Some of you may remember that my father used to own a restaurant here in Seattle that he closed nearly two years ago. In that time, our family has traveled to Italy, he’s spent hours coming up with new recipe ideas, and I’ve been finding myself collecting design inspiration all in anticipation of opening a new restaurant someday. Well, guess what friends? It’s happening, and I’m so excited! We’ve got an awesome spot in the Pioneer Square neighborhood that will be opening for lunch (and probably few nights a week for dinner) and we’ve finally decided on a name… Tinello!

tinello inspiration

The overall look should be bright and welcoming for lunch, but able to transition into dinner too. A huge part of that will be determined by materials and lighting! I also want this space to feel different from a lot of the standard raw wood slabs and heavy iron that we see all over Seattle right now…

tinello inspiration elements

Here are some of the elements I’ve started collecting for my wishlist (we’ll see what we can do on our teensy budget!). I’m really pulling for the sconces because I think a little pop of color like that will be necessary and beautiful. Bentwood cafe chairs are insanely expensive from what I’ve seen so far, so I have a feeling I’ll be on the hunt for some more affordable options. I’d also love to see some vintage/salvage pieces in there to add some warmth. If I could get 20 of these tables I would!

In the meantime, if you’d like to follow along on our progress, feel free to follow Tinello on facebook or twitter where I’ll most  likely  be the one posting updates and news on our design progress, menu, and opening! Hoping those of you in Seattle will join us when we open. Stay tuned!!

*images the standard highline  // riding house cafe via b3 designers // joan’s on third

*shop: white subway tile // industrial sconce // black cafe chair // ‘eat’ sign // antique table

PS – if any of you have great restaurant design sources, please pass them along! we’re also looking for help from a graphic designer in creating a logo and packaging on our tiny budget, so feel free to contact me if you have recommendations or are interested in working with me on this project! 

46 responses on “INTRODUCING :: TINELLO

  1. joanna

    congrats! that’s such a great spot and i can’t wait to see what you do with the space. i’ll have to pop in once it’s open. best of luck!

  2. Bara

    for the chairs check out
    I don’t know what prices you found and how these compare but it still may be worth to try.
    They are made in the Czech Republic in a manufactory with very long tradition, which should guarantee good quality.
    Good luck with the restaurant!
    Too bad I am too far (Prague) to come to see it

  3. Anthony from TO

    Congrats you guys! Great name! And I know the food will be great too! Can’t wait to come to Seattle with Carol to see what you’ve done with the design. Your ideas look great. Say ‘hi’ to your Dad.

  4. Rayna

    How exciting! Your inspiration picture is enough to make me stop by when it’s opened.It looks like the vibe is going to be different from what we normally see in the Pacific NW. Good luck to you guys!

  5. Amy

    Awesome news – I work in Pioneer Square and am getting sick of the choices. Such a perfect location – can’t wait to try it out.

  6. Uncle Beefy

    CONGRATULATIONS to you and your father, Cassandra! How exciting! Loving the inspirations and can’t wait to see the final results! And, of course, taste them, too! xx UB

  7. Jen

    How exciting for you and your family! Congrats! The look your going for is ambitious on a small budget, but would be so fabulous. And–if anyone can pull that off, its you! My little bro just did a remodel of his restaurant, and I still had some of the bookmarks for sites we checked out. Those bentwood chairs are so classic and gorgeous, a totally chic contrast to that rustic table, and they’re also great for a smaller space. Here is a site that sells a version in bulk for just over $80/pc. The best of luck to you and yours in your new endeavor!

    And while I’m not a huge fan of powder coated metal, these would get you a similar look at a substantially lower cost.


  8. Heidi Cocking

    Hey Cassandra – this is such a cool idea and I love the design elements you’re hoping to achieve!

    I work for the design company behind Dean and Deluca, Harrods Food Hall, Selfridges in London, Pret a Manger, Itsu, and a number of eateries in London… We take care of 2D as well as 3D (which I’m sure you have covered yourself!). Let me know if we can be of any help on the 2D side!

    Have fun with the project – it sounds like so much fun and is so wonderful that you get to work on something that is so personal 🙂

    Heidi x

  9. sarah

    Congratulations on the new restaurant project! That is so exciting. For restaurant decor ideas I check out the from time to time. That way, you get an international perspective on design trends.


  10. Angela

    Love it! So jealous that I am here in Atlanta and won’t be able to eat there. For the chairs and possibly the tables, check out Foreside Home and Garden ( and Park Hill Collection ( Both have great things that are along the lines you are looking for. Can’t wait to see it all pulled together!

  11. Quynh Nguyen for the logo!!!

    I love the new resto name but am nostalgic for “Rialto” – hopefully Rudy’s Red will still be there? Can’t wait although lunch is hard for full time workers. Hope dinner will be an option!

  12. Dale

    Congratulations Cassandra! This will be such a rewarding experience! I grew up in the restaurant industry and my family just recently started another one down in Texas building from the ground up. This is the first restaurant that we are all involved in though – my dad (the boss), husband, sister, brother and mom. It is such a blessing to have your family their along the way and through the ups and downs. I can’t wait to follow and see the start-up process for Tinello!

  13. Jenny

    So exciting, congratulations! Try Adriano Seating out of LA, they do contract quality restaurant furniture, for a certain large coffee company out of Seattle, ahem… They have Bentwoods and I think you can even customize finishes and add upholstered cushions, etc. Can’t wait to see how everything turns out!

  14. Fatou

    This is so exciting! I know it will look fabulous. Congratulations!!! I’ll be following, I live in Vancouver, WA, and my family visit’s Seattle every summer, we’ll have to check it out when it opens. 🙂

  15. Claudia La Valle

    Hi Cassandra, it’s your cousin Claudia from Toronto. My dad told me about the new restaurant, it must be so exciting! Hoping to come and visit, Congrats! Lots of love to all, Claudia

  16. eve joanna

    Hi Cassandra,
    I think it would be a fantastic idea to live-blog Tinellos progress…
    Would love to follow your journey from concept to grand opening, form a designers perspective. ..


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Cassandra LaValle

Cassandra LaValle is the founder and editor-in-chief of coco+kelley where she explores trends in fashion, decor and entertaining, highlighting pieces that exude classic design and glamour. As a designer, she consults clients across the globe on styling their homes and private events from her offices in Seattle.