Reviews

She’s a bit of a fixer upper — The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator review

The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator Game Pack launched on June 1st, and it’s been one of many exciting announcements for The Sims 4 in recent weeks. I got to channel my inner HGTV over this long holiday weekend playing a ton of this Pack, and I had an absolute blast.

The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator Game Pack review [Gaming Trend]

In Dream Home Decorator you can become an Interior Decorator with the Freelance career path. This Game Pack is based around clients trusting you to totally renovate their homes. Sometimes it’s just one room, but it could be an entire makeover. Once you obtain a gig, you have the choice to either go to the clients home manually, or send your Sim. I’m not sure why you’d choose to send your Sims vs going yourself since the whole point of this pack is to renovate, but the option is there if you need it.

There are several new items in this pack, including sectional sofas, stovetops and ovens that you can build on top of your counters, and modular shelving. Be sure to read the lessons on how to use and build with the modular shelving, as you can snap together several pieces to make custom looks.

With my first gig lined up, I headed out not having any idea what to expect. Once you’re on the clients property you’ll have a limited amount of time to complete multiple steps, but don’t worry, once you’re in build mode the timer pauses and you’ll have plenty of time to work. First you need to get to know your client, then you should find out their likes and dislikes, because this will be a HUGE factor for completing the job. You can ask them several Interior Design questions that may give you the upper hand when tackling the project. You’ll uncover things like their favorite colors, interests, styles, and dislikes. After you have a good idea of what the client wants, you send them off to get to work.

You’ll select three Before and three After photos for your final reveal.

You’ll have to take Before and After photos for the final reveal, which is a really fun slideshow that shows off all of your hard work. It is one of the steps you need to complete the job, so don’t be like me and forget to take your Before pictures. You won’t get negative points or anything, but you do have to complete both sets of photos in order to finish the job, and my reveal slideshow looked a little weird for that particular renovation.

Even though I am a Sims veteran, having played literally every single title in the entire franchise, I usually don’t do my own building or designing. I’ll use whatever homes come pre-loaded with a world, or download someone else’s house from the Gallery. As mentioned in my last review of The Sims 4 Courtyard Oasis Kit, I gave building a multi-level outdoor retreat a shot. It came out pretty terrible, but I realized I kind of liked it, and I learned a lot about the game that I had no idea about. I walked away from that review deciding that I wanted to try to build some of my own stuff, and then this opportunity with Dream Home Decorator came up less than a week later, which was perfect timing.

Nailed it! My first client loved my makeover. She hugged me at least five times.

My first job was to redesign a single room, and the game won’t tell you which one. If it is in the game, I never saw where, which wouldn’t be a first for me. Sometimes things aren’t super obvious in The Sims 4, which would be my only minor gripe about Dream Home Decorator. My client likes the color green, likes pipe organs, and dislikes country chic decor. I took their front sitting room and decided to turn it into a mini performance room, with a pipe organ being the focal point.

You’ll get a client budget, but if you sell the already existing items, it boosts the budget up so you have more money to play with. I redesigned the room with low lighting, candelabras, and a fireplace. For the big reveal, I hired an organist to play the pipe organ. Thankfully the clients loved it, and I walked away with cash in hand and my first renovation under my belt.

All I had to go on was that they loved bowling. They hated this so much that two of them cried. (Honestly, it is pretty terrible! lol)

The next three renovations didn’t go so well. I’m still trying to figure out what went wrong, as the game doesn’t really give you much to go on other than the few likes and dislikes you fish out of the client. My next gig was located in the Cacti Casa home. For those not familiar with the layout, it’s kind of small and not easy to work with because a lot of it is glass and there is a big open garden space in the middle of the house. The clients liked bowling, the color blue, and disliked suburban contemporary designs. Since I couldn’t fit a bowling alley in their home, I decorated it with just about everything I could find related to bowling. It was fun and upbeat, and since the house was a group of college kids living together, I thought they’d love it. Well, they hated it and I made no money.

More tears and unhappy clients, they hated my mission decor makeover. It looked better than what was there before!

Both gigs that followed were the same. One of the clients said they hated garden decor, but liked mission decor. I had no idea what the hell mission decor was, and the game doesn’t tell you or even give you hints as to what these genres or styles might be. A quick Google search revealed this: “Mission-style decor features leather upholstery, woven fabrics and prints with nature-themed patterns, and stained glass. Typically, a Mission-style home is decorated with earth tones like emerald green, russet, and tan, because those colors beautifully complement dark oak Mission furniture.” I tried my best to redesign a side room they had their TV in, adding in some really cool (in my opinion) stained glass windows, and kept to the color scheme mentioned above. I also gave them an impressive wooden archway to replace the boring standard square one. Yup, they hated all of it, and even started crying.

This makeover was hard to do with such a small space. My boyfriend happened to be one of the clients, and hated it so much he yelled at me in front of everyone! How rude!

The third house was the Partihaus location, which just so happens to be where my boyfriend, Paolo Rocca lives. We’re in a brand new relationship, and let me tell you that my failed home makeover didn’t help things blossom. This building is full of exercise equipment, brick walls, and just about everything is red. This was a kitchen renovation, and it was a super small area to work with. The clients said they liked programming, hated the color yellow, and hated exercise. I honestly didn’t know what the heck to make of that, or how to incorporate programming into a kitchen. So I opened the area up, added more counters, upgraded all their appliances. Well yup…you guessed it…they hated it so much they were not just disappointed and sad, but ANGRY with me. My boyfriend yelled at me in front of everyone, and stormed off.

Finally! Someone appreciates my wonderful handiwork. Hugs and smiles all around.

Thankfully my next client liked the magic I worked. This one loved the piano, hated violin, and loved the color purple. I chose to redo a small room upstairs that had just about nothing in it, and used my inspiration from my first renovation for this one. I added in a piano, a few seats, sprinkled in some purple stuff, and hired a pianist for the reveal. They loved it, and it was a much needed morale boost for my poor, defeated Ariella.

My latest job was actually from my “friends” at Partihaus, they called me back wanting to give me a second chance to redeem myself. I had a good mind to tell them to stuff it, but decided to give it a shot and see if I could figure out what went wrong the first time. I ignored my boyfriend, who I have not talked to since he humiliated me, and spoke to the other residents of the property. This time around they told me they love video games, love the color gray, and love programming. I decided to stay away from the failed kitchen redesign, and after looking at some of the other rooms, decided on redesigning the main shared living room. I changed out the bland brick wall into a bland gray wall, added a computer desk with a laptop they can program on, a gaming chair and a gaming system, a TV mounted on the wall above it, a gray area rug, with some red and gray accents around the room. With my fingers crossed I called the clients in for the big reveal, and thankfully they loved it. Whew. Being the mature Sim that I am, I thanked all the clients except my boyfriend, who I purposely ignored, and left the premises.

The Partihaus clients called me for a second chance. That’s my soon to be ex-boyfriend sitting at the table. Thankfully they liked this renovation, my ego couldn’t take another rejection.

I am figuring out more about how this all works, along with discovering items in the game that I had no idea existed until now. I might not be very good at interior design, but I’m really enjoying the building and designing aspect of The Sims 4, and Dream Home Decorator was a good way to continue to get my feet wet. I can’t wait to tackle bigger projects, and hopefully become “the” go-to Interior Decorator in my Sims world.

The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator Game Pack launches on June 1st and currently retails for $19.99 USD.

90

Excellent

The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator Game Pack

Review Guidelines

The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator Game Pack was just what I needed, as I really wanted to start designing some of my own homes and rooms. I very much enjoyed the hands-on experiences with each of the clients' unique homes. My only complaint is that some of the likes and dislikes are not obvious, especially when it comes to particular styles, and that the clients don’t tell you what you did wrong at the end of the renovation. The reveal at the end is super fun, and reminds me of being on a fixer upper TV show.

Holly Hudspeth is a best-selling author living in Fort Worth, Texas. She has six published novels to date; The Skyy Huntington Series, which is an epic dark fantasy adventure, and One Small Detail, a stand-alone medieval fantasy. Holly also enjoys writing fan fiction based on her avatars from games such as EverQuest, Elder Scrolls Online, and World of Warcraft. Her first major purchase at the established age of nine was the NES, and she has been gaming ever since. She enjoys fantasy games, city builders, RPGs, MMOs, SMITE, and The Sims franchise. Most nights she is in SMITE with her husband and friends, or playing ESO. When she isn't gaming, she is probably either at Disney or planning her next trip there.
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