Acnh village ideas

Acnh village ideas DEFAULT

I’m not the most creative person in the world. That obviously poses a problem when it comes to creative games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons. What you make of your island is entirely up to you. Even after Tom Nook gives you the ability to terraform things, you’re still left to your own devices. That’s why we’ve put together 25 ideas for your Animal Crossing island. Fill in all of those empty spots with any one of these popular ideas!

Looking for house ideas? We’ve also put together 20 ideas for your Animal Crossing house.

Animal Crossing New Horizons May Day Maze


There are a few different approaches you can take with a maze. Do you create a purely decorative one focused on art, flowers, and sculpture? Or maybe you make a more modern one that’s a legitimate puzzle for visitors? If you truly want to make people suffer, place one right at the entrance to your island.

While most will likely use hedge bushes, you can also opt instead for cliffs made from the terraforming tool. This makes it harder for players to see the entirety of the maze, making it harder to escape.


Plenty of players have created arcades inside their houses, but why not do something different and make one under the stars? You can still use all of the same aesthetics minus the flooring and walls. You’ll want to look for arcade cabinets, pinball machines, and a table tennis set up to truly get that game room feel. Consider slapping on some floor lights to help illuminate this outdoor attraction. Now I really want to do this on an outside deck, playing video games with my villagers until the green glow of morning arrives.


We probably could have bundled the zen garden with the temple, but some folks have really taken it to the next level. One user has created a temple to the moon, complete with a floating, rotating moon statue. Lots of players use the zen garden walls, terraform to make waterfalls, and use hanging lanterns.

Trading Port

If you’re one for a more industrial island, some players have taken to making their piers into proper shipping ports. These come complete with storage zones full of boxes, trading materials, construction supplies, and more! You can also do some pretty cool force perspective with the cliffs, lighthouses, and other large objects. Check out this awesome version by Snarferman.

Zen Garden

Want somewhere peaceful to relax? Build a zen garden for your villagers to meditate and do yoga in. If you want to include rocks, you’ll need to go through a rather tedious process of forcing them to spawn in your garden. But the effort is definitely worth it, as it makes gathering resources much easier. For custom sand/gravel patterns use the creator code MA-5114-7560-0924. Then populate the rest of the area with whatever type of garden you want. Use some of the DIY rocks

Mushroom Forest

This one is limited to southern hemisphere islands where it is currently fall and mushrooms are available. But if you have them on hand, try putting together a rustic patch of forest. Give it lots of water, mushrooms do love moisture, and populate the area around with some fallen leaves, rocks patterns, and dirt paths. Keep in mind, this method may take some time since you’ll have to do a lot of terraforming. So if you don’t want to fight with cliff placements and waterfalls than this might not be for you.

Secret Trade Beach

Everyone already has a secret beach on the back of their island. Why not keep it a secret for when Redd is around? There are lots of videos out there of people getting creative when it comes to hiding ways to get to hidden areas. The beach area already exists, so why not just spruce it up, make it truly hidden and have it be a feature of your island.

Fancy Entryway

If you have lots of visitors to your island you might want to spruce up the area near your airport. Depending on where your town center is, you can build a path straight up from your airport to there, leaving visitors with no choice of where to go. This is your chance to design things that everyone will see. DanboKuma built a moon walk full of glowing celestial object and waterfalls.

Hidden Paths

While you’re at it with the secret trade beach, why stop there? Make some other hard to get to, secluded areas. Maybe a private outdoor lounge nook or a completely hidden turnip storage area. This can also be a fun surprise for those who are exploring your island or if you want to isolate an ignoring villager. Looking at you Pietro.

new animal crossing switch


Why just place your campsite and then leave it completely undecorated? Place trees, dirt paths, and more around the area. Break out the bonfire, some seating, and some additional tents. Make it feel like a true campground! Search creator code MA-7376-5758-0005 for some really awesome, customizable, dirt paths we can recommend.

Various Shops

Why not use those stalls to make a bunch of different shops down your main pathway? You can have one sell fruit, another beach themed objects, and a third that deals with flowers. Your limits for this only comes down to what you have available in your catalog which is why it’s a good idea to always purchase things you don’t own. You never know when you’ll want them!

Bus Stop

Keeping with the modern theme, why not add some bus stops around town? Grab those bucket seats you see in the airport, flip around the shop stands as an overhang lookalike, and get sitting. Add some vending machines and other atmospheric decorations.

Island Park

Why not build an island on your island? Surround a decent sized patch of land with water and turn it into a nice scenic park. Add a bunch of cobblestone flooring, a water fountain, some seating, and then populate it with trees and flowers. You could even take this one step forward and make your entire island just a bunch of interconnected islands. Though you may have some trouble getting your island up to 5 stars if the majority of it is just water.

City Streets

From street markets to full blown cities, Animal Crossing players have been making some wild industrial areas. A lot of this comes down to just making everything look super busy, but it’s helped along with servers which glow in the dark and can look like tall buildings at night. Probably one of the most common islands that players make, you can find a ton of roads, unique signs, and cool stall designs for a nice market place.

Create Building Interiors

You can only build so much inside of your own house. What if you want to build something large like a hotel? McKarmey has a great example of how to do so: use cliffs as interior walls. This way you can fake interior rooms and have multistory buildings! As long as you don’t mind not having a roof or doors, this is a great way to add multiple structures to your island such as a diner or store.

should you play animal crossing

Excavation Site

Though you can always dig up fossils out of the ground, why not make an official excavation site? Plop down some fossils, various rock pieces, and decorate it with rustic equipment. Bonus points for multi-layered tiers and for placing fake holes. (Use code: MO-XBMQ-DHCD-R0KW). A good way to do this is by building your Museum on cliff so you can create a large hole next to it. Plus, it’s great for putting all those spare fossils you come across.

See an example here.

Create a Duck Pond

Every Animal Crossing island already comes with its own pond, why not spruce it up? Make it more authentic with fallen leaves, weeds, stone paths, and benches to sit on. Obviously, you’ll need the duck statue so keep an eye out for it or ask around. This build really doesn’t work at all without it.

Parking Spots

Want to make your city feel more lived in? Build a few bike parking spots around the island! Rebork234 has even provided the custom designs for them! This typically ties in with the city theme mentioned above, however, we’ve also seen this used for bicycles. We don’t expect you to turn your island into a Wal-Mart parking lot, but one or two can really add that touch of emersion a good island needs.

Coffee House / Cafe

Another super popular idea. Since Nintendo hasn’t implemented The Roost, at least not yet, you’re going to have to build your own. Grab your espresso machines, some wooden furniture, and other cafe themed items and throw something together! We’ve also seen smaller versions of this with stalls, which

Seaside Restaurant

Most islands have a rock outcrop which goes largely unused. AmphritriteL turned theirs into a proper seaside cafe! Why not turn yours into an entire restaurant? After all, that’s sure enough the case in the real world. Alternatively, you can always set up a restaurant on the beach next to a dock so your villagers have a nice place to enjoy a drink or two.

Create An Outdoor Deck for Your House

Ever wanted some extra outdoor space? You’ll need to invest some money in a ramp, but it’s possible to build a deck that wraps around your house! Put some woof flooring and fences down and then add all the outdoor furniture you want!


You likely have an orchard already, so go ahead an entire farm while you’re at it. Gather up those hay bales, lay down some dirt, and put down your turnips every week. You can even drop saplings down which help spruce up the place. Unfortunately, there aren’t any real farm animals in the game unless you feel cruel and decide to trap your villagers in it.

Cabin in the Woods

If you’re super dedicated to everything spooky, move your house into a heavily forested area. You’ll obviously want lots of trees, plants, and overgrowth. However, horror is pretty tricky to do without a bunch of custom designs since the Halloween event is months away. this idea does work nicely if you have a Villager like Lucky, Coco, or Stitches to scare anyone brave enough to venture out alone.

Villager Yards

Depending on what kind of player you are, this one can be a job that never really ends. Your villagers have their own homes and some did require random outdoor items, but some have taken to really giving them a place to live. Take into account their style and add things like a sitting area with an outdoor activity, a radio for the singer, and more.

Baking Store

Customize your cafe further and add deserts! Just take a hat and add a custom pattern to it, turning them into cakes with the brims at the plates underneath. Check out this Reddit user’s example complete with design codes. Another cute baking theme we’ve seen is setting up an area like a food competition with multiple cooking stations. Then you can go full Gordon Ramsey and let all those Villagers have it for being terrible chefs.


20 ACNH Resident Services & Town Square Ideas For Inspiration

Sometimes, the plaza that Resident Services rests on can be a total pain.

You can’t move it (unless Nintendo finally gives in to our demands), plus you can’t put any items on it, and any balloon presents that hit it just disappear into oblivion.

While it is a great spot for special characters to set up during the holidays, don’t you ever wish that you could just…do more with it?

Or even make a new plaza that’s completely your own?

Here are some of the best design ideas I’ve found from people who want to make this central meeting spot look even prettier and more inviting!


20. Making Use of Hedges

Custom Hedges around Resident Services - ACNH Idea

We’re going to start by looking at a simple way of making the area around your plaza stand out from the other areas of your island.

Next time Leif visits, grab a bunch of whichever shrub starters are currently in season, and place some around the border of your plaza.

Personally, I like to alternate between the two colors. But you can also stick to one like this user did.

You can utilize hedge fencing and a couple of benches. There are a bunch of different interactive items that can be used on the borders as well, like musical instruments, popcorn machines, etc.

I love seeing my villagers interact with items and furniture that I put around this area!


19. Extended Plaza

Expanded Residents Services Plaza in ACNH

If you ever wanted to get around not being able to place items on the default plaza, here’s an ingenious solution—make a bigger plaza!

I have to give massive props to whoever managed to expertly recreate the brick pattern of the ground, and made it available to everyone who wants it.

And there are plenty of ways to utilize this new open space. You can put down some more benches and tables like this player did, or you can center it around your own town plaza IRL with different shops, cafés…maybe even something from else on this list!

Whatever you do, just remember the golden rule of ACNH design: make it YOU.


18. Shrub Designs

Custom Shrub Designs in ACNH

Visitors are sure to be impressed with these cute little flowery shrub designs on your plaza.

This is from the same player who came up with the extended plaza idea mentioned earlier, and here they’ve added even more to it with the different fencing and well-placed phone booth in the upper right-hand corner.

I also like how they placed some garden lanterns near the shrubs so that you can see the bright colored azaleas at night.

Judy seems to be admiring the space after telling the player some juicy gossip!


17. Entryway to Resident Services

Entryway to Resident Services with Fountain - ACNH

If making a whole new plaza isn’t your style, you can always amplify the one you’ve got with a beautiful entrance.

This one only needs a couple of benches, fountains, and some shrubs that are in season.

The design has a very classic look to it, and seems to be in a great spot to relax, take in the weather, or enjoy a beverage.

Any custom paths in your inventory will be a nice compliment to this little set-up. You can also substitute the shrubs for your favorite flowers!


16. Helpful Directions

Directions on Signs Near Resident Services - ACNH Idea

If you’re ever too lazy to open up the map on your NookPhone on someone else’s island (trust me, I’ve been there), you might start running around willy-nilly looking for Nook’s Cranny to sell your turnips.

And you’re probably going to get lost fairly quickly.

This player has created a cute and simple way of directing visitors to both shops, and her Resident Services!

Up until now, I had just been using the DIY little wooden signposts. But now I think I’ll adopt this for my plaza!

This is a great way to practice your customization skills for the PRO designs that you can share with anyone.

It’s also a good opportunity to get rid of the days where you’re chasing visitors yelling “east, east, EAST!!!” when they’re looking for our favorite tanuki twins.


15. Shapes of Custom Paths

Custom Patterns near Town Center - ACNH Idea

When you think “town square”, one of the first things that likely pops into your mind is probably a central fountain like this one.

However, this user has elevated that simple concept by adding some décor, by utilizing their path construction skills.

It must’ve taken so much time to bring together the natural and man-made elements to this town center. And somehow it makes the space seem bigger, more youthful, and like the villagers are just happy to be living here.

Strategically placed right in front of both shops, this will be a warm invite to anyone visiting your island.


14. Sundial Square

Town Square with Sundial - ACNH Idea

How old-school is this?!

I’d say this sundial idea can bring a classy element to any town plaza. As long as it’s somewhere with direct access to sunlight, it really works.

I also really admire the little touches this player added to the rest of the plaza. The dinosaur standee in front of the museum, the little gardens in front of Able Sisters, it all adds to the charm.

Julian seems happy that he won’t have to worry next time he loses his watch.


13. Park Plaza

Park Plaza near Resident Services Building - ACNH Idea

You really can’t go wrong with a park set-up near the center of your town.

It almost gives a sort of Wild World feel, doesn’t it?

This park-inspired plaza makes the perfect place to connect with nature and have a picnic with your favorite villager.

The central placement of the fountain comes back into play, only this time it’s surrounded by a rectangle of pine trees, and some natural elements via a spotting of custom paths.

I never seem to know which patterns to use on my cushions. But this player has coordinated it beautifully with the picnic basket and blanket.

And with this woodland setup, you’d forget that this was once a tropical island at all.


12. Playground Plaza

Playground Plaza Area near Town Square - ACNH Idea

A lot of plazas are meant to be sources of entertainment.

So one way you can bring that entertainment to your island is to add a neighborhood playground.

I really like the hopscotch design this player added here. Resident Services is now a literal hop, skip, and a jump away!

There are a bunch of different items that can be used here which you can redeem NookMiles for. But the slides can show up at Nook’s Cranny.

I actually found one in the recycling bin, so keep a look-out for anything that might fit your playground theme.

And let me say, Pango looks a bit lonely in there. I think I’ll go join her on the springy horse!


11. Memorial Square

Memorial Graveyard near Residents Services ACNH

There are a fair number of players that like to have dedicated spaces for those they loved who has passed away, myself included.

So why not design this space into your central plaza?

This way, everyone who comes to your island can pay their respects. This design looks great through rain or shine, and is a good way to take your loved ones with you wherever you go.

These iron and stone fencings have never looked better, and you can make the space around it as big or as small as you want.


10. Parking Lot

Custom Parking Lot Pavement Idea in ACNH

Even though there aren’t any vehicles you can actually use in this game (is anybody else hoping for some kind of Animal Crossing Kart?), you can still create the illusion that your plaza is a popular attraction by constructing a parking lot like this.

Just look at the detail this player put into it…

From the handicap space to the white border lines around the sidewalks… it’s just amazing!

I’m almost expecting one of those car-beds to come zooming down the road.


9. Market

Marketplace near Resident Services - ACNH Idea

Wow, is there a festival in town?

No, it’s just a central market for all your animal & knickknack needs!

Check out the variety of colors and designs on each of the stalls! And these items could be interchanged with any kind of items like clothes, accessories, or miscellaneous goods.

Anyone who comes to visit your island can pick what they like, and leave a tip in its place.

This market in particular looks like it carries a theme of some kind of Japanese street market, which I’m always a sucker for.

You can center yours around whichever theme you like, though.

Oooh how much for that record player?!


8. Tropical Plaza

Tropical Plaza for Resident Services - ACNH Idea

Here’s something for those who want to stay true to the original theme that New Horizons was built on.

I actually didn’t know you could use sand paths to plant coconut trees. How brilliant!

I also really like how this player used spike fencing and windflowers to give this plaza a true tropical feel.

Anytime it’s too cold wherever I’m at, I know where I’ll be going for a warm escape.


7. Rainbow Plaza

Rainbow Plaza Decor for Town Square - ACNH Idea

Yay! The rainbow star DIYs are back!!!

This is a beautiful Pride-inspired themed plaza with an array of different colored flowers in the background, as well as the star items which look great even in the middle of the afternoon.

Also, check out the manhole cover art in the middle. So pretty!

Having an even number of each item is a great way to make entrances like this look neat and welcoming.

The two streetlamps and floating biotopes are a good example, but you can also use statues, pillars, anything you like.

I really like how this player put some fruit trees in the back as well. You don’t have to just use them to sell off non-native fruits. You can leave them be as a nice decoration like this.


6. Holiday-Themed Plaza

Holiday-Themed Plaza for Halloween - ACNH Idea

The best part about the ACNH holiday events is the opportunity to collect all of the DIYs, that way you can decorate and celebrate around your island!

That being said, why not make a dedicated area that changes with the coming the different seasonal celebrations?

Each holiday DIY set comes with an arch, which makes a perfect entrance.

There’s also a giant float… or in this case, a carriage, that takes center stage!

The rest is pretty much up to you. I like how the lanterns here are flanking the giant pumpkin carriage. You can line up the square with related decorations, or maybe some flowers colored to match the theme, or even just set up costumes for display like a mini museum.

I still have Festivale stuff hanging around from last month.

So who says the celebrations should end after just one day?


5. Floating Plaza

Floating Plaza with paths - ACNH Idea

Don’t look down, don’t look down…

No, this isn’t Photoshop.

This player has managed to turn their plaza into its own island by using amazingly detailed custom paths.

This is a great idea if you want to freak out your friends when they come to visit, or just freak out any impolite visitors who even dare to think of running through your flowers.

Fair warning: lots of design slots will be needed if you want to re-create this. However, the end result is totally worth it!


4. Community Garden & Fountain

Community Garden with a Fountain - ACNH Idea

What a perfect spot to pour some tea and dish celebrity gossip with Bianca, am I right?

There are two parts to this little plaza.

One part has a park-element to it, like we saw earlier in the list. And the other part is a beautiful mini garden hangout spot.

You could use these 2×2 plots in each corner to try to breed different colored flowers. Also, I’m pretty sure villagers will stop by each day and give them some water.


3. Pretty Pink Town Square

Pretty Pink Town Square Area - ACNH

Don’t you hate it when Resident Services is situated so close to your airport, and you can’t move it?

Well this player has managed to get around that by crafting a simply gorgeous path that goes around and leads to a beautiful little square.

They used some hedge fencing to separate the two areas, which I really like. I’m also so in love with this color scheme.

Any color path will look great here, as long as you coordinate with different furniture and utilize the local flora.

It’s clear that this design sparks joy to this player, so if you try your own variation, make sure it sparks joy for you too.


2. Asian-inspired Plaza

Asian-inspired Plaza for Resident Services - ACNH Idea

What a simple but oh-so-elegant entrance to this player’s town square.

Incorporating Asian elements like bamboo plants, cherry blossom trees, and other related items, will definitely attract those as obsessed with Eastern culture as I am.

It feels like this player really had this set-up planned out far in advance, with their placement of both shops.

Residents who go on their daily shopping errands will feel compelled to slow down and take in the beauty of this area.


1. Rural Mountain-type Plaza

Rural themed Resident Services area - ACNH Idea

If it wasn’t for the coconut tree hiding in the bottom-left corner, I would’ve been convinced that someone had somehow created a mod and turned their island into a mountain-top village.

Everything besides Resident Services has a real earthy look to it.

The colors are all aligned to give off the feeling of camping in the fall. Even Erik looks ready to set up a tent.

And this player’s choice of outfit suggests they’re geared up for a hike up the cliffs.

What a cute combo!

Even a few weeds here and there wouldn’t look out of place here. Actually, I think that could be an added bonus!

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Animal Crossing | ACNH

Residential Area Ideas - How To Build

Check out this Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch (ACNH) guide on how to build a residential area. Includes design tips, tips on layout, structure, examples, and more!!

Table of Contents

Check Out Custom Design Codes Here

Island Design Ideas - Residential District

What You Need

Prepare A Large Location

You're going to need a relatively large space to work with if you plant to create a neighborhood with a lot of villagers. You'll want to first designate the area you'll be using and clear it of trees or items that might get in the way.

Recommended To Have Approximately 200 Squares

A space of around 200 squares is required to house all 10 villager homes. If you plan to have your hourse with them, prepare at least 300 squares.

Areas Required Per Building

Check Out The All Buildings List

Cannot Build Cliff/River In Front Of Facilities

You won't be able to create cliffs or rivers in front of any facilities. If you want to build in front of them, allocate another square vertically.

Check Out The Terraforming / Island Designer Guide

Move 1 Person Per Day

Moving Houses
Moving Cost50,000 Bells / villager

Once you've leveled the ground you're going to use, you can move a villager's house by talking to Tom Nook at Resident Services. A house is 3x4 tiles large, so make sure to factor that into your calculations when deciding how much space you'll use. Also note that you can only move one character per day!

Decorate As You Like

Island Designer

Once you've successfully moved your villagers' houses, all that's left to do is decorate the area to your heart's content. Add fences and other custom designs around the houses. Even just the regular fences you purchase with Miles can be enough to give your island a slick look.

Check Out A List Of Fences Here

Tips When Designing Your Island

Plan Out The Structure

Before starting it's important to get a mental picture of what you want your island to look like. Try drawing it on a piece of paper in front of you - plan exactly where you'll move all important facilities first!

Build Ramps And Stairs


Ramps and stairs will add a real flair to your island, making it stand out from other, flatter islands! This isn't a midwest suburb - add some elevation to your neighborhood!

Make Roads With Custom Designs

Custom Design

To really make your town stand out, the color and look of your roads will be key. For this reason we strongly recommend using some sort of custom designs as your ground tiles for roads! Try taking a look at some of the custom designs users have made on the internet and try them out!

Check Out Floor and Path Custom Designs Here

Make A Garden And Porch


If you're okay on space, consider expanding the space for each house and giving them a garden, or perhaps even a patio. You can adjust each yard to the villager's personality too!

Create a Nameplate In Front Of Homes

Create a Nameplate In Front Of Homes

Make it easier to know which villager leaves where with the use of custom designed sighboards! Place them in front of house as a cute and useful guide.

Check Out How To Use Custom Designs

Island Town ideas - Our Residential Districts

Gorilla Fan's Town


Recommended Furniture

Check Out The All Furniture List

Recommended Fences

Recommended Custom Design Path


Dense Residential Area

Dense Residential Area

Recommended Furniture

Recommended Fence

Japanese-Style Homes

Japanese-Style Homes

Recommended Furniture

Recommended Fence

Some Villagers Have Japanese Style Homes

Some Villagers Have Japanese Style Homes

You can find that some of the residents homes, both interior and exterior, follow the Japanese theme! If you want to try this style, it will look best with them.

Sample Of Villagers With Japanese Style Homes

Modern Homes Style

Modern Homes Style

Recommended Furniture

Recommended Fence

Tips To Creating Residential Areas

Plan Layout First

It's recommended that you plan your whole residential area layout first before setting on moving around your residents. This ensures that you place at the right places the first move.

Check Other People's Designs

Take inspiration from the different islands of friends and other ACNH players. You can check them through social media or tour the islands themselves by visiting their islands.

Check Out Some Island Design Ideas Here

Use Dreams To Visit

Use Dreams To Visit

If you have their Dream ID, you can visit island of other players even if they are offline. You can check the whole island and see how they did their residential areas.

Check Out The Dreaming Guide Here

Pros To Building A Residential District

Easier To Keep Track Of Residents

The main advantage to consolidating all houses to one area is of course that they're easier to reach. They'll also be closer to your house and easier to find to talk to. You can finish your daily talk-to-everyone routine much faster with this setup.

Easier To Raise Friendship

The biggest advantage to this is that it'll be easier to raise your friendship level with villagers! Also, since it's easier to get to their houses, you'll be more likely to walk into a Villager doing DIY and get a recipe from them.

Check Out Our Friendship Level Guide For Details

It Just Looks Nice

For some people the main motivation will naturally be aesthetics! Bringing houses close together will make your town appear busy, lively, and sophisticated - the area will stand out, especially for visitors to your island! Don't skimp on fences - they really add a cherry on top of your island, plus they're quite cheap!

Island Design Related Articles

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▶Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Official Page


Animal Crossing: How To Decorate Your Island For A 5-Star Rating

Once New Horizon players get their island filled with villagers and have K.K Slider perform, the real work has just begun. Terraforming is unlocked and you can set about bending the land to your will.

It is around that time where you might set a goal to get a five-star review. Isabelle can give you some tips from cutting down trees to planting flowers. Her main point is that you need to decorate. However, she just leaves it at that.

So if you are looking for ideas on how to decorate your island and achieve that elusive five-star rating, you've come to the right place.

RELATED: The Best Town Tunes In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Updated on September 1, 2021, by Allison Stalberg: There are still more horizons to aim for in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game has no end. Sure, credits roll when K.K. Slider visits but there is still a ton you can do. What many players deem as a sort of "second end" to the game is when the island gets a five-star rating. That is a much more difficult accomplishment than getting K.K. Slider to the island.

Getting five stars has its rewards, but it can be almost impossible to achieve if you don't know what you're doing. A lot of players are also always looking for new ideas to decorate their island to the high five-star standards. This guide has now been updated to cover all this and more.

How To Unlock ACNH Island Evaluations

Villagers celebrating outside of Resident Services.

First of all, beginner players will not have access to evaluations from the get-go. A couple things need to happen in the game first. These are:

  • Construct Nook's Cranny
  • Build your first bridge
  • Furnish three incoming villager homes
  • Upgrade Resident Services

Once Resident Services is upgraded to a town square, Isabelle will become a part of the island. She is in charge of island evaluations.

Rewards For Having A Five-Star Island

Villager next to a lily-of-the-valley.

Besides having bragging rights, having a five-star island gets you two rewards:

  • Lilies-of-the-Valley: These unique white flowers will start growing on your island, as long as your island remains at five stars.
  • Golden Watering Can Recipe: This is the most durable watering can in the game. This watering can is the only way to grow golden roses. Water and crossbreed black roses with this watering can to get the highly desired golden roses.

What Are Scenery And Development Points in ACNH?

There are actually two scores the game keeps track of. These are development and scenery.

  • Development awards points based on stores, inclines, bridges, bought furniture, and fences.
  • Scenery awards points based on crafted furniture and natural trees, bushes, and flowers.

Every star rating requires a certain amount of points from both scores.

Star RatingDevelopment PointsScenery Points
One-StarBelow 80Below 200
Two-StarsBetween 80 and 159Between 200 and 269
Three-StarsBetween 160 and 399Between 270 and 349
Four-StarsBetween 400 and 664Between 350 and 449
Five-StarsOver 665Over 450

Of course, these points mean nothing unless you also know what items get how many points towards the island rating.

Development Point Values In New Horizons

There are specific buildings that award points as follows:

Item/ConditionPoints Added
Upgraded Nook's Cranny15
Able Sisters15
Bridge15 Per Bridge
Incline15 Per Incline
Nine Villagers15
Ten Villagers30
Less than 100 Weeds30
Placed Item1

Scenery Point Values In New Horizons

Keep in mind that plants do not provide points until they are fully grown.

ItemPoints Added
Pumpkin Sprout0.5
Flower Bud0.7
DIY Furnishing0.25
Large DIY Furnishing0.75

Decorating Ideas To Increase Your Island Points

Knowing point values for ranking up your island is one thing, but having ideas for what to do is another. Luckily, there are many creative ideas out there that players have utilized to fulfill the point conditions of a five-star rating. Here's a selection.

Expand The Shops To Outside

Able Sister's store with decocrated patio.

The Nooks Cranny and Able Sisters stores are a perfect place to get started on decorating. The best storefronts are those with seating, signs, plants, and cute fencing.

Many players like to display some of the clothes and accessories outside of the Able Sisters. Others add a coffee shop to the side. Some just absolutely adorn the area with flowers, bushes, and fences. Of course, players also do a mix of all three! For Nook's Cranny, ideas including a place to park bikes, a fruit stall, plant shop, or patio with seating.

Build Yards Around Villager Homes

Adding fences ranks up your island score. So giving all your villagers their own fenced-in yard will both get you closer to the five-star goal as well as make your island all the more lived-in. Within the yard, you can decorate with flowers, shrubs, and pieces of furniture.

Fans have had a great time matching the colors and personalities of their different villagers to their yards. Give catgrass to cat villagers like Raymond, blue flowers to a blue villager like Sherb, and plenty of sweets to a villager like Merengue.

Make A Park

An easy way to take up space and add a lot of decorations to your island is to make a park. Add a playground, flowers, a walkway, a theme park, fountains, and more.

The possibilities are endless and the game offers tons of different decorations that would suit a park. This is the perfect place to rank up those scenery points.

Set Up A Big Garden

Gardens can be more than just flowers. Decorate your Animal Crossing island with gnomes, lights, beekeeping boxes, a well, pots, a scarecrow, and a bench. You could even make a little table for folks to have some tea amongst the flowers.

RELATED: Quality Of Life Changes Animal Crossing: New Horizons Still Needs

Not only will this add up your island's points, but you can have lots of flowers in one place to attract more bugs.

Construct A Spa

Once you can terraform the island, you can go waterfall crazy. With some well-placed waterfalls, flowers, towels, changing rooms, lanterns, and plenty of hot tubs, you can make a spa area in your village. You can even add bamboo to give it a different kind of atmosphere.

Supplement Your Museum

Who said the museum only had to be inside? Decorate around your island museum with artifacts of your own. These can be doubles of the fossils that are inside, pieces of the shell furniture set, or just furniture pieces that you think belong in a museum.

RELATED: Animal Crossing: Hidden Mechanics & Tips New Horizons Doesn't Teach You

You can also build a park around the museum. Maybe install a playground or even put up a coffee shop.

Add Elements To Your Campsite

Campers need more than just a tent to have a good time. An easy way to decorate your Animal Crossing island quickly is to put up furniture around the campsite. You can add anything from a pool to a star watching area to a trail to a telephone booth.

Just think about what would make a campsite all the more enjoyable for a visitor. Even just a path or signs pointing towards your stores and resident services adds a realistic touch.

Create A Restaurant Area

A lot of creative players are making their own little restaurants on their islands. There are plenty of tables, chairs, food, and kitchen items you can use. Add that with some fencing and pathways, and you've got everything you need.

If you don't have enough food for the tables, just pick some flowers or buy candles to decorate on top of them.

Decorate Your Beaches

Beaches are great on their own, but they can become paradise with the right decorations. Beach balls, fishing gear, lawn chairs, towels, and more can rank up those points towards getting five stars. Definitely add a lighthouse and coconut trees while you are at it.

RELATED: The Best Wallpapers In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Don't be hesitant to experiment with how flowers may accent the beach areas. Luckily in Animal Crossing, you never have to worry about the tides carrying off your stuff. Also, don't forget the pier. You can actually put furniture on it.

Talk To Sable Every Day For More Decoration Options

Customizing furniture is great and can inspire more ideas. However, you can be pretty limited if you're not into making your own art. However, if you talk to Sable every day then she will eventually give you a lot of other patterns you can use on various pieces. With her patterns, you can make pineapple pillows, pizza stalls, sushi signs, and more.

Plant A Bamboo Grove

Eventually, with Nook Mile Tickets, you can collect bamboo to plant on your island. The question is where to put it? A lot of players have made their own little groves of bamboo. It can be fenced in or be at the highest peak of your island. You can decorate it with lanterns, waterfalls, mossy rocks, and statues. Another idea is that you can combine the grove with your campsite or park.

There are so many ideas, and if you want even more why not visit dream islands for inspiration?

The Do-Nots

There are some conditions that make a five-star island impossible. These conditions include:

  • If there are more than 220 trees or bamboo on the island, the island rating will never exceed four.
  • Having 15 or more dropped items (not placed, just left on the ground) will cap the star rating at just four. (Tree branches, stones, and star fragments do not count).
  • Placing more than 45 items in an eight-by-eight area will also cap the rating at just four.
  • Having just seven villagers or less will cap the rating at two stars.

NEXT: Animal Crossing New Horizons: The Best Custom Paths & Their Codes


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About The Author
Allison Stalberg (375 Articles Published)

Writer, author of The Awei Series, and cat foster parent. Her favorite games include Dragon Age, Pokémon, Final Fantasy XIV, Team Ico games, Ōkami, and RPG maker horror games. She probably would be a Fairy/Ghost type Pokémon Trainer.

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Ideas acnh village

Incredible Animal Crossing: New Horizons island ideas to give you serious inspiration

The best way to get new Animal Crossing: New Horizons island ideas is to take a look at what the community is doing. Reddit can sometimes feel a little overwhelming with full city recreations and multi-layered masterpieces but there are plenty of incredible, actually do-able creations out there. 

Animal Crossing island inspirations come in all shapes and sizes and plenty of people are excited to share their design codes just to see how others will make the most of them. 

So if you’re looking for fresh Animal Crossing: New Horizons ideas that won’t take hundreds of hours to complete, we’ve collated a stack of the most inspirational below. Whether it’s making your fairy tale a scary tale or finally finding something to fill that Brewster-shaped hole in your coffee-loving heart, here are some of the most innovative Animal Crossing: New Horizons island ideas. 

1. Make a splash

The best thing about this peaceful outdoor pool design from madoodlem on Reddit isn’t the three available colours to match your mini pool, or even the inventive lighting system, it’s that it only takes three of your custom design slots. But this is just the beginning. With countless other incredibly intricate tile designs available, your pool can quickly become a work of art. You could even search for ‘puddles’ at the Able Sisters to add even more H2O. Just be prepared for images of a very small pink frog to appear too. 

If you like wandering into the museum just to sit and watch the butterflies flutter, you’re not alone. And, more importantly, you don’t always have to head to Blathers’ domain to enjoy them. Catch three of the same of your favourite bugs, hand them over to Flick for model making, and you can create your very own butterfly garden like twerk_on_that_shark on Reddit. It’s probably a good thing that Blathers never leaves the museum. Wretched things…  

3. Release your inner pirate 

Raise the mainsail, cross your ayes, and practice your best me hearties with a full on pirate ship to make the most of Gullivarr’s booty. @Cosmos_ray on Twitter has taken it, quite literally, to the next level with a fully terraformed multi-level galleon complete with moat, Wood Burning Stove mast and Market Sign sails. Don’t worry, there’s no need to make any villagers walk the plank if you don’t have space. The beach makes a perfect location for a docked or even grounded ship.   

4. Build glass bridges 

An official eight bridge limit almost feels counterintuitive. So, for once, you don’t want my astronomical amount of Bells, Mr Nook? Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get inventive and create your own island crossings with terraforming. Tile over the top with a design like ghosthost999’s glass bridge on Reddit and you might find that Nook’s own variety are now lacking a distinct sense of risk with every step.

5. Create themed restaurants

Given that trips to Disney and Universal are pretty much off the cards for the time being, consider your Animal Crossing island your CV for a career in Imagineering. You could just build a regular restaurant with all of that colourful furniture, but throw in some of Celeste’s crafting recipes and the Diner collection and you’ll have a culinary experience akin to Disney’s Sci-Fi Dine in Theater in no time. Think of your favourite restaurants and start getting inventive. Just don’t let Zucker near any sushi, eh?   

6. Get farming

This is for those of us who switched up a Stardew addiction for an Animal Crossing one. Is there truly a way to feel at home in a game without any cows or sheep to tend to? No, Rodeo and Wendy don’t count. This barn and livestock combo comes courtesy of Mctieknots on Reddit and it’s a perfect springboard to a future agricultural paradise. Tilled fields of turnips, Simple Panel greenhouses and orchards all make for perfect Animal Crossing island ideas.  

7. Don’t forget the chickens 

 A little further down the pecking order, so to speak, is this perfect chicken coop. Made up of two stalls, some Simple Panels and some eggcellent hat designs from @daileyart on Twitter, this hen packed-delight is another innovative creation with AC’s existing recipes. For more Animal Crossing inspirations and ideas, make sure to follow Andrea on Instagram too for more brilliant pieces. French doors on a Simple Panel, anyone?    

8. Scaring is caring  

Don’t panic, there’s nothing wrong with you if you want to add a little, well, unspeakable terror to your Animal Crossing island. How can we know what true happiness is if we don’t experience the darker side of life? Whether you’re placing in-game skeletons and anatomical models in murder basements, or painting the ground with the above instant coulrophobia from @cybearizons on Instagram, there are plenty of ways to increase your islands spookometer. Don’t forget to add KK Dirge to nearby speakers to add even more atmosphere.  

9. Build a bar 

Until Brewster finally makes an appearance, it’s going to have to be down to us to make sure that our villagers have somewhere respectable to pass the time with a beverage or six. This classy bar design from @morimorisenyou on Twitter works both inside and outside and comes complete with a satisfying keg Simple Panel design. Use this as a diving off point and recreate your favourite cocktail bar. Tangy would probably love a cannibalistic Screwdriver or two.    

10. Give villagers themed gardens  

Who cares if they have no intention of even looking at your creations, let alone acknowledging them, your villagers deserve perfectly themed garden areas. This perfect barber zone from @wd_mori on Twitter in honour of Gaston’s impressive facial fuzz is only the beginning of the glorious potential. Why not build a tea house for Tia? An orange grove for Tangy? And Lucky would just love a graveyard… Well, there’s another hundred hours gone.   

11. Embrace the path

Gaze back in time to the Animal Crossings of yore and you might remember that the only way to make paths previously was to constantly run along the same patches of ground. Thankfully we aren’t still purposefully making holes in the grass but what the AC community now only refers to as The Path from @Denim2_mori brings the same natural feel as those well-trodden grooves. And there are now dozens of new variations. Whether you want spilled sprinkles in multiple colours or black cobblestones, there’s a perfect design for your island out there.   

12. Have a picnic  

Yes, your villagers will probably still sit adamantly right next to your perfectly placed cushions but that’s no reason not to try. Creating a picnic area on the beach or hidden snugly in an orchard is a simple addition that only requires a few design slots. This creation from moonbunnyart on Reddit comes complete with blanket tassels and makes the most of a stack of Sable’s patterns for the custom cushions. Teddy bears are of course optional. Just don’t tell Stitches.  

13. Build an outdoor library 

If the one thing keeping you from building a library outside is the idea of the books getting wet, you’re not alone. We like to imagine that they’re all waterproof which is the only way that we could build anything like @haru_eiffel’s beautiful natural library. Check out the rest of their Instagram if you’re looking for more non-book flavoured Animal Crossing ideas. Be warned though, it’s one of those ‘are we even playing the same game?’ accounts.  

14. Construct a market

If you’ve had enough of the passive aggressive messages from the HHA about the recipes filling your basement despite the fact that they can’t be put in storage, it’s time to find somewhere for them to go. You don’t really need to build an entire cityscape for the background like @okinawa.island on Instagram but a market packed with stalls will be a welcome addition to your island. It’s also perfect for leaving specific items to share with friends.   

15. Add city feels 

Visit an Animal Crossing newbie’s home and the first thing that will hit you is just how green it all is. We did all start out on an abandoned island, y’know. A fun mission then is to design like you never want to see green again. Islands like those of @miss_acnh on Instagram make the most of stone and metal to bring a big city atmosphere to proceedings. Just remember that if you don’t like the colours of your Nook Miles items, these vary from island to island so you can always trade for fresh versions.   

16. Keep clean with a laundry 

Until this moment, we’d never really thought about where villagers without washing machines cleaned their clothes. It turns out that all those Jocks joking about sweat stains on your recipes probably weren’t kidding. Step in @imotarez on Twitter then with some fresh-smelling inspiration. This laundrette once again makes the most of Simple Panels as both dividers and machine facades and thankfully has plenty of reading material.     

17. Add a train station  

 A seaplane is nice and everything but if you’re feeling nostalgic for New Leaf, there’s nothing quite like an Animal Crossing train station. This creation from @flandealmendra on Twitter doesn’t just have a perfect platform complete with vending machine, but even has a train made from a customised Brick Oven and two stalls. This is also an inspirational use of a small space between the dock and Residential Services. All aboard.   

GR+ news lead Louise can often be found watching horror, drinking coffee and beating you at The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth.
15 Beautiful Neighborhood Ideas // Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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