Decorating houses in Animal Crossing: New Horizons has, since its release, been largely about how to use furniture in inventive ways. You can use the climbing wall item backwards to look like a regular wall, or the Shell and Tree's Bounty arches to add the appearance of curves in your doorways.
But all of that has been made somewhat redundant by the addition of three new items in the Happy Home Paradise DLC: Partition Walls, Counters, and Pillars.
But using these bad boys is a little more complicated than simply adding them to your catalogue of items, so let's walk through how to unlock them, how to make them, and how to use them to make your houses look really slick.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Partition Walls, Pillars, And Counters Guide
How To Unlock Partition Walls
This will be your first unlock, after decorating seven vacation homes. Niko, the little monkey with a hat, will get into DIY building, and will invent partition walls for you to add into your homes.
How To Use Partition Walls
You can find partition walls in the "other" category while decorating a room, and they can be used to divide up the space a little more — or even to create illusions, like a back garden, a balcony, or a room with a right-angled wall. You can place them, move them, and remove them just like regular furniture.
The partition walls will appear with the same wallpaper that you used in the room, even if they are placed on an accent wall. You also can't hang furniture on them, sadly.
You can, of course, use partition walls in your own house (but not outside), and Photopia, too. You'll just have to craft them first!
There is also the new Castle Wall item, which you can also use as a partition wall if you're feeling fancy.
DIY Partition Walls
You'll get the recipe for making your own partition walls after you finish your eighth vacation home, even if you don't use the walls in that build. The recipe uses 3 wood and 3 clay to create a 2-space-wide, 0.5-space-deep wall that goes all the way up to the ceiling.
How To Unlock Pillars
When you finish your fifteenth vacation home, talk to Niko about DIY recipes (Lottie will prompt you). Talk to him again the next day and he'll take you to the school to teach you about his new idea: Pillars!
As an added bonus, you can unlock different styles of pillar by donating DIY materials to Niko — read on for instructions!
There are also Decorative Pillars — you'll have access to these relatively early on, but they don't actually go all the way to the ceiling. You can put furniture on them, though.
How To Use Pillars
Pillars are useful for two main things. They make interesting decorative accents, if you want to divide up a house without putting walls in, but they also make it much more attractive to have a partition wall, especially if you've created a corner.
Like partition walls, they can be found in the "other" category of the decoration menu, and can be moved around like normal furniture. You can't put them outside, but your house and Photopia can have them, too.
Niko will also teach you the recipe for a pillar, which costs 2 wood, 2 softwood, and 2 hardwood.
Extra Pillar Types
Keep donating materials to Niko (by putting them in the box in the upper-left corner of the upstairs of the Happy Home Paradise office) and speaking to him and he can teach you more pillar DIYs:
- Steel Pillar (4 iron nuggets)
- Simple Pillar (2 stone, 2 clay)
- Marble Pillar (8 stone)
- Golden Pillar (4 gold nuggets)
- Brick Pillar (4 clay)
- Concrete Pillar (3 stone, 1 iron nugget)
Note that the DIY pillars can be customised into different colours.
How To Unlock Counters
After the fifteenth vacation home design, you'll learn about counters from Niko at the same time as pillars. Like pillars, you can unlock different styles by donating materials in the box upstairs at the Happy Home Paradise office.
How To Use Counters
Your only limit is your imagination — the counters come in two different heights, low and tall, and can be used to divide a room, or provide a new type of display for items like plants. You could build a reading nook with them, place them behind your bed as a headboard, or create a kitchen island.
Like the pillars and partition walls, these can be found in the "other" category.
Just be aware that they don't go all the way to the wall, so they look a little weird as kitchen counters, because there's a gap behind them.
Niko will give you the DIY recipe alongside the pillar recipe. The counters you get are the Tall Wooden Island Counter, which costs 3 wood, 3 softwood, and 3 hardwood, and the Low Wooden Island Counter, which costs 2 wood, 2 softwood, and 2 hardwood.
Extra Counter Types
Keep donating materials to Niko (by putting them in the box in the upper-left corner of the upstairs of the Happy Home Paradise office) and speaking to him and he can teach you more counter DIYs:
- Tall Steel Island Counter (8 iron nuggets)
- Low Steel Island Counter (4 iron nuggets)
- Tall Simple Island Counter (4 stone, 4 clay)
- Low Simple Island Counter (2 stone, 2 clay)
- Tall Marble Island Counter (8 stone)
- Low Marble Island Counter (4 stone)
- Tall Brick Island Counter (8 clay)
- Low Brick Island Counter (4 clay)
- Tall Concrete Island Counter (6 stone, 2 iron nuggets)
- Low Concrete Island Counter (3 stone, 1 iron nugget)
- Tall Golden Island Counter (8 gold nuggets)
- Low Golden Island Counter (4 gold nuggets)
Note that the DIY counters can be customised into different colours.
Can these DIYs be used outside of Happy Home Paradise?
While you can use pillars, counters, and partition walls in your own home, you can only unlock them through the Happy Home Paradise DLC. However, if you purchased the DLC by subscribing to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, and you cancel that subscription, you will retain the features as long as you already unlocked them, even if you can't access the Happy Home Paradise island.
Now, go forth and enjoy all these new design features! And let us know your decorating tips in the comments below.
This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bugs, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks and Beetles, along with a full list of critters leaving at the end of the month (unless you visit Kapp'n's Boat Tour islands, of course!).
We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, where and when to find special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label, Wisp, Celeste, Pirate Gulliver and Jack, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data, How to Time Travel, How to Get a 5-Star Island Rating and a whole lot more.
If it's new content you're looking for help with, we can help you find gyroids, unlock Brewster's café, use the new Pro Camera App for selfies, enact new ordinances, get the beloved Froggy Chair, and even learn How to Cook.
And finally, Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game, and How To Buy The Happy Home Paradise DLC, too!