The Sims 4 Dream Home Decorator is focused on the new interior design career. It allows your Sims to go into pre-built homes in the world and renovate them to suit the inhabitant’s taste, earning simoleons for your trouble. It’s just like being the star of your very own home makeover show, including before and after photos, as well as tears and tantrums.
If you’ve always fancied yourself as an interior design guru then this guide will walk you through all the steps of completing your very own renovation of those drab Maxis-built homes.
Updated September 14, 2021, By Helen Ashcroft: Now that Dream Home Decorator has been out for a while most of the major issues with the pack appear to have been fixed. Due to this, our guide has been updated to reflect the extra parts of the career we were unable to test previously.
How To Join The Interior Decorator Career
There are several style and design-based careers in The Sims 4 now but the new Interior Decorator career is easy to find due to its inclusion in the active careers. When you search for a job using your phone or computer you’ll notice it’s the fourth option listed and has a color swatch icon. Simply select this option and you’ll enter the career.
It’s worth noting that while being an interior designer uses the same gig system as odd jobs and freelance careers it is a full ten-level career with promotions based on reputation and job performance.
How To Find Jobs As An Interior Decorator
You can use the career tab to choose a gig. Simply click the briefcase icon on the bottom right menu to open it.
You will then see a small clipboard logo at the top right under the green bar. Hovering over it will show the tooltip text ‘look for gigs’. This will bring up a ‘select gig’ menu.
The jobs you can choose from are split into four categories:
- Room Renovation
- Room Addition
- Level Renovation
- Level Addition
As a default, you’ll see all the options but you can use the buttons under ‘select gig’ to filter them.
When you first start out you’ll notice that some jobs are greyed out, visible in the screenshot above. This means that your career level is not yet high enough to take on these gigs. You’ll only be able to accept room renovations to begin with, and other categories will unlock as you progress.
Preparing For Your First Decorating Gig
First impressions do matter in this career so making sure your Sim is prepared is important. You can get thrown out of a client’s house, forfeiting your wage and denting your reputation, for several reasons. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Turning up with very low hygiene.
- Flirting inappropriately with a client’s spouse.
- Making yourself at home by cooking, showering, etc.
The best way to avoid a negative reputation is to turn up happy, clean, and confident. Keep your needs in green and watch the new Dream Home Decorator Network channel to boost your confidence before you leave.
All gigs begin at 9am the day after you accept them.
When it’s time for the gig to begin you can accompany your Sim or send them alone. As with other active careers going with them yields far better results.
How To Discover Your Client’s Style And Color Preferences
When you first start the gig a task on your list is ‘get to know the client’ but despite the game suggesting it’s ‘optional’ it’s really not, at least not if you’d like to keep them happy. Talking to them will allow you to discover their likes and dislikes.
You can use the options ‘ask about favorite color’ and ‘ask about favorite decor’ under the friendly interaction menu. There are also various other design-focused questions under the career sub-menu.
As you speak to clients you’ll notice that the boxes underneath the family name on your career tab will populate with the information you discover.
If you get lucky, as seen in the screenshot above, you’ll find out some color preferences as well as styles the clients love or hate. If you’re unlucky they’ll tell you they love to bake and hate handiness or something equally useless.
What To Do When The Information Is Useless
Early in your career, there will often only be three boxes to record preferences. This means that the chances of these being quickly filled with information like ‘dislikes mischief’ seems to vastly increase.
This is a frequent irritation as all clients are assigned random preferences when you undertake a job for them; unless the Sim has likes and dislikes set in create a sim beforehand. However, there is a way to find out extra information.
Any information discovered using the interior decorator interactions will show up in the preferences box but things discovered through friendly interactions like ‘ask favorite color’ doesn’t always.
However, information discovered through friendly interactions shows up as a notification.
For example, if you check the screenshot above you’ll notice that the decor preferences show in boxes on the career tab but the notifications tell us this household also likes white and hates blue.
Make sure to use all options and scan your notifications to get as much information as you can before moving on. We also advise using options like “suggest decor” and other career-specific dialogue directly related to design preferences and inspirations to try and prompt more relevant information.
Taking Before Photos In The Interior Designer Career
After your clients have given you the information you need you can click on one of them and choose the ‘send client away’ option. This will allow you to proceed to the next task, taking before photos.
Remember to take before photos before you enter build mode!
To take photos you can click your Sim and navigate to the option through the career menu. You can also choose a camera or your phone as you would normally. Finally, you can actually click on the floor in the room you want to photograph and select the option from a pop-up menu.
You can take as many or as few photos as you like. These will be used to form a slideshow at the end of the job when you can match them up to after photos.
Because you will be using them for comparison the easiest way to cover everything is to take one from each corner of the room.
The camera is easier to navigate than usual and the photos will look reasonable in-game where they are quite small. However, it’s worth noting that when viewed from your screenshots folder they can often look distorted due to the angle, especially if you have a widescreen monitor.
The camera has also been adjusted so that you can more freely move around, allowing you to stand in one place and zoom out to take both interior and exterior shots without moving. This doesn’t always work but appears to be the case for level extensions.
How To Know Which Room To Renovate In Dream Home Decorator
Mostly the job will specify a room or say you can choose but this isn’t always the case. Some gigs do require some guesswork. For example, which kid’s bedroom do you decorate if there is more than one?
The Charm household from Realm of Magic also throws up some questions when they ask you to renovate the living room. Do they mean the small cozy space pictured above or the more open sitting space you see below?
In the case of the Charm’s, they were paying handsomely so we decided to take a chance and renovate both rooms. This paid off and they were happy. However, this is not always the case. Renovating the ‘wrong’ kid’s bedroom for the Spencer-Lewis household resulted in some bad rep and hate mail.
It seems that most clients will accept whichever room you decorate, as long as it can be used for that purpose. Sometimes you’ll get it wrong but this may not be down to choosing the incorrect room. Things can go wrong, even when you think you did everything right. This leads us to believe some reactions are as random as the likes and dislikes that Sims are assigned.
How To Add Extra Rooms And Levels To Houses
As you advance further in the career you’ll be able to add rooms and levels to homes. Adding rooms will enable you to change the internal walls to split or add rooms. Adding a level will allow you to add either an extra upper level or a basement, which one will be specified in the gig information.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of the process.
Find A Location For The Stairs
Many of the pre-built homes you’ll be sent to change have ample room for stairs but if you are rennovating your own this can be tricky. These quick tips can help:
- Stairs can now be adjusted to go around corners.
- Ladders are an option for small spaces.
- You may be able to add external stairs.
- You can move or delete furniture to get stairs to fit.
- Removing the roof before placing stairs prevents issues on the upper floor.
Once you have found a spot for the stairs you can build your room.
Add The Correct Number Of Tiles
There will be a tile count for the additional level but it appears that this may have been causing issues as it appears to remain static.
While the counter will likely display a tick and not the number of tiles created, it’s worth using this as a minimal size as it’s part of the client’s request so not doing so could lose you reputation.
Note The Use Of The New Space
Most gigs will specify what the new floor should be used for. Take note of this and ensure that basic furniture for that purpose is present in your design.
Desks in offices, beds and dressers in bedrooms, toilet, sink and shower in bathrooms will all help you meet the criteria. Any extras are optional with maintaining the budget being preferred.
Tips For Renovating Client Houses
Sometimes renovations will just go wrong and the client will hate them. Let’s face it, home decorating shows always have those people who just burst into tears and make a scene. The Sims 4 is no exception.
Caleb Vatore, who apparently now owns the Narwhal Arms, really hated the arcade we built for him. We also upset a returning client who burst into angry tears after making over their bedroom in a very similar style to the lounge they adored.
However, we do have some tips for minimizing the chances of this happening:
- Make sure to use pieces of decor clients will love and avoid ALL those from the style they hate. Using filters helps with this.
- Check your notifications to discover color preferences so you don’t accidentally choose something the client will hate.
- Try to get close to the budget but not over. Clients seem to hate it if you skimp on furnishings.
- Delete any items you don’t want one by one and the cost will be refunded to your budget, giving more flexibility.
- Set likes and dislikes for townie Sims in create a sim before starting the career so they won’t be assigned random ones.
Taking After Photos
Once the renovations are complete it’s time to take the after photos. Ideally, these should mirror the before images but this is not essential. They only seem to affect the slideshow looks, rather than the client’s reactions.
Once back in live mode simply use the same options as before and take photos of the changes. Simple.
Tip: If you forgot the before images don’t worry. You should also be able to click your Sim and choose take “before” images to rectify this.
Hosting The Big Reveal Event
Once your photos are taken you need to call your clients to the lot. You can do this by using your phone or the career options on your sim or the lot. Simply select ‘call clients to lot’ and they’ll swiftly appear.
You’ll then need to click one of the family members and select the option to reveal the renovation, triggering the reveal event.
If you want to skip, the dramatics you can but where’s the fun in that? Hit yes and the first thing you should see is your montage of before and after images. Sometimes this may glitch out and not show. If this happens don’t worry, it won’t affect your client reactions.
Once this is over you’ll go back into the lot and your clients follow you in, covering their eyes.They will path through to the renovated room (mostly) and then start to look at the changes. You’ll see a new event box in the top left corner to guide you through the process.
Chatting with clients as you go helps complete the event but some of this task will be completed by showing them objects and asking their opinions.
They will wander around for a little while before you’ll see the option to ‘check this out’ appear on new furniture that you click.
Using this interaction allows you to show off objects and then once again you’ll need to let your clients wander before they gain a tick on a clipboard icon above their head. This indicates that they are ready to give you a final verdict.
You will need to ask all household members for a verdict, regardless of which room was renovated. Toddlers are the only household members you cannot ask. This is likely wise since toddlers are not known for having rational opinions.
The Final Verdict And Getting Paid
If all goes well you’ll get smiles, hugs, and handshakes from your clients. There are a range of different Sim reactions so it’s good to keep an eye on them throughout the reveal event. If one Sim hates the decor it won’t matter if others love it since the majority vote appears to rule when reaching a verdict.
If the verdict is positive you’ll get paid and gain a reputation boost. If every Sim loves the design you can even get a bonus and a larger reputation gain. Happy clients are also more likely to ask you back again and offer a higher paycheck next time.
However, we already know that things don’t always go to plan. If you’ve missed the mark then you’ll get paid nothing at all, and your reputation will be affected. This same result also happens if you quit a job without completing it.
Promotion in the career depends on both performance and reputation being high so a failed job can impact your progression. However, it does appear to be part of the process so pick yourself up and start again.
Remember that you can accept a new job every single Sim day, so that coveted handshake is just around the corner.
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