Embodying a unique blend of traditional simplicity and contemporary, urban styles, Italian osteria Chic Nonna has debuted along Gate Avenue in Dubai’s International Financial Center. The two-story restaurant was crafted by LW Design in collaboration with Eric Kuster, who designed the original Chic Nonna in Lecce, Italy.
“The client wanted the spaces to feel nostalgic—elegant yet not overly pretentious,” says LW partner and design director Rachel Kidd. “The restaurant wasn’t to feel over designed, with each area flowing seamlessly with different activations and statements.”
Oversized green doors and a foyer lined with olive trees open to a double-height arrival experience, where an open kitchen sits as the central focal point. The dining room on the ground floor is linked via staircase to the lounge upstairs, but both spaces share an organic flow supported by a residential-style ambiance. “The space needed to feel reminiscent of the client’s grandmother’s home,” Kidd adds. “An eclectic, sometimes unexpected mix of finishes, patterns, and textures. An authentic design with elements of grandeur.”
Layered materials including timber, aged patina, black gunmetal accessories, sandstone, leather, and velvet enliven the refined interior with texture, while a sophisticated color story comprises chalk, copper, and pine green tones. Oversized overhead light fixtures cast each banquette or seating enclave in a theatrical glow, while lemon trees planted on the marble terrace are captured by spotlights.