Good Morning! I hope my 1st entry on this new blog was interesting enough that you may continue to follow it. As a brief reminder, I was inspired to start this blog after switching out from my cottage in The Lavender Beds (Famfrit), to a house (mid-size) in the same ward, & near to my FC's estate (CasualGamers <CG>).
[A late entry: due to my extensive use of screenshots, I am going to have to remove pics from older blogs. I'm only allowed so many, & reached my limit with blog #7. I'm truly sorry if you review the older blogs & ss are missing; it cannot be helped. The information posted is still useful, & you can find examples in latest blogs. - Bel]
Today I would like to talk about the more "public" area(s) of your new home. By 'public,' I mean the area(s) of your home that you would invite unknown or unexpected visitors into your real-life home. In Victorian times this was often a room called the "Parlor." Now, of course there are many choices of how you would create a space for the occasional visitor.
Now, your close friends would, of course, have more access to your home, & if you bring your work home, you may also have co-workers/ the boss, etc occasionally come to visit, and at those times you may be inviting them into more personal/private areas to visit or do business.
However, I am leaving that for a later time. Today, I am focusing on the area you might create for a more formal visitors area. Now, you might choose to just lock your doors & not allow any visitors - that is your prerogative! However, if you decide to welcome visitors (personally, I think of my insurance agent, as an example - lol. A very nice man, but we stick to the living room.) then you would likely have a designated area for them to be welcomed, & refreshments offered.
In your FFXIV home, the public space would most easily be on the main floor of your home. Now, as you can see from the entry pictures I posted last week that the space you actually have kinda forces you to make a choice. Here they are again, as a reminder (again, I will always post the cottage view first, then the house):
As you can see, the cottage floor space is extremely limited, especially if you have estate vendors (which you really should have; they are extremely convenient to have around!). In contrast, the mid-size house has much more floor space.
Now, here you have another great chance to express yourself in how you arrange your space, to express how you feel about your house & your own place in the fantastic world of FFXIV!
First let us see what I chose to do for my 'public' space in the smaller home I had, the cottage. Here are views from various corners of the main floor:
This was my initial visitors area. I did not have much furniture then, a common event for new homeowners in the game. Houses are, even in FFXIV a money (gil) pit, so don't worry about a lack in the beginning. As you progress, more gil will yours. I do advise having your retainers go out on ventures as soon as you can, though (I was over level 40 before I could afford to, but the Grand Companies will, I then discovered, offer you opportunities to get ventures when you can craft items that they need.)
I had to buy what seemed to me a proper setting for visitors from the estate manservant, who sells housing items (or you might have a maidservant - up to you); actually I used my FC's maidservant till I had my own 'staff'. Buying on the Marketboard at this point would probably be more expensive, but sometimes a bargain can be had. So I obtained the bare essentials for a sitting area from my FC's maidservant.
I felt a sofa/bench & two comfy-type chairs, plus a small table to offer tea/snacks etc were needed for any visitors to my small space. Since my vendors were in one corner, an aquarium (a gift) in another corner & a table & the stairs in the third corner, I had only the corner to the right of the entry for a sitting area.
How you set up your space might easily be different; the choices are wide. I just tried not to have the back of the sofa or chairs to the entry door, as this is a no-no in Feng Shui - it places your back to the door & anybody can sneak up on you, so have seating open to the door. Safety/comfort counts! (Unless you want to scare folks away - lol)
As I accumulated furnishings over time, this area changed little: the sofa/bench, chairs & table remained unchanged, and the surroundings helped keep the space nicely focused on serving visitors.
The space remained tight, however. I just made sure than one did not have to run over the furniture to get around the room. Here are the later views from the various corners of the small main 'public' floor. As you can see (& I will discuss these areas more later) one can accomplish a lot in a small area:
Foot traffic is easy. Refreshments are available. The Summoning Pole for my retainers is convenient to the entrance, but out of the way of visitors. There are things of interest for visitors to look at - pictures on the wall, flowers in vases on small tables, aquariums, the vendors, a bookcase, & blooming plants. It is a picture of bright colors (cheerful), coziness (friendly) & with a love of Nature (fish, flowers, plants). There's also a hint of humor in the small, stuffed Ahriman Alarm on the floor. I also had the Light Setting at #4, since I like it light, but not blinding bright. And it suits Belinda's tastes (a CNJ/WHM)
Now to the larger house. Again I set up a visitors conversation/ refreshments area, but had a lot more space to do it. I chose the main floor's left wing for visitors & placed the estate vendors in the right wing, since having the Summoning Pole handy was also a main floor priority for me.
Interestingly, I found myself decorating the visitors/conversation area before any other area of the house, except for the estate vendors' area. I guess that I felt this area needed to be ready for visitors, even if nothing else was yet - lol. And as an area I felt necessary (& more visible than most areas) I decided to get it out of the way early, so I could concentrate of the more personal (fun) areas at leisure ('blush' & a 'hee hee').
The matanga lamp (the 'elephant' lamp) was the centerpiece of the main floor & neatly divided the two wings. Again, I will discuss the other items around the area later, focusing on the company area now. Here are some views of this 'visitors' area in my new house:
The area is roomier, with two 'conversation' sitting areas, able to accommodate larger parties, and would make a good "Holiday Party" area. This is where some of my latest items, the Paintings of the Views of FFXIV, are displayed - an excellent area for special fine art, or other 'trophies' you wish to show off to visitors (at least I feel this way - hee hee).
The refreshment counter is in the corner, beside the large screen that separates the visitors from the stairway - only a railing initially separated them, so a screen was in order, to meet the needs of Feng Shui, a philosophy of one's personal environment being a place of safety & comfort, as well as bringing a sense of welcome to visitors. Blocking the view of the stairway down, a 'hole' in the floor, with the large screen, prevents an uneasy feeling of the risk of a fall, & as a benefit, adds a decorative touch to the area. And at the entry to the house, the railing next to the stairway down has been hidden by an aquarium, as I had several to distribute about the house.
I have seen several ways used by house owners in FFXIV of dealing with this problem of the incipient 'hole' caused by the stairwell down: planter partitions, bookcases and cupboards, wine barrels, counters, even wall partitions, turning the area into an enclosed room. Your own preferences will help dictate your own personal choices.
As you can see from the last ss, the visitors' view of their surroundings is open from the conversational corner to the ascending stairway in the opposite corner of the house, providing a feeling of openness & allowing the visitors to see any potential 'enemy' or 'stranger' coming toward them - again, the Feng Shui principle of safety & comfort.
The furnishings are grouped so that the furniture attempts to harmonize with each other. How successful I have been with this, I don't know, but I like it & you should feel happy with whatever 'themes' you choose to use. This house is still new & may undergo future changes - in fact, as you may have noticed in the pictures of the larger house, it's bound to, as I fix arrangement problems, & continue to play the game, obtaining new prizes. So will yours - enjoy the process. ;)
I will call this entry to a close now, as there's a lot of information here to digest - I hope, pleasantly! Enjoy your day & please visit again. Comments are appreciated & if I respond, it will not be in a negative manner. I will answer questions if possible, but I am strictly a decorating amateur, even if well-read, & am a trained surface pattern/fabric designer, as well as a student of color - I love colors - light, bright, subtle & dark. But I don't like tripping over things in the dark ;)
I plan to discuss the outdoors next time, before venturing deeper into the homes. I might change my mind, but, again, your front yard IS the 1st actual impression of your house, so I believe I should cover it (before I totally forget!)
Again, if you have a decorating solution you would like to share here, & permit my taking a screenshot of your room,etc, I would be glad to share it in this blog. Just provide your address: world, residential area, ward# & plot#.
Until next time - be well & happy.
Wow you really explain all of your thought process here and end up giving new players some good advice.
When I get a house I intend to make a proper mess out of it. It will look like a play ground with a stage in the basement for shenanigans. I look forward to your next post!
Thank you - I want to be easy to understand, and there's a lot of information to give & don't want to over load folks. I want folks to have fun planning their homes to be what they want them to be. It takes some patience, saving for a special item sometimes, but hang in there - your retainer might bring you something even more fun!