Real estate decoration

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Decorating surfaces

Rooms generally have six surfaces to customize: a floor, a ceiling, and four walls (the north wall, east wall, south wall, and west wall). They can be covered in a variety of materials, and further customized with some items. Surface coverings cannot be "undone": you can use a multifunctional stripper to strip away applied finishes and return the surface to its original base material. In some places this may be something attractive like rice paper walls or beamed ceilings. In other homes it may take you back to plain plaster. However, this will not return it to whatever colour it may have been painted prior to the latest coat, only the basic appearance of your home's walls. So if you wish to return to a specific colour before the latest one, you'll simply have to buy it again and repaint your walls.

In most rooms, the surfaces are:

  • floor
  • ceiling
  • east wall
  • south wall
  • west wall
  • north wall

The names of some surfaces are different, for example in the room description it could be "the sloping ceiling is whitewashed plaster". This means the name is "sloping ceiling". It's going to fail if you do "paint ceiling with tin", you'll need to "paint sloping ceiling with tin".

Outdoors rooms don't have these surfaces, so they can't be carpeted, painted, etc.


Contractor npcs are NPCs who can be hired to decorate surfaces with different coverings. Most of them will only work in specific areas, and most only deal in flooring.

To use one, you must first "hire" them, then lead them to the real estate to be decorated. All contractor npcs except the Jones brothers have an assigned area that they will not work outside of--if you try to lead them out of their assigned area, they will walk back to the last room they were in that's in it. Note that passage rooms are outside of all assigned areas, regardless of the endpoint (so if an npc will only work within Bes Pelargic, you can't passage them from one end of the city to the other). Some can, however, be led into carriages.

Once there, you can "ask <object> to fit the <surface> with <decor>" (at this point, you pay). Most only deal in flooring, but Jerry Jones and Grabble Jones will fit walls and ceilings as well. You can "list goods from <object>" to see what options they have available--the price they give you is per surface.

Afterwards, you should "dismiss" them to get them to go away.

They are:

Contractor Surfaces Material Area
Arimasticopoulous the Mosaicist floors mosaic Djelibeybi and Ephebe (range uncertain besides these two)
Barney woodchops floors wood Ramtops (range uncertain)
Burberry Carpetsmith floors carpet Ramtops and the Sto Plains (range uncertain besides these two)
Grabble Jones all stone anywhere
Jerry Jones all wood anywhere
Happy Lotus Wind floors carpet Bes Pelargic
Moquette Strata floors carpet Ankh-Morpork
Mouldium Carpetsmith floors carpet Ramtops, Uberwald, and the Sto Plains (excepting Ankh-Morpork)
Pkara Stainmaster floors carpet Djelibeybi
Ptarquet Shazam floors wood Djelibeybi
Ptyler Stonecutter floors stone and glass Djelibeybi
Sum Flying Duck floors matting Bes Pelargic
Vorsa Shazar floors wood Ankh-Morpork
Wun Coughing Thrush floors wood Bes Pelargic


There are a few ways to decorate surfaces yourself, as well.


Any surface may be covered in paint, in a variety of different colours (one colour per surface unless you wish to add a stencil as well). You'll need to hold a brush and "paint <surface> with <paint>".

Paint comes in a variety of colours and can be found in the following shops:

Mr Foo's Bargain Basement Hall of Paint also sells glitter, which you can mix with paint with the syntax "add glitter to <paint tin>", resulting in "glittery <colour> paint".

Painted surfaces look like this, with variation according on the colour used:

the ceiling is covered with glittery blood red paint


Any surface may be wallpapered. You'll need to hold a brush and "paste <wallpaper> to <surface> using <pot>". You'll also need one pot of wallpapering glue per wall.

Wallpaper comes in a large variety of patterns and can be found in the following shops:

Blank wallpaper can be marbled.

A wallpapered surface looks like this, with variation according to the pattern used:

the floor is papered with Koi Carp print wallpaper

Stencils and appliques

Stencils and appliques can be applied to any surface and will show up on top of existing surfacing.


The description of the surfaces comes after the sentence stating the type of room, and looks something like this:

The ceiling is finished with carved panels of grey driftwood panelling, the floor is fitted with mahogany boards and the other surfaces are lined with rough granite.

If you make all the surfaces the same, you get something like this:

The surfaces are all laid with dark red brick.

You get a "multicoloured" result in the room description if you have four or more differently-decorated surfaces (although you can still see the individual coverings if you look at the walls, ceiling, or floor specifically):

The walls, floor and ceiling are multicoloured.

Adding furniture

Furniture of many different types can be placed around the room.

Placing furniture and its appearance in the room

After being "place"d in a room, furniture is part of it permanently and cannot be moved until it is "displace"d. To place or displace furniture in a room you must be "allow"ed by the owner.

When furniture has been placed in a room, it shows up in the room description after the description of the surfaces. The exact appearance will depend on its position and the other furniture in the room--it may appear in relation to the wall or corner it was placed against or in, in relation to the centre of the room, or in relation to another item. For example:

  • Putting something in a specific spot (such as in the centre of the room or against a wall) and then putting other things near that spot will make them appear around the item in the specific spot.
  • Putting identical items in opposite corners or on opposite walls will make them "face each other across the room".
  • Non-identical items across the room from each other may end up "facing" or "opposite" each other.
  • Several identical items may be condensed into "many <items> are positioned around the room". Two identical items may be likewise condensed, but will have an additional sentence specifying where they are.
  • Putting an item in a corner and another against an adjacent wall may result in something like, "Against the east wall is a newspaper box on the left side of which stands a low bamboo table," or "In the southeast corner is a black textile covered sofa to the right of which sits an elegant chaise longue."
  • If a piece of surface furniture (such as a table) has one thing, or several identical things, on it, this will show up in the room description as well. However, it may not show up immediately after you put the thing on the furniture (displacing the furniture and placing it again will make it show up).
  • Certain items of furniture, such as mounting plaques and picture frames are used for displaying other things. The things they're displaying show up in the room description, like so:
    • "Hanging from the west wall is a stone kite mounted on a mounting plaque."
    • "Hanging on the north wall is a blue picture frame displaying a sheet of vellum." (Papers in picture frames may be read, as well.)

This works the same way whether the furniture is purely decorative (artwork, potted plants), or functional (containers, surfaces, fireplaces).

You can only have one item in each specific spot (so you can't have two things "beside the west wall"), but you can have multiple items "near" a spot.

Many items of furniture have specific verbs that can be used in their placement, so that they can be "sitting near the west wall" (for example) instead of just "near the west wall". The syntax "place help <furniture>" will show you any verbs that can be used with a particular item of furniture. Common ones are sitting, standing, and squatting.

> syntax place
Forms of syntax available for the command 'place':
place <furniture> {near|at|from|on|beside|against|in} the <location> [wall|corner] 
place <furniture> so it is <verb> {near|at|from|on|beside|against|in} the <location> [wall|corner] 
place help 
place help <furniture> 
> place help
The place command requires a furniture object, an optional verb, a preposition and a location.  Which verbs are available depends on the furniture.  Hanging furniture can use hanging, suspended and dangling.  The prepositions for hanging things are from and on, while items may be placed beside and against walls, in corners, or near and at other objects.  The ceiling, floor, centre, north, south, east, west, northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest may be used as locations.

If you're after a specific effect, be aware that the sentences describing furniture will be shuffled around as soon as you add another item of furniture (and possibly the next time the room loads, as well), so you can't count on things being mentioned in any particular order.

Rooms seem to be able to have up to ten items of furniture of any size placed in themresearch.

Moving furniture

Most furniture, aside from small decorative items, is quite heavy (and appears to be harder to pick up for its weight than other things). You may therefore need to drag it to your destination--luckily, it can be dragged through portals and onto carriages. Gryntard's Feathery Reliever and Fyodor's Nimbus of Porterage may however help if this is too awkward (or if it's too heavy to drag). Have a plan for getting your furniture to your house or shop quickly before you buy it, since taking too long can result in losing it to a crash or reboot (or even someone else dragging it away, if it's on the ground).

See also