I've used the S4 builder extensively but since I found that game lacking I'm now playing S3 and I've built/renovated/decorated a number of places yet now I've embarked on my most ambitious project to date: Crawley Manor in the mountains south of Bridgeport (where the spa resort used to be). Since I use loads of CC, both from the store and from mods, I don't expect to be able to share it (unless someone knows of a program to list and package the CC used in any given creation?), so I can at least showcase what I can do, despite the temperamental build mode (...).
This began when I looked at the map and found the best spot in Bridgeport was occupied by a community building nobody ever visited so I destroyed it and changed its type to residential. I increased its size from 50X50 to 64X64, thinking to make a large park around it; but as the saying goes, 'the story grew in the telling', and now I have this enormous affair which, in my head canon, I imagine was the successive additions made by the landlords over the generations.
And overview of the site:
2) The Estate
a) where number 1 is the original residence, built by Theodore Crawley in the early XIXth century. He was a friend and business partner of Ebenezer Alto. Frugal by temperament, he made his fortune in shipping with the old continent and built the initial manor to please his young wife, which he married late (here the main entrance is shown).
b) where number 2 is the first addition. Built by Theodore's grandson Benedict, after the Civil War during which the Crawleys benefited immensely from using their shipping fleet to supply the northern armies.
c) where number 3 is the second addition built by Benedict' son James, during the 1890s. James and his wife Gloria had been very prolific and he needed room for him, his ten children, their spouses and their own children plus all the servants.
d) where number 4 & 5 were the third additions built by James' grandson Christoper in the late 1930s. His passion was traveling the world and exploring. That is why he commissioned the building of this enormous and outlandish interior pool (4), inspired by both Roman bathhouses and Gothic architecture.
He was also the first Crawley to maintain an extensive car fleet for which he needed a large garage.
It was after a visit in France that Christopher decided to renovate the old manor and transform its first floor into a reproduction of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles (here seen from the gardens side next to the baths).
3) The Interior
As of now I only have completed one room (apart from the interior pool): the main dining room. It is referred to as the 'Ladies Room', because here are displayed the portraits of the prominent female Crawleys.
a) The most feminine room in the entire mansion, the grand dining room is where the Crawley women rule. In this picture we see Ilsa Crawley, née Goodwin, the young wife of Theodore the Founder. In the background we can see Gloria Stewart, wife of James Crawley.
In fact I'm thinking of adding a ghost of Gloria, a forceful woman if there ever was one, as a member of the current family, which is now reduced to Jonathan, the last surviving Crawley, and his nanny Anna Karlowitz, who raised him since he was 11 years old. Rumor has it that he is Anna's biological son - the product of an indiscretion between her, who came to the manor as a maid 30 years ago, and Jonathan's father John, who died with his wife Isabel in mysterious circumstances, while investigating an archaeological dig in China.
Well this is it for now. I welcome all comments and criticisms.