This page offers lots of ideas on how to decorate your island. The first section focuses on some more beginner friendly ideas, such as creating gardens and parks. The second section will then focus on more complex projects that require custom pathing designs and terraforming.

Beginner Decorating Ideas

This list offers beginners some ideas on how to decorate their island during the early game. After you’ve unlocked Island Designer, you’ll have much more freedom to terraform and add paths to really enhance your island. For now, these are some simple and effective ideas to raise your town’s aesthetic.

Gardens

An easy way to begin decorating your island is to plan out gardens for each house! If the houses are spread out across the island, this is even better because decorations should be spaced out across all the available land. Gardens are a good start because you can use a small amount of fences to create enclosed areas. Each garden can have a different theme too, so you can really express your creativity. Try to include flowers and fencing wherever possible though, as these are an important factor in your island’s appeal.

(1 of 2) Lots of flowers and fencing increase your island’s rating

Lots of flowers and fencing increase your island’s rating (left), you can get creative with the types of furniture and decoration you want to use! (right)

Parks

Parks are also a nice addition to your island and can be enclosed using fencing too. If you’ve been following the daily walkthrough, then you’ll have already tried your hand at making a park. Perhaps you could design a new one with a new theme and aesthetic. Japanese style parks are very popular in the Animal Crossing community as there are lots of bamboo DIYs and Japanese style furniture and infrastructure. If there are small lakes on your island, you could create a picnic area and add lots of flowers to beautify the surrounding areas. Try to make as much of the furniture as you can, since DIYs are valued more in the evaluations than bought furniture.

Create small decorated spots

Small decorated areas help to add more detail to your island’s appearance. This can be anything from a beach chair on the shore to a picnic basket between the trees. Adding little details helps to spread out decorations and make your island feel more complete.

Small details make your island feel more thought out and complete.

Buy outdoor decorations from Nookstop

There are lots of different outdoor decorations that can be bought from the Nookstop for Nook Miles. You can either buy the DIYs there or buy the one off items that need to be delivered, like the street lamps or the vending machines. These items are great if you’re looking to add a modern touch to your island.

(1 of 2) If you want an urban London aesthetic, the phone box is a great choice

If you want an urban London aesthetic, the phone box is a great choice (left), there are also lots of play park items to purchase. (right)

Orchards and Flower Gardens

Lots of people in the Animal Crossing Community also use their space to create practical gardens and parks. Flower gardens are useful for cross-breeding flowers and orchards are great for having a variety of fruit trees that are in one specific area and are easily accessible.

Don’t forget about your beaches!

Beaches are sometimes neglected when it comes to the decorative process. Your flat rocks and beaches are perfect for tiki bars and sea-shell themed furniture. Nook’s Cranny is also often selling some beach-related items like surf-boards, beach chairs and recliners. You’re on an island after all!

A peaceful picnic area on the beach rocks.

More Bridges and Inclines

Accessibility is important to your island’s appeal, so make sure you continue to build new bridges and inclines until the majority (if not all) of your island is accessible without ladders and pole vaults. There are lots of different types of bridges and inclines, so try some new styles to add some variety to your island’s infrastructure. You can have a maximum of 8 bridges and 8 inclines on your island.

Experiment with new bridge styles.

Advanced Decorating Ideas

These ideas will take a little more time and effort to execute so they’re not as beginner friendly as the ideas above. These decorating ideas will require terraforming, paths, using different furniture and natural landscaping.

A Grand Entrance

One of the best things to do to really make your island stand out is to create a grand entrance from your Airport. Some people are lucky enough that their townhall and their airport are lined up and have a good amount of distance between them. This makes for the perfect space to add extra levels to create a forced entry way into your island.

You can use both the cliff construction tool and the waterscaping tool to create a magical entrance.

Or you could make something more rustic looking. The cottagecore/natural aesthetic is popular amongst players who want to opt for a more rural feel.

This island entrance has a more rustic and natural vibe. Natural Path design code: MA-9696-6605-2213.

Museum Area

Lots of players enjoy extending their museum exhibition to the area surrounding the museum building. Adding grand entrances to the museum, as well as completed dinosaur figures is an awesome way to decorate your island. So, if you’re starting to find duplicates of already donated fossils, consider using them to decorate the exterior of your museum! The same goes for Redd’s fake or duplicate sculptures.

(1 of 2) You can create your own museum exhibitions

You can create your own museum exhibitions (left), using rope fencing and spare fossils! (right)

Show-stopping Infrastructure

You can use infrastructure to create some amazing centerpieces on your island. This can be costly, as the infrastructure costs start at around 100,000 Bells per bridge/incline but it definitely makes for a show-stopping feature on your island.

This quadruple stairway is the grand entrance to the museum area. Cobble circle design code: MA-1944-3607-0570.

Fancier Gardens!

Now that you have terraforming, you can create fancier, prettier gardens for your villagers! They deserve it.

(1 of 2) You can use the dirt path design to create small flower beds

You can use the dirt path design to create small flower beds (left), this helps create elaborate gardens for your villagers. (right)

Market Squares

Markets are really great for using up empty spaces on your island. Once you have the stall DIY you should give it a go! You can create stalls that suit your island’s aesthetic as they’re customizable.

(1 of 2) Markets are great for showcasing random furniture and brightening up your island

Markets are great for showcasing random furniture and brightening up your island (left), you could even create a tiered market place that spans multiple levels (right)

Upgraded Parks

Now that you have island designer unlocked, as well as extra money to spend on infrastructure, you could upgrade your pre-existing parks to make them even more appealing.

You can use lots of different custom designs and default designs to add complexity to your parks. Stepping stones and dirt flower beds can help make your parks feel more thought-out and fancy.

This Zen garden is accentuated by mossy stone custom designs and flowerbeds.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Nintendo
  • Platforms
    Switch
  • Genre
    Social simulation
  • Guide Release
    7 August 2020
  • Last Updated
    14 November 2020
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Seren Morgan-Roberts

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The guide for Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers a walkthrough on how to make the most of your time on your deserted island. This guide will show you how to make tools, earn bells, achieve a five-star island, and more.

Inside this guide you will find:

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