This article will outline characteristics of three architectural styles that were popular in American history. If you are new to building, knowing about these simple elements and what you can achieve in-game may fine tune the character of your Sims 4 historical lots.
The Sims has always given us tools that allow us to create homes with distinct architectural details. It’s these details that add realism and a sense of history to the lot and your neighbourhood. This is no different in Sims 4, and with the addition of packs such as Sims 4 Vintage Glamour and Sims 4 Vampires, you have more build mode objects and decor to be creative with.
Some general tips:
- The Cheat code “bb.moveobjects on” and resizing objects with the “[ ]” square brackets are your friends. Use generously.
- Use game items in different ways than they were intended.
- Don’t skimp on the details. You don’t have to be an Architecture student (I’m not). However, even doing quick Google research on the type of house style you want to build can give you great ideas to refine your build.
1. Antebellum ( Neoclassical )
The iconic neoclassical mansions of the American south were built in the post-revolutionary times (early 1800’s) influenced by English and French settlers to the region. The term “Antebellum” is not necessarily an architecture style, but more of the period in America before the American Civil War. You can see the Antebellum influence in the Sims 4 with lots such as the “Oakenstead” in Willow Creek.
Because of it’s symmetrical layout, these type of houses may be the easiest to build in the game.
- Breezy porches and balconies helped the residents deal with the Southern heat.
- large sash windows with shutters
- Greco-roman style columns and pillars were used as a reflection of neoclassical architecture.
- Mansions were built symmetrically with center front entrances, influenced by ancient Greek and Roman architecture.
Build Objects for an “Antebellum” lot:
Three Antebellum inspired lots from the Sims Gallery:
2. Queen Anne ( Victorian )
The American “Queen Anne” is a style of Victorian architecture which rose in popularity near the end of the the 1800’s. The Industrial Revolution, which overlapped with the Victorian era, brought about technological advances and improvements to transportation. These allowed the faster transport and production of raw materials and goods. Decorative elements such as trims and window frames could be pre-fabricated, which in turn made Victorian homes easier, and less expensive to build. Limited lot sizes in urban areas forced builders to build upwards, which is why you see tall, narrow, multi-storied buildings in this style. The “Ophelia Villa” in Willow Creek where the Goth family resides, and the “Wolfsbane Manor” in Forgotten Hollows appears to take some Victorian-ish inspiration.
Doing a Sims Gallery search for “Victorian” will bring up plenty of results. It’s easy to see why these type of houses are so fun to build. Because these are eclectic in nature, you can be creative with build objects, and it would still work for a Queen Anne house.
- Eclectic styles influences by gothic, tudor and medieval architecture, which is why towers and turrets are an iconic part of a Queen Anne build
- Different dormers and roof types, such as gabled and mansard roofs
- wraparound front porch
- Decorative ornamentation, different wall textures
- Elaborate gardens. Victorians loved their gardens.
Three Queen Anne inspired lots from the Sims Gallery:
3. Streamline Moderne (Art Deco)
Mid-century “retro” came about from the “Streamline Moderne” or “Art Moderne” style, which emerged from the tail end of the “Art Deco” movement. This ultra modern style emphasized a concept of stream-lined motion, and stripped away the ornate details of it’s Art Deco past. Because it also reflected the economic times of Great Depression, buildings were constructed with inexpensive materials such as glass and cement, and designed with a sense of optimism to a bright future. Take a look at the “Solar Flares Lounge” and the “Futures Past” museum in Oasis Springs to see Streamline Moderne in the Sims 4.
The terms “midcentury”, or “art deco” are popular in the Gallery, though it may take a little more digging to find ones that suit the Streamline Moderne aesthetic. Sims 2 had the “Mansions and Gardens” expansion pack which included art deco build objects, but these are lacking in Sims 4 as of writing this article. However, you can still create interesting lots.
- Modern materials such as glass, chrome and cement
- Straight horizontal lines to give a sense of motion
- Curved, “aerodynamic”, corners
- “futuristic” decor elements
Build objects for a Streamline Moderne lot:
Three Streamline Moderne inspired lots from the Sims Gallery:
Building Sims 4 historical lots is a great challenge and may be easier than you think! Give it a try and tell us about it in the comments!
(The example lots can be found on the gallery under my EA id “belledaisies”.)