For this project, our restaurant design specialists were tasked with bringing Italy to Saudi Arabia – transforming a relatively industrial building unit into the kind of experience that would bring guests back time and time again for the best Italian food and the most memorable dining experience.

With the building benefitting from windows along just one side, finding ways to optimise and maximise the use of light throughout the restaurant became important from day one – as did creating warm and intimate dining spaces for both small and large parties and romantic meals. In addition to the windows and drop lights set into the ceiling, we installed strip lighting across the ceiling into cut groves to add more light in a subtle and non-invasive way.

Integrating a couple of central pillars inside the space, we immediately set about breaking the large area up into subtle but well-defined sections. Mirrors were mounted on the walls to make the entire interior look and feel bigger, while cream and light neutral colours were selected for the walls and ceilings to ensure that the end result was not overwhelming or too close for comfort. The floor and pillars were deliberately designed to contradict each other and add a little textural detail and elevated aesthetic – mixing wood pillars with a dark marble-look floor – however we made sure that this did not become too much of a focal point by bringing in light blue chairs across the entire restaurant floor.

As is so often the case with modern and innovative restaurant, the Cicchetti team wanted to involve the guests and diners in the complete experience and revel in the spectacle of food and drink prep. Because of this, our restaurant design specialists worked on integrating not just the menu and cuisine into the surroundings, but also using jarred ingredients as part of the decoration.

This project in Saudi Arabia allowed us to explore new cultural norms and find exciting ways of bringing the Italian dining experience to a whole new audience.

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