So, a week or so ago, I visited Gothbrooke Forest, a charming setting in which is located a copy of the Trompe Loeil Noa Ranch Cottage (see: A wander through Gothbrooke Forest in Second Life). At the time I noted the house was one I could end up purchasing for personal use and – as is my way – modify.
Well? Guess what this post is about (if you hadn’t already from the pretty obvious title…!).
Cory Edo is one of my go-to house designers for a number of reasons; many of her builds are light and airy, her work generally (but admittedly not always) lends itself to a fair degree of modification / kitbashing, and her prices are more than competitive. All of this is certainly true of the Noa Ranch Cottage. Although that said, It is also pretty big for a “cottage”, at least by UK terms…
With a 122 LI, a footprint of 37 x 24 metres and priced at L$625 (with a “snow” option available for a separate purchase price of L$100), the Noa is an highly induvial style of home well-suited for modification. It comprises a large main room with large windows to the front aspect and a curved roof which extends out of the front deck. This room is split into two parts, defined by a 3/4 height diving wall running part way across it.
To the front is the living area, complete with a large brick fireplace. A basic kitchen sits in one of the back corners of this room, whilst the space behind the dividing wall alongside of it offers space for a dining area. A narrow hall runs behind the kitchen, between it and the rear wall of the house and serving one of two back doors accessing the rear deck.
To either side of the fireplace are sets of double doors. Those towards the front of the house provide access to a second ground floor room of a fair size. The second pair access a small hallway with three doors: one to the rear deck of the house, one to a further ground-floor room and one back to the second front room. This hall also provides access to the stairs serving a small landing and the single, large upper floor room. On the opposite side of the main room to the two storey section of the house is a further small rectangular room with wooden walls on three sides and a single large front window.
It’s a design which offers plenty of opportunities for furnishing “as is”; but for me, the kitbashing opportunities and the two-floor section were just too tempting to ignore.
As I’ve noted in previous write-ups of houses I’ve bought, Isla Myvatn has a “split level” landscape, lowlands to the west, and a raised garden atop cliffs and rocks to the east, with the house offering something of a divide between, generally with the upper floor opening onto the back garden, and the front lower floors facing west.
One of the attractions of the Noa is that with its upstairs bedroom and landing (the latter with large windows to the rear aspect), it fit the design well, requiring only the addition of a home-made sliding door to replace one of the the windows, as shown above.
As a fan of large, open spaces in a house, the Noa’s design also allowed me to make some changes to the main room, taking out the the double doors and the wall supporting them to create a bigger space, with a new wall and doll installed to allow me to keep two additional lower floor rooms. With the fireplace relocated slightly, this allowed me to create a new entrance to the door, replacing one of the windows with my home-built sliding door (a further copy of which replaced the original front door at the opposite end of the main room).
After this, all that was left was to replace the back wall and door and blank off the passageway to the second back door behind the kitchen, as neither were required, given the house backs up against the raised garden. Once that was done, I opted to remove the small room off the side of the house the the front door and install a new side wall.
All of the above should indicate the Noa makes an ideal house for modding, and while there are some issues with faces, it can also be re-textured relatively easily, as I hope the images here demonstrate, allowing the house to be further personalised.
As noted, Cory Edo is one of my go-to house designers, her builds offer imaginative and rich designs, and with the Noa (and the Jura Waterfront Cottage before it, which inspired my own scratch-build for private use), she has provided a superb house for use out-of-the-folder or for kitbashing. It I have any issues with the Noa at all, it is that not all of the walls have individual interior / exterior faces, meaning that some retexturing is limited, and with due respect to Cory, some of her textures are a little rough in places when it comes to my tastes – notable the decking and the outside of the curved roof; both of which were easily fixed.
All-in-all, for those looking for a new house and who have the space for it, the Noa Rach Cottage makes for a good purchase.