September flies by, doesn’t it? There’s the chaos of homework, back-to-school night, and the return of sports practice, for starters. And now that everyone’s back in town, your social calendar has been jam-packed with dinners, happy hours, and shopping dates. And while going out is fun, of course, sometimes all you really want to do is invite your closest circle over for a good, old-fashioned wine night. Well, why not set a date to do just that? We’re here to help you plan the perfect night in with your crew. 

First things first, of course, you’ll need to pick up a few bottles of wine. The Beer & Wine Cellar is a great place to shop for drinks of all kinds. Grab a few bottles of red and a few whites; that way, you’ll be able to cater to everyone! This highly curated shop sells plenty of moderately priced bottles, meaning that you won’t have to blow your budget stocking up. 

You’ll also want to plan to serve some food. Long gone are the days of simply sipping beer and eating chips out of the bag in your friend’s basement. You’re an adult, and it’s polite to put together at least a small spread for your guests to enjoy. A charcuterie board is always a crowd pleaser, and Trader Joe’s is always an excellent place to shop for ingredients because everything is so tasty and affordable. To begin, pick out a few types of cheese (perhaps one hard and one soft), some meat, and plenty of crackers. Then, add some color to your board with fruit and/or apricots. Finish off your setup with a rosemary garnish, which will make even the most last-minute cheese boards look professional! 

If you’re in need of some new entertaining supplies, you’ll want to make a run over to HomeSense—the new location in Rockville truly delivers. Grab some candles and candlesticks to set the mood (you’ll want to embrace those cozy, fall vibes, after all), and pick up a melamine tray and some serving plates. No tablescape is complete without flowers, and you’ll want a stylish vessel to hold yours. HomeSense offers some amazing pottery pieces that retail for way less than you’d expect—the oversized vase shown here was just $25! 

Last but not least, add a touch of whimsy to your display. We love these fun “Wine Bingo” napkins and cheeky coasters from World Market. (The phrase, “Let’s get this party started because I would love to be in bed by 11” couldn’t be more accurate, right?!). 

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Sarah Lyon is a freelance writer and interior design enthusiast who currently lives in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared on websites including Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest Clever, Lonny, and MyDomaine. Additionally, Sarah’s own spaces have appeared on Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, Houzz, and Her Dupont Circle apartment was featured in both the spring 2019 print edition of Small Space Decorating and the January 2019 print edition of Washingtonian Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @sarahlyon9.