How to Plan an Outdoor Movie Night


See the stars in your own backyard … on your DIY big screen, that is.

In the height of summer, your backyard or porch is headquarters for family time and date night alike. Combine both, and cue up a movie on your DIY movie screen for a staycation highlight.

A bedsheet or table cloth affixed to a fence or wall plays projection screen, and your at-home projector makes movie magic.

Setting up a snack station with seasoned popcorn and traditional concession stand candies will win over guests of all ages.

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Creating a homemade touch is a nice way to personalize the experience. Gather a few common household materials — canvas dropcloth, painters’ tape, fabric-safe paint and a roller — and you can craft a custom blanket that feels expensive but only costs a few dollars. The stripes lend a nautical look that let this throw pull double duty as a beach blanket or picnic spread.

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Whether you choose action, comedy or thriller, your backyard movie night is sure to be a hit.

Want more tips from Douglas? Watch more home entertaining and design videos. 

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Originally published September 2016.



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Personalize Your Space With a DIY Gallery Wall


Curate a magazine-worthy gallery wall — with everyday masterpieces you already own.

Blending interior design styles with a roommate or partner is all about including personal touches and pinpointing a shared interest or aesthetic. The floor-to-ceiling gallery wall we created for a special couple on the West Coast is a perfect example.

Homeowner Lauren and her fiance Greg are taking a big step: cohabitation. They’re recently engaged, and Lauren is making space for not only his furniture and accent pieces but also his style.

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The active couple shares a love for food, wine and entertaining, so we set out to brighten the dining room.

Graced with iconic Seattle views of the waterfront, seaplanes and hillside homes, the dining room connects the home’s cozy living room with the kitchen, from which we drew foodie inspiration for the gallery wall.

When creating a gallery wall, it’s a good idea to create a balance of organic shapes and square corners.

On Lauren’s wall, vintage cookbooks, antique kitchen tools and metallic shapes like street signs and decorative letters complement the framed art and images, while a variety of shapes and sizes provides visual interest.

Make a game plan

Lay the items out on the floor so you can try different arrangements — without hammering a single nail.

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Once you’ve decided which items to include, trace their shapes on leftover wrapping paper or butcher paper, and then tape these templates to the wall to guide you in placing nails and hangers.

For a final touch, include a small piece of furniture at the bottom of your gallery wall. A chest or bench anchors the whole scene and makes a lovely spot for a row of glasses or a flower arrangement.

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Originally published August 2016



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Fragrant Herb Chandelier and Custom Treat Bags


Easy handmade decor and trimmings set the scene for a festive holiday get-together.

Holiday entertaining is all about one-of-a-kind decor, and we’ve got some show-stopping looks that you can make yourself. You don’t have to be an expert crafter to accomplish these easy DIY projects. Creating a custom hanging herb chandelier and dessert takeaways will really impress your guests at this year’s seasonal get-together.

Create a rustic vibe by wrapping the dining table in brown kraft paper. Arrange leaves, loaves of bread and open bottles of wine along the center of this setup. Lovely butter knives atop neatly placed cloth napkins seal the deal.

Serve tea or coffee with your homemade treat bags after the meal to brighten everyone’s day. Taking the little bit of time to make this thoughtful goody that your guests can break into right away or take home really makes visitors feel special. Taffy, cookies or a slice of pie are all great sweets to bag up for later.

Hanging Herb Chandelier Materials

  • 3-foot cut of wood (or desired length, depending on your table)
  • Cup hooks
  • 5-foot length of multi-purpose rope
  • Baker’s twine
  • Ribbon
  • Herbs/flowers

Stamped Paper Bag Takeaways Materials

Videography and photography by Mikal Marie Photography. 

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Originally published December 2015.



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