Mona Alta is a new home for Skyrim located in the mountains right next to Lake Ilinalta that has a very eclectic style. It’s heavily influenced by the culture of the Redguards as well as the Akaviri and Imperials. I’d even say it was influenced by many cultures in Tamriel, but those seem most dominate in the architecture and furnishings.
There are many house mods out there for Skyrim, each with their own unique flavor. Elysium Estate is currently one of my favorites because it’s not overly big but it has a lot of unique knick knacks, static furnishings (if you’ve played Skyrim with a lot of script-heavy mods you’ll understand why static is a good thing in this area), and nicely laid out displays for showing off your artifacts. (See my review here) Mona Alta takes everything I love about a home like Elysium Estate and gives it to me with an exotic flair. Many of the items come from the Witcher games (CD Projekt Red graciously allows modders of other games to use their assets) and another very lovely house mod called Clockwork Castle (check out my old review here. The mod has been updated since my review and eventually I’ll do an updated review). The Witcher items work well to give the house a worldly look because they seem very similar to the Redguard style in the Elder Scrolls’ universe that takes inspiration from North African/Arabic influences.
Along with the unique furnishings, some displays aren’t in the traditional fashion of having everything perfectly lined up on shelves (although some are like the dragon priest mask display). They are more displayed as if they’re placed individually, uniquely. There are also displays for other items that aren’t traditionally shown off, like the attunement sphere and Pelagius’ hip bone on the various tables in the Mage Study. I also love how the display areas aren’t all in one place. The Daedric and Aedric displays and shrines are in the Lounge. The Mage Study houses the items devoted to the arcane and the history of Skyrim, including dragon and falmer items. There are also weapon and shield displays scattered along the columns of the house.
Mona Alta isn’t the biggest house out there, but it makes great use of the space given. Everything flows well once you get used to it, though I admit I didn’t see the Study and Bedroom area for a hot second and thought my download had gotten corrupted. xD The house features a Living Room down the stairs from the entrance that has a lot of seating and even some “beds” in the form of couches so people can sleep on those (and some mannequins!), a Mage Study directly off the living room with displays and crafting for the arcane arts. To the right of the main living space is the Pool Room (sparsely decorated) and a hallway that connects the rest of the rooms with the house. Down that corridor are the Follower or Children’s room (must have Hearthfire and the Mona Alta Hearthfire patch for the children to use the house) with six beds and some light furnishings, a Kitchen with seats for six (or more if you add in seating), and a Workshop with all of the crafting areas a good smith would need. Above the living room and accessed on the left once you enter the house is another Study with a nice sitting area and some bookshelves. This area leads to a Master Bedroom Loft with a cute writing Nook and a Dressing spot. To the right of the master quarters is the Lounge with the Daedric and Aedric displays and shrines as well as some really cool looking Akavarian influences. There is also a large Balcony you can get to by the rope ladder just outside of the master study that has nice views of Lake Ilinalta and Whiterun Hold. Out of everything, the balcony looks a little sparse, but considering the backstory to the house had it empty for a long time that makes sense. I’m going to decorate it myself, I think.
Overall, this house is great. There is a lot of eye candy. There are also options where you can change certain aspects of the house, such as the main floors (from a red, white and blue tile mosaic pattern to wood), the walls (from dark blue to white), some of the tapestries, and some of the shelving units. Did I mention the windows? They are really awesome! Most of the windows are actually transparent and you can see outside! All of the windows allow light to stream in. The colors of the house also look great in different ENBs (for my pictures I used Ruvaak Dahmaan ENB Redone and Natural Lighting Vivid Atmospherics with their included ENB – each picture is labeled with the ENB used). My only real complaint is that the house tends to be very dark, even when I increase the brightness for interiors in my ENBs. To sort of get around this issue I use a Lantern mod called 201 Stained Glass Lanterns That allows you to place unique lanterns anywhere in Skyrim. You can see some of them in the pictures.
I give this house mod a 5/5, 10/10, 100%. I can deal with the lighting issue and the sparsely decorated balcony and pool area, so that’s why it gets a perfect score. 🙂 Download this mod, you’ll really enjoy it.
Check out my flickr page for Mona Alta for more photos!