When interior design and cuisine speak Italian: a restaurant in Limerick, Ireland

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Past and present mingle in the La Cucina Centro restaurant, thanks to well chosen materials

Just as in fashion, in interior design style is constructed on the basis of details. Colours, materials and textures, skilfully combined in a project, can transform an interior into a stage set, capable of creating an atmosphere that will entrap, embrace and delight us.

This is particularly true in the case of locations with a long history, where traces of the past, peeping out from crumbling plaster and the dullness of old glass, have to be acknowledged and highlighted.

Choosing new materials for combination with antique features is usually rather complex, and consideration must be given in particular to two specific factors:

  • colour matching: the colours of the overall design scheme must be in brighter or dimmer shades of the same colour, or make use of contrasts
  • affinity of materials: especially if they are particularly high-tech, the new materials added to the interior must be able to dialogue with the traditional features that reflect the type of location or hand-crafted methods and workmanship

Some Ragno floor and wall tile collections respond effectively to these design needs. We will explain how by describing a real example.

South-west Ireland, Limerick, not far from the Shannon estuary. Here, La Cucina Centro restaurant, twin of La Cucina at Castletroy, serves diners who love all things Italian. The most popular items on the menu are pasta and pizza, served in a warm, informal, friendly setting.

But what are the features which make this location individual and ensure it stands out from the crowd?

First and foremost, the decision by the interior designer Tullio Orlandi to conserve the outer shell and to reference it stylistically inside the restaurant by means of finishes and colours: dark shades in the scale of greys, black&white contrasts, chalk on slate effect, bare stone and apparently unfinished coverings, creating the impression of an interior that has evolved over time, achieved using the hexagon tiles from the Ragno Rewind collection.

The Rewind colours chosen – Peltro and Corda – bring visual warmth to the dark-light contrast, mellowing it and adding an intimate, cosy feel. The tiles also have a delicate patina on their surface which dialogues with the past, revealing the beauty and emotional charge of the marks left by passing time and by the often-repeated daily routine.

To complete the look, the wall tiles use overlapping effects: the hexagons appear in part to conceal slogans and messages written in chalk on slate, referencing the logo on the restaurant's large front window.