Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a timeless masterpiece published by Nintendo in 2020. Many players have incredibly fond memories of the game considering it got them through COVID lockdown. Collecting villagers, decorating your house, and turning in all those fossils to Blathers at the museum can have anyone entertained for hours. But the creativity part is where most players sit down and really start to think. What kind of aesthetic is best for your island? How do you incorporate that with all the villagers living there? How do you even earn enough money to make your island dreams a reality? Well, the last one isn’t so much of a question considering how crazy the prices of turnips can get. Still, back in 2020, this was very much unexplored territory. But enough about 2020 and discovering the game. You’re probably here because you want to get some inspiration and make your ACNH island into the true utopia you’ve always wanted it to be. And we’ll deliver on that. We’ll also provide you with a short guide on ACNH Neighborhood Layout Ideas, for those who have just started the game. Let’s get started!
How to Change Your Neighborhood Layout
At the start of the game, you’ll get a few island layouts to pick from. These are randomized and each player should get a different layout. Unfortunately, you’ll be stuck with this layout for most of the game, so you need to pick wisely.
However, you may find that the layout you picked is a bit too much or you don’t like all the cliffs you have to climb in your daily hunt for fossils, bugs, and treasure. In that case, you may want to change up your island layout.
To do this, you’ll need to have unlocked the Island Designer App on your Nook Phone. However, you’ll also need different permits to be able to use all the features it offers.
The main storyline of the game will help you acquire this app on your Nook Phone. You’ll need to pay back your first loan, invite Blathers onto the island, build Nook’s Cranny, open the new Resident Service building, get that Campsite done, and get a 3-star rating on your island from Isabelle. This series of events will net you the Island Designer App!
Unfortunately, you’ll need to buy the Waterscaping and Cliff Construction permits for 6000 Bells each. These two permits will allow you to terraform by filling in water and destroying or creating cliffs.
If you don’t feel like going through all this trouble, though, you can just talk to Tom Nook in Resident Services and have him build slopes and bridges to make the neighborhood easier to traverse. However, the cliffs and rivers may still get in the way of your dream ACNH neighborhood layout.
The 12 Best ACNH Neighborhood Layout Ideas For Your Island
Without further ado, let’s check out the 12 best ACNH neighborhood layout ideas we’ve compiled below!
#1: Cherry Blossom Neighborhood
Let’s start off with a perfect spring ACNH neighborhood idea. The cherry blossom season in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a definite player favorite due to the pretty pink colors that appear during the season. The promise of new life and the breath of spring inspire many players.
YouTuber Cozy With Katy perfectly captures that feeling with a speed build of a beautiful and romantic cherry blossom neighborhood. Complete with sakura elements and romantic garden elements such as the chairs and tables in front of the houses really help to enunciate how dreamy this build is.
If you’re a pink lover and spring is your favorite season, make sure to use this ACNH neighborhood layout at least once!
#2: Cottagecore Neighborhood
Kyuubi Crossing is one of the biggest names in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and for good reason. Although this dreamy cottagecore island doesn’t have an exact guide, you can always pull inspiration from her beautiful and natural design.
The neighborhood’s design makes it easy and fun to explore as you find lots of fun little details she has incorporated into the design. While it may be hard to replicate, you’ll notice a few repeating elements throughout her island.
The most basic cottagecore rule is to incorporate lots of flowers everywhere. The second one is to stick to stone and wood furniture and decorations throughout the island. Kyuubi Crossing clearly follows these two rules which lets her island stay true to the aesthetic.
#3: Tropical Neighborhood
While we may have discovered this stunning build from Kyuubi Crossing using the Dream Island Visiting feature, it actually belongs to acnh.pickleton on Instagram.
Pickleton combines organization and aesthetics to create the perfect tropical ACNH neighborhood layout. You’ll find the beachy vibes all around with surfboards, coconuts, and boats.
The Campsite in particular gives off a carefree feeling with a guitar, a pizza, and a camping chair sitting out in the open. Pickleton’s residents really are living the life on Tropickle Island.
Although Pickleton has certainly moved on from this ACNH neighborhood layout by now, there’s no reason not to admire this amazing build. And if it gives you inspiration, that’s all the better!
#4: Farm Neighborhood
Sparksby’s tour of kathorizons’s Farmville-style neighborhood shows us what a real farm-inspired neighborhood should look like. With plenty of crops and wood and stone pathways around, you’ll feel like planting some tomatoes on your farm and committing to the farmer’s life, too!
And Kat even went the extra mile of decorating all the villagers’ interiors to match the aesthetic of the farm, proving their dedication to the craft. What’s more, they managed to make all this happen without any terraforming! If you don’t have the Island Designer App yet, this is the perfect inspiration for you.
This farm provides an overall cozy feeling and inspires us to start our own ACNH farm layout neighborhood!
#5: Forest Neighborhood
If there’s one thing we can expect with a forest neighborhood ACNH island layout, it’s lots and lots of trees. Luckily, Lex Play delivers perfectly on that front with the forest neighborhood layout of our dreams!
Complete with wooden house designs and an abundance of flowers, her island makes you want to get lost in the forest. Although Lex only did half of the island, you can get the gist of how to design your own forest neighborhood through this speed build.
And as Lex says, nothing goes together theme-wise, but it all goes together vibe-wise. This goes to show that players need to relax more and go with the flow during their ACNH builds and island redesigns. Who knows? You may just end up making your next masterpiece!
#6: Market Neighborhood
If you’ve already sorted out your residential area and you’re wondering where and how to organize the shops, this market build may provide some inspiration.
Although Carrie is Crossing’s concept is a seaside market, it’s worth noting this design can be easily applied anywhere else! And you don’t have to only use the two shops you get in the game (Nook’s Cranny and Able Sisters), you can also make up your own designs for a bakery, a florist, a veggie market, and much more.
If you’re not sure where to start, Carrie’s speed build should definitely bring some ideas to mind!
#7: Cul-de-sac Neighborhood
Although Maddiecast’s cul-de-sac neighborhood definitely has some tropical themes, you can always replace those with decorations of your own choosing! This build is mainly meant to prove that a cul-de-sac type neighborhood is possible when planning your ACNH neighborhood layout.
However, it definitely takes some patience and a lot of planning ahead considering you’ll need a pretty accurate placement for the central part of the neighborhood. This is where Maddie’s speed build comes in handy. You can get a lot of the motions down by watching the video before you even start building!
No, really, this is one of those builds where you really should plan ahead. Your patience and your villagers will thank you!
#8: Coastal Town Neighborhood
Although we’ve seen lots of beach elements so far, Peppy Crossing’s tour of Matilda’s coastal town island is still refreshing and relaxing. We’ve seen many surfboards and coconuts, but this ACNH neighborhood layout provides a fresh idea of what a coastal town should look like.
Equipped with a fish market, lots of boats, and even a gazebo to relax in, we just can’t seem to get enough of this build! In fact, Fiddleport even matches its theme with the residents on the island with a blue-and-white vibe.
However, the lighthouse at the entrance of the island really helps sell the coastal town aesthetic. The villagers’ homes also match the coastal town vibe Matilda was going for, giving the island a unified feeling.
#9: Fairy Wonderland Neighborhood
Some may call it Fairy Wonderland, others call it Fairycore, but they all have one thing in common: the stunning and whimsical touch of fairy aesthetics. Crossinglife’s tour of Blossomyfairy’s island showcases the Ghibli-inspired island very well.
It even shows off Blossomyfairy’s hospitality with some presents for the visitor! Upon visiting the island, you’ll find that Blossomyfairy, or Lucy, has provided visitors with clothing to help fit into the aesthetic of the island.
Overall, those looking to get an idea of what a whimsical, fairy-inspired neighborhood should look like need to see this magical neighborhood. Basically, lots of flowers, pink, and purple themes should do the trick for a vibe like this.
#10: Spooky Halloween Neighborhood
If you’re looking for something completely different from our earlier designs and you’re into the spooky stuff, Ness’s Halloween speed build will scratch your itch! This amazing ACNH neighborhood layout could help any player get into the mood of spooky season.
Of course, you’ll find that this build mostly contains a lot of pumpkins and spooky iron fences. The darker theme also helps out with enunciating that spooky feeling. Other than that, you should be looking to incorporate a lot of orange, red, and yellow colors on your island. You can do this through leaves on the pathing, house color schemes, and even some custom item designs.
#11: Winter Wonderland Neighborhood
It may be more appropriate to name this Fairyglen ACNH neighborhood layout a Christmas Wonderland, but the winter theme still sticks. Prepare to step into a Christmas lover’s ideal dream of what an ACNH island should look like. Unfortunately, this build is only possible during the winter season.
Regardless, players change their island aesthetics all the time, so it’s only fair that you enjoy the Christmas aesthetics as much as possible. And with this build, you definitely will, what with all the Christmas trees and mistletoe at every step.
Visiting this island at night is even more magical with the soft glow of the street lights and colorful Christmas lights. There’s just a very serene feeling floating about the place, making it a joy to visit whether you enjoy this holiday season or not.
#12: Pokemon-Inspired Neighborhood
If you’re an old-school Pokemon fan who also happens to be into Animal Crossing, this is your lucky day! Maeva a.k.a. The_tail_of_windsnap on Instagram has decided to replicate old-school Pokemon towns from back in the day, and she has done it quite successfully!
Complete with a Pokemon center, Stadium, Ground Area, and even a Forest Area, it’s almost like we’re expecting a wild Pokemon to jump out at us at any moment! You’ll find lots of entertaining Pokemon easter eggs, including an all-too-familiar Pikachu meme as the island’s flag!
Overall, Maeva has done an excellent job at emulating that classic Pokemon feeling. It almost makes us want to reach for our old GameBoys!
Bonus Tips When Designing Your Island
The most important part of designing your ACNH neighborhood layout is to just have fun with it! No good can come out of creating a design you don’t like, so if you realize something doesn’t suit your fancy, just change it up!
You’ll also find that not all items have to match in style or color to fit the overall vibe of your island, as we’ve mentioned before. If you go with the flow and see how things look together, you might discover something you never would’ve thought went well!
Finally, make sure to use online tools that can come in handy such as the Happy Island Designer! This can give you a good idea of what your island will look like once you’re done with decorating, and you can even plan your terraforming using this tool. Nifty, right?
Now, all that’s left is to make your house look good!