Upstairs, inside and — a revelation.
— Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells (original ending)
365 days of SL, day 117:
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Last night, a friend invited us to his home in SL. People's homes come in all sorts of styles, of course, and many look very good, but I think I can say without exaggerating that his was the best-looking I've ever seen, bar none.
It looked lovely already from the outside, but once we entered, I was absolutely STRUCK by the design; the bold architecture, the sheer amount of space, the huge windows, the austerity, the clear lines and smooth shapes, the reduction to the bare necessities, the complete absence of clutter; everything that was there was there for a reason and had a purpose, a function. Even the colors were subdued: black and white and gray tones dominated, with the occasional browns making the place feel a little warmer, and a few splashes of color here and there to provide a contrast. Everything was so relaxing, so calming, so soothing: a perfect embodiment the saying that perfection is reached not when there's nothing left to add, but rather when there's nothing left to take away.
I loved it, I really did.
That's not to say it was literally perfect – such places are almost invariably works in progress, and naturally I also focussed on the views that I liked most in my screenshots –, but it was close. And it was the polar opposite of the houses we have in real life, crammed chock full of stuff, so small and uninspired by comparison; I would love a house like this for real, although I'm admittedly not sure how suitable it'd be for actually living in.
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Part of the dining area. The kitchen's to the right, not visible in this shot; I decided to focus on the dining table, the shelves (beautiful shapes in themselves) and the amount of open space and the absolute austerity of the whole place again. I imagine it might be too bare for others' tastes, but I think it's perfect this way.
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Part of the bedroom. The skunk's not part of the furniture. :)
The picture frames however were, of course. I love the way they were set up; differently-shaped frames put up at different heights that nevertheless combine to form a complete picture, and one that fits right in with the rest of the place at that.
I think bedrooms in particular benefit from this sort of atmosphere, too; the easier it is for you to take a deep breath and relax, the better.
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The bathroom with a hot tub. This one, perhaps, could still use a little more love: between the carpets, the pictures and the shelf, it's already a bit too visually busy. Perhaps the size of the room also plays a role, though; it's comparatively small, and it feels more confining than the rest of the house.
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Outside, there was a pool, with a transparent triangular glass roof above it, a pair of deck chairs, and a few trees in the background. All very lovely, and very relaxing.
The rain's artificial, BTW — read, it's not part of the SL environment proper. You can change quite a few things about the environment, from the sun position to fog to the water color and more, but one thing you can't do is add weather effects; if you want rain, snow etc., you'll have to do it yourself. Perhaps this'll be changed in the future — I don't know.
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We went back inside in the end; I just loved the living room that much. There really isn't much I can say about this shot, either: in fact, it's probably superfluous, but I just like this design so much.
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And the same goes for this one. I could die for those huge windows and the way they let sunlight flood in; if they were real, I imagine the glass pane alone would cost a fortune, not to mention being a bitch to keep clean, but in SL such things are of no concern, and you can go wild in your building, restrained only by your imagination (and technical limitations).
Of course, there's one more restriction, namely prim limits, but those can actually be a good thing; they encourage austerity and (usually) discourage clutter, and the result is that you'll often find beautiful homes with a soothing atmosphere (even if most aren't quite this beautiful, or quite this soothing).
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And finally, just because, here's an overview over the whole place. The screenshot isn't great, and I debated whether to include it at all, but it's the best one I have, and I wanted to show just how everything fits together, too.