Grant and I have been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf on his new (pale pink) 3DS. I’m the mayor of the town, because Grant’s a sweetheart, and he’s just a citizen. We have tons of pals who are playing, too, so we’ve really enjoyed it. He played the original GameCube version, and maybe a bit of the prior DS one I think, and I worked in linguistic QA at Nintendo during the several months before the Wii version of the game was released in 2008. I’m pretty sure that’s a legally acceptable way to get my experience with AC across, haha. I’m having much more fun this time around, for what it’s worth!
I seem to have become somewhat obsessed with the design and furnishing of my house in the game. I never cared much about that before, but something about being a real-life homeowner makes it deeply satisfying. Most people go nuts with the many outlandish and brightly colored sets you can collect, but I’ve found myself drawn exclusively to extremely realistic and traditional design schemes. However, Animal Crossing only lets you customize your exterior in limited ways, so I’ve found myself incorporating elements of design that might be more appropriate outdoors into my AC rooms. Here’s my castle-style outside (new door and mailbox to come):
For example, in my bathroom, I have a pair of these statue thingies called “Merlion(s).” I don’t know if that’s sort of like the Capricorn half-goat-half-fish thing or what, but I saw them in my Happy Homes showroom and went nuts and bought a pair immediately. Pretty sure they’d make more sense in a garden or courtyard, ya know? Perhaps you can’t tell, but water is continuously streaming out of their mouths, unless you face one and press the A Button. ;) Don’t worry about where the water goes. That’s not important in Animal Crossing. (Oh, and isn’t the parquet floor amazing? I would never have something that busy or frilly in real life, probably; we never saw a single detailed floor when we were house-hunting in Seattle. But I love the look especially with that wall; very Downton Abbey.)
Here are a couple more obsessive symmetry things that possibly belong outdoors, my maneki nekotachi (no idea if that’s how you pluralize it). I love the paw-raised kitty, and I used to have two with their right paws raised (which is more traditional) but Grant spotted a left paw one in the HHA and bought it for me. Yay! Proper symmetry: deeply pleasing. I know these are kind of a weird scale to have in an indoor home; they too look outdoorsy to me. But there WAS that big trend a few years ago of giant white ceramic animals that just sit on your floor and do nothing, so maybe these sort of fit into that category?
Either way, now I kind of want to get a pair of these for my home office. After all, the right one is supposed to bring money/prosperity, and the left paw one is supposed to bring customers (according to this). What more perfect motif is there for my growing business? I’m going to try to find a set that’s made of matte white, cream, or black ceramic with no colorful adornment, since I find the more traditional colored ones can look kinda gaudy. (And they also don’t go with my cool turquoise office décor.) There’s a local Japanese noodle restaurant called Boom Noodle that has some gorgeous plain matte white ones of various sizes on display in their foyer, so maybe they’ll share their source. After all, I can’t just run to Timmy & Tommy Nook in real life. Bummer!
Another matchy-matchy AC thing is my two Rococo Sofas, currently dyed Gothic Yellow but probably to be changed back to their original Gothic Brown at some point. (Oh, and matching Rococo Candlestick sconces on the wall, obvs. And yes matching fireplaces shut up.) I’ve actually been dying for two matching sofas in our real life living room (RLLR, LOL) but we’re having trouble finding two of the right dimensions and price point to work in our smaller living room/entryway, so I was pretty tickled to be able to scratch that itch in game. These are WAY more traditional and feminine than anything I’d put in my real-life house on purpose, but I think they’re charming here and the detail makes them that much more recognizable in the small scale of a DS game, even on an XL device.
And yeah, I have not two but FOUR matching Peacock Chairs, because those too are lovely and feminine in game, and I also have two coffee tables instead of one because there aren’t many four-square coffee tables and SYMMETRY MATTERS PEOPLE. That probably should’ve been my post title, haha.
I used to have just plain cream sofas in my living room instead, which I liked a lot and now have in a weird upstairs den-like room because I’m smitten with the cowhide rug and retro TV. (The rug doesn’t scale well in a bigger AC room so I can just never ever expand this one, haha.) Even though I complained about retro legs in this long design post, I find them cute in this specific room, and somehow in AC all is forgiven. And I LOVE the look and idea of cowhide rugs in real life, but I don’t know that they’re all that practical in our home, and I don’t think Grant likes them that much, and I get the feeling I’d be “over” that look too soon for it to be financially viable. Again, AC to the rescue, letting me play with design elements I love in a safe space, haha. I actually love the look of two light sofas too, but in our household with a black cat already and with hopes for kids someday, cream sofas just wouldn’t fly. But something really clean and minimal with the arms the same height as the back is my favorite sleek look, even if it feels less functional. Aaaah, AC.
The one thing I really wish AC let you play with was window treatments. (Or maybe they do and I just haven’t gotten there. No spoilers, please!) Can’t you imagine big dramatic swags and valances and whatnot to fool around with? It is sort of a bummer that if you expand your main room, you lose the window along the middle of the back, and the only windows in any of the auxiliary rooms are also on the sides, so you have to manually move the camera around to view them. Maybe that’s why they didn’t bother with drapery options. But I’d go NUTS if I had that choice, especially since that’s an area I’m toying with at home in real life, too!
Oh, and I looooove my bedroom, with the matching Exotic set. I just learned the other day that you can dye it, so I’ll probably start experimenting with that next. It’s way more Asian inspired than most of my home furnishings, and while I do love getting multiple pieces of a matching set, this much feels like overkill. But you get points for having multiple pieces of a set! Which remind me of the satisfying joy of obtaining set bonuses in World of Warcraft raiding gear, haha. Since there’s no way I’d turn back to such a hardcore MMO between my current time management and tennis elbow concerns, it sure is nice to feel like a semi-competent fire mage as mayor of our little town.
Last stop is my kitchen, which is pretty boring but still kinda fun because I used the Kitschy Tile and the Kitchen Wall in there. I would never normally put something so patterned up in a real house, but it’s kinda charming and reminds me of Spanish kitchens in Barcelona and Madrid that almost all have granite countertops and ceramic Moroccan-inspired patterned tile on the walls and usually a different larger-scale tile on the floor. This isn’t exactly a replica of that, especially given that there’s no countertop to speak of, but it’s a sort of chaotic, pattern-filled yet traditional retro vibe that reminds me of living in Spain.
So there you have it! My basement is boring, so I won’t show you that… oh fine; you’re right. We might as well. Gotta store those gyroids somewhere. Here it is:
LOVE that Library Wall, but not as much as I love the Ivy Wall that’s brick covered in creeping ivy vines. That’s in my museum exhibit (aka closet) now. It was perhaps my only treatment that’s truly strange for an interior; I like to keep my AC houses freakishly realistic but the ivy on the brick was too pretty to pass up. It sort of made no sense with this Modern Wood Floor, but I might reinstate it here in my basement if I can find some sort of outdoorsy-looking alternative at some point. Something that looks like a temple floor all in ruins with vines running everywhere would be perfect, right? ;)
As part of my Animal Crossing In Real Life ordinance, I actually wound up buying two matching indoor topiaries to flank the entrance to my kitchen. They’re no giant white cats, but they’ll do nicely! Check ’em out:
They’re kumquat (fortunella marginata nogami) trees that were grown at Monrovia and sold by Lowe’s for mad cheap; the gal marked them down from $60-something to $30 because they’re no longer flowering (even though the left one has two little green fruits!). I’m not sure if they’ll survive happily indoors, but they seem a bit hardier and less sun-desperate than the Meyer lemons I’ve managed to kill over the years, so I’m hoping I can at least keep them alive and happy-looking, if not fruiting.
I know they were still staked here, and I know I could ideally remove that annoying white cable for a more staged shot, but REAL LIFE ISN’T A VIDEO GAME YOU GUYS. I have to pay an electrician to make it so I can unplug that cable. For now, you get the idea. (The matchiness of the left hutch is new, too.) I’m quite pleased with this much symmetry; after all, I’m learning that matching identical pieces placed like this offer a sense of polish and formality to an otherwise casual and kind of haphazard collection of furniture from over the years. If I ever find me a real-life Cyrus to dye them up all custom (read: please send me Seattle upholstery referrals), I’ll let you know!