LK Design restaurant design Cucciolo Raleigh NC

Cucciolo Terrazza Restaurant.

It was May 12, 2020. First site visit. ⁣

This project was quite a journey. It started from rough hand sketches of initial layouts and moved to actual client meetings discussing space aesthetics and function.

LK Design hard hat mask

We collaborated with a great architectural team, some awesome general contractors, and navigated through the rough moments and in the end I saw it come to life...What a season! (Did I mention the 24 weekly Zoom calls?? We couldn't meet in person because of the pandemic)

Initial hand-sketches of the layout and the drawings from the architectural team:


cucciolo drawings

The building was a blank slate and an empty shell:



This Raleigh location is alive with people, community and events. We wanted a city vibe for the restaurant. To choose the look and the aesthetics, we started with a mood board:


LK Design restaurant mood board

The vision for the bar was a mix of wood, marble, mirrors and LED lights. That's what it looked like before:

Cucciolo bar before image

And here is the bar now: beautiful marble, highlighted by hidden LED strip lights, a wood canopy, and a black and white marble floor mosaic for a touch of sophistication and class.


LK Design restaurant design Cucciolo Raleigh NC

To shield the guests from the entryway, the architect suggested a curved wall. It was a perfect element for the space.

Curved wall before

A perfectly executed curved wall creates an intimate space in the middle of the main traffic area:


LK Design Cucciolo Raleigh restaurant interior design

It's amusing to remember that occasionally we had to work like this (it was the time when we could not mingle, and it was 32F outside):



For the wall adjacent to the kitchen, we envisioned long banquette seating so that tables for two and four could be re-arranged to accommodate various group sizes.

Cucciolo Kitchen wall
LK Design of Durham NC Cucciolo Terrazza banquette seating bench

We added picture moldings and big chunky chandeliers above the row of tables and a long banquette bench. In the main area we designed a floating bar-height table for ten guests. It was a challenge to design the metal structure and figure out how to “dress” that metal frame in marble. But the team made it happen!  

LK Design Cucciolo Raleigh restaurant interior design

The private dining room was to host up to 22 guests, so we envisioned "moody" atmosphere with simple design elements. The focal point is the art that our client commissioned from Duke University art students.

Cucciolo private dining room progress

This private dining room turned out so beautiful! We incorporated wall-to-wall carpet to soften the noise, used sideboards with patterned front doors, and added hidden LED strip lights to highlight the ceiling contour. The art is truly stunning: it added movement and color to the monochromatic color scheme.


LK Design restaurant design Cucciolo Raleigh NC
LK Design Cucciolo Raleigh restaurant interior design

Below is the second private dining room for more intimate gatherings. It accommodates eight guests. My client envisioned a combination of a dining zone and a wine room in one space.

wine room

The room is the gem of Cucciolo’s interior design. It is sophisticated, elegant, and welcoming. We used warm wood tones, wall-to-wall carpet with a gentle wave pattern, a glass chandelier and LED lights to showcase wines served here.

LK Design restaurant design Cucciolo Raleigh NC

I spent so many hours looking at samples and choosing finishes, it's not even funny. My car turned into a mobile sample unit, haha! =)


Cucciolo Raleigh LK Design Laura

Overall, I'm very happy how the design of Cucciolo Terrazza turned out. It looks beautiful, elegant, and sophisticated. And it fits the neighborhood perfectly.

In addition, this year they won the Best New Restaurant award from the Raleigh magazine, and we couldn't be more proud for Cucciolo! Congratulations Cucciolo Terrazza Raleigh!

Click the button below to see all the photos of this beautiful space.

Professional photos: Catherine Nguyen Photography



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Cucciolo Terrazza Restaurant Interior Design