The Foolproof Guide To Hosting A Night In With Friends This Fall

We’re all for happy hour deals and late-night karaoke, but as much fun as going out may be, as the temps get cooler, nothing beats a night in. Still, that doesn’t have to mean a Friday night spent solo; it’s about crafting the perfect night at home with friends. Whether it’s a candlelit homemade dinner, a game night around the coffee table, or a Netflix binge sesh with mulled cider, our most beloved fall pastimes are finally here — and they’re so much better than hanging out in cramped bars.

In order to get you ready for a season full of hosting, we partnered with CB2 and rounded up our favorite night-in essentials: from diffusers and marble candles that create an intimate ambiance to lush decor like velvet floor cushions and faux-fur throws. Click ahead to find out how to take your average night in to the next level.


While pumpkin spice is ubiquitous this time of year, that sugary sweetness doesn’t always work well for a home fragrance. Instead, give your apartment a cozy, fall scent with this wood stick diffuser that’s full of fruity, earthy notes like juicy pomegranate, pink pepper, and spicy wood.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Scent Surround Diffuser, $98.00, available at Nordstrom.


We’ve spilled far too much red wine to know that it’s the last thing you want to get all over your white faux-sheepskin rug. So instead of using long-stemmed wine glasses that tip over way too easily, opt for a shatterproof stemless variety. This set comes with thumb notches on the side for even more anti-spill assurance. Consider your white upholstery safe for the night.

Govino Shatterproof Plastic Wine Glasses, Set of 4, $12.95, available at Wine Enthusiast.


Switch out those beer koozies from your college game days for something a little more adult-ish. These coasters feature mango-wood stumps surrounded with resin, adding a touch of formality without looking like you took a design note from your pretentious aunt. No need to worry about sloppy water rings damaging your furniture. (Even if your coffee table is still from your college days. Baby steps.)

CB2 Hole In One Resin Coasters, Set of 4, $24.95, available at CB2.


The only thing worse than eating soggy buttered popcorn is accidentally chomping down on an unpopped kernel and breaking a tooth. So before you hit play on that Netflix teen rom-com, make sure to pour your popcorn in this glazed stoneware bowl, and sift away the kernels. Your dentist will thank you.

Mudshark Studios The Popcorn Bowl with Kernel Sifter, $75.00, available at Uncommon Goods.


Endless seating options for all your guests would be a dream, but the reality is that your one-bedroom apartment probably doesn’t fit much more than a loveseat and mayyybe an ottoman. So instead of borrowing your neighbor’s ugly folding chairs, go for these comfy velvet floor cushions. At the end of the party, you can stow them away in a closet or leave them on the floor for a little bohemian-inspired decor.

World Market Chartreuse Velvet Tufted Floor Cushion, $44.99, available at World Market.


Most party games these days involve decks of cards with fill-in-the-blanks or funny memes, but our tried-and-true favorite is a tumbling tower. It’s a nostalgia-filled game that can easily get an adult upgrade with bets and prizes. Bonus: This ombre acrylic tower is a great piece of decor when not in use, unlike your average board game.

CB2 Acrylic Tumbling Tower, $69.95, available at CB2.


Even if the fanciest cheese you have on hand is a wheel of supermarket Brie, that doesn’t mean you can’t act like you found it at a Parisian cheese shop. Dress it up with pairings like rice crackers, salted almonds, and fresh-cut apple slices, and serve them all on a handmade wood tray. This ornately carved variety makes everything look a million times more luxe. Plus, you can easily wash off the cheese crumbs and reuse it when it’s time to bring out coffee and dessert.

Hill Picket Studio Monduff Cheese Board, $145.00, available at The Citizenry.


Set the mood for the evening without setting your home on fire. These white and gray marble pillar “candles” are remote controlled and completely flame-free, so you can place them all around and not have to worry about fire safety when one of your friends accidentally knocks one over during a rambunctious round of charades.

Lights.com Vena Marble Pillar Candles, Set of 2, $30.00, available at Lights.com.


Sage cleansing is a great self-care activity to do in a larger group, whether you’re ridding yourself of that person who ghosted you or just looking for a quick moment of mental clarity. Light one end of the bundle until it smokes, and then use your hand to wave the smoke throughout your space. Breathe in deeply as you banish all the negative vibes.

CB2 Juniper Ridge Sage Smudge Stick, $10.95, available at CB2.


There’s a good chance you don’t have the luxury of a wood-burning fireplace in your home, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying some old-fashioned s’mores. Gather the party around your stovetop, and whip out this artisanal kit: complete with vanilla-bean marshmallows, handcrafted honey graham crackers, and decadent pure milk chocolate.

Ticket Chocolate Artisan S’mores Kit, $20.00, available at Terrain.


No night in is complete without throw pillows and blankets — especially those of the faux fur variety. This one, with soft dark-blue fur on one side and a silky-smooth underside, feels like it could belong in the bedroom of a certain Duchess of Cambridge. Throw it on your couch, drape it on your dining chairs, or lay it out on the floor with a few of those floor cushions for an added layer of coziness.

Project 62 Mongolian Faux Fur Throw Blanket, $34.99, available at Target.


Whether you’re mixing up a brew of chai hot toddies or setting out all the fixings for a hot chocolate bar, you’re going to want to have these mugs on hand. The marbled clay is a simplistic yet chic design that’s perfect for a casual gathering. And after the party ends, keep them in the kitchen for some Instagrammable breakfast moments.

IIIVVVYYY Ceramics Canyon Mug, $54.00, available at IIIVVVYYY Ceramics.

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