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I talk about texture a lot on the blog, but that’s because it’s so important. I mean, it’s one of the most essential elements of successful Second Life design, and it continues to amaze me when I come across shoddily manufactured items on sale, with textures that look like they’ve been dragged from a bargain basement bin. Why would you want to pay for an inferior product when a few Lindens more can get you something sensational?
A lot of people seem to think that because this is a virtual world everything should be cheap and cheerful and if that’s the way you want to play then that’s fine, but for me I get a real buzz out of something when it has clearly been crafted and worked upon with great care and sympathy towards the finished product. It doesn’t matter what it is, if the quality is there it will speak volumes about the creator, and of course about the eventual owner.
Today I’m sharing with you a collection of furniture that really evokes these quality principles. Nothing could be simpler in Second Life than making a sofa, chair and table combination but this is where a designer worth their onions can make a huge impact. It’s not just about the shape, but also about the texture, functionality and the overall quality of the finished product. Rather than a ‘bish, bash, bosh made it lets sell it’ approach, the conscientious content-creator will take their time and the results will naturally reflect this.
The Etienne Set from Atelier Visconti is a prime example of this ethos and features beautiful workmanship at a very reasonable price. This is an original mesh set aimed at outdoor dining, featuring a gazebo with delicate gauze curtains, a sofa,armchair, side table, low table and lanterns. It’s a perfect blend of quality elements with the textures that Stephan Visconti has selected for this piece turning it into a sensation.
The cushions are a gloriously comfortable spread of materials on a sturdy wicker base. The cloth textures look like a mixture of cotton, and I think some linen as well. The placement of textures and shadows along with the combination of fabrics mean that this sofa and chair look really relaxing and cozy but with a contemporary edge. I want to sit on this in real life, desperately. (We have a shop in my home-town that sells furniture like this but it’s well out of my price range and I’ve always wanted some. Now I’ve got some, sorta..YAY!)
What is even better is that the sofa fabrics can be changed to suit your own tastes. That’s actually a bit of an understatement really, because there are 24 textures resulting in 432 colour combinations. YIKES! (I didn’t do the maths!) This means you can chop and change your furniture look to suit mood and setting. All of the choices are equally excellent, and it’s fabulous fun selecting options from the HUD (great hud too, nice and easy to use!) to co-ordinate and contrast.
Etienne features quite a classical, muted colour-palette which I really like; the trend at present is for really loud hues but I like something that will look the part for a long time to come. In particular I really rate the patterned cushions with their floral design because they aren’t overpowering and don’t take away from the look of the overall piece.
Incidentally there’s another thoughtful touch, and that is that the chair and sofa have separate texture HUDS ; this means that you can really contrast your furniture pieces and create a look that’s unique to you.
But the quality isn’t just limited to the larger furniture pieces; it extends to the tables too. These are both stone topped tables adorned with excellent marble textures. Both the side table and low table feature different furniture patterns yet both work wonderfully together and are enhanced by the lanterns; one lit and one static that can be placed in or around the setting to create a gentle ambience. Not only that, but they’re juxtaposed perfectly with their elegant Verdigris framework that also extends to the foot of the sofa and chairs; and to the stunning, elegant Gazebo.
The Etienne Set is a creation that has lots of ‘zoomability’; and you will take great photographs using these pieces as your setting and I recommend that using these pieces you do just that.
But it’s not just about appearance, it’s about function too, and the sofa and chair both have an extensive range of poses for males, females and couples. When I say extensive, I’m under-playing it a little. There are 54 animations in the sofa (31 single, 23 friends/couples) and 33 in the chair (23 singles/10 couple) That’s an astonishing amount and yet again a further example of the quality of this piece. The poses are all excellent too, with a few quirky choices thrown in. For example there’s a nice lean onto the wicker arm, and a great pose called ‘curler’ which is me when I’ve got a hangover. (Try it; you’ll see exactly where I am coming from!)
It should be apparent by now dear reader that once you rez this furniture you’ll instantly see that a lot of thought, time and care has gone into its production and that’s something that I really value as a customer. Be assured that Etienne is going to win admiring glances from your peers, and it’s going to be extremely popular to get comfy on too. I don’t think it’s limited to being an outdoor piece either, exclude the gazebo and you have furniture that will work extremely well in a living room setting.
For now mine is erected on my patio, facing over the water. I can sit under my gazebo and gaze into the Second Life night sky as the stars begin to twinkle and it feels really good.
And that after all isn’t that what life it is all about; real or virtual?
I cannot recommend Etienne enough, please go and see if for yourself by clicking HERE.
Set containing ALL pieces (Gazebo, Sofa, Armchair, Side Table, Low table and lanterns(on static, one lit) has a total land impact of 28 and will set you back a mere L$1700. Which is a ruddy bargain for original mesh of such quality. Pieces are also available individually too.