Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) Wiki Guide
Residential Area Ideas - How To Build

ACNH | Residential Area Ideas - How To Build | Animal Crossing

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

Table of Contents

Check Out Custom Design Codes Here

Island Design Ideas - Residential District

What You Need

Prepare A Large Location

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

Recommended To Have Approximately 200 Squares

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

Areas Required Per Building

BuildingRequired Area
Player HomePlayer HomeVertical: 4 Squares
Horizontal: 5 Squares
Villager HomeVillager HomeVertical: 4 Squares
Horizontal: 4 Squares
NookNook's CrannyVertical: 4 Squares
Horizontal: 7 Squares
MuseumMuseumVertical: 4 Squares
Horizontal: 4 Squares
CampCampVertical: 4 Squares
Horizontal: 4 Squares
Able SistersAble Sisters' ShopVertical: 4 Squares
Horizontal: 5 Squares
Check Out The All Buildings List

Cannot Build Cliff/River In Front Of Facilities

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

Check Out The Terraforming / Island Designer Guide

Move 1 Person Per Day

Moving Houses
Moving Cost50,000 Bells / villager

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

Decorate As You Like

Island Designer

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

Check Out A List Of Fences Here

Tips When Designing Your Island

Plan Out The Structure

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

Build Ramps And Stairs


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

Make Roads With Custom Designs

Custom Design

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

Check Out Floor and Path Custom Designs Here

Make A Garden And Porch


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

Create a Nameplate In Front Of Homes

Create a Nameplate In Front Of Homes

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

Check Out How To Use Custom Designs

Island Town ideas - Our Residential Districts

Gorilla Fan's Town

WriterGorilla Fan I've put together a flat neighborhood with no pesky hills that will be easy for even elderly animals to traverse! I plan to have all the gorillas on my island spend the rest of their lives here!

Recommended Furniture

Anthrium PlantGarden LampGarden Gnome
FountainStreetlampOutdoor air conditioner
Mountain bikeCypress Plant
Check Out The All Furniture List

Recommended Fences

Recommended Custom Design Path


Dense Residential Area

Dense Residential Area
WriterWriter GRecommended for those who want to make create other areas like gardens and orchards besides the residential areas! It's not noticeable, but each home has a small front lawn.

Recommended Furniture

Garden LanternGarden GnomeFountain
StreetlampOutdoor air conditionerCypress Plant

Recommended Fence

Japanese-Style Homes

Japanese-Style Homes
WriterWriter GI made a garden by arranging Japanese-style furniture on a stone pavement. Bamboo is recommended because it creates a Japanese atmosphere in any season. It seems good to put cherry blossoms and autumn leaves, but this depends on the season!

Recommended Furniture

Recommended Fence

Some Villagers Have Japanese Style Homes

Some Villagers Have Japanese Style Homes

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

Sample Of Villagers With Japanese Style Homes

Modern Homes Style

Modern Homes Style
WriterWriter GI imagined a slightly larger house that is actually likely. It's very wide, but if you line it up, you can create a more realistic residential area!

Recommended Furniture

ClotheslineClothesline ropeDrying rack
Anthurium PlantStreetlampOutdoor air conditioner

Recommended Fence

Tips To Creating Residential Areas

Plan Layout First

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

Check Other People's Designs

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

Check Out Some Island Design Ideas Here

Use Dreams To Visit

Use Dreams To Visit

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

Check Out The Dreaming Guide Here

Pros To Building A Residential District

Easier To Keep Track Of Residents

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

Easier To Raise Friendship

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

Check Out Our Friendship Level Guide For Details

It Just Looks Nice

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

Island Design Related Articles

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