Split-level coral condo

I kind of started talking about this in my post about designing for small areas, but well, it’s worth saying again. I’ve been pretty heavily invested in HGXIV lately, soaking up ideas for windows, doors, ceilings, you name it.

It’s all made me very excited for the possibility of a large house; I’m hoping to scoop one up when Ishgard housing makes its debut in 6.1 this year! I really want to try out some of my new ideas.

Anyway.

Though it hasn’t been very long since I shared the design of my medium house, I couldn’t contain the creative fire, and ended up tearing it all down so I could build something smaller, but a lot more intense!

Foundation: Building a split-level

Technically, this is only half a split-level because it doesn’t have a lower floor, but I still consider it a split just because the upper floor isn’t a full story up. I wanted this house to have a multi-level design, just because it makes the space feel more versatile.

I also wanted to test out a new style of doing stairs that I picked up from HGXIV; if you look closely, it’s some standard wooden steps with about 12 white rectangular partitions all lined up below.

I experimented at first with a raised entrance that split to a lower and an upper, but that didn’t really work in this space. In smalls and mediums, there’s just enough room to fit two floors—but doing that here would have been pretty badly interrupted by the house’s central chandelier.

Instead, I decided to put the split off to the side of the house, with a raised bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom was a piece of work, let me tell you. It’s floated over the stairs from the basement, so there was a lot of multi-level floating and arranging through the stairs involved!

Design details: The doors

I’ve always been a little frustrated with the lack of useful doors in FFXIV. I tend to gravitate toward paper partitions and oasis doors just because I like the design of them, but they can be tricky to cover up.

With this build, I wanted to try out a new style for rooms and the hall closet that I saw recently, where instead of having functional doors everywhere, you create designed doors that just look open all the time. It was a neat experiment, and I think overall I’m happy with the result!

Obviously, I have a bit of work to do in terms of lining things up, but still.

The other unique approach I took with this build is something I haven’t been brave enough to try since one of my early builds in our small house: Covering the front door. I don’t love the design of most front doors; they tend to break the immersion of a design.

I learned recently, though, that floating door components close enough to the wall of the house means you can create an aesthetic door that still works! It’s not super intuitive (I’ve had a few people tell me they got trapped), but the front door does in fact work if you click near the handle.

Pièce de resistance: The kitchen

This is easily the most complex kitchen build I’ve ever done! In fact, I messed one of the cabinets up by about one pixel, which you can see in one of the images here. I couldn’t imagine taking it all down to start again, so I just left it! I don’t tend to see it too often in-game.

I got the idea for this kitchen from one of Ashen Bride’s builds, and it took me a while to figure out how she’d done it. Essentially, it’s a bunch of white rectangular partitions layered over each other; if you look closely, you can see how the lower ones stick out ever so slightly further than the upper ones.

As for the vertical lines between cabinets, they’re more white rectangular partitions, placed on an angle so all you can see is the very tip of the corner!

Another point of interest in this build was the sink. I’ve loved the idea of building farm-style kitchen sinks for a while now, but could never figure out how people had actual water in them. As it turns out, mahogany aqueducts don’t need to be floated very high to stay put, so that’s what I did.

And the finishing touch: The ceiling

One of the things I love doing in my builds is covering up houses’ normal ceilings. I tend to do it sparingly, though, because I hate how the camera always clips through if I have it zoomed out too far.

In my recent obsession, though, I discovered a technique called bed meta, which blocks the camera using beds floated just above the ceiling. There are certain types of beds that work better than others, from what I’ve seen; in this build, I used about 10 riviera beds from a housing merchant.

And now, it doesn’t matter how far out my camera is; it won’t clip through the ceiling! It uses up a lot of slots, especially if you’re covering a lot of ceiling, but honestly, I think it’s worth it for the improved usability of the house.