Acnh island ideas

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15 Simple & Easy Island Ideas For Animal Crossing: New Horizons

In the early stages of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there isn’t too much that can actually be changed on your island.

However as the game continues, K.K. Slider will come to perform on your island. And after this, terraforming is eventually unlocked.

This allows a bunch of new adjustments to be made, how cool right?

But where do you start? It can be overwhelming. And we’ve all been there.

Well we’ve compiled a list of our favorite easy-peasy island ideas. These are all easy to recreate, even for newer players.

So buckle up as we take you on a wild ride through heaps of simplistic island ideas for ACNH.


15. Cozy Picnic Area

ACNH cozy picnic area idea

We all need a place to kick back and relax after a hard day fishing and bug catching.

And there’s no place like your very own picnic patch.

Creating an area like this is fairly simple. It only requires a couple of custom design slots to create the perfect blanket (this one even has tassels around the edges!)

Then add some cute flowers around the area, a picnic basket, and tie it all together by adding a Kid’s tent for those ultimate relaxing vibes.

Of course, we can’t forget the dog’s house. Or the puppy. Because puppies make everything better, right?


14. Outdoor Library

Simple outdoor library in AC New Horizons

Calling all book worms!

An outdoor library is a must have on your island. And it’s super simple to do.

The best part is that the bookshelves come filled with books, so all you need to do is find the perfect reading spot on your island and pop them down.

They’re customizable too, so you can select the perfect color for your library.

Don’t forget to add a few tables, a cute fence, and finish strong with a rocking chair. So you can read your favorite book and watch the sun go down at ease.


13. Salon

Salon Design - Animal Crossing New Horizons

If you want to treat your villagers to some pampered paws, it couldn’t be simpler to create a salon on your island.

Add a splash of color by customizing some simple panels with your favorite patterns. You can also use simple panels and custom designs to create your product shelves, too.

Pop in some seating to serve as a relaxing waiting area, plus the actual salon tables, and you’ve got yourself a beauty hut.

As soon as your villagers hear about your grand opening, business will be booming!


12. Surf Shack

Surf Shack Idea for Animal Crossing New Horizons

Tired of waiting for summer? You’re not alone.

So why not bring the summer to you by creating a surf shack on your beach?

All you need is a custom stall with your favourite tropical design. Then add some surfboards and some extra cool sandcastles.

Don’t forget to surround your shack with coconut trees too.

You can even leave your wetsuit and snorkel out on the sand, so you’re always ready to ride those waves!


11. Hiking Trail

Hiking Trail Screenshot from ACNH

If you’re wanting to give your island a more natural look, why not add a hiking trail?

Fill your island with hardwood trees and add a sleek path winding around between all those trees.

And you can mark the entrance of your hiking trail with a custom-made sign, too!

If you’re really feeling adventurous, you could even add a cute little hot spring as a surprise for fellow hikers.

Invite some friends over to hike the trail with you. It’s the perfect virtual hang out.


10. Star Gazing Area

Stargazing Area in Animal Crossing New Horizons

Are you always struggling to find the best spot on the island to see shooting stars?

Now you can reach for the stars with this super simple star gazing area.

Creating your own star gazing area gives you the perfect location to kick back and watch the stars roll by. It also serves as amazing photoshoot area, to get those Instagram shots with all your friends.

All you need is a couple of telescopes, your favourite rug designs, and some lanterns. You’ll never miss a shooting star again.


9. Pirate Cove

Pirate cove secret beach idea - ACNH

Release your inner pirate by creating your own smugglers beach!

This is so easy to do: gather your favorite pirate items, barrels and plenty of treasures should be in the mix.

Then arrange them on your favorite part of your beach. It’ll look even better located on your secret beach, so be sure to locate that on your island map if possible.

And make sure you help Gulliver each time he washes up on your island. He’ll reward you with lots of pirate items. Trust me, it will look ARGH-mazing!


8. Zen Garden

Zen garden design in ACNH

If you’re someone who’s at one with nature and just want to let the plants do their thing, then this idea is for you!

This garden design is the perfect place to meditate after a long day. And it’s pretty easy to make.

Start by planting a bunch of bamboo trees and adding some fencing to give your island that zen garden feel. Maybe add a little rockpool and some statues to bring relaxation and tranquillity to your new meditation space.

Because who doesn’t want to find their inner peace?


7. Space Station

Space Station Idea for ACNH

Send your island out of this world by adding your very own space station.

Creating this extra-terrestrial area couldn’t be easier.

Simply add some of the space items such as the astronaut suit, crescent moon chair, and the flying saucer.

You can also scatter some spare star fragments around the area too for that true outer space feel.

The DIY recipes for these items can all be collected from Celeste. Just make sure you speak to her when she visits your island to gather them all (but she will only give you one recipe per day, so keep that in mind!)


6. Grand Waterfall Entrance

Waterfall Island Entrance for ACNH

We’ve all been to visit other islands and were blown away by their amazing entrances.

But just how are they created?

It’s not as complicated as it looks. Creating a waterfall entrance looks amazing and it couldn’t be easier!

All you need to do is build two cliffs with waterfalls running down the edge of each. Then add some flowers and your favorite path running down the middle, and BOOM!

Just like that you’ve got yourself a spectacular entrance.


5. Outdoor Tiki Bar

Outdoor Tiki Bar Idea for ACNH

Where else are your villagers going to enjoy a well-deserved drink?

A few fireplaces turned backwards have done the trick here to create this amazing tropical tiki bar.

Throw in some simple panels customized with a bottle design, and a classy seating area to boot, and you’ve got yourself the best hangout spot on the island.

Up till now it’s been our responsibility to keep our villagers hydrated. Let’s hope Brewster makes his return soon!


4. Ice Skating Rink

Ice skating rink in ACNH

Christmas may be over after December. But the winter season is always going strong.

What better way there to enjoy winter than with a skate on your very own ice rink?

It’s simple to make and only takes up one custom design slot.

Just choose your favorite part on your island and lay down your custom design. You can make it as big or as small as you like.

Finish off by putting up fencing around the area.

The best part is, it’s never going to melt. So you can leave it up all year round!


3. Outdoor Arcade

Outdoor Arcade idea for ACNH

We’ve seen plenty of ACNH arcades created in player’s basements.

But how about taking the games to the streets?

That’s right: creating an outdoor arcade will make a huge statement area on your island.

Simply line up as arcade machines as you can to create the ultimate gaming area, giving enough space for players to fit in.

Then maybe add a foosball table and ping pong to get the true game room experience.

Neon signs and LED floor lights are worth including to cast a colorful glow. There’s nothing quite like gaming with your villagers until the crack of dawn.


2. Excavation Site

Excavation site for ACNH

Want to take your fossil hunting to the next level?

Then building your own excavation site is the way to go. It’s the perfect place to store those extra fossils you find.

And it’s perfect to go side-by-side with your museum. Plus, if you place your museum on a cliff then you can dig down and create a multi-layer excavation site too.

Bury items, place fossils, stones, and even a wheelbarrow to bring out your inner archaeologist.

Finish by adding some safety signs and by fencing off the area, so none of your villagers wander into it by mistake!


1. Sweet Cake Shop

Sweets & cake shop design for ACNH

Got a sweet tooth?

Give in to those sugar cravings with your own cake shop. From birthday cakes to wedding cakes, you can have it all.

There’s a few ways that you can do this:

On your Birthday you’ll be sent a Birthday Cake from your mom. Or you can also grab wedding cakes from taking fantastic photos for Reese and Cyrus when it’s wedding season.

If you don’t want to wait for those, well then you can simply throw a custom design on a hat. It’s that easy!

Finish your shop with cute menu boards, a custom stall, and some tables for your diners.

Your shop is destined to be the talk of the town.

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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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Animal Crossing | ACNH

Island Design Ideas - List Of Island Themes

Check out this Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) guide for island ideas! Get inspiration for island (town) design, design tips, & learn how to transform your island layout!!

Table of Contents

Island Designs - Where To Begin?

Recommended Places To Build In Your Town

So, you want to do something more with your island - that's great! But, maybe you're at a loss for where to start, or maybe you're just lacking the proper inspiration to get you started on a new design adventure. If you're looking for ideas on what else you could add to your island, we recommend building two very basic sections first: A Residential District and an Orchard.

Make A Residential District

A Residential District is essentially an area where you place the houses of all your villagers. Concentrating all residences in one area is a good way to stimulate your island's social scene - it will probably increase your likelihood of talking to your neighbors! This is also a relatively quick process, so we recommend this for those not sure of what to do next on their island.

▼Check out more info on Residential Districts below

Set Up An Orchard

An Orchard can be a location where you plant or relocate tons of fruit trees for easy harvesting access. This process makes your fruit gathering far more efficient, and is visually quite appealing to boot! All you need to do this is fruit trees, making it a very easy task to jump into as a beginner.

▼Check out more info on Orchards below

Residential District Design Idea

Residential District

Easily Keep Track Of Your Villagers

Placing all of your villager houses in one centralized area will reduce your movement time and ultimately make your daily conversation routine much smoother!

Check Out Our Residential District Building Guide

Orchard Design Idea


Easy & Efficient Fruit Gathering

Creating an Orchard will make your life a lot easier when it comes to gathering fruit! Never again will you ask yourself "wait, where was that pear tree again?" - everything will be neatly concentrated in one area. If you sometimes forget to pick fruit from your trees, this method may actually also effectively end up making you more money!

Check Out Our Orchard Building Guide

Quarry/Rock Garden Design Idea

Stone Pit

Efficient Stone Gathering Spot

A quarry is simply a place for you to place your island's 6 rocks for easy and efficient gathering! And that's not all - you can actually also cause your island's fossils to spawn in this location too, which will no doubt impact your Museum progress!

> How To Make A Quarry/Rock Garden

Set The Location Of Trees And Bottles

Aside from rocks and fossils, it's actually also possible to fix the location of trees and message bottles! Since you can get furniture and DIY recipes from these, this can also seriously improve your efficiency. Note that these methods take a bit of time, however.

> How To Set The Location Of Trees
> How To Set The Location Of Bottles

Japanese Themed Island Design

Japanese "Zen" Town

Japanese style

A fan of eastern architecture? Well, as it turns out New Horizons is chock full of Japanese-style furniture and clothes, which means if you put your mind to it you can create a wonderful "Zen" paradise!

Check Out Our Japanese Town Design Guide

Flower Field

Flower Bed/Flower Garden


Keeping all your flowers in one neat little area not only has the aesthetic advantage of making your island look stylish, but it also lets you catch bugs that spawn on flowers much easier! Consider making one for your island!

Check Out Our Flower Field Guide

Bathhouse Design

How To Build A Hot Spring

hot Spring

Speaking of Japanese-inspired designs, how about creating a bathhouse for your island's residents to relax after a hard day of ... well they might not exactly work but they'll surely appreciate a good hot spring!

Check Out Our Hot Spring Guide Here

Street Market Design

A Lively Street Stall District

Street Stalls

Another idea is to create a road on your island and line it with tons of colorful street vendors! You can customize stalls to your liking and place small objects on the stalls to make your town look like it has a booming economy!

Check Our Street Stall Market Guide

Tropical Island Resort

Vacation Resort Getaway


It's true that you're already on a "vacation" of sorts, but why not make a getaway within a getaway and create a tropical resort area somewhere on your island? Decorate the area with palm trees, hang hammocks, and have easy access to the beach for a perfect recreational area!

Check Out Our Tropical Resort Guide Here

Outdoor Cafe

Have A Drink And Relax


Why not set up a cozy cafe where your villagers can congregate to gossip over fancy espressos? An outdoor cafe might be just what your island needs!

Check Out Our Cafe Guide Here

Park/Playground Design

A Spot For All To Play


If you're lacking recreational spots on your island, it might be worth setting up a small park! Set up some equipment, a jungle gym, or maybe a sandbox and add a family-friendly aura to your island!

Check Out Our Park/Playground Guide

Medieval Castle

Fortify Your Island


Want to make your island a more medieval looking place? You've already got king-like authority so you might as well make yourself a castle! Set up an entrance to your castle - you can also choose to make yourself a Daimyo and build up a cool Japanese style castle too!

Check Out Our Castle Guide

Theme Park

Add A Little Amusement To Your Island

Theme Park

Although there is certainly a lack of theme park rides such as Roller Coasters and Ferris Wheels, you can still put together an awesome smaller scale amusement park using existing furniture!

Check Out Our Theme Park Guide

Wedding Hall Design

Get Married In-Game!


June is the official Wedding Season Month, so you might as well use all the Wedding-related Furniture you're getting to make a wedding hall on your island! Then, invite a friend to your island and have your own ceremony!

Check Out Our Wedding Hall Guide

Pond Designs

Add Some Splash To Your Island


If you feel your island is lacking in blue, why not add some ponds? You can make them in different ways - you have heart-shaped ponds, clover shaped, crescent shaped, and more!

Check Out Our Pond Design Guide

Beach Area Designs

Feel The Summer Heat

Beach Party

Can't feel the summer heat? Create a beach area so you can swim and interact with your friends and villagers with this summer themed ideas.

Check Out Our Beach Design Guide

Summer Festival Designs

Experience A Japanese Matsuri

Japanese Fest

Celebrate the hot summer by creating a Japanese-style festival in your island. Make use of Stalls and fences to create a huge festival Turret that will surely be a great photo spot in your island.

Check Out Our Summer Festival Guide

Island Design Tips

Plan Out The Structure First

Island design is a large undertaking - it's important to get a mental picture of your island's structure first before starting. Try drawing it on a piece of paper in front of you - plan exactly where you'll move all important facilities first!

Get Inspiration From Others

There are heaps of people out there also making unique islands of their own. The best way to get ideas on what to do is to browse social media or forums for design ideas. When you see something you'd like to try, or a custom design you'd like to use, go for it! However, we encourage you to be respectful with how you use the designs of others!

Island Design Related Articles

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▶Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Official Page


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.


Island ideas acnh

15 Gorgeous Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island Designs

In Nintendo's brand-new Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players are sent to a deserted island to start a new life. From fishing, catching bugs and planting flowers, the island getaway offers a ton of new relaxing activities to take one's mind off of real-world issues.

One of the best ways to spend time in Animal Crossing, however, is designing and decorating one's own island. This is also one of the major tasks the player must undertake as the game's loose story progresses. Here's a bit of inspiration when on the road for that perfect five-star island.

RELATED: Animal Crossing: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Your Mom

Updated on July 4th, 2020 by Anastasia Maillot: Now more than ever is the best time to build a dream island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With so much more content out after its release, players have been able to discover more custom designs and furniture, as well as experiment with the terraforming tool.

As one would expect, the community of dedicated and super talented creative fans doesn't disappoint with its cool island design ideas. If the game is starting to feel boring or a lack of ideas is a problem, getting inspired by some of these insanely well-made designs might just be the answer when it comes to creating an island that truly feels special.

15 Crater

It's insane just how beautiful the world of Animal Crossing looks, even at night time. Players have been trying to take advantage of this by making all sorts of designs that benefit from low lighting, and this crater design in particular is just gorgeous.

Reddit user lalaOHANA decided to make this gorgeous, surrounded by a bunch of beautiful hyacinth lamps all around it. Not only does it look like a romantic getaway, but it also has that magical vibe thanks to fireflies being in the game for the summer season.

14 Bear Picnic

When it comes to some of the best popular designs, no one can deny the power of pink and pastel aesthetics. It just has something special that looks good in the world of Animal Crossing, as proven by countless gorgeous designs similar to this one.

RELATED: Animal Crossing: 10 Common Reasons Why Your Island Isn't Quite Five Stars

What's unique about Reddit user Sloomywy's design is that every element really helps to bring the whole look together. From plants to the tiny cups and cakes on the table, they thought of everything when creating this peaceful yet adorable and playful picnic area.

13 Classic Museum Garden

The museum is one of the most important buildings on the island, and that's why players often want to make sure its entrance is worthy of a wow. From placing down fossils to various statues and sculptures, people have been getting very creative.

Reddit user 99accy99 has implemented a classic, fancy garden look all around her museum. The terraforming is very impressive as well, with the statue sat in the middle on its very own pedestal. Blathers would be really touched by this design if he ever walked out of the museum to see it!

12 Library

Unfortunately, the game still hasn't introduced a ton of public services like libraries, spas, or gyms, which is why players have been getting extremely creative with implementing these places on their islands in other ways. With terraforming, creating fake rooms and buildings becomes possible.

Reddit user madvilIainy was inspired by the rest of the Animal Crossing subreddit and made their very own outdoor library. Even though the area is outside, it looks very believable, and the moon at the center is especially stunning.

11 Jungle Vibe

Every island has its own unique theme. Whether it's a northern forest, a Japanese bamboo forest, or even a tropical getaway, there's so much room for creativity as long as the player has all the plants and trees at hand to complete the look they want.

RELATED: Animal Crossing: 10 Most Overrated Villagers Of New Horizons

Reddit user PewPewPop wanted to go for a super summery, warm, and tropical jungle look, which looks absolutely gorgeous. Combined with orange trees, orange flowers of various species, and bamboo trees, their island really does look like a hidden paradise.

10 Beach Cafe

With a bit of imagination, anything is possible in this game, including creating a marketplace, a small shop, or even a cafe. Effeng93 created this super adorable beachside cafe, complete with a pizza oven, a stall and a bunch of tables fully set for dinner.

When in doubt, just create a cafe or an outdoor restaurant that fits the vibe of the island. With fences, the place is easy to mark as a separate area.

9 Double Waterfalls

While at first players won't be able to actually change the terrain of the island that much, as they progress through the game, they'll eventually unlock terraforming as a gameplay option. This allows for a ton of creative and exciting builds and designs.

RELATED: Animal Crossing: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Rosie

SailorKelsey created this incredible entrance to their island by positioning two waterfalls on both sides of a pathway. There's nothing dreamier than this!

8 Infinity Pool

While the beach in Animal Crossing technically offers a ton of vacation and resort vibes, it would be cool to actually have a pool of sorts. TheRealRedViper had the brilliant idea of creating this incredible-looking infinity pool to the very back of their island.

The effect definitely works. That being said, players who want to create something similar will need to wait until they get their hands on terraforming.

7 Japanese Town

There's a ton of different themes in Animal Crossing, from traditional camping stuff to cute Japanese-style items. It's pretty easy to get sucked into the latter, given how much is available to turn any island into a gorgeous Japanese-style island.

TvirusPlague decided to make their very own Japanese town, with appropriate fencing, streets and even the cute soda and snack machines to top off the look.

6 Mushroom Glow

Unfortunately, there isn't any actual magic in Animal Crossing—at least, not in the traditional sense. That doesn't mean players can't bring in a bit of their own magical vibe on their islands. That's certainly what SimSativa did, after discovering a recipe for a mushroom lamp.

RELATED: Animal Crossing: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Freya

This magical and mysterious look is a breath of fresh air among a lot of the Japanese and camping themed islands. Few islands look as good as this during night time!

5 Hot Springs

Another beautiful natural island idea, durotos decided to create a Japanese style hot spring or onsen on their island. There's a nice variety of decoration here, from the three types of trees that really bring the whole natural look together, along with the flowers and garden lamps. This is a fairly simple yet super adorable addition to any island, and could probably be tailored to fit different styles of islands, as well.

4 Hiking Resort

Those looking for a more traditional camping style look for their island, look no further than Powertato's island. If the idea of Japanese-style gardens and hot springs is tempting, give this cozy wooden lodge-style look another chance before committing.

It actually uses some of the more simple decor to perfection and looks absolutely gorgeous with cedar trees. Just wait for winter, and the lodges will be the perfect backdrop for a holiday photoshoot.

3 Bamboo Gardens

Everyone seems to have gone absolutely crazy for cherry blossoms, and it's hard to blame people, given how cute and colorful they look in the game. However, has anyone stopped to admire just how good and vibrant bamboo looks in the game?

RELATED: Animal Crossing: New Horizons - 10 Great Activities You Can Do With Friends

Paired with red zen fencing, the bamboo and stone steps look particularly gorgeous in this design by watermelonpug7, who made this the entrance to their museum. It's an ambitious project which definitely paid off!

2 Mini Islands

Another great way to find inspiration is to visit a friend's island, which is exactly what beastnunicorn did. The river here looks very interesting, with stone paths that players can jump to in order to traverse the rapids. The double waterfall absolutely breath-taking as well, a testament to great terraforming. Paired with all the cherry blossoms, sometimes all an island needs is just a bit of simple terraforming rather than a whole bunch of decoration objects.

1 Zen Garden

Many islands seem to have a very organized look to them. However, that doesn't always have to be the case. In fact, pigscanflyy decided to just let the plants do their thing and let nature shine. As a result, she was able to create this selfie-worthy zen garden perfect for the current spring cherry blossom season.

The main interest here is the combination of bamboo trees with cherry blossom trees, which looks surprisingly good!

NEXT: Animal Crossing: Ranking Every Dog Villager


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Anastasia Maillot (383 Articles Published)

Tea lover and video game obsessed writing enthusiast with her very own Overwatch team, Anastasia writes about games that leave an impression on her and make her come back time and time again.

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50 Brilliant ACNH Island Design Ideas: The Ultimate Collection

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a big game with a big fanbase.

Like any sandbox game, creativity comes with the territory.

And that means loads of neat ideas online.

From gardens to interiors to entrances, we’ve curated a lot of ACNH inspiration galleries. But what if we organized a huge list featuring the best-of-the-best?

That’s our goal here: a master list of the coolest build ideas in New Horizons.


50. Spring Picnic

Spring picnic area outdoors in ACNH

Now that the weather is getting warmer, all I want is to go on a cute picnic.

And here’s a great spot to have one on your island!

Plenty of flowers, both growing and arranged, make this a cheerful bright spot.

An open picnic basket, a variety of fruits, and a lunch bag provide all the snacks you’ll need to have your villagers or friends join you for a bite to eat.

And with the nature and bright sun, it’s sure to be a good time.


49. Pirate Camp

Pirate-themed campsite idea in ACNH

Some people love the campsite, some people hate it.

You can’t delete it, though.

So you may as well make the best of it…

And sometimes, that means making it pirate themed!

Buckle your swashes and grab a bottle of rum, because this is the perfect pirate hideaway with a cloth tent, swaying palm trees, and even a big chest of booty.

No jolly roger? No problem!

Thanks to that Mario promotional update Nintendo gave us, you can totally get away with a Bowser goal pole flag instead.


48. Whimsical Jungle Path

Jungle-themed pathway pattern in ACNH

Here’s an uber-colorful idea for that awkward pathway you just don’t know what to do with!

This would make the best beach path, what with its custom walkway and ALL of the flowers, thank you very much.

Add some palm trees, bamboo, and whatever else you like, and voila!

Gorgeous colorful path, butterfly approved.


47. Beach Bonfire

Beach bonfire area in ACNH

Here’s an idea offering the perfect spot to have a bonfire with your friends.

This player embraced some realism and the fact that beaches really are not often perfectly clean by adding a washed up tire, some weeds, and even a rowboat.

Invite your online pals to shoot the breeze over some s’mores or a cold pop. There’s plenty of space for everyone!


46. Pastel Neighborhood

Pastel houses in a suburban neighborhood / ACNH Idea

Listen, I love me some good pastels.

And I would give almost anything to live in a pink house.

So I love this streetscape for its pink houses, but also for the adorable mix of flowers, wood fencing, white lamp posts, and comfy looking seating.

This looks like something straight out of a Ghibli movie, and I’m totally here for it!


45. Purple Mermaid’s Perch

Purple mermaid beach area in ACNH

Builds like this are so fun.

Because when you get that little cutscene on the seaplane with the overview of the island, it makes visitors go… “Huh?”

You’ll find plenty of very purple items here, such as shell arches, flowers, and even a pool, all make up this surreal build.

It’s perfect if you really like purple – or really like having people ask you what’s happening here.

Regardless, it’s fit for a mermaid princess.


44. Quaint Little Garden

Green garden outside in ACNH

This design is a very Jane-Austen looking garden, with its mix of pumpkins, bushes, and flowers.

The stone pathway and fountain are great touches, but the absolute best thing is hands down the duck.

Having regular trees but also potted plants, like monsteras, help to give this build interesting levels and depth – and keeps it from looking too neat and uniform.

Perfect for an overgrown or secret garden area.


43. Outdoor Reading Spot

Forest reading nook in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Calling all bookworms!

If you like outside and you like reading, here’s a great design idea for your island.

There’s some coffee and jelly filled doughnuts if you get hungry, and comfy cushions to sit on.

Spend the afternoon soaking up the sun in this great spot.

It’s easy to recreate, too.

All you need is a rug, some sort of cup, hay bales, and whatever decorations you fancy.


42. Tropical Outdoor Pool

Tropical pool built into room in ACNH

It’s kind of unfortunate that we can’t swim in New Horizons.

But don’t let that stop you from building a pool of your own.

It’s all in the custom paths with this idea.

There are plenty of codes online too, if physically designing the tiles yourself isn’t your speed.

Surround your makeshift pool with lounge chairs to chill and get tan, and don’t forget some floaties or pool toys!

A lifeguard chair will help keep everyone safe. And showers are a nice amenity too.


41. Fairytale Forest

Fairycore winter-themed forest design in aCNH

This super pink, super whimsical forest looks great in the snow.

Lots of flowers, mushrooms, and trees are the backbone of this fun build with a sweet fairycore aesthetic.

What a perfect spot to fish and catch butterflies and insects.

Star fragments help to give this spot a magical vibe too, as do the starry custom paths.


40. Elegant Sitting Room

Fancy white-themed sitting room in ACNH

The outside areas on your island are important, of course…

But we can’t forget about the inside of our houses!

This gorgeous sitting room has a white theme that makes it look bright and open.

With details like a gramophone, piano, and teddy bear friends, it’s a gorgeous spot to just sit and relax, and maybe catch up with friends over tea and cookies.


39. Laundry Spot

Cottagecore laundry area in ACNH

Now this is a fantastic add for a cottagecore island.

While yes, there are washers and dryers in New Horizons, they’re nowhere near as fun as this old-timey setup.

Make use of the natural stream to wash your clothes with a good old washboard, and then find a spot to hang them up to dry!

There’s also a water pump available if the river isn’t your style.

Chores may not be the most exciting thing. But they can be made pleasant by some fresh air, lovely flowers, and warm sunshine.


38. Gown Shop

Pink dress and gown shop in ACNH

For those of you that like dresses as much as I do, this idea is definitely something to jump on.

Especially since one of the most fun customization options in this game is the ability to design and wear our own clothes.

This player made an outdoor gown shop for their custom designs. The color scheme, items, and dresses all blend together gorgeously – and look perfect against the custom backdrop.

A few candles would provide a lovely glow for nighttime shopping, too!

Also, pink roses are always a plus.


37. Froggy Shrine

Japanese style frog shrine in ACNH

This fun & adorable build makes use of the Japanese items, but with a neat twist:

It’s all for a frog!

Pay your respects and leave an offering for this lil guy.

Don’t worry if you want to come after dark, because there’s plenty of lit candles to guide your way.

Add in some bamboo and planters to help add a little bit of greenery to this otherwise mainly stone build. All hail froggy!


36. Scarlet Apiary

Custom apiary for beekeepers / ACNH Idea

Normally when you think bees, you think yellow or orange, right?

Not with this apiary!

This apiary uses red bee houses and red flowers for their décor.

A great idea to add to an awkward little corner of your island that frankly, you just don’t know what to do with. And maybe you already have enough gardens (if there is such a thing!)


35. Outdoor Breakfast Nook

Outdoor breakfast nook area in ACNH

There’s lots of space for everyone at this big table.

Enjoy breakfast with friends and villagers at this darling riverside spot that you could easily re-create yourself.

Whether you’re cooking up waffles, pancakes, or a proper English breakfast, you’re sure to have people running for a bite with the warm smells of fresh cooking.

And speaking of fresh, if you’re a fruit in the morning kind of person, pluck yourself a pear from the nearby tree. Easy as that!

The mismatched seating is an adorable touch to this build, and also helps to make it an approachable choice for new players.

Use whatever chairs or DIYs you have to recreate this – whatever works.


34. Indigo Dreams Campsite

Indigo and bright purple campsite idea for ACNH

This is another beautiful campsite build, this time in every shade of purple.

Get breeding those flowers, though. Because you’re going to need lots to fill out this outdoor space.

You’ll attract plenty of butterflies (as well as plenty of rare villagers, hopefully) and have a fantastic spot for fishing, too.

Overall this is a great spot to hang out with friends and shoot the breeze, in the breeze.

The sky looks so beautiful and endless above a landscape like this.

I bet it would be great for meteor showers, too.

Celeste would definitely love all of the colors, I’m sure.


33. Gothic Bedroom

Gothic themed bedroom in ACNH

For those of you that like dark colors and somber vibes, here’s a cool bedroom idea for you.

This Gothic bedroom uses a witchy rug, some red embossed wallpaper, and edgy hanging plants for decor.

Despite being dark, it’s super comfy looking, with fluffy rugs, a comfortable bed, and a radio to play some quiet music (or screamo, I guess).

This would be a great add for any houses with a witchy theme – and I’m sure there are plenty of those, given all the card reading items.


32. Tiana’s Place

Princess & The Frog Tiana’s Place in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

This coastal build is a cute nod to Disney’s Princess and the Frog.

Tiana, the titular princess, is a hotspot for southern cooking – and now you can recreate it on your island!

The level of detail here is fantastic.

All the green is super fitting for something related to frogs, and having it over a ‘pond’ (really just some custom paths) is another cute detail.

Since another key component to this is the Jazz music, call on K.K. Slider to strum some tunes while diners enjoy fresh Louisiana desserts and snacks!


31. Seaside Camper Van

Seaside camper van area in ACNH

You’ve gotta love when players make items that just don’t exist in game.

This player wanted a camper on their beach, and so they painstakingly made themself one out custom panels, a bench, and a shelf.

So clever!

This idea is the ultimate seaside getaway if you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of your island.

Cause hey, I get it. Those villagers, constantly running after you to teach you emotes? Stressful. Hectic.

You’re valid.

This would be a great place to enjoy snorkeling, catching bugs, and fishing with friends – or all by yourself.

An outdoor tent lets you sleep under the stars, lulled by the sound of waves, and the soft, salty breeze.

The dream, really.


30. Outdoor Classroom

Outdoor classroom area in ACNH

Listen, I love them to bits, but let’s face it: some of the villagers are so, so dumb.

How can you lose so many items?!

Teach these kids a thing or two in this charming outdoor classroom.

A chalkboard is a forgiving way to learn them their ABCs, even when they write them the wrong way.

There’s books for reading in this build, and what looks to be some abandoned homework… uh oh.

Then at recess, the whole island is a playground!

Just make sure you’re back in time for the second period.


29. Coconut Farm

Coconot farm build in ACNH

Oftentimes when we see fruit production on New Horizons, it’s the other fruit trees since they have a higher sale price.

This coconut farm is super refreshing – and just makes way more sense, since this is a tropical island!

It’s an adorable little setup, with a board for chopping open the tasty fruits to make them a sweet beachside drink.

Coconuts grow quickly, so you’ll have an ongoing stock no problem.

A few boards and rocks on the ground help to bring things together, if you’re thinking of recreating this.

At least next time Gulliver washes up you’ll have something to offer him to snack on.


28. Farmer’s Market

Farmers market with stands in ACNH

Do you have a lot of random items that you want to use to boost your star rating, but can’t quite seem to find a place for?

No problem! Try a farmer’s or flea market build.

All you need are some tables or stalls, and they don’t even have to match.

Set them up, and then plop honestly whatever on them for your villagers to inspect.

Fruits, candles, cups, anything you can think of.

The best part is, you can even make it seasonal.

In the fall, load up on pumpkins and baked goods. In the spring, flowers or cuttings.

In the winter you could even decorate around with ice sculptures and other seasonal items.


27. Cozy Living Room

Comfy green living room with framed butterfly theme / ACNH

I’m a sucker for plant prints, and this living room is covered in them.

This is a plant lover’s dream living room for sure – with all the monsteras, cacti, and other plants.

It’s the perfect spot to have a cup of tea and catch up with a friend on a rainy day, or curl up with a good book if you’re into that.

The green sofa looks great here, but you could recreate this with any muted color sofa you have, like creams or browns.


26. Cozy Library

Big cozy library build in ACNH

This gorgeous candlelit library is a bibliophile’s dream spot.

It’s full of not only books, but also curio items, such as different globes and statues.

Easily one of the best library build ideas I’ve seen.

And it’s a great way to mod podge items together for a delightful oddity.

Got a spare teacup? Toss it in the library.

Accidentally bought a fake from Redd? Toss it in.

Stack of books? Toss it.

Obviously in real life, candles around super flammable books isn’t the best idea. But this is a video game so it’s a-ok.

This would be a gorgeous spot at night with the soft glow – just don’t strain your eyes, okay?


25. Tourist Beach

Tourist-area beach design in ACNH

Whether you get a lot of visitors on your island or you just like the look of a commercial beach, this is a great build to add to your island.

Toss all the extra rugs you bought from Sahara that didn’t fit your house vibe on the sand as makeshift beach blankets, and add a few umbrellas for shade.

Palm trees add some greenery, and beach items like a ball and sandcastle, surfboards, and shower stalls are also great additions.

Some planks of wood on the ground also give the appearance of a boardwalk.


24. Palm Reader’s Hideaway

Palm reader and psychic spot on the beach in ACNH

Hey, is mercury in retrograde?

Come check out your life and love lines and consult some tarot cards at this bewitching seaside spot.

Not only is it a great place to play a seer, but it’s top tier for watching meteor showers.

Plenty of star fragments add to the lunar vibe. Candles make it a perfect place to go after dark, too.

Invite your friends to read their palms and divine their futures.

Just be careful if you’re reading tarot cards – don’t let an ominous Tower card ruin a perfectly good friendship.


23. Classic Treehouse

Outdoor treehouse-style build idea for ACNH

Just one glance and I can tell this is a really cool build.

This player uses a bunch of bunk beds, some terraforming, and a flight of stairs to replicate the feel of a treehouse.

If I had one of these as a kid, I don’t think my mom would have ever gotten me inside!

It’s a great place to hang out with the buds, as there’s a super cozy couch, a desk for studying, and of course, enough beds for everyone for a mega sleepover under the stars.

Just don’t shake that tree without a net in hand. A wasp attack up there could be deadly.


22. Canyon Trail

Custom canyon trail in ACNH

Here’s another super creative trail area.

This one replicates a canyon with a LOT of well-placed rocks.

A few flowers add a pop of color here too, without overwhelming the design too much.

Terraforming is an important part of making this build work. Without it, things would look too flat and awkward. So it really is important to have those levels.

This would be a great idea to tackle if you have another build behind some cliffs, like a secret beach or something…


21. Secret Beach

Idea for secret beach spot in ACNH

Hehe, see what I did there?

Rock your canyon path to your secret beach, which may or may not be where Redd docks his super legal boat, depending on the layout of your island.

This is a simple build, but effective.

All you need is some cushions, barrels with or without plants on them, and some miscellaneous items.

It could be anything you want – although preferably stuff that’s waterproof!

And this design would also be a great spot to put any spare art items, if you have them.


20. Brilliant Stone Garden

Outdoor stone garden in the forest / ACNH Idea

This stone garden is absolutely beautiful to look at.

With all sorts of rocks, from standard ones to Rapa Nui heads, it’s a great place to put the rocks that you have to hit every day, too.

It’s beautifully overgrown and natural looking.

So if you have a very natural island, this is definitely a build worth considering.

I, for one, never know where to put my rocks. And they never spawn anywhere helpful.

If you have the patience to get them to spawn somewhere deliberate like this, all the power to you.


19. Starry Bedroom

Star-themed bedroom design in ACNH

This starry, dreamy bedroom is adorable!

It’s messy in the best way, with personal items like a football, books, and other things littered around the floor.

A teddy bear keeps watch over the lucky dreamer, who’s surely checking out all sorts of nifty dream addresses.

If you like the stars, this is certainly the bedroom build for your home, since you have a nicely-placed telescope ready for you to inspect the mighty cosmos.

Also, is it just me or is that the comfiest looking bed ever?

Maybe I’m overtired again…


18. Kimono Shop

Custom kimono shop in ACNH

Here’s another great idea for Japanese themed islands.

This gorgeous little shop sells all sorts of kimonos and yukatas for every occasion.

Beautiful displays of dresses are framed by stalls with cherry blossoms and classic paintings. It’s a bright, classy spot, and well suited to a commercial area – if you have one.


17. Pompompurin Tiki Bar

Tiki bar on the beach / ACNH Idea

Check out this adorable take on the Pompompurin ACNH set of items.

Give yourself an adorable tiki bar with the items from this line, as well as a custom designed stall, some plants, and some stones and pavers.

This idea feels perfect if you have a cutesy style island, but don’t want to fully commit to a more traditional tropical theme.


16. Woodland Pond

Woodland forest pond area in ACNH

I absolutely adore this little pond build, just because of the sheer level of detail.

There’s ducks, turtles, fish, and plenty of flowers and plants.

It works really well because of all the customization.

By doing custom tiles, you could put whatever animals they could design into the ‘pond’, which looks more detailed than just using the water terraforming tool.

Not to mention this would be a super fun spot to go insect hunting.


15. New Horizons Preschool

Preschool kidcore room design in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Ok, so maybe there aren’t real children in New Horizons… but they gave us so many cute & childlike items that we’re just going to have to pretend.

This adorable build uses villager portraits to label cubbies, and chairs from the Pompompurin set for the teensy wittle seats.

A selection of satchels and backpacks line those cubbies, and there’s also lockers and craft supplies.

So cute!

Now I want baby villagers… Awe, baby Isabelle.


14. Rooftop Pool

Rooftop pool and lounge area in ACNH

What a neat idea for city dwellers.

This build mimics the look of a rooftop pool area by using a rug, wallpaper, and plenty of lounge chairs.

Dropping in some pool floaties and a ball, as well as handy amenities like towels, really help to give the room some lifelike vibrancy.

This would be a great place to relax in the evenings atop your fancy-schmancy skyscraper room (well, fake skyscraper, but still).


13. Sophie Hatter’s Millinery

Howls Moving Castle Millinery Design in ACNH

If you’re a Ghibli fan, you’ll love this one.

This player recreated Sophie Hatter’s work station from Howl’s Moving Castle.

Being a milliner is hard work, but hats off to those who can get it done!

You can replicate this by simply loading as many hats as possible onto a wooden table in front of the window, so it’s a great idea for newer and veteran players alike.


12. Player’s Castle

Outside entrance to castle home in ACNH

This super creative player used custom panels to create their humble home into a whole castle.

That’s part of the beauty of panels: you can do just about anything.

Fancy landscaping like reindeer pulling a carriage and a fountain help to give this castle design an especially regal feel.

Live like the prince or princess you were born to be with this awesome build idea.


11. Scenic Pond

Forest pond area with custom patterns in ACNH

Here’s another pond design, and more specifically an adorable forest trail leads to a bridge over a pretty little pond.

Go for a nice stroll on a sunny day, or hop over puddles on a rainy one as you go to view the fish, flowers, and of course, the pagoda.

Go bug catching or take photos with friends, it’s all fun here.

A bubbling waterfall adds some nice scenery to the area in this build, and custom stone paths are a great way to add some individuality.


10. Sleeping Totoro

Sleeping Totoro pattern in the woods / ACNH Ghibli Idea

One more Ghibli-themed entry for this list!

This build feels more like a hidden Easter egg for animation fans…

Go far enough into the woods on this island, and in the middle of this player’s forest is a sleeping Totoro.

This is achieved through custom tiles, of course.

Filling up the area with plenty of trees and flowers helps, but also letting weeds grow a little is a good idea too. It’s important to hide the design until you really stumble across it.

But no matter how you’d wanna build yours, this is a super fun idea.

Mushrooms and stumps also help to make it look like a natural forest.


9. Roadside Flower Shop

Roadside flower market stand in ACNH

This adorable little roadside flower shop is a great addition to your city or village street.

With just a couple of stalls, some small potted plants, and a wheelbarrow of flowers or two, you can have something just like this on your own island.

Little builds like this are great for making your cities look more lifelike and natural.

And it’s always so fun to see the villagers stroll by and inspect things.


8. Nifty Bathroom

Easy & clean bathroom interior / ACNH Idea

Here’s a really fun bathroom idea worth building if you have the time.

Sink into this gorgeous tub after a long day of single handedly supporting your island’s economy and relax a little, maybe light some candles?

With the little plants, plenty of storage space, and nice amenities, what more could you want from a bathroom?

And a fluffy white mat will keep your floor dry and your feet happy when you do decide to get out of that wonderful bath.


7. Alchemist’s Lab

Witch & Alchemist Lab Interior for ACNH

Make your little witch or wizard happy with an alchemy lab like this one.

It’s full of spooky items like beakers of strange liquids, a crystal ball, and a skull. These all help set the mood for some potion crafting and spell casting.

Have you got a tarot set lying around? Feel free to add that in, or whatever else you like!

There’s space for spare witch hats above the mantle, as well as on the bookshelves, so feel free to get creative.


6. Mermaid Princess’ Bedroom

Mermaid Princess Bedroom Idea for ACNH

If you love pastel colors or mermaids, then this is a great build idea to try out.

Mermaid items can be found through diving and finding a scallop, which can be traded to Pascal for pearls (which are needed to craft the items) and DIYs.

And we’ve shared a ton of mermaid-themed ideas already, perfect to match with this build.

This beautiful room has pretty well the entire mermaid set in it!

It’s a super adorable space, and perfect for mermaid photoshoots.


5. Winter Wonderland

Nighttime winter wonderland area in ACNH

This beautiful snowy area is truly a winter wonderland.

Softly glowing reindeer, star fragments, and even a crescent moon seat help light up the chilly winter night.

Watch the Northern or Southern lights, or even make wishes on falling stars on clear nights.

Even if winter is done on your island, you can get planning for next year!


4. Bamboo Park

Green bamboo park with pagoda in ACNH

Fancy a nature stroll?

This adorable little spot uses plenty of bamboo items, such as a bench and lanterns, as well as a shishi odoshi.

An awesome park design if you’re big into bamboo.

Come to visit the pagoda, or just take in the fresh air and pleasant hum of insects and rush of the waterfall.

Pick a few flowers or just look around and enjoy.


3. Retro Pizzeria and Diner

Retro 50s-style Diner Design in ACNH

This super adorable build features a diner serving up classics like coffee, cupcakes, and wood fire oven pizzas.

It’s got that classic ‘50s style too, which always looks fantastic.

The yellow, blue, and pink color scheme is a great choice for a vibrant build.

It’s on an island, too.

So having it outside is ok since it’s usually great weather.


2. Forestcore Cafe

Outdoor Forestcore Cafe & Seating Area / ACNH Idea

Just because you have a natural looking forestcore-themed island, doesn’t mean you’re all done with building.

Maybe think about adding your own custom café, like in this creative build.

This player combined both idea with great success by using items like the iron garden dining set, some customized stalls, and plenty of plants.

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have too many cups in this game. Teacups, coffee cups, it doesn’t matter.

Make use of them by placing them at tables in a build like this!

Top it off with an espresso maker and you’re golden.


1. Abandoned Shipping Yard

Junkcore & Trashcore Shipping Yard / ACNH Idea

Now here’s a really neat idea, and certainly something odd to cap off this massive list.

Whether you believe it or not, trashcore is a thing.

And this design nails the look.

Make use of all the cardboard boxes that pile up in the lost and found in Resident’s Services, as well as spare fish in tanks, to make an abandoned shipping yard just like this.

When was the last time someone checked in on this place?

Who knows, but visitors will love stumbling across this super cool idea.

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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.

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