Windows kit to keep things feeling somewhat open between “vestibule” and main room, particularly as I didn’t add a door.
With the divider mentioned above linked to the new wall sections, I’d taken what was effectively a 2-room house and split it into a 4-room space.
From here it was just a matter of adding wall décor and other bits to the basic layout to give a more homely feel. Things like rugs, pictures on the wall, light fittings, and so on – even the fireplace – were all carefully linked into the overall design, helping to reduce the overall LI (see the notes at the end of Modding a house in Second Life: tips and pointers for info on what to look for when linking items like this if you’re unfamiliar with the technique, and what to avoid).
With an exterior chimney added to the exterior and in line with the fireplace, I had a complete interior for the house at 42 LI, sans actual furniture and kitchen fittings, but including a lighting system that follows the parcel’s EEP Day Cycle. The completed space offers a vestibule (which I used as a “home office”), a large open-plane lounge / kitchen / dining space in the main room, and a good-sized bedroom space.
Nor is this the only option.
For example, if you’d like to keep more of the open plan feel to the house and don’t mind having a smaller bedroom, you can put a divider across the smaller section at the back of the house, creating a bedroom space that still has access to the rear deck, thus leaving you with a through room, allowing you have a separate kitchen, if you prefer or whatever else takes your fancy (in My case, room for my baby grand piano!).
You could even, if you wanted, split this part of the Tortuga two ways, to provide an additional room between the “bedroom” and “bathroom” (if that’s how you use them) – but to me, this felt again very claustrophobic and can can leave the camera on the wrong side of one of the added walls / dividers.
I’ve admittedly not looked at the other Stilt Home styles to see just how amenable their interiors are to a similar degree of customisation – but I doubt the Santiago really gives much scope given its interior design, whilst both the Lauderdale and Havana both off some room for fiddling in the larger ground from room found in each. I might get around to having a play at some point, but to be honest, I think the Tortuga really is the most flexible of the four styles for those who like playing with things.