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Common Neohoming Myths

by strangeperky


As the weekly Neohome Spotlight winners are announced, you may find yourself wondering what it takes to build an award-winning Neohome. Just by looking at the entries, you'll know that hard work and creativity are requirements. You may also assume that there are a number of other qualifications, some of which you expect would keep you from building a lovely home of your own! While Neohoming isn't easy, it's probably not as prohibitively difficult as you might think. More, there are plenty of compelling reasons to Neohome apart from winning Spotlight! Remember, having the award is nice, but it isn't the only measure of value when it comes to Neohoming!

Myth #1: Successful Neohomers are rich.

False! The primary characteristic of a successful Neohomer is dedication, not wealth. Just as Altador wasn't built in a day, a good Neohome takes months or years to accomplish. My Neohome had been under serious development for just under a year before it won the spotlight award, and it's still not done! The best advice is to create your home in achievable segments, according to your budget. Which brings me to...

Myth #2: Beautiful Neohomes require lots of expensive furniture and garden items.

Not necessarily. Some individual home items are quite pricey, but that doesn't mean you have to use them. A creative, dedicated Neohomer can put together complete, gorgeous rooms and gardens without the newest or rarest items. If you really love a particular item you can't afford, save up! Having some sort of timeline and saving plan may help you keep your sights on this goal. If you restock, you may also be able to attain your dream items at a fraction of resale cost!

Myth #3: Even if you use cheaper items, tiling and other dense, detailed projects still add up.

Okay, to an extent this is true, if you decide you *want* to take this design approach (and you certainly don't have to!). Once again, however, this is where having a plan, thinking creatively, taking your time, and choosing your materials carefully will help you achieve your goals in a realistic manner. I'm a huge fan of using rock and straw items in large-area projects like floors and counter spaces, because they're relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Also, consider mitigating the costs by avoiding broad expanses of covered surface! When constructing your home, choose a room material with an attractive floor pattern or color which you can incorporate into your tiling scheme at regular intervals. Or, try tiling only a portion of a room, such as a raised seating area or loft. You can also mix and match various surface materials to create the looks you want without breaking the bank. Remember, you can always add to or change a room later, as you have the resources to upgrade.

Myth #4: The best Neohomes are huge!

Oh gosh no! While a fully-furnished, 75-room monstrosity is impressive, there are many "smaller" homes which are just as amazing and creative, if not moreso. It's important to build only what you can keep up with. In fact, some of my friends swear by the concept of redecorating, not adding, when new ideas strike.

Myth #5: The best Neohomes are complete Neohomes.

Even if you completely build out your lot and fill your rooms, you'll find your home is never really "finished." There are always new and interesting items coming down the pipe to inspire you. Plus, as with all real homes, you'll crave change to stave off boredom, or to fix lingering problems that may have started to bother you. Neohoming isn't just a means to an end - at its best it's a fun and social activity too!

Myth #6: The best Neohomes are always built in expensive neighborhoods, of the priciest materials!

Again, completely not true!

First, neighborhood is absolutely irrelevant to the artistic value of your home. It's great to choose an address that fits the theme of your home, or your personal preferences. It's also nice to live in a neighborhood with appealing ground tiles. But at the end of the day, address has very, very little to do with the aesthetic properties of your home. Plus, ground tiles won't show anyway if you completely build up your ground floor!

Room materials do matter, but not because of their prices. It's absolutely impractical to require yourself to build an all-sand home unless sand uniquely suits your creative vision. Gardens and wood, bamboo, stick, stone, and chocolate rooms are quite lovely, relatively inexpensive, and easy to integrate into a variety of themes. More, don't be afraid to use a number of different room types within a single home. It makes things interesting! It also makes it easier for you to afford a tatami, sand, or asparagus room or two when you really need them for a particular project. I used sand as the basis for a beach area, for example. I've also used asparagus to help me create an indoor garden.

Myth #7: The best Neohomes have super-unique, super-creative themes, and every room has to be filled with new ideas.

No! While it's a bad idea to copycat, it's unreasonable to expect yourself to do everything unconventionally. This is particularly true if you're just starting out and feeling overwhelmed. It's also not necessary to have a mindbendingly unique, driving theme for your home. My Neohome is simply a family home, and our holiday theme loosely revolves around the individual room ideas that have interested me as I've gone along.

Myth #8: The best Neohomes are meticulously planned out and built in advance.

Planned, yes... but built out? Not always. A certain amount of planning goes a long way, but as I indicated before, it's impossible to know exactly where you'll want to go with your home in six months, or even six weeks! Planning may save you the time and expense of tearing down crummy rush jobs and rebuilding later, but down the line it may also stick you with a very nice room layout which no longer suits your ideas. You should give yourself leeway to make choices as ideas strike. Some Neohomers advocate creating a working master plan before you begin, and building in stages to allow for easy changes as you go along.

Myth #9: Neohoming is pointless for the time and Neopoints you have to put into it!

As many will tell you, furniture and garden items are money in the bank. :) And anyway, it's certainly no less pointless than battling, which can be scads costlier, and offers little in the way of payback unless you can win top prizes at wartime. Plus, Neohoming has the added bonus of creative fun, much like drawing or painting. You can step back, look at your beautiful home, and think, "Wow! I made that!" It's also a lot of fun to see what your fellow Neohomers have created!

Myth #10: Neohoming is something I'm just not good at. I'm not creative enough to figure out how to make a bunch of furniture items into Neohome art!

In short, the more experience you have with homes and furniture, the more comfortable you will feel creating a masterpiece of your own!

Neohoming is a learned skill. While there is quite a bit of artistic talent involved in many homes, anyone willing to put in the time and effort can familiarize him or herself with the finer points of Neohoming. The first step is getting started. Get to know what Neohomes look like. See how the building materials look when you're viewing a room (secret3191 has a wonderful Neohome Museum to help you with this, and cybraria offers an excellent resource devoted to acquainting oneself with Neohoming). Learn how furniture and garden items actually look when placed inside a room. Experiment with item depth and positioning. And, find a group of friends to Neohome with! Neohoming in groups is inspiring, helpful, and fun! The Neohomer thread in Spotlight & Gallery Chat is a wonderful place to meet new friends and learn about creating a beautiful Neohome!

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