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Home visit: host dinner and movies in the garden

It’s a warm summer’s evening and everyone’s in the mood for staying outside. Take your plans for dinner and a movie, and make them alfresco! Here’s how…

Chloé setting the table outside in her garden, with wooden furniture, plants, trees and canopies with light chains.
Chloé setting the table outside in her garden, with wooden furniture, plants, trees and canopies with light chains.

Take life outdoors

Chloé’s family created a relaxed room outdoors using a dining table that’s easy to fold out as the night goes on and more guests turn up. “Our indoor dining area is pretty small, so we always prefer eating outside together,” says Chloé. “We’ll cook with home-grown herbs from the backyard. And we’ll stay outdoors till late, because the sunsets here in LA are incredible!”

Create a natural table setting

Look to your surroundings for inspiration for your table setting. Pair natural materials, such as seagrass and linens, with this season’s inky blue colour palette for the tableware. Chloé’s backyard already has plenty of foliage, so instead of using flowers as decoration, she scatters driftwood along the length of the table. The family enjoy collecting pieces of wood on the beaches nearby.

Get cosy with artificial candles

Think about the things you use to make your interiors feel warm and inviting, and make them work for you outdoors. Love candles? Use artificial ones to add warmth and cosiness to your alfresco setting. These candles are LED-powered, so they won’t blow out if the wind gets up. They’re also safer for when children are around.

Keep kids entertained

Barbecue food can sometimes take a little longer to cook, so keep children busy with some pre-dinner fun. Try stretching out a roll of drawing paper across one end of the table (you might want to place a flat surface underneath, to stop them drawing into the gaps!). And, while parents chat after dinner, little artists can get back to their masterpieces before the sun sets for movie time.

I love a spontaneous party. It doesn’t need to be planned in advance, and we don’t need much to prepare. It’s better to just leave things open and go with how we feel.


Set up a cinema at sundown

“We’ve always wanted to host an outdoor movie night,” says Chloé. To create a pop-up cinema, she brought out a laptop and projector, and set up the wall of their bungalow as a screen (you could also try hanging a white sheet). The family already had outdoor lounge chairs, which also come in kid’s sizes, so they simply added cosy throws and cushions from inside. Grab some snacks, and you’re set for showtime!

It really is the best to be outdoors with the girls. We’re still discovering all the ways to have fun with this space.


We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior stylist: Ashlyn Gibson
Photographer: Benjamin Edwards
Follow Chloé on Instagram: @chloefleury