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To Impress Guests Add A Personal Touch To Your Ramadan Tables

Dima El-Aref, a vibrant, brilliant, and enthusiastic designer, started out to explore the art of table arrangement about a decade ago. El-Aref has developed into a master of the art of designing spectacular tablescapes that reinvent the ideals of sharing and sociability from what began as a pastime and swiftly evolved into a full-time career. Arab News France called her for assistance, insights, and recommendations after seeing her beautiful Ramadan-ready tables on her Instagram account, La Table de Dima.

El-Aref believes that how food is served during Ramadan, when people gather to fast, pray, and enjoy a pleasant meal together, is of great importnce. She emphasizes the importance of giving the table arrangement an individual flair and making guests feel at home. El-Aref draws inspiration for table settings from commonplace items and things the client already has. A decorative table setting can be made with an elaborate dish, an eye-catching vase, or flowers. She chooses decorative pieces for the entryway, garden, and even the restrooms in accordance with the host's tastes and the venue where the iftar (the meal that breaks the fast during Ramadan) would take place.

El-Aref adds Ramadan-related decor into her table arrangements, including the moon, the crescent, and lanterns. She decorates with gold accents, tooled silver, copper, or bronze trays, and includes orange blossom and jasmine in her flower arrangements. Also utilized as decorations are fruits, particularly dates, which are significant during Ramadan.

El-Aref acknowledges that modern tables are becoming increasingly popular, especially among the younger generation, and people are experimenting with mixing and matching different styles or even incorporating black into traditional Ramadan table settings. She believes that there are no specific rules anymore, but opulence and beauty are essential elements of an iftar table.

Personalization is a key aspect of El-Aref's table-setting process. She adds special touches such as messages on plates, personalized menus, or well-written names to honor her guests. When it comes to floral arrangements, she chooses the color scheme based on the design and colors of the tableware, and suggests that floral arrangements can be adapted to suit the occasion, even if the tableware remains the same due to budget constraints.

El-Aref has exciting plans for the future, including unveiling a traditional house in the heart of Achrafieh in Beirut, where clients can receive personalized advice, discover collaborations with designers, or rent the premises for all-inclusive events. She believes that personalization is the key to creating memorable and meaningful table settings, and encourages everyone to add their own unique touch to make their iftar tables truly special.

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