Although there is (so far) no pack dedicated to allowing your Sims to live an eco-friendly, off-the-grid lifestyle, I’ve always liked the idea of playing with Sims who want to live away from the hustle and bustle of ordinary life. As the game contains no items specifically designed for off-the-grid living, this build was definitely a challenge and forced me to get creative with the way I used the game’s objects. I am really happy with the way it turned out, however, and I’m super excited to jump into my game and play on this lot!
In order to call this an Off-the-Grid home, the Sims who live on this lot have to be able to be (at least somewhat) self-sufficient. Whilst it is impossible to go without mains electricity and water in The Sims 4 there are some things you can add to your lot to make it that bit more eco-friendly!
I knew that I wanted this lot to be filled with harvestable plants. Not only did I intend my Sims to eat the fruits and vegetables they grow on their lot but I also liked the idea of them being able to earn a living by selling the things they grow. For this reason, I added a couple of the craft sales tables from Jungle Adventure to the front of the lot. Placing flowers, fruit, vegetables, or anything small that your Sims have crafted, on these tables will enable your Sims to sell items to anyone who happens to be wandering past your lot. Of course you can just sell objects straight from your inventory but adding in these sales tables creates a sense of realism and is a fun addition to this build!
One of the things to note if you are going to add a lot of harvestable plants to your lot is the fact that Sims can only interact with harvestables when they are placed on flat land. Since the introduction of terrain tools into the game, my builds don’t feel complete unless I have altered the terrain in some way – this build was no different. I loved the idea of having a whole orchard growing on a rolling hill but unfortunately this wasn’t a possibility. The best way to tell whether a piece of land is flat enough to grow harvestables on is to use the topography lines that automatically toggle-on when you click on the terrain tools icon. If any topography lines are visible, chances are the terrain is too steep for plants to be placed there. Check out our Terrain Tools Guide for more information!
Although I wasn’t able to create the hillside orchard I had envisaged I’m still really happy with the end result. Because I had to flatten a lot of the land underneath my harvestables, I decided to play with the terrain in other areas of the lot. As a result, this lot is full of winding pathways and undulating hills!
Because this is a self-sufficient home, I didn’t think it made sense for the Sims who lived here to own any super modern appliances. While I made sure that my Sims would have enough in their home to keep them entertained, this build does not include a dishwasher, washing machine, or computer. I chose to give my Sims one of the smallest TVs in game and added in the wash tub and washing line that came with Laundry Day Stuff. Although my Sims can’t actually interact with this object one of my favourite parts of this entire build is the Cooking Campfire. This object was added with Get Famous and is designed to be used as a movie prop but looks great next to my outdoor seating area and grill!
This broken down car is one of the game’s hidden objects, and can be accessed by using the BuydeBug cheat. To enable the BuydeBug cheat simply open the cheat bar and type in bb.showhiddenobjects. This car (and ones like it) can be found by filtering the Buy Mode Catalogue by StrangerVille once the BuydeBug cheat has been enabled. I love the idea that the Sims who live here have stripped it down to its frame and used all of the internal mechanisms for different projects over the years! I would definitely recommend looking through the BuydeBug items next time you’re building. You never know what you might find!
Whilst there is no computer on this lot, there are a ton of objects dotted around the place that will help keep my Sims occupied and entertained. I added in an easel, woodworking table, flower-arranging station, beehives, and even a bonsai tree. Of course some of these skill-building objects can also be used to create items to sell on the sales tables!
If you look on the roof of this house you will see that I have added a satellite dish and an air conditioning vent. Although these objects serve no real purpose, they help to make the build look and feel more like a truly Off-the-Grid home. I like to imagine that the vent is a generator of some kind helping to provide the house with electricity!
One of the things that makes this build stand out from the crowd is the use of colour. I didn’t want this home to look like it had been professionally built. I like to imagine that it has been created by the Sims who live here using discarded pieces of timber and recycled materials. Using mismatched colours really helped achieve this effect. The window frames are all different colours (and shapes) and the decking doesn’t match the railing, or the staircase!
I carried this mismatched theme inside. I wanted to make it look as if the Sims who lived here had bought all of their possessions second-hand. Rather than adding in a set of furniture that matched perfectly, I thought it would make more sense (and look more interesting) to use a variety of items, and a variety of different swatches. Although I broadly chose objects that I though complemented each other, there is no set theme or colour scheme. I love the effect this creates! It really helps to give the impression that each item is recycled or second-hand and has been brought into the home at a different point in time.
If you end up downloading this home and using it in your game (or building your own Off-the-Grid Home), it could be fun to head to the Flea Market in San Myshuno with your Sims. The furniture available at the Flea Market has usually been graffiti-ed or made to look second-hand and would fit perfectly into a home like this one!
Since the release of the Sims 4 almost 5 years ago, the Sims team have slowly been adding more and more items that are dirty, dishevelled and dingy looking in appearance. If you are building a similar kind of home to this one, I recommend filtering the Buy Mode Catalogue by City Living, Laundry Day Stuff, and Parenthood. These packs came with lots of items that are scratched, graffiti-ed, and altogether look well-used. I particularly love this sink from Laundry Day Stuff. The rusted metal and mismatched wood really give the impression that the sink is second-hand or homemade.
I was also able to achieve this less-than-perfect aesthetic by filling the house with clutter. Although this is a relatively small home, I didn’t want to leave any empty space. By creating a cluttered environment I was able to make this house looks lived-in and loved. As they are environmentally inclined, the Sims that live here aren’t in the business of throwing anything away. It made sense to me, therefore, that their home would be filled to the brim with interesting objects they had collected over the years.
Hopefully this has given you some inspiration to create an Off-the-Grid home in your own Games!