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In the world of Sims house building and the contests that often stem from that activity, the trick is always to show something the game hadn’t necessarily expected in terms of design. The game has some pretty serious limitations (ever tried building a house, or even a kitchen, on the diagonal?  It’s not for the faint of heart, or the lazy!).  So, people make CC: things designed to help us make something that is as close to our vision as the game allows.

Once in a while, these CC creators come up with ideas that are simply mind-blowingly useful, creative, and/or flexible.

The flexible ones are the best.

Enter: Armiel’s “Buy Set – DIY“.

Breakdown of some of the elements in the set

Breakdown of some of the elements in the set. These elements can be combined to come up with...

An example of what Armi's set can do, by Armiel herself

... this! This is what you can get.

I cannot stress enough the “Ossim-ness” of this set.  The idea is to give you the flexibility to create virtually any cabinet, counter, and island style you can imagine.  Although it does have kitchen parts (countertops have special rules in the game which allow the use of things like microwaves and hot drink machines), you can use these elements in a library, bedroom, study, an outdoor kitchen… the uses are virtually endless.

Did I mention there are 120 elements in this set?

I was fortunate to be one of the testers before Armiel released this set, and came up with this:

At the time, the set wasn’t quite complete, and the methodology has changed a little since then to simplify things.  I found it easy to use, if a little finicky: this is not a simple process, because there are many steps.  Essentially, you first place a counter, then shelves, CASt your shelves and any dividers you may have placed, put in clutter if thy’ll be visible, then put in your doors if you want them.  The doors themselves can be solid, framed solids, or framed glass (as you see here)… or drawers, also available in the previously stated flavors!  The released set also has two styles of door handles, curved or squarish, as you’ll see in the picture of the kitchen I’m working on right now.

Tall cabinets are the same: place your cabinet, add shelves or dividers, CAST everything that will be exposed, then work on your doors, finished with door handles.

Exciting, right?  So once it was officially released, just in time for a contest house I’m working on, I decided to try it out.

I wanted to replicate some of my favorite cabinets: the “Velvet” cabinets by the wonderful Desdren, and a special one from Sasilia at T$R called the “Dolormite microwave self”, part of her Dolormite Kitchen set.

Sasilia's Microwaveshelf at TSR (Pay item)

Sasilia's Microwaveshelf, part of the Dolormite Kitchen set

Desdren's Velvet Kitchen

Desdren's Velvet Kitchen

As you can see in Velvet’s kitchen, one of the distinguishing features are the cabinet pulls.  At the moment, Armiel’s set has some fairly small pulls that don’t span a cabinet or drawer front like this.  Still, it’s possible to create a look very similar to this, for a fraction of the cost, too.

Sasilia’s microwave shelf, however, posed a different kind of problem, if I wanted to use Armiel’s work for a similar purpose.  It turns out, first off, that microwaves and other such items MUST be on a counter: shelving doesn’t work.  So I had to put a counter inside the cabinet (which means it’s not locked to it, which is fine, really: it’s the visuals and the usability I’m concerned with).

However, you can’t place a shelf above a counter and expect Sims to use the microwave sitting on it.  What to do?  Well, enter the medium cabinet (which is designed to be an overhead cabinet).  I simply shifted one up above the microwave at a height it considered acceptable, so that I could still have the look of a closed cabinet above it.  That solved the problem, but caused another one: the tall cabinet is deeper than the overhead ones.  I suspect the bounding box for the microwave and coffee makers and such limits how low an item can be above it before your Sims freaks out about routing.

In the end, this is what I came up with:

As you can see, looking above the microwave on the right, you can clearly see the top of the medium cabinet above it, protruding above the cabinet shell, and it's not as deep, either.

Still, not bad at all, I think.  I might come up with a way of fixing that, but I don’t think I’m going to bother for now.  For one thing, there’s no telling what will be in Armiel’s Buy Set – DIY II…  Yes, this wonderful woman is already working on a follow up.  I hope to see it sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, if you’re a builder, you need to run, not walk, over to ModTheSims and get yourself a copy! Don’t forget to thank her, either, she deserves it.