Creating Your Own Treetop Panda Retreat Pt. 1

May 3, 2019

Preface.

You may be thinking to yourself: “Julia, how is the Treetop Getaway house relevant right now?” Well, first off, you have to understand that I’ve always been a chronically lazy crafter. About four (maybe even five…or six???) years ago now, I bought the recipe for the “Treetop Getaway” with the intention of crafting it and short time later I wrote a post about it on “Lion’s Side,” my old Duelist Community blog. The house was still very new at the time and in the post I wondered how to tackle the recipe, did some math, and talked about how scary the recipe seemed.

Flash forward to about a year later and I finally succeeded I mean with the crafting, not the math…though the math probably took a while too. Flash forward another year and I had finally finished decorating it! I’d always wanted to do a post about the decor for the house, but it just wasn’t relevant in any way anymore and so I dragged my feet in the writing of it.

That leads me to today’s post! Everything changed when the new Pandemonium Pack was released! I’d already decorated the house with an east asian-esque theme and the new pack’s bamboo decor matches perfectly, giving me an opportunity to embellish even further on what I already had and show you guys how to create a fabulous home for any new panda friends you get out of the pack.

Basically:

We’re gonna be talking extensively about how I decorated (aka. conquered) one of the more difficult crafted houses in the game and made into the ultimate panda-themed wizard vacation destination. (It’s like a safari, but with pandas and you’re in the trees. If you think that’s weird then you’re just gonna have to get on my level…I’m just kidding…but it’s also not weird.) Let’s do this!

*Author’s Note: Some Helpful Links

Need some help crafting this house? Not sure where to start? Check out my handy Treetop Getaway Project Guide! I walk you through all the necessary parts of this tricky housing recipe. Here: https://adventuresofthespiral.com/blog/2016/09/12/treetop-getaway-project-pt-1-ftmlau/

(I think when assessing how long it took me to complete this house it’s important to note that that first post included the words “for the more lazy among us” in the title…)

There’s going to be a Part 2 to this decorating guide! When it’s ready I’m going to link it here: coming soon

Getting Started (aka. How Not to Get Lost in Your Own House)

Let’s Talk About Layout

An essential part of any decorating project is the planning stage. It’s so important not to get overwhelmed by the task of decorating a house, with the house’s layout, or with the amount of space a house has. (Bundle homes, I’m looking at you…)

That said, the Treetop Getaway is the most challenging decorating project I’ve ever attempted and this challenge is almost entirely due to the house’s layout and structure. Let’s break it down:

Exterior

With an exterior layout as confusing as this it’s not that hard to lose track of both the entrance and your sanity and your progress! The layout is challenging because it’s meant to be a tag home. In fact, when you craft the house initially you get your very own tag kiosk right at the front! This can then be moved around to your liking or picked up completely. (Which is what I did, because you can’t put me in a box when it comes to decorating…pfft…) The result is a series of tangling pathways surrounding the home that lead to different platforms that can be decorated as well.

An easy way to denote different areas is by placing a different small decoration in each open space (or simply by throwing all items that you want into each area and then position them later) however, my best advice on navigating this web of ramps is to simply spend time running them. It’s easier than you’d think to simply build up your memory of how to get around.

Interior

Despite the fact that the exterior is a tangle of ramps, the interior is extremely straight forward, with a single ramp leading to each level of the house. The trouble comes really with the actual shape of the rooms. The bottom room is the biggest, but the shape is kind of odd. The next two are quite small and require some item placement considerations due to doors leading outside. The final room on the top floor is also large with ramps leading to a small platform and a bridge leading to another very small platform.

Planning & Concepting

After analyzing the tangling layout of the house I’ll admit, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. However, something I realized after some time, I definitely bumbled around for a little while with this house is that the key here is to work with it, rather than against it. That meant finding a housing concept that suited the house, rather than the other way around.

I don’t remember exactly when I landed on the solution but boy did it work out in a spectacular fashion! Essentially, the house’s concept revolves around the idea of a camping based vacation destination, now with the added detail of being a panda sanctuary. I mean, wouldn’t you want to go on a retreat with pandas? Literally nothing sounds more relaxing than a literal treetop getaway where you can soak in a restorative bath and watch pandas at the same time.

Supplies

When I get into the rest of this post and start going room by room/area by area I’ll be breaking down item information more in depth. However, I wanted to do a quick overview of where I sourced my furniture and decor from.

The Crowns Shop (aka. Furniture Packs!)

My go-to when starting any decorating project that ties into a world are the furniture packs available in the crowns shop for gold. In this case that meant the MooShu furniture pack. It’s a solid pack and easily one of my favorites, though it is somewhat situational (in contrast I find a lot more uses for the items from the Zafarian furniture packs). The Crowns Shop also features other unique, useful items, many of which are available to buy for gold! I’ve definitely accidentally bought a furniture pack for crowns before and I definitely had a little fit about it…so…don’t be like me and always double check!

Quick Tips | Best Crowns Shop Finds
  • MooShu Cooking Hearth | MooShu Furniture Pack
  • Avalon Wooden Wagon | Crowns Shop (5000 gold)
  • Fish Tanks | Crowns Shop/Crafted
  • Moolinda’s Life School Furniture Packs

The Bazaar

That said, a lot of variety is necessary in order to complete this concept and you know what that means: Head to the bazaar! You’ll be able to find the necessary items from Emperor’s Attic there, as well as any other MooShu themed items you’d like. Since I really wanted to simulate a camping/”glamping” experience, I also looked for tents from a variety of worlds. My favorites are those from Zafaria, which you can also buy from the Zafarian housing vendor.

Quick Tips | Best Bazaar Finds
  • Tree Fountain | Bazaar
  • Grand Torii | Bazaar
  • Large Willow Tree | Bazaar
  • Trio of Sacks | Bazaar

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find any of the Pandemonium pack items there because they’re crowns only, but I’m basing this guide on the assumption that you’ve already spent a gazillion lot of crowns trying to get the permanent mount. Personally, I tried not to spend too much- setting a limit of 5k crowns -and was hoping to receive the Bamboo Chimes to use for this guide. Unfortunately it didn’t drop for me! 50 thousand mander pets did though… Such is life with packs…

World Housing Vendors

Rather than utilizing simply the MooShu Housing vendor (there’s absolutely no reason to limit yourself) I visited a variety of different worlds to collect the items I needed for this house. My top vendor for this project was actually the Zafarian housing vendor!

Quick Tips | Favorite World Vendor Finds
  • Elephant Ear Plant | Celestia Housing Vendor
  • Large Tree Stump | Celestia Housing Vendor
  • Gorilla Hut | Zafaria Housing Vendor
  • Jaguar Tent | Zafaria Housing Vendor

Exterior

Why This Concept?

As I’ve said, this is the most challenging part of the house to decorate. However, this camping-based outdoor concept really suits this unique layout because of its natural ability to designate different parts of the panda retreat’s grounds, such as camping sites or activity areas. Let’s break it down!

A Grand Entryway

Whenever I’m decorating entryways I strive to up the “wow factor.” This is your visitor’s first impression of the house and you can use it to achieve a variety of things: you draw visitors into your house by making them want to see more, communicate your concept right from the start, just straight up impress people and create a really cool visual experience for anyone that visits your house- including yourself!

How-To

This entryway design is relatively straightforward and only requires three different types of primary decorations. I was working really hard to make the trees of the entryway feel very organic and also create a tunnel-like experience for anyone walking through. This was a little tough because of the circular shape of the platform and the fact that this platform has ramps that connect to it, which needed to be taken into consideration. However, the sheer size of Large Willow Trees, available very frequently from the Bazaar, make the entire endeavor much easier, because it only takes four of them to fill the necessary space effectively and create the tree tunnel illusion. They really are the mvp of trees…

After you have the trees in place, the rest is just fun detail time set dressing. The Long Lanterns lining the walkway elevate the whole entryway, increasing the magic of the experience of walking down the path. (I’m really a sucker for lit paths and repetition) The Stone Fountain helps me to utilize the circular shape of the platform, take up space, and adds a great visual element to the area. More importantly, though, it helps me to mirror the fact that opposite the fountain is a ramp offshoot.

Pulling everything together are Elephant Ear Plants (the mvp of plants). Large Willow Trees are great, but they’re so big that they don’t create a ton of visual interest down at the player’s level of sight. Elephant Ear Plants solve that problem, easily creating a jungle-esque effect. The whole area could be embellished upon even further by creating even more levels of detail and using plants smaller than the elephant ears, such as individual flowers.

This was also just a natural spot to put my Playful Panda Cubs! They’re far too adorable to place in a later section of the house, besides of the fact that they communicate the concept of the house right off the bat. I only wish I had received more from the pack! My plan for the future is to simply hatch a few more pairs.

The Front Lawn

How-To: The Fountain

So, I’m fully aware that it’s not really a front lawn. The point, though, is the same. This whole front section of the house’s exterior is gorgeous, with large cascading waterfall acting as a centerpiece. In no way did I want to compete with the waterfall. Instead I wanted to highlight the house’s innate beauty and that, in this case, meant minimal decoration. In support of the main water feature I wanted to do something really fun with the first platform, just off of the main ramp from the entryway. Tree Fountains are easily one of my favorite decorations and using one here was an easy choice. Bringing this Outdoor item away from its Avalonian roots and towards our panda-centric concept, I glitched the Panda Cub Statue at the top.

Quick Tips | Glitching the Panda Cub Statue
  • You can achieve the same thing I did using the following method: Start by stacking three sets of two wooden crates next to the fountain.
  • Then, attach a Tatami Mat to a medium-large sized carpet (I used the Large Ornate Rug) and stick that at the top of the crate tower with the goal of having as much carpet over the fountain as possible.
  • If all goes well and perhaps with a bit of repositioning, it shouldn’t be hard at all to then place the Panda Cub statue at the center of the top of the fountain.

How-To: The Supply Yak

Something I love doing with houses like this is adding in elements that add realism to the concept. In this case, it’s the creation of the supply Yak. Easily one of my absolute favorite parts of this house, my Himoolayan Yak mount pulls a Wooden Cart laden with food supplies towards the campsites. Naturally, this little scene relies on the Yak staying put- something achieved through the use of a pet breadcrumb. Naturally, this adorable Yak could be replaced with an even more adorable panda mount!

On the other hand, I’ll admit that creating the densely packed cart was not the easiest thing ever. Some items in the cart can actually be placed directly on without any glitching required. However, in order to achieve the density of items I have on the cart, some things definitely needed special attention. Even though density of items increases realism (there’s deffo a reason for this that’s too complicated to go into now) the cart can and should be decorated to your personal taste.

Glamping in the Treetops

How-To

This part is likely the most straightforward part of the exterior of the house. Why? Well, all it requires is your imagination and several different kinds of housing? dwellings? tents! (and even then, the variation in tents isn’t a requirement) I really wanted to communicate that there are different campsites “available to book” at my panda retreat, so I chose Jaguar Tents and Gorilla huts. After that it’s simply a matter of choosing which large platform to place them on and figuring out how you’d like to arrange them.

After tent placement is figured out it’s time to get detail oriented. Since you can actually see the interior of Jaguar Tents I placed Futon Cushions inside them. After all, visiting wizards would need beds! As you should know by now I love fire effects and lighting, so in both the campsites I included a coordinated fire pit. Complimenting the more refined Gorilla Huts is the Azteca Fire Pit and for the more rugged Jaguar Tents: the Open Campfire. An awesome extra detail to add to the whole set up is the Wood Pile. This specific wood pile includes an axe and is available from the Barrow Tent in Khrysalis or from the Bazaar.

Down for Some Treetop Yoga?

How-To

This platform on the exterior of the house has a somewhat unique layout, featuring a raised tree stump in the very center. It would be ideal for a statue, but I saw another reason for it: a stage for the leader of a yoga session! With this concept in mind, this is another really straightforward area of the house.

Simulating yoga mats for the attendees, I chose a variety of colorful rugs and a few Merle Ambrose towels and arranged them around the central stage. Your rug options are almost limitless! Use as much variety as you’d like! The only thing I’d keep in mind, is keeping the rugs a realistic size for wizards. (If that’s your target market who visits the resort, of course). Slightly different than the attendees, but an element that just suits the scene so well, is the activity leader’s “mat.” Here I chose to use Moolinda’s Foliage Rug, found in Life Furniture Set 1. This gorgeous rug is the perfect size for the tree stump platform and ties into the scene so well that it looks like it was made to be there.

After the mats were down, the next step was simply to add the details! On the leader’s platform I placed some Tallow Candles, the Short Drum, and the Incense Plate. Long Lanterns provide the space with variation in height. One of my main tenants of decoration is the placement of items with specific intent. Thus, I’m pretty picky about where I put my music players. In this case, having a music player here makes sense, as it looks to be providing music for the next session of yoga. The MooShu Haunted Theme sets a relaxing tone for the exterior of the house.

Dip Your Toes into the Restorative Pool

Ohhh boy. This area was quite the rollercoaster. It was easily the hardest area of the house to decorate as a result of the concept. So, really, it’s my own fault. Seriously, feel free to not do this. Why? Firstly, this circular platform isn’t huge. On top of that, the only place where you can put items is on the platform itself. So, rather than being able to use extra space to help with glitching, there is basically none here. There’s more but we’ll talk about it when we get there.

How-To

Framing the platform is a circle of Large Willow Trees, a couple of Celestian Tree Sprigs, and Elephant Ear Plants. Glitched within two of the Large Willow Trees are Pagoda Shaped Urns. The resulting effect is awesome, as the urns provide steam for the spa-like area. Further glitched into the same trees is a Grand Torii with a line of Domed Floor Lanterns affixed to a Rope Fence. With the release of the new panda pack, the Floor Lanterns could potentially be replaced with Panda Banners. Regardless, the fact that all these elements must be glitched adds a lot of difficulty of the area. All of these things need to be placed before the trees are in, stopping you from planning the exact placement of the Large Willows as early as you might want to.

At some point during the placement of the Willows it was time to glitch my elaborate fountain/bath combo. I really like the animation of Moolinda’s Life Font, but I don’t really like the look. Moolinda’s Enchanted Grotto, on the other hand, is lovely to look at, but is really small. Thus, I combined the two pieces to form a water feature in my spa area. Meanwhile, I also had to ensure that players could still hit x to release the magical butterflies from the font. All this all had to be done carefully in the tight area, as the Tatami Mats being used could easily disturb other items I’d already placed.

You can always stop right there. I think the area still looks great with just the Grotto and the Font! However, I wanted the spa/”pool”/”bath” concept to come across very clearly. Thus, I added the Wysteria Bathtub to the center of the platform. Completing the scene is a small detail in the form of a Wysteria Towel rack, just outside the area.

Conclusion…For Now

I know, I know I’m sure you thought I might manage to actually do one of these in one single post would be discussing the interior of the house as well. Sadly, this post is already miles long! So, rather than making you scroll for years too long stay tuned for Part 2! Next up I’ll be walking you through the interior of the house, which is actually a lot more simple. However, you guys should know me well enough by now to know that simple doesn’t mean a lack of detail. I’ll also be featuring far more Pandamonium items, as they lend themselves more to interiors than exteriors. Certainly in my dreams for the exterior of this house I would have multiple giant pandas outfitted with lanterns roaming the grounds! Hopefully this post will inspire you to start working on a retreat for wizards and pandas alike!

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