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Room Reno #56: Graduation Party Yard

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Welcome back to Room Reno #56 here at The Sims Resource! Today we’re helping a Sim who wants her parents’ yard to become the perfect space to celebrate her high school graduation–with her friends and the other kids, of course! Let’s meet her!

Meet Elissa!

Elissa is a Sim looking forward to a bright future at Britechester University–but first, she’s going to live large at her high school graduation party! (I swear I didn’t pick this theme because of the new expansion pack, it was just a happy coincidence). She has a huge family and lots of friends, so the party will probably spill over into the house, too, but Elissa wants the yard to be the spotlight of the party. The adults can have their boring celebration indoors, but she’d like to make the yard the hot spot for all of her friends and younger family members. Let’s see what we’re working with!

The Before

This yard is nice enough, but it can definitely use some tender love and care (or just a landscaping crew, either would work). The porch is too small to do much with, so I’m going to focus on the area inside the hedges. While it would be easy enough to just move the hedges out of the way and make a larger space, in real life it’s actually really hard and expensive to move mature plants–and I want to try and rise to the challenge of the limited space that this yard presents. One day I’ll do a massive yard decorating challenge, but that day is not today (or probably tomorrow, because I love myself and I like preserving my sanity).

The square way that the hedges are laid out means that we can do a pretty good amount of work on the yard without having to move the hedges. I considered putting a pool in, but I felt that it wouldn’t be helpful to the party layout. Also, trying to look nice for a party and hopping in the pool are total opposites (at least for me). As soon as your hair gets wet, the game is over. Frizz city! (I know that this doesn’t happen to Sims, but I play with a little bit of realism in mind, and frizz is the realest thing there is). Let’s get into planning this yard!

The Planning

I probably could have gone with a more complex layout for the yard, but I felt like making it walkable was important, too–Sims love to get confused while routing and getting stuck, and I would rather not deal with that when throwing an in-game party (where they already get confused and stuck on everything). I did forget to add something to the planning chart, but it was a last minute addition on my part, and that’s a fire pit. Fire pits are a classic part of any patio, in my opinion. They keep you warm and cozy on hot summer nights and even let you make smores–what’s not to love? I placed the fire pit right above the patio table and below the seating on the chart above. Hopefully the kids at the party like their roasted marshmallows!

A buffet table was an absolute non-negotiable for me when planning out this space. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my favorite part of most parties is the food. I just love seeing what people serve for their guests and being able to try things I might not have had before (or to eat a lot of the foods I already love). For this buffet table, since it’s in the kids’ area, I went pretty simple with just pizza and hot dogs. Two kid-friendly staples work perfectly and make great leftovers too! Man, I could go for a hot dog or pizza right now…

The After

A lot of the success of this yard comes from clutter. I know that a lot of people struggle with using clutter, or feel like it takes too long to add it, but I have to say it’s a really essential part of any build if you want them to feel complete and lifelike. I used a selection of food clutter for this build instead of the in-game buffet table and I think it makes the yard feel a lot realer (and more colorful) than the in-game food alone would. It also brought some much-needed color to the yard, since Elissa’s school colors are blue and white, and the yard was looking a little boring (even with the pops of yellow that I included in the furnishings). The real key to clutter is using the moveobjects cheat and the raising and lowering objects cheats to make sure that your clutter is placed where you want it and not just where the game slots it.

I think each area of this yard has a lot to offer. The buffet table is probably my favorite, but I also think I’m biased towards it since I spent the longest on it while putting clutter down. The seating area next to the house is also a highlight, and I think that entertaining in that space would be a lot of fun and allow for a big group of Sims to gather and enjoy themselves. The outdoor living set is by the creator Onyxium and I highly recommend it! They have a huge selection of other outdoor furniture that’s also super cool and very aesthetically pleasing. The clutter objects I used are by Kardofe, who is one of my all-time favorite clutter creators on The Sims Resource. Check out their stuff if you want to make your Sims’ houses feel like real people live in them–you absolutely won’t regret it.

Thanks for checking out Room Reno #56: Grad Party Yard! If you liked this blog, check out Room Reno #55: Tiny Yard or our review of the Little Campers Kit.  Looking for something else? Read our review of the new Werewolves pack or about the latest game patch! Have a great day 😎

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