Hosting Tips

The Ultimate Cozy Night In

By Chanel Dror
apple cider bar

Today’s party concept is kind of a big deal — not just because we’ve put together an absolutely gorgeous guide for hosting a night in for your family and friends during the holidays, but also because today marks our first time talking about television on the blog. Given how much we gab about our favorite series around the office, it’s a wonder we’ve waited this long to bring it up with you all… but when Hulu asked us to plan an entire gathering around one of our favorite shows, we stepped up to the plate, and instantly knew that Modern Family would serve as the perfect inspiration for a family-focused Thanksgiving gathering.

For those days surrounding the holidays, when you have overnight guests in town and absolutely nothing on the agenda, we’ve planned the ultimate cozy night in. Bursting with nostalgic fall-inspired details and gorgeous seasonal colors, this party will ensure that there’s no place else you’ll want to be other than curled up in front of the fireplace with loved ones, soaking up the undeniable charm of Modern Family.

*photography by Kristen Kilpatrick

This post is brought to you by Hulu. Sit back and catch up on all your favorite shows on!

I don’t often think of covering the coffee table with a linen, but when you’re planning on having the entire family piled into one room, you want your surfaces to be both comfortable and protected. We found this amazing plaid knit at a local fabric store, and you wouldn’t believe how much use we get out of it during the fall and winter. For this party, its colors served as the inspiration for all the decor.

A low bowl filled with pomanders makes for the perfect seasonal centerpiece: they smell heavenly, look gorgeous, and are more childproof and durable than a flower arrangement. Plus, keeping things low to the table means no one’s view is ever obstructed.

Add seasonal accent pillows and throw blankets to your space to ensure everyone has what they need to feel comfy cozy. Not big on bold colors or prints? Just adding in heavier textures is enough to make the space feel more autumnal, so look for cable knits, faux furs and tweeds when you’re out shopping.

Beach souvenirs and brightly colored accessories may look great on your living room shelves, but might not be the most sensible choice when it comes to decorating for the season. We swapped our hot pink and turquoise books out for some with neutral spines, replaced large sea shells with rustic pine cones, and topped it all off with a pumpkin for a pop of orange.

Since this gathering is all about curling up in front of our favorite show on Hulu, we wanted to ensure guests had a little piece of eye candy to admire. How’s this bay leaf garland that Margot Blair Floral created for a “wow factor”?

Click here to read the step-by-step instructions for how to incorporate fresh produce into your greenery this holiday season!

For a special something, we packaged up a “Cozy Kit” for each of our guests, containing the essential items needed for a relaxing night in.

To create your own, simply line a gift box with tissue paper, then drop in a ceramic mug and wool socks. A printable card where guests can jot down what they’re thankful for goes in last, and is the perfect way to tie in a holiday theme.

Lastly, print these adorable “Cozy Kit” labels onto full sheet labels, then cut them out and adhere to the top of your gift boxes.

When guests arrive, they can take their gifted mugs over to this gorgeous apple cider bar and help themselves.

To recreate this look, simply fill a drinks dispenser with warm apple cider and set out on a buffet surface. Pile tons of apples on the table for decoration, and provide cinnamon sticks, star anise and bourbon (adults only!) for garnish.

We attached these printable name tags to the handle of each mug with a short piece of twine. With so many family members in one space, this is one DIY detail that makes a big impact in the long run!

How gorgeous are these linen napkins? We picked up a few in different colors, and they’ve become our new must-have entertaining staple this season.

Click here to get the recipe for Camille’s addictive homemade caramel corn, then pile a big batch of it into a large bowl for guests to pass and enjoy all night.

Not only is it impossible to sit through an entire episode of Modern Family without bursting into laughter, but it’s just about the only show that everyone in the family can agree to!

We kept the menu for this gathering simple, with the star being this slow cooker chicken chili. Prep the entire batch in advance, then set out garnishes like scallions, shredded cheese, sour cream and lime wedges for guests to dress their servings up to their liking.

Click here to get Camille’s recipe for Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili

Deep dinnerware makes it easy to curl up on the couch with a piping hot bowl of chili, but the handles on these clay bowls make them especially easy to hold. Talk about the most chic and satisfying TV dinner ever!

Remember these pumpkin cinnamon rolls? We shared the recipe for them last month, and have been making and re-making weekly ever since.

Top it off with a generous drizzle of spiced maple icing for an indulgent dessert your guests won’t soon forget.

We love any excuse to not set an elaborate food buffet or formal dining table! For this laid back get together, let your coffee table and side tables be home base for everyone’s food and drinks.

Take family members on a trip down memory lane by scattering photo albums around your party space for guests to flip through. There’s no better way to connect with your loved ones than through stories of past generations, epic vacations and childhood anecdotes.

… Then make new memories by documenting your entire cozy night in together! Pass around an instant camera for guests to play photog and snap candid shots of one another.

Once they’re fully developed, use a permanent marker to label each photo and note what was special about it. Then send them home with guests as a keepsake, or file them away into your albums for everyone to enjoy together next year.

Don your cozy socks, have your favorite snacks and cider in hand, and escape the cold by cuddling up to your loved ones in front of the crackling fire. Seasons greetings!