One of the core aspects of the Animal Crossing experience is buying and customizing your own home. Tom Nook, the local landlord, provides these homes along with no-deadline, no-interest loans that can be paid off at your leisure. Your reward for getting out of debt is the opportunity to immediately get into debt again in order to expand your home by increasing the size of rooms, adding additional rooms, and even adding additional floors. Over the course of the last month I have managed to expand my home to the maximum size it can (currently) reach in New Horizons, to the detriment of my real-life apartment which is currently in shambles.
Because customizing your home and making it your own is such a key part of the Animal Crossing experience, I thought it would be fun to give a sort of tour of the place here on Adventure Rules. We’ll check out each room one by one, talking about the ways they have changed over the course of the game as my wife and child are were slowly buried beneath mounds of chip bags, Dr. Pepper cans, and empty cardboard boxes.
THE LIVING ROOM
This is the room of the house which starts it all in New Horizons. After you pay off your tent and expand, you start with a small living room that can then double in size before additional rooms and floors are added to your house. Because this room has changed in size and has had other rooms built onto it over the course of the game, this has the room that has changed in look and purpose the most since I started out. In the early days, much like my real-life living room, it simply accumulated every bit of random crud that I picked up during my day-to-day adventures. Find a chair in a tree? Slap it down on the living room floor. Learn to make a bed out of hay? Stick it in the corner of the living room. Only when I began to unlock more rooms and to get too much furniture to realistically fit into one room did I begin to really think about what the room should be like.
In its current iteration, the living room has become the landing place for any seasonal recipes I can get my hands on. As such, the theme is bamboo and cherry blossoms. Unfortunately I didn’t get nearly as many cherry blossom recipes as I wanted due to the constant interference of Bunny Day, but thanks to some help from my wife and her friends I do at least have lovely flowers that stand on either side of the bathroom doorway. The center of the room is occupied by a hearth to really lock in that “homey” feel, a feel that I can’t replicate in real life because my work computer and all of its ridiculous attachments are prominently displayed on the living room table.
When I first got a bedroom added on to my house in Animal Crossing, the first thing I decided to do was make it as dark and creepy as all the spaces in my real life bedroom that we have been hiding behind cardboard boxes since we moved in three years ago. As it turns out, though, black wallpaper and flooring made the place feel more like a prison complex than a lived-in space, no matter how much I personalized it with a throwback skull radio or a gothic mirror. So I made an effort to scoop up some more colorful wallpaper to add brightness and color to the space.
Like that Toon Link bedspread? My wife made that design in our game! It makes the bed look much nicer than our real-life one, which we’ve given up putting sheets on because they never stay on the corners since I’m a restless sleeper. I still kept a few of the creepy decorations but accompanied them with a writing desk and a table where my character could theoretically work on his novel. He may as well do some writing since I haven’t put pen to paper in a month, amiright? Also notice the cherry wood wardrobe, which is packed full of unique outfits assigned to my magic wand that looks like a fish so I can change clothes whenever I want. It’s really satisfying to slouch into my bed wearing the same basketball shorts I’ve had on for three weeks while my character has eight different styles to choose from!
There have been a couple of times in Animal Crossing where I designed a room based on nothing more than the furniture I happened to receive at the same time as a house expansion. On the day I unlocked my third room the Happy Home Academy sent me a toilet, a bathtub fell out of a tree, and I learned the recipe to make a sink. I took all of this as a sign from the universe and my bathroom journey began! I immediately became jealous of this sweet in-game bathroom because it is way more spacious than my real one, where I’m lucky if one of my shoulders isn’t brushing either the wall or the shower curtain at any given time.
There are a couple of objects that I’ve wanted to have in every room of the house as much as possible – a clock and a radio. I started out with primarily wooden block radios until I slowly began to find more than matched the aesthetic of each room. The turquoise portable stereo in there currently matches well with the wall clock, and to me they both have a distinctly “bathroom” sort of feel to them, being more utilitarian with no ornate features. Since no one actually uses the Animal Crossing bathroom, it also has the advantage of not having a grimy trash can with a broken plunger or a giant pile of smelly toddler clothes to take away from the aesthetic.
Like the living room, this one went through a few different iterations before I really settled on what I wanted it to be. It actually started out as a music room as I tossed a bunch of instruments I had acquired into the space, but the kitchen concept really came together when I got the recipe for the ironwood kitchenette. Just having that wasn’t enough, though – I needed a reasonable number of pots, pans, and other cooking accessories that would look practical while not taking up all the space in every cupboard. Unlike a certain kitchen I could name that I am aware of in real life.
I love this kitchen because it’s nice and roomy, with plenty of room for more than one person to participate in cooking. My character could stand at the frying pan making pancakes while a child ran in circles around his legs without having to worry about whether or not that child would burn himself on the stove. I mean, theoretically. I haven’t quite figured out the decoration plan for the kitchen yet but I thought the golden gears looked pretty cool, and since there’s actually wall space not taken up by cabinets filled with tupperware that looks dirty because of pasta sauce stains I can actually use the walls to decorate.
THE SECOND FLOOR
You know how my bathroom became the bathroom because I got a bunch of bathroom stuff after I unlocked it? I took out a loan for the second floor expansion on the same day as the fishing tournament, so when my brand new empty room needed some furnishings, I checked my pockets and found them full of fishing memorabilia. Notice the trendy fish wallpaper, the ship deck flooring, the tasteful anchor statue, and all my fishing trophies – it is truly a celebration of the glorious art of fishing. Just like my real house, there are clothes everywhere except for the laundry hamper, as you can find outfits to change into by opening the locker, the safe, and even the fish cooler. I bet the clothes that come out of there probably smell like the socks I put on every time I have to go outside.
In real life, my upstairs is where my neighbors live, so I don’t have an analogue for this room. If I ever had an upstairs room that I could dedicate to a hobby, I’d probably want a video game room. A nice television not covered in crayon or yogurt, a Switch dock that no one ever filled with goldfish crackers, and a nice comfortable chair where the pleather doesn’t stick to my body and tear away from the arms of the chair when I get sweaty. If I find items like that in Animal Crossing, I might make that room in my cool virtual house instead.
Back when I lived with my parents instead of living in an apartment, the basement was where we threw everything that we didn’t want or need in other parts of the house – like our exercise equipment. When I first got my basement in Animal Crossing, I wanted to try and get the Nook Miles for the final stamp on my furniture card, so I just kinda dumped everything I wasn’t using into the basement. I didn’t get any Nook Miles, but I did get this ridiculous photo, so I guess you can call that a win. This week, all of that stuff has been cleared out so that there’s room for the 4000 turnips I’m cultivating until I can sell them at a profit to those weird kids at Nook’s Cranny.
I’d love to have a basement in real life, even if it was just for storage. There are so many things in our closets that could fit way better in a basement, things I never want to look at or think about again and things that I definitely don’t want to fall on my head every time I need to get a jacket because it is chilly outside during the early spring. Alternatively, I could try to work down there so that when I’m taking notes about depressing documentaries on racial disparity, I’m not also listening to my son talk about how I’m a meanie-head because I won’t let him eat candy for breakfast.
Thanks for taking a tour of my virtual house! I’ve worked really hard on each and every room to give them a unique aesthetic and to make them fun places to take photos or just to craft some tools before heading back to the island. As my living room table became a monument to the many fast food restaurants we’ve worked to keep in business during the pandemic, I slaved for hours to make sure each and every piece of my Windfall Island home was immaculate. I hope you enjoyed seeing it, and that maybe it gave you some inspiration for your own home in the world of Animal Crossing!
Hey adventurers, in case it wasn’t obvious by this point, this article is meant to be funny. My apartment has definitely been a little messy in the midst of COVID-19 and I certainly am working harder to pay off my virtual loans than my real-life ones, but ultimately I am doing okay and we’re making things work in the midst of these “uncertain times.” I hope that this article made you laugh and maybe was a little relatable, and that if you’re playing Animal Crossing that your virtual home is everything you want it to be. Thanks for reading!