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Animal Crossing players make stunning balconies using partition illusions

Gorgeous French doors, dreamy beachside views now a reality

An Animal Crossing: New Horizons home with a beautiful balcony Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Tropikitch
Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

While the Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 update added tons of new items, the Happy Home Paradise add-on seriously upgraded the way players design villager homes. The downloadable content not only gives players new opportunities to show off their design chops, with tons of homes and other on-island facilities to deck out, but it also unlocks new features that make interior design even more satisfying and creative. The unlocks include polishing, changing room sizes, and eventually, partitions and pillars.

These features are fun on their own, for adding real dimension and life to interiors. But paired with the update’s addition of accent walls, which allow players to customize one wall rather than apply wallpaper to every wall, they can be applied to truly beautiful effect. And New Horizons players are doing just that. They’re using accent walls — some of which looked fairly cheesy before, when taking up an entire wall space — and well-placed partitions, pillars, and fence items to create the illusion of balconies, French doors, beachside views, and other luxurious vistas.

If balconies and oceanfront views aren’t quite your mood, here are some beautiful French doors, columns, and window designs:

New Horizons players have long used custom designs to create more immersive and stylized islands, making hats look like food and creating cute standees. They often pair these designs with optical illusions, like custom umbrellas set on the ground, to create a cube perspective — perfect for mirroring the look of a toy box or a GameCube — and use bridges and custom path designs for an island-floating-in-the-sky look.

Happy Home Paradise, in conjunction with the lauded New Horizons 2.0 update, has given players an even larger toolkit to play with. And the results continue to stun.