Animal Crossing kitchen furniture: How to design a kitchen and get the ironwood kitchenette in New Horizons

Easy ways to make your New Horizons kitchen look great. 

Animal Crossing has a huge amount of items to help players decorate, but kitchen furniture is often in short supply.

Thankfully, there are ways to get around this problem using the custom design feature, and by using some clever kitchen decorating techniques.

If you want to build your own Reddit-worthy ironwood kitchen, we also have advice on how to build the elusive ironwood kitchenette.

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How to find kitchen items in Animal Crossing: New Horizons explained

Finding kitchen furniture in Animal Crossing may take some time, and unless you're willing to trade with other players for items, you'll have to try a series of different methods to receive random items of furniture.

Here are the main ways to find new items for your kitchen, and some tips on how to maximise your chances.

  • Collect kitchen furniture from balloons. Balloons regularly fly over your island in Animal Crossing, and each will contain a random item, materials or DIY recipe. Always carry a slingshot with you when exploring, and be careful not to shoot down balloons over water or flowers. It's possible to farm balloons by entering a building to have a conversation with a villager, then leaving before the clock reaches a minute that ends with "4" or "9", such as 2:44 and 2:49.
  • Buy items from Nook's Cranny. It may sound obvious, but your best chance of finding kitchen furniture is by checking Nook's Cranny every day. Once you've upgraded Nook's Cranny, you'll have access to a better range of kitchen furniture, such as the expensive kitchen island which can be bought for 170k Bells.
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The kitchen island doesn't come cheap!
  • Collect DIY recipes to craft furniture. DIY recipes can be used to craft items in Animal Crossing, and these can be collected through random balloon drops, talking to villagers, and in message bottles found on your beach and Mystery Islands you visit by spending Nook Miles. A limited selection of DIY recipes can also be redeemed with Nook Miles via the Nook Miles Stop. Villagers will craft multiple items per day, so it's worth routinely checking to see if a new DIY recipe is available.
  • Shake trees.You're guaranteed two random items from shaking your island's trees per day, and each Nook Miles island with trees (unless they all bear fruit) will have one random item tucked away in the branches. Get shaking, and watch out for wasps.
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Tips for designing an Animal Crossing: New Horizons kitchen

There's no one way to go about designing a kitchen in Animal Crossing, but these pointers will certainly help you on your way to creating a kitchen you can be proud of.

  • Decide on a colour scheme before you start. Picking one or two colours to theme your kitchen around will help keep your design consistent. It's also a good idea to consider what furniture, wallpaper and flooring you have available before making this decision. Don't be afraid to use dark colours: when used consistently, black-furniture kitchens can look great.
  • Check the customisation options for all furniture and items. Many items in Animal Crossing can be customised at a workbench using customisation kits, which can be bought from the Nook's Cranny cabinet. Customising items will help you keep a consistent colour scheme, give you more choice when decorating, and let you create custom designs to give your kitchen items a unique look.
  • Avoid cluttering your kitchen surfaces with items. While there are plenty of decorative items in Animal Crossing, placing these on every surface of your kitchen will make it feel cluttered. Picking a couple of stand-out decorations to focus on will help make your kitchen feel tidier.
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  • Use plants and flowers to decorate. A few plant items or flowers can often lighten the feel of a room. Potted ivy is available early in the game via the Test Your DIY skills pack from Nook's Cranny, and can be customised into various colours. You can also hang flower wreaths on the walls inside your house, which can be crafted using DIY recipes. If you don't have the flower colour you want, you may have to breed your own hybrid flowers.
  • Use clothes to decorate your walls. If you're struggling to fill wall space, placing clothing items such as aprons and chef's hats on the walls can help your room feel more like a kitchen. Flower crowns can also be hung on the wall as an alternative to wreaths.
  • Think about lighting. Lighting is always something to consider in Animal Crossing, as it can drastically change the mood of a room. Items such as wood-burning stoves and brick ovens can create a cozy glow, while placing an iron wall lamp above a gas range can create a mock extraction fan unit.
  • Create a kitchen-living room. If you're converting one of your larger rooms into a kitchen, consider turning it into a kitchen-living room by placing some sofas and tables separate to your kitchen area. Rugs and panels often work well to help separate the two spaces, but custom designs placed as tiles will also do the trick.
  • Be creative! Not every kitchen needs to be filled with ironwood furniture: as seen on Reddit and Twitter, it's possible to make medieval Skyrim-themed kitchens, diners, Korean restaurants and more by being imaginative with the items you've collected.

Custom design tricks to decorate a kitchen in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Like previous games in the series, New Horizons allows players to customise items with their own designs, and even download designs made by other players via QR code and the custom design portal. Players have already come up with some ingenious ways to use this to solve the kitchen furniture problem.

Create fake cupboards with a custom stall

Stalls are a craftable item available early on as a DIY recipe that can be redeemed with Nook Miles from the Nook Miles Stop. It's possible to change both the colour of the wood on the stalls and their pattern, meaning you can use stalls as fake cupboards to display all your kitchenware.

Inspired by one player's fake ironwood kitchen cupboard, I decided to make my own version to match my kitchen, which can be downloaded using the code below. As an added bonus, potted ivy will clip into the top of a stall when placed directly above it, which creates a nice mossy effect.

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Create fake splashbacks and shelves

Chopping and cooking in real life gets messy - and many kitchens have splashback panels to prevent mess from getting on the walls. So why not design your own in Animal Crossing? Simply use the custom design tool, then display it as a canvas in your house. I designed one for the back of my gas range which blends in with the cooker, but this method would also work on top of any kitchen counter. Mosaic-style patterns tend to be particularly effective splashbacks.

Along similar lines to the splashback, players have created cute canvas designs which can be used as fake shelving. This one by player Elena on Reddit is suitable for a light-coloured kitchen or living space, and can be downloaded using the code below.

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Make a two-tier room with an optical illusion

Room designs in Animal Crossing can sometimes feel quite flat, but one way around this is by creating an optical illusion with custom designs to trick the eye into believing the room has two levels. As inspired by yamaji_maya on Twitter (for which you can find download codes here), I made my own two-tier lodge room using three separate custom design patterns, and individually placing them as tile mats to cover half the floor.

Sure, it's not a kitchen, but the principle is the same - and it's a great way to separate kitchen and living areas.

If you want to try this out for yourself, pick a darker colour for your lower flooring, and keep the upper and lower sections similar in tone, as this helps maintain the optical illusion. Placing items of furniture in front of the drop-off will also help the illusion feel more natural.

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New to Animal Crossing? Our Animal Crossing New Horizons tips can help with the basics. From the off, there's fish and bugs to catch, flowers and fruit to grow with Leif selling seeds, villagers to add or remove and tools such as the new ladder and vaulting pole to collect. Once you have settled in, you'll want to be making as many Bells as possible, start collecting K.K. Slider songs and work on your island star rating, increase your HHA ranking, incorporate Feng Shui into your room design and acquiring kitchen furniture. You can also buy fake art from Redd. Recently added were swimming, sea creatures and Pascal.


How to craft an ironwood kitchenette and get other ironwood items in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Ironwood furniture has become incredibly popular in the Animal Crossing community for kitchen designs, and the ironwood kitchenette is one of the most sought-after items. Unfortunately, it's also rather difficult to make, as it requires two other uncommon DIY items to craft.

The recipe for the ironwood kitchenette can be found in the Wildest Dreams DIY pack, which can be bought via the Nook's Cranny cabinet fairly early in the game. To craft the ironwood kitchenette you'll need four wood, three iron nuggets, an ironwood dresser and a cutting board.

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The ironwood dresser and cutting board are both DIY recipes that can be found randomly in the game through the usual methods (such as talking to villagers and opening message bottles), but they can be quite hard to come by. If you want a more direct way to find the items, it might be easier to ask your friends to see if they have the recipes, or to head to trading websites such as Nookazon where other players list their items for trade.

Once you've found the recipes, you'll need seven wood and four iron nuggets to craft the ironwood dresser, while the cutting board requires two wood and one iron nugget.

Although hard to find, once you've crafted the ironwood kitchenette, your house will be the talk of the town. Good luck in your search!

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Emma Kent

Emma Kent

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Emma was Eurogamer's summer intern in 2018 and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Now a fully-fledged reporter, she loves asking difficult questions, smashing people at DDR and arguing about, well, everything.

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