Creating the Themed Neohome 2.0 of Your Dreams
Throughout my years on Neopets, I've been fascinated by the many parts of the site that have stimulated my creativity (such as writing for The Neopian Times or fiddling around on petpages). But recently, I've discovered just how much fun creating a Neohome 2.0 can be—in particular, a themed Neohome. In fact, my current neo-obsession is a Jhudora-themed Neohome on my side account.
And so, dear reader, I would like to share with you my tips on how to create the themed Neohome of your dreams!
A quick disclaimer before we start: I am not an expert on Neohome design. I've never won the Neohome Spotlight, and the Neohome on my main account needs some work. However, I've had a lot of fun creating my themed side account Neohome, and with this article, I hope that you can share in the fun as well.
Now let's begin!
Let's start with location. With Neohomes 2.0, you can only choose your home's location once, so choosing properly the first time is of the utmost importance. I suggest first browsing the different housing options to see what style fits best with your theme. All Neohomes look identical on the inside, so this decision hinges on what you believe the outside should look like.
For example, a beach-themed house would work well in Krawk Island, Mystery Island, or Kiko Lake. A spooky-themed house, meanwhile, would probably look best in Darigan Citadel or the Haunted Woods.
For my Jhudora theme, I originally looked at a Faerieland home, but immediately rejected it; Faerieland homes are pastel shades of yellow, purple, and pink, and would not fit Jhudora's personality. Therefore, I chose the Haunted Woods home, because it seemed more aesthetically fitting, despite the fact that Jhudora technically lives in Faerieland.
The next step in creating your themed Neohome is to have an idea of the rooms/living spaces you are going to be creating. Neohome 2.0 houses only consist of one large room, so it's important to think of how you are going to divide that space into several areas before you start buying furniture. I would recommend sketching a floor plan on a piece of scrap paper to make sure everything fits.
Some common rooms that can be created are bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. But you shouldn't feel limited by these options! Depending on your theme, a garden room filled with plants might be appropriate, or a library filled with bookshelves and comfy chairs.
Also, don't forget to do something similar with the outside! There is plenty of room to landscape in Neohomes 2.0, and dividing your "lawn" into sections is a great way to fit in a lot of design. Some possible outdoor spaces include a playground area, a garden, a walkway, a barbecue station, and a sitting area with a pond.
For my Jhudora theme, some interesting rooms I wanted to include were an "intimidation" room (the room that frightened Neopets enter when they wish to go on one of her quests), and then a potion-brewing room. As for the outside, I created a pathway towards her door, and then decided to fill the lawn with Neopet tree sculptures as a sort of intimidation-lawn. (D-Did you see that?! I think that Nimmo Topiary moved! Oh Fyora, she's going to turn me into a tree sculpture if I don't get this quest done on time!)
This is probably my favorite part: picking out the furniture, wall colors, plants, et cetera. However, you can't approach this step all willy-nilly. You should keep a few things in the back of your head as you furniture-shop.
Color is extremely important. If your theme is a spooky, haunted house, you may not want to buy the bright yellow Gold Velvet Chair, or paint your walls lime green. And a theme that calls to mind bright colors may not bode so well with the black Bone Detail Dresser and dark purple walls.
As my home is Jhudora-themed, I decided to stick with green and purple, in honor of Jhudora, but also included some black and red. I did purchase a Pink Rug, but I put it in a room filled with dark furniture, and so the lightness balanced the dark nicely.
And so that is something to note: don't worry about being too matchy-matchy with colors! Your entire house doesn't have to be yellow or blue. An unexpected splash of color every once in a while is refreshing. Just don't make that accent color the center of your design if it doesn't fit with your theme.
Style is also important to take into note. A baby-themed home would not work well with very "mature" looking pieces of furniture, such as the Antique Glass Bookcase and Green Antique Couch. Instead, you may want to take a look at baby-safe pieces, such as the Gummy Dice Bed, Chair, Lamp, and Table. And a beach-themed house should aim to have furniture that is light and beachy, not heavy, slightly morbid pieces like a Mutant Sofa or a Bone Chair.
For my Jhudora theme, I often thought: Would Jhudora like this? I decided that my version of Jhudora would like the old, classic style that could be achieved by the "antique" pieces, but that also she was an original, and would be fine mixing in other styles as well. For example, I included pieces like a Gallion Coffee Table, Woolypapith Chair, and Tyrannian Fur Rug. Although these are not antiques, the colors worked in the design. Plus, the reoccurring "skinned creature" theme seemed to fit her personality. (Did you see that Tyrannian Fur Rug in her entry room? I wonder if that was some poor Neopet who came back from her quest five minutes too late?!)
Another thing to take into account, of course, is price. Yes, you may really want that Scorchio BBQ to complete your Scorchio-themed home, but do you really want to pay 700k for it? (I mean, if you have the money, go for it! But I tend to be a bit on the stingy side when it comes to buying things...)
What I suggest is to make a wishlist of all the items you want to purchase. Jellyneo has a very nice wishlist-maker (and is also a great place to browse for furniture items as they have a huge item database)! Once you've created your list, make note of both the cheaper items and the more expensive items. If there's an item you only "sort-of like" for your home and it's rather expensive, try to find a substitute. However, if it's an item you really want, I would suggest waiting to buy it instead of doling out a million neopoints right away. First buy some other, cheaper pieces. After you've arranged them in your home, see if you still need that ultra-expensive piece. If you still do, wait until you've made some money, and then finally buy your expensive purchase.
Most of the furniture pieces in my Jhudora-themed home were fairly inexpensive as I consider a 5,000-neopoint purchase a large investment. The biggest "splurge" I can remember was a Bone Detailed Dresser, which cost about 90,000 neopoints. In the end, I was very happy with my purchase, but I was also very happy that I had decided to wait until I had earned the 90,000 neopoints as opposed to digging into my savings.
Similarly, make sure to look at the cheapest furniture items available in Neopia, because they might be perfect for your theme! Some items that you can commonly find for less than 50 neopoints are: Altador Rug, Angry Pumpkin, Chalkboard, Grundo Inspired Dresser, Heart Toast Sculpture, Meepit Lamp, Orange Grundo Chair, Orange Grundo Wardrobe, Orange Kreludan Bed, Outdoor Pirate Flag, Pirate Warning Sign, Gravestone Chair, Meowclops Chair, Meowclops Coffee Table, Fresh Bamboo Chair, and Harris Lamp. From looking at just the items I listed above, you can see how some initial pieces for a spooky theme, a beach theme, a space theme, and a pirate theme are all very affordable.
Of course, you can also purchase NC Mall items, so take a look over there as well and see if there is anything that catches your eye and is in your price range.
Unfortunately, you cannot use every piece of furniture found on Neopets in your Neohome 2.0. Some beautiful pieces are only available for use in the classic Neohome, so you are going to have to make do without a Caylis Lamp or a Celler Door or a Coconut Toilet. A good way to know if an item is Neohome 2.0 compatible is the black house symbol on the bottom right corner of the item image.
However, there many items across Neopia that have the small black Neohome 2.0 symbol on the image, but do not work. For example, I've been eyeing the Potion Table (pictured above) for quite some time; yet despite the Neohome 2.0 symbol on its side, it does not work in Neohomes 2.0.
Some other items that do not work despite the icon are: Tall Candle Holder, Rusty Asylum Cell Door, Granite Work Top, Kitchen Sink, Desk Candelabra, Copper Planter, Holiday Ships Wheel, Keep Off My Lawn Sign, Master Control Platform Home Edition, Mysterious Present, Official Slushie Slinger Machine, Ornate Shenkuu Table, Wooden Crate, and Weathered Blue Vase.
There are many more, so perhaps we should nudge TNT gently to fix these... But in the meantime, Jellyneo's item database lets you know if the item is glitched, so I would suggest checking before purchasing! There have been a few times where I have bought an item only to discover later that it does not work in Neohomes 2.0, so research is of the utmost importance! However, if you do make a purchase mistake, do not fret! You can likely sell it in your shop and get most, or even all, of your money back.
Finally, get creative! Things don't have to be used as intended. I've seen a few instances where a Babaa Pillow was turned around backwards and made to look like a bathroom towel. Want to divide your Neohome into distinct rooms? Use backwards Chalkboards, posters, and even outdoor fencing! I used Spooky Rocks to divide a room once, and it looked awesome.
Also, don't be afraid to bring the outdoors in, and vice versa. You can put rugs outside and place plants and fences inside! And make sure to always rotate anything you buy! A bunch of flowers may look better rotated 90 degrees, and you would have never known had you not rotated it in the first place.
Essentially, play around, and don't be afraid to change your mind. One of the first things I discussed in this article was to figure out how to divide your rooms, but don't fret if after a bit of fiddling you decide it doesn't look right. I changed the location of the intimidation room and bathroom multiple times, and I even combined the kitchen and potion room despite my initial plans. You should have fun rearranging furniture and such until things look right. If things look worse, simply don't save your latest attempt, and you can start off from your last save.
Basically: have fun!
In the end, Neohomes 2.0 is a great creative outlet, and I hope that considering it from a themed point of view has inspired you to maybe give your Neohome a second glance, or to create one in the first place. Anyone can design a beautiful, themed home. All it takes is some creativity and the desire to do it! And don't get frustrated if it takes some time to figure it out. As they say: sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.
Feel free to Neomail me with any questions, and thanks for reading!