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Hearthfire Homes - Decoration tips and pitfalls

hearthfire windstad jaxons decoration decorator helper hearthfire extended console commands position solitude furniture

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#1
Morgane01

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Attached File  ChateauWindstad-1.jpg   137.61KB   9 downloadsSo I visited everywhere and killed all the bad guys and then sat down to build myself a nice Hearthfire home for me and my family. The first thing I noticed was that the vanilla Hearthfire homes are very basic, and inspired by Ravens Breezehome,  Aldmeri Proudspire Manor and Elianora’s decorating ideas, I decided to try to make Windstad Manor into a vineyard home to be proud of. It is amazing what can be done using console commands and some basic mods without using the creation kit. It’s been quite a journey and a lot of fun and I thought that sharing my experiences might help others. Also it would be interesting to hear how other people like me without too much technical expertise have managed to create their dream hearthfire home.

 

 



#2
Morgane01

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Tips for construction

Choose your Hearthfire site, do the quests and buy the land rights etc

Install Hearthfire Extended - this will give you many more options for functional layouts

Make a plan. You can put any furniture in any room with Heathfire Extended but there are 2 main exceptions - bookcases and mannequins – more on this later. It may be nice to put your alchemy lab at the top of the tower and your armory in the basement but don’t forget you’ll need to go through the whole house every time to use it.

Buy and mine materials. You’ll need to make nails, locks, fittings etc as well.

Construct the house



#3
Morgane01

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Decoration

You can build basic items using the workbenches provided for each room, but it’s easier to just use the Hearthfire extended workbench.

 

Essential Mods

Console commands can be used for positioning items but this tends to be rather slow. Jaxonz Positioner and Jaxonz Renamer are both essential mods to install. Drop items from your inventory, and use the positioner to grab them, resize, move them, and lock them in place. You can also use it to duplicate them.

To get more items, I installed Solitude Furniture mod – a furniture store located near Solitude docks selling weapon racks and a variety of other stuff, including furniture, lights and light fittings, heating, stone benches smithing gear and even a jetty for your boat.

I also installed Decorator Helper. The positioning in this mod didn’t work for me, (probably a load order conflict that I didn’t manage to resolve) but it was ideal for grabbing statics outside the house like trees, plants, piles of books, water, steam, walls, parts of buildings, paintings, wall hangings and other interesting items. They can then be placed where you want them



#4
Morgane01

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Complex items

Mannequins and bookcases with shelves are complex items and cannot be moved. If moved they no longer work. I got round this by building the Hearthfire bookshelf and grabbing closed bookcases from the college at Winterhold to make up more storage. Similarly the mannequins. I created these with the workbench, but they are placed in fixed positions in the house and cannot be moved. So I decided that as anyway I find them creepy I would use shelves to display armor souvenirs instead and stored anything that I wear in a chest.

There was also an issue with weapon racks not working when duplicated. You can however buy them at Solitude furniture and install them where you want them.



#5
Morgane01

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Statics

On your travels around Skyrim use the Decorator Helper power in sneak mode to grab and take an item. Travel back to the house and still in sneak mode use the power again to place it in the house. You can only do this one at a time.

It’s a good idea to use an empty staging area for placing statics. I used the entrance hall and decorated it last. Having lots of items in a space seems to make it difficult to place statics. Sometimes they are huge (or so tiny they get lost) and need to be scaled or they appear buried. Once placed in the house you can use console commands to move them to the correct place. It helps to find the correct co-ordinates first. Drop an ingot and use Jaxonz Positioner to move it to the place where you want the static to go. Then use console commands to getpos x getpos y getangle z and getpos z , make a note of these delete the ingot. Then you can go to the staging area to move the static to these co-ordinates using setpos x, setpos y etc. You may have to tweak a bit to get it just right.

You can also add items using console commands but first you need to find the item code of the object that you need to add.  Some item codes are easy to find, as there are lists of the most common ones out there. Entering the console and typing help xxx 4 where xxx is is a string of letters from the name of the item should get you a list of item codes for that object, but some names are not obvious. For example I completely failed to find the item code for ivy and had to grab it off the walls in Riverwood. With miscellaneous items you can just add them to your inventory using player.additem itemcode 1, but with statics you need to use player.placeatme itemcode and then use the console to move them into position.



#6
Morgane01

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Lighting

It’s very easy to make major mistakes with lighting so it’s a good idea to save often.

Candles and other lamps give a limited amount f light but you will need extra lighting to add ambiance to your home. Unless you can select a light source and move it, it’s almost impossible to place it correctly. Fortunately Jaxonz Positioner has a clever option to make light sources visible. To do this go to the mod configuration and click on the advanced tab, scroll down and there is a box to tick to make light sources visible. They appear as chaurus eggs floating in the air and you can then select, copy move and lock them into place like any other item.

Don’t add too much light. There is a limit to the amount of light hitting a point that comes with the system. If you put too much light you get flickering. I went crazy at first adding light everywhere and then had to remove everything and redo the whole thing. I still haven’t managed to get it right.



#7
Morgane01

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Locking

Both Jaxonz Positioner and Decorator Helper have the option to lock items in place, but sometimes items move when you are away from the house for any length of time. The worst items for me were the table on my terrace and the brooms that I use as post to hold up my vines (they seem to lead a secret life). Apparently you can get round this bug by always dropping items, leaving the cell, saving and then coming back. This worked for some items but not these.

I also have a mysterious bug with the smelter – it just disappears occasionally and just when I think it has gone for good it pops back.

When you have finished decorating a room, just to be sure that everything is locked down, it’s a good idea to do a general lockdown of the cell. On the advanced tab Jaxonz Positioner has an option to lock all loose items in a cell. You just need to press “do it” and wait a few minutes while it cycles through the whole cell locking everything down. Afterwards you can still move stuff around as normal.



#8
Morgane01

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Unwanted items

Sometimes you need to get rid of stuff, that item you dropped and then couldn’t find, the item that appears in totally the wrong place etc. If you can grab it you can delete it but if not you can click on the object and use the console commands disable (hide) and markfordelete (remove permanently)



#9
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Unresolved issues

So after hours of fun and much hard work my Château Windstad is almost finished. There are still a few unresolved issues that I didn’t manage to solve. The main one is that all my miscellaneous items and furniture have captions on them when you hover with the mouse. Normally that’s not too much of a problem, but I have found some “creative” uses for some items like brooms, dwemer benches and display stands. Another is markers for NPCs. I installed Hearthfire Multiple Adoptions in order to move my family into our new home but I still have issues with beds and my housecarl refuses to go to her home in the the basement unless she is with me.



#10
Morgane01

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Future Projects

There are still a few mods I would like to install including the solitude walkway, roads, winemaking, and sailing, but the main thing is to get to grips with the creation kit and to make my chateau into a real player home making ice-wine for the discerning tastes of the nobles of skyrim. Any tips on how to go about this will be gratefully received

Visit Chateau Windstad at





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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: hearthfire, windstad, jaxons, decoration, decorator helper, hearthfire extended, console commands, position, solitude furniture

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