Animal Crossing New Horizons is much less restrictive with exterior decoration than any of the previous titles in a variety of ways.
These are the main differences we've seen so far:
- Items can be placed outside freely and rotated, unlike New Leaf where only Public Works Projects could be placed outside, and they were heavily restrictive in where they could be placed and could not be rotated.
- There is a new tool that allows for making paths
- Fences appear to be singular structures more similar to the ones in Pocket Camp rather than Happy Home Designer. However, the fences in this game meet up nicely at the corners, where in Pocket Camp, they had noticable gaps at corners.
- You can decorate your from door with wreaths, as well as villagers' front doors. This suggests there may be much more options for decorating your home from the outside beyond house style and exterior customization from New Leaf (as hanging signs, lights, etc)
- You can easily dig up full sized trees and replace them elsewhere.
- Rocks are also movable/removable (a rock is shown then is later seen to be gone; it is unclear how that happened)
- It is implied that you can choose where stores are placed
- You can select where villagers set up their homes. You can also ask villagers to move their homes if you later decide it is in a bad spot.
- Ponds have so far been absent (presumably they are added manually through some new service and can be freely moved. This same service may also allow for rerouting the river)