As the blogger behind Los Angeles-based Designlovefest, Bri Emery has an eye for design, a love for all things DIY, and a knack for entertaining. So when she recently hosted a backyard movie night—complete with bite-sized snacks, plenty of paper lanterns, and lounge-worthy seating—we knew we had to be there. Here, Bri shares how a recent trip inspired her backyard bash, and tips for making your movie night “in” magical—even into fall.
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To get Bri’s Instagram-worthy outdoor space, be sure to check out the curated sale on Joss & Main.
We were so fascinated by Japan that I wanted to try to achieve something similar and unique for our movie night.
Tell us about your inspiration for this Instagram-worthy bash.
After a recent trip to Japan, I came home with incredible amounts of inspiration. We took an overnight trip to Kyoto and stayed in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn with tatami matted rooms, dim lighting, a public bath house, low tables for dining with an array of vessels and dishes, and sleeping mats that roll up nicely into the closet when they are not in use. We were all so fascinated by the feeling we had here, that I wanted to try to achieve something similar and unique for our movie night. We brought in a variety of Japanese snacks, custom sake glasses as takeaways, paper lanterns for the mood, and a bamboo bed with low seating all around.
I loved having a bunch of my favorite people get together to do something different.
What’s your go-to movie night spread?
Bite size foods like mini soft pretzels with dipping sauces, hummus and veggies, popcorn with sea salt and rosemary, wine, sparkling water and something sweet! I always end up making too much food. People really just want to drink and lightly snack!
What are your top tips for throwing an outdoor movie night?
Comfort! Give people multiple areas to lounge, plenty of pillows and chairs and places where people can gather comfortably close to the screen or away from it near the snack table. I like to play a movie that most people have seen and loved and is easily relatable. It also makes it more fun when it’s not as serious and you can chat during the film and not have to focus on watching every minute.
What was your favorite part about this night?
I loved having a bunch of my favorite people get together to do something different. Movie nights are special and fun, it made me realize I need to have more random weeknight get togethers!
With summer coming to a close, can you share your tips for making an outdoor gathering work in the chillier months?
People love getting cozy with blankets and pillows. It brings up fun childhood memories of making forts in the living room. Add some dreamy lighting or a fire pit and throw in plenty of fuzzy blankets! Oh! and maybe a hot drink like a mulled cider or hot chocolate and warm snacks.