Léa Sfeir grew up in a family where hosting guests was a regular occurrence. The women in her family would decorate and dress their tables with elegant designs, making every guest feel special when they were invited to dinner.
After training as a lawyer, French-Lebanese-born Léa Sfeir felt the desire to fulfil her creative passion for table dressing and during the COVID-19 pandemic, she began sharing images of her artistic table settings with the world. While the world was in lockdown, Léa was experimenting with trends, colours and styles and her social media following began to grow. She soon realised there was great potential to turn this passion into a business. Today, Léa is creating elegant table designs for clients and friends in Dubai, and her colourful creations are inspiring others.
Ramadan and Eid are occasions for hosting family and friends and with many occasions to celebrate this month, we talked to Léa to find out more about the latest trends as well as tips and tricks to impress your guests over the Holy Month.
What are some of the trends you are enjoying for Ramadan and Eid this year?
This Ramadan I’m enjoying seeing a lot of designed-focused items. There are still traditional trends of course, but I can see a lot more creativity and effort made around decorations, plates, and placemats, all being more design-focused. I love mixing materials and I’m seeing a lot of Arabic calligraphy but done in a very unusual way. I’m also seeing a lot of items on Plexi and very thin glass and it’s so pretty and different. These are the trends I currently love.
What are some of the popular colour themes?
White and gold are always a hit during Ramadan. This year I can also see a lot of emerald green being integrated as well as blue. If you like traditional styles stick to white and gold and for those looking for a contemporary twist, add a pop of colour.
Can you share some of the ways we can add small details to our home to bring in the festive spirit around Eid?
One of the first things to add to your home is a crescent. I also love the idea of having a small olive tree that can be styled with Ramadan ornaments inside the house. Candles, crescents, and Fatima Hands are all very nice as ornaments. It’s also nice to have platters set out with chocolates, dates and flowers that bring festivities to the house. The tray can be in the shape of the moon to bring the festive spirit of Ramadan. I have some hand-painted porcelain candles on display that I love. Use jars and plates that are very contemporary if you are looking for something different this Ramadan. I love to use spring colours during an iftar dinner which bring joy and happiness and are less traditional.
When it comes to tableware what are your tips for selecting the right styles for your home?
If you are buying tableware for the first time choose a classic set of plates, but if you already have that, I would recommend having a set that is more colourful and stronger on the table as then you don’t need as many items to complete your table setup. I would also recommend having many small vases as they are so pretty to have on a table. You can mix and match them throughout the house and it always gives a simple yet elegant touch.
How do you recommend adding candles to your setups?
I add candles everywhere to any of my decorations! For Ramadan, I would recommend adding many candles in white or gold, and using candles of different heights and sizes. The more candles the better! Place them on a coffee table or welcome area to give an incredible feeling when guests enter your home, as well as have candles of many different levels on your Iftar table. Use candlesticks that match the colour of your plates or flowers. Adding candles is a great addition to any festivity.
Tell us about flowers for Ramadan and Eid – what are your recommendations?
I’m not a very traditional person, but if I was dressing a traditional Ramadan table I would add white flowers combined with sprayed gold flowers. I also love to have a lot of greenery on the table. For Eid, as it’s happening in the middle of Spring this year, I would use freshly handpicked flowers in bright, joyful colours.
If you are celebrating outside in the garden are there any tips you would share?
For an outside celebration, I would recommend using many lanterns as this will give a beautiful vibe. Additionally, I would use a lot of pillows, either on chairs or on the floor, as well as carpets to give this oriental touch to the garden.
What do you prefer: less is more or more is more?
When it comes to my table I can do both but my style is usually less is more. Having said that, I do like to have a lot of things happening on my table you just need to find a way of balancing items so everything remains elegant.
Tell us about your passion for table decoration how did it come out?
My passion for table decoration came out naturally because I grew up in an environment where my grandmothers were very chic and social ladies that used to host a lot. It was always something that was part of my lifestyle and family. I started to collect pieces when I was young from markets I visited around the world and then during the COVID pandemic, I started to take it more seriously, sharing what I was doing through my social media. Because people had time to look at my stories and see the things I was doing it started to gain traction. Even during the lockdown, I would share images of the tables that I was creating at home, I always like to make an effort and people loved to see that. People are very interested in hosting and having beautiful setups today and it’s become much more of a trend. But yes for me it was very natural and it became a business without me planning it.
What advice would you give to people who don’t feel confident creating elaborate setups?
Always be yourself. When you have friends coming over or you’re planning a special celebration don’t use plastic glasses or plates and always go to the effort of putting some flowers or candles on the table. This is a few minutes of work, it will make a big difference to your guests and they will appreciate the effort. For special occasions, be generous in your food and create a lot of memories in the laughter.
What is the professional motto that you live by?
Patience is a virtue. I think that by being patient we can get anything we want and even when we fail if we are patient enough, we can get up and be stronger. The problem in the world is that many people aren’t patient enough, so they miss opportunities.