Extreme Home Makeover: Animal Crossing Edition?
June 26, 2020 6:31 PM   Subscribe

How do I get my real-life apartment to resemble or evoke my Animal Crossing house?

A few weeks ago I did a workshop with Odyssey Works, which does massive experiential performances dedicated to one person. In the workshop, we were paired with someone else to make Odysseys for each other, and after hearing of my love for Animal Crossing my workshop partner gave me the Odyssey to remake my actual apartment to resemble my ACNH house. I had a start by looking at wallpaper and then got bugged out by how expensive it is and stopped.

Now no one is expecting a complete makeover (especially not during quarantine season) but I'd like to make a good faith effort, especially since I could use a shakeup anyway. Even just one room (eg my bedroom) or hints of the ACNH house in my apartment (eg small select items here and there) is a big win.

Things That Could Change:

- The layout of the bedroom overall, especially since that spare mattress is now redundant

- The altar shelf in the bedroom could go too as it's old and unused

- The TV (as of yesterday!) seems to no longer be working, it was free so I don't mind replacing it. I only ever use it for Chromecast, video games, and DVDs so even a good-sized monitor with an HDMI port is fine

- I'm about to start livestreaming (on a Switch that was purchased after these photos were taken) and I was going to do it in my bedroom since that's where the consoles and TV are. I am limited to some degree by power outlets, the bathroom door, and the built-in wardrobe but am happy to move things around if possible

- I've been wanting to change up my living room workstation for a while, the dining table and chairs are not comfortable! I recently acquired a rolling shelving unit which helps but am down for an overhaul

Things That Are Tricky:

- I don't have that much of a budget so anything low-cost or Rough Tradeable is best

- I'm technically not allowed to do things to my walls (including sticking stuff on there) without permission. However, no one's doing inspections anymore due to COVID19, I've been here long enough as a good tenant, and apparently there are laws now that prohibit any restrictions, so I'm willing to take a risk. However, I'd prefer things that are removable or easy to fix (so wall paint is probably out)

- I live on my own and will end up working on my own for the most part. It's a bit unclear on whether I can get help (my district got declared a hot spot in the past week and there's talks of potentially restricting access) but it does mean that moving big furniture like my bed is hard unless I can somehow disassemble it first

- I don't have a car and due to aforementioned district hot spot issues I'm not sure if I can get people to drive me to, say, Ikea, but at least Ikea do deliveries

- I am in Australia (Melbourne specifically) so local sources are best

- I'm renting, so can't do major renovations, and don't particularly want to anyway

- The space next to the living room workstation is where I placed my big magic show sets & props as well as some miscellaneous items. I don't have anywhere else to store them so unfortunately that space can't really be used.

A few people have suggested making a star-shaped lampshade to emulate the Nova light. I did look at wallpaper options that were blue & starry, if I'm going to start livestreaming from my bedroom something like that could be a good backdrop. I wish the rose bed existed IRL but I can always evoke that with rose bedsheets or something!
posted by divabat to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe a star nightlight projector (eg)?
posted by oceano at 8:37 PM on June 26, 2020

The dark, warm walls are what stand out the most about your Animal Crossing house to me. It looks like you have some sort of picture hanging railing, so perhaps you could look into wall tapestries (essentially just big pieces of printed fabric, not actual tapestries) in a pattern that evokes your ACNH house? In the Google Image search I just did, it seems like a lot of people are pairing wall hangings with fairy lights, which could also work to evoke your starry stage space!

This is a really cute idea. Please consider updating the post with what you ultimately do!
posted by ceramicspaniel at 9:24 PM on June 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

For walls, there is, of course, removable wall paper, but otherwise, maybe a roll of paper that you could paint and just blue-tac to the walls? Or fabric - either of a print that is close, or paint it yourself?

Bathroom - could you add some 'fake screening' to the outside of the shower that replicates the folding screens? Not sure what material you might use to do it, but you could do cut outs of your own design, or buy some cheap outdoor screening with a pattern that you like. Alternatively timber batten screening to mimic your virtual house bathroom walls. Or bamboo slat blinds?

For the rose bed, expensive version is the Plush Snuggle Chair in red and add your own leaf detail. Cheap version - try and find a papasan chair and redo the cushion cover in red petals with a green outside detail for the leaves. Keep an eye on gumtree and ebay - maybe you can find one nearby.

You can find heaps of instructions to make your own moravian star lamp, as others have suggested.

Get this purple ikea rug and some fabric paint to create the round purple rug underneath the rose bed. My lincraft delivery this week came quickly so they might have paints that suit.

For the stage area, check ebay and gumtree for carpet tiles (they are $6.50 new at Bunnings, but other places, inc cheapo shops have them starting at $1 each), or big boxes of them (inc delivery) on ebay.

If you're ever allowed to cross town (though tricky without a car), there are a couple of recycled art supply places that might be good for materials in the eastern suburbs - recycled art supplies - they take offcuts and excess from factories that is suitable for use as art materials.

Make a paper mache bonsai tree (youtube link) to match the one on top of the fireplace.

For the yuccas in white pots, look at gumtree for cheap bits or plants that are close to you, people are forever trimming these or pulling them out - Ikea has some good white pots usually.
posted by AnnaRat at 9:47 PM on June 26, 2020

For the expedit / kallax shelving unit (if its Ikea), get some door or drawer inserts from Ikea and hack them to reflect the style of the red Asian-style sideboard? E.g. do them in a red colour with some gold foil details (or actual gold coloured hardware).

For small amounts of paint, Dulux sample pots online are apparently cheaper (and bigger range) than Bunnings (I've heard, but haven't checked).

Cheapo temp version - you could make cardboard 'doors' out of excess cardboard cartons, painted up to look like a Ming cabinet in red and gold, and just use painters tape to create 'hinges' to attach them to the unit.
posted by AnnaRat at 10:23 PM on June 26, 2020

The thing that struck me most looking at the screenshots was that most of your AC rooms have the most important furniture in the very middle, away from the walls - tables, sofas, the bed. In other words, it seems like someone living in those rooms would spend most of their time in the central areas. So furniture rearrangement?
posted by trig at 12:47 AM on June 27, 2020

Such a fun idea! Here are some thoughts:
Kitchen: What jumps out to me from your ANCH kitchen is red. Switch up your real-life kitchen dishcloths to red ones. If you're going to have pantry items or dishware sitting on open shelves, choose red ones. Swap out the kitchen cabinet knobs with red ones?
Living room or bedroom: Maybe a DIY wall decal to apply a geometric pattern to the walls to mimic the ACNH wallpaper.
Living room shelf: Very rudely poking around your shelves, but you seem to have a cute bottle (?) collection on the lower shelves. Can you move them to the top shelves so they can be seen? It's not really ACNH related, but might help zhuzh up the look of your room as it were.
posted by Rora at 5:59 AM on June 27, 2020

Some ideas...

1. Plants! You've got some big yuccas in corners in your ACNH bedroom and living room - definitely doable for IRL and will change the feeling of the space instantly. If not yuccas, maybe fiddle-leaf figs or (millennial insta favourite) monsteras? Local nurseries will have them, so will Bunnings.

2. Surfaces! The surfaces in your ACNH house feature things like plants, candles, a radio, special books. You could reorganise the bookshelf and the square shelves to clear some surfaces and feature the tchotchkes and books that you most love at eye level. Move the less important/attractive stuff to knee/foot height. You could also put everything into patterned storage boxes - the square bookcase full of a strong pattern like this might scratch some of that wallpaper itch.

I'm jealous of all those picture rails and hooks - you could order some magentic wooden picture hangings as a cheap alternative to getting things framed (hard to explain what these are but search "magnetic wooden picture hangings" on ebay)

3. Space! The rooms in your ACNH are big, your rooms are smaller. If the spare mattress can go, let it go. You'll have so much more space to play with and you can show off the rug. If you can manage it, try moving the bed to the centre of the room, put one of your new plants in the corner and put that short bookshelf against the far wall where the bed is now and see how it feels.

4. Bathroom bamboo! For the bathroom, a litte bamboo curtain or woodweave blind on the window, a bamboo board on the washing machine, a bamboo wicker lampshade and a jute rug could step you closer towards the natural wood feel of your ACNH bathroom. Kmart has a bunch of bathroom bamboo stuff like this.

5. Finally, but this is hard to do cheaply/easily - a comfy couch? You have comfy couches in most of your ACNH rooms...
posted by trotzdem_kunst at 6:08 AM on June 27, 2020

Response by poster: you seem to have a cute bottle (?) collection on the lower shelves. Can you move them to the top shelves so they can be seen?

FUNNY STORY. This is actually rescued from a friend that was moving and didn't have room for all her art. I didn't want it all to go to waste so I've inherited them. (They're all bottles with Strong Women on them.) I've been trying to move them on but it's slow going!

Also every plant I touch dies so I'm not sure how successful I'll be with an actual plant indoors, but maybe fakes?
posted by divabat at 7:29 AM on June 27, 2020

Fake plants can be quite nice, actually. I've seen some good small ones at Ikea, and they were cheap.

One thing I've noticed about my Animal Crossing home -- where I would love to live --and the house where I actually do live, is there's much less clutter in my Animal Crossing home. Maybe some joy sparking?
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:52 AM on June 28, 2020

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