Nisrine El Lababidi Moghraby, Founder of Harfnoon Design Studio on Introducing Florals Into Your Home for Ramadan
Designing a space is never truly done — there is always an opportunity to incorporate a treasure from a recent getaway, or add a newly collected art piece to your gallery wall, or top your living room credenza with a fresh bouquet. Now imagine this process on a dining table as it comes to life with your loved ones over sumptuous food during Ramadan. Working with beautiful flowers from Ame Studio, I decided to set beautiful tables, topped with delicately designed flowers for Iftar through a concept I call “Blue Moon.”
The first table setup is elegant with a colour palette of royal blue, embellished with gold and white metals. Don’t be afraid to mix and match textures and materials. On my table, I used agate stone, brushed and shiny metals, ceramics, glass, china and linen. This is laid on a beautiful grey treated wooden dining table. The contrasts not only bring visual interest but are tactile as well. I like to start in the middle and work my out. This allows me to map out the spatial area of the table and build it with interesting heights and elements that make the eye travel with ease between them. My choice of flower arrangements for this look is glamorous and overflowing with natural beauty to complement the materials used. Each flower is busy and colourful which creates a wonderful impact without too much effort and helps break up the monotonous colours of the table, thus becoming the showpiece.
For your arrangement to work, you must select the correct vase. When I am buying for myself or sourcing for an event or photoshoot, I gravitate towards unique and rare flowers which I find at Ame Studio. Typically, I opt for bright colours and unique textures. But I also stick to the basics: peonies, hydrangeas, tulips and Cala Lilies — you can always count on these varieties to photograph well! For the vase, I decided to go with a hand-painted chinoiserie complemented by simple glass and marble effect vases. They are sturdy and low to the ground. I cut the stems of each flower short and arranged them close together.
Once the flowers are placed in the middle, you can build on the table design, starting with the charger plates. I chose gold plates as I feel they are timeless and will go with any plate set. On top goes the serving plate, then the cutlery placement. Now we move on to filling the negative spaces with candles placed on the gorgeous agate stones. I wanted a symmetrical setup that could easily be repeated on longer tables with more guests. Then I added napkins and decided to tie them for a more unexpected treatment. The embellished hand-painted plates are perfect for serving pastries and follow the theme, while the metal bowls are great for filling with nuts and dates. The result is just so visually enticing you might forget you are actually hungry at Iftar!
For the Persian Blush Table setup, I opted for a modern setting because of its unexpected and irreverent effect where the chosen elements were based on textures, shapes, and colours. Starting with a clear crystal vase, we decided to show off its beauty and details, by arranging the elegant pink flower in a way that is almost overflowing. Using the versatile golden charger plates, I top them with golden marble effect plates and lay the napkins with agate rings on them. Again, it is the elegance of the blush tones against the brass and golden white shades that oozes sweetness. I then added embellishment to the table with candles, stone candle holders and agate plate mats. The brass plate also adds an interesting element, as do the agate napkin holders. Always try to add your own elegant touch, either with a handwritten menu or a small message for your guests. You may even put a small giveaway box on each plate for your guests to remember the amazing lunch or dinner they had at your event – get creative! I added pomegranates here to make it fun and the overall effect is just beyond words don’t you agree?!
For the Suhoor table setup, I continued with the floral theme and decided to bring nature to the design. This style is meant for a more contemporary and casual setting. I chose a white vessel because of its interesting shape and neutral colour which doesn’t distract from the flowers inside it. I always try to create an interesting composition when working with tropical cuts. I tend to lean towards asymmetry and create linear shapes within the composition. Go wild with this one — there are no rules! Starting in the middle, I like to place the vases in a trio and build around them, almost in a self-serving station, where the teacups are laid out side by side and the cake stand completes the flower setup. The teapot, sugar and milk can all stay on the tray – and you can prepare two pots for your guests (one can be your traditional tea, while the other one is herbal). Napkins are also pre-prepared on a tray and kept on the side next to the cutlery which I displayed on a stone plate in green. For the flowers, I wanted to play on the intense colours so used Yellow Dahlias, Peonies and orange tulips. I placed two vases on one side and one green vase on the other side for balance. Even the cake was beautifully dressed with those selections. You can also introduce colours in unexpected vessels to hold flowers like a teapot or teacup! Even bowls or simple additional cake stands can act in place of a vase. For the cake stand, I used a makeshift structural gold vase to hold it which mimics its shape.
Did You Know?
Because floral foam is dense, porous, and lightweight, it’s easy to cut into virtually any shape. In addition to keeping its shape while wet, it can hold large quantities of water, increasing the life of your flowers. It also lends your flower stems support, giving you more control with your arrangements. Cutting stems at an angle gives them access to more water, prolonging the attractive life of flowers and cutting stems underwater can prevent air bubbles and help the flowers to absorb more moisture.
Special Thanks to Ame Studio for the flowers & Indigo Living from the location and crockery.