20 ACNH Resident Services & Town Square Ideas For InspirationThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Sometimes, the plaza that Resident Services rests on can be a total pain.
You can’t move it (unless Nintendo finally gives in to our demands), plus you can’t put any items on it, and any balloon presents that hit it just disappear into oblivion.
While it is a great spot for special characters to set up during the holidays, don’t you ever wish that you could just…do more with it?
Or even make a new plaza that’s completely your own?
Here are some of the best design ideas I’ve found from people who want to make this central meeting spot look even prettier and more inviting!
20. Making Use of Hedges
We’re going to start by looking at a simple way of making the area around your plaza stand out from the other areas of your island.
Next time Leif visits, grab a bunch of whichever shrub starters are currently in season, and place some around the border of your plaza.
Personally, I like to alternate between the two colors. But you can also stick to one like this user did.
You can utilize hedge fencing and a couple of benches. There are a bunch of different interactive items that can be used on the borders as well, like musical instruments, popcorn machines, etc.
I love seeing my villagers interact with items and furniture that I put around this area!
19. Extended Plaza
If you ever wanted to get around not being able to place items on the default plaza, here’s an ingenious solution—make a bigger plaza!
I have to give massive props to whoever managed to expertly recreate the brick pattern of the ground, and made it available to everyone who wants it.
And there are plenty of ways to utilize this new open space. You can put down some more benches and tables like this player did, or you can center it around your own town plaza IRL with different shops, cafés…maybe even something from else on this list!
Whatever you do, just remember the golden rule of ACNH design: make it YOU.
18. Shrub Designs
Visitors are sure to be impressed with these cute little flowery shrub designs on your plaza.
This is from the same player who came up with the extended plaza idea mentioned earlier, and here they’ve added even more to it with the different fencing and well-placed phone booth in the upper right-hand corner.
I also like how they placed some garden lanterns near the shrubs so that you can see the bright colored azaleas at night.
Judy seems to be admiring the space after telling the player some juicy gossip!
17. Entryway to Resident Services
If making a whole new plaza isn’t your style, you can always amplify the one you’ve got with a beautiful entrance.
This one only needs a couple of benches, fountains, and some shrubs that are in season.
The design has a very classic look to it, and seems to be in a great spot to relax, take in the weather, or enjoy a beverage.
Any custom paths in your inventory will be a nice compliment to this little set-up. You can also substitute the shrubs for your favorite flowers!
16. Helpful Directions
If you’re ever too lazy to open up the map on your NookPhone on someone else’s island (trust me, I’ve been there), you might start running around willy-nilly looking for Nook’s Cranny to sell your turnips.
And you’re probably going to get lost fairly quickly.
This player has created a cute and simple way of directing visitors to both shops, and her Resident Services!
Up until now, I had just been using the DIY little wooden signposts. But now I think I’ll adopt this for my plaza!
This is a great way to practice your customization skills for the PRO designs that you can share with anyone.
It’s also a good opportunity to get rid of the days where you’re chasing visitors yelling “east, east, EAST!!!” when they’re looking for our favorite tanuki twins.
15. Shapes of Custom Paths
When you think “town square”, one of the first things that likely pops into your mind is probably a central fountain like this one.
However, this user has elevated that simple concept by adding some décor, by utilizing their path construction skills.
It must’ve taken so much time to bring together the natural and man-made elements to this town center. And somehow it makes the space seem bigger, more youthful, and like the villagers are just happy to be living here.
Strategically placed right in front of both shops, this will be a warm invite to anyone visiting your island.
14. Sundial Square
How old-school is this?!
I’d say this sundial idea can bring a classy element to any town plaza. As long as it’s somewhere with direct access to sunlight, it really works.
I also really admire the little touches this player added to the rest of the plaza. The dinosaur standee in front of the museum, the little gardens in front of Able Sisters, it all adds to the charm.
Julian seems happy that he won’t have to worry next time he loses his watch.
13. Park Plaza
You really can’t go wrong with a park set-up near the center of your town.
It almost gives a sort of Wild World feel, doesn’t it?
This park-inspired plaza makes the perfect place to connect with nature and have a picnic with your favorite villager.
The central placement of the fountain comes back into play, only this time it’s surrounded by a rectangle of pine trees, and some natural elements via a spotting of custom paths.
I never seem to know which patterns to use on my cushions. But this player has coordinated it beautifully with the picnic basket and blanket.
And with this woodland setup, you’d forget that this was once a tropical island at all.
12. Playground Plaza
A lot of plazas are meant to be sources of entertainment.
So one way you can bring that entertainment to your island is to add a neighborhood playground.
I really like the hopscotch design this player added here. Resident Services is now a literal hop, skip, and a jump away!
There are a bunch of different items that can be used here which you can redeem NookMiles for. But the slides can show up at Nook’s Cranny.
I actually found one in the recycling bin, so keep a look-out for anything that might fit your playground theme.
And let me say, Pango looks a bit lonely in there. I think I’ll go join her on the springy horse!
11. Memorial Square
There are a fair number of players that like to have dedicated spaces for those they loved who has passed away, myself included.
So why not design this space into your central plaza?
This way, everyone who comes to your island can pay their respects. This design looks great through rain or shine, and is a good way to take your loved ones with you wherever you go.
These iron and stone fencings have never looked better, and you can make the space around it as big or as small as you want.
10. Parking Lot
Even though there aren’t any vehicles you can actually use in this game (is anybody else hoping for some kind of Animal Crossing Kart?), you can still create the illusion that your plaza is a popular attraction by constructing a parking lot like this.
Just look at the detail this player put into it…
From the handicap space to the white border lines around the sidewalks… it’s just amazing!
I’m almost expecting one of those car-beds to come zooming down the road.
Wow, is there a festival in town?
No, it’s just a central market for all your animal & knickknack needs!
Check out the variety of colors and designs on each of the stalls! And these items could be interchanged with any kind of items like clothes, accessories, or miscellaneous goods.
Anyone who comes to visit your island can pick what they like, and leave a tip in its place.
This market in particular looks like it carries a theme of some kind of Japanese street market, which I’m always a sucker for.
You can center yours around whichever theme you like, though.
Oooh how much for that record player?!
8. Tropical Plaza
Here’s something for those who want to stay true to the original theme that New Horizons was built on.
I actually didn’t know you could use sand paths to plant coconut trees. How brilliant!
I also really like how this player used spike fencing and windflowers to give this plaza a true tropical feel.
Anytime it’s too cold wherever I’m at, I know where I’ll be going for a warm escape.
7. Rainbow Plaza
Yay! The rainbow star DIYs are back!!!
This is a beautiful Pride-inspired themed plaza with an array of different colored flowers in the background, as well as the star items which look great even in the middle of the afternoon.
Also, check out the manhole cover art in the middle. So pretty!
Having an even number of each item is a great way to make entrances like this look neat and welcoming.
The two streetlamps and floating biotopes are a good example, but you can also use statues, pillars, anything you like.
I really like how this player put some fruit trees in the back as well. You don’t have to just use them to sell off non-native fruits. You can leave them be as a nice decoration like this.
6. Holiday-Themed Plaza
The best part about the ACNH holiday events is the opportunity to collect all of the DIYs, that way you can decorate and celebrate around your island!
That being said, why not make a dedicated area that changes with the coming the different seasonal celebrations?
Each holiday DIY set comes with an arch, which makes a perfect entrance.
There’s also a giant float… or in this case, a carriage, that takes center stage!
The rest is pretty much up to you. I like how the lanterns here are flanking the giant pumpkin carriage. You can line up the square with related decorations, or maybe some flowers colored to match the theme, or even just set up costumes for display like a mini museum.
I still have Festivale stuff hanging around from last month.
So who says the celebrations should end after just one day?
5. Floating Plaza
Don’t look down, don’t look down…
No, this isn’t Photoshop.
This player has managed to turn their plaza into its own island by using amazingly detailed custom paths.
This is a great idea if you want to freak out your friends when they come to visit, or just freak out any impolite visitors who even dare to think of running through your flowers.
Fair warning: lots of design slots will be needed if you want to re-create this. However, the end result is totally worth it!
4. Community Garden & Fountain
What a perfect spot to pour some tea and dish celebrity gossip with Bianca, am I right?
There are two parts to this little plaza.
One part has a park-element to it, like we saw earlier in the list. And the other part is a beautiful mini garden hangout spot.
You could use these 2×2 plots in each corner to try to breed different colored flowers. Also, I’m pretty sure villagers will stop by each day and give them some water.
3. Pretty Pink Town Square
Don’t you hate it when Resident Services is situated so close to your airport, and you can’t move it?
Well this player has managed to get around that by crafting a simply gorgeous path that goes around and leads to a beautiful little square.
They used some hedge fencing to separate the two areas, which I really like. I’m also so in love with this color scheme.
Any color path will look great here, as long as you coordinate with different furniture and utilize the local flora.
It’s clear that this design sparks joy to this player, so if you try your own variation, make sure it sparks joy for you too.
2. Asian-inspired Plaza
What a simple but oh-so-elegant entrance to this player’s town square.
Incorporating Asian elements like bamboo plants, cherry blossom trees, and other related items, will definitely attract those as obsessed with Eastern culture as I am.
It feels like this player really had this set-up planned out far in advance, with their placement of both shops.
Residents who go on their daily shopping errands will feel compelled to slow down and take in the beauty of this area.
1. Rural Mountain-type Plaza
If it wasn’t for the coconut tree hiding in the bottom-left corner, I would’ve been convinced that someone had somehow created a mod and turned their island into a mountain-top village.
Everything besides Resident Services has a real earthy look to it.
The colors are all aligned to give off the feeling of camping in the fall. Even Erik looks ready to set up a tent.
And this player’s choice of outfit suggests they’re geared up for a hike up the cliffs.
What a cute combo!
Even a few weeds here and there wouldn’t look out of place here. Actually, I think that could be an added bonus!