Cornoler restaurant - Turin

In search of lost taste

In the Cornoler restaurant in Turin one can lose all sense of space and time
Roberta Chionne
Interior Designer
Carmen Stefanca
Year of completion

Opened in the summer of 2019, the small but stylish restaurant Cornoler fulfils the dream of its owner, the Friulian Paolo Zambon: «to combine the concept of a small family-run restaurant with the quality typical of a larger establishment while making customers feel not so much ‘as though they were at home’ but genuinely at home». The name of the restaurant itself, which in Friulian refers to the ornamental Cornelian cherry tree whose fruits are preserved in grappa, evokes a sense of deeply-rooted, age-old traditions that are kept alive today while at the same time alluding to the local seasonal produce used by chef Giovanni Balzo. Similarly, the ingredients of the interior design «recipe» were not chosen at random. The small dimensions, the custom-made furniture, a small number of well-spaced tables, paintings by the artist Piero Ruggeri, wallpapered walls, wine displays, terrazzo style floors and lighting are all factors that help to create an elegant yet homely atmosphere.
Underpinning the interior design concept was «the intention to create a warm, relaxing and comfortable environment while respecting the history of the building», explains designer Carmen Stefanca, illustrating the key elements of her project: the restoration of an original fresco discovered on the restaurant’s vaulted ceiling, which prompted her to look for a wallpaper from Tecnografica that would echo its delicate designs and colours; and the aesthetic and emotional impact of the floor tiles. «The floor of a restaurant is a very important element,» she says. «People are used to looking down, so it’s the most visible part and needed to be highly decorative.» To achieve this design goal while referencing the owner’s origins and fulfilling his dream of a modern yet traditionally-inspired cuisine, the designer opted for a terrazzo-effect floor, but in the high-performance, modern version of Patchwork 6060 porcelain tiles from the Newdecò collection by Ceramica Sant’Agostino. This traditional-looking material is inspired by the technique first used by master craftsmen from the Veneto region to give new life to marble and stone granules by amalgamating them with lime or cement mixed with sand and «cocciopesto» mortar. The furniture, which was custom designed by Stefanca herself, likewise sought a balance between modernity and tradition. «For practical and aesthetic reasons we also chose ceramic for the counter, topped by a single 3-metre-long slab of sycamore wood, and for the table tops, where the black panels (Laminam, I Naturali collection, Nero Greco matt) contrast dramatically with the red velvet chairs and sofas, which create a touch of luxury and recall the idea of a palatial building.» In the evening, the atmosphere acquires a more suffused, intimate quality due to the magical effect of the lighting, a combination of delicate LED lights and Poldina Zafferano table lamps.

Ceramica Sant'Agostino, Newdecò
porcelain stoneware
60x60 cm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Min Classe GB
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): N.A
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >45 N/mmq
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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