In a city full of good-looking stars, this room shone brightest of all
Yes, big can be beautiful, but the Best New Room in 2016 is Mosquito, a tiny space that’s full of joyful conceit. The judges all loved the big, bricky Gastown volumes that are so popular of late, but thought it was refreshing to see a lush and plush room made even more intimate by a thoughtful concept from Ste. Marie Art + Design (Bao Bei, Homer Street Café). Inspired by both a D.H. Lawrence poem and a Proenza Schouler boot, the room’s masculine black leather and art-deco touches contrast with the feminine tactility of the velour curtains. No stingy mosquito bites here—just chocolate ones. Torafuku is this year’s artfully restrained runner-up. Designed by Scott and Scott Architects (Bestie), the room features a long-span concrete table with a single immaculate light—a weighty sculpture with a delicate streak of brightness floating above. A rich blue soft wall made of recycled denim brings a splash of colour—and that all-important sound absorption we too often ignore in minimalist interiors. Not a dime is wasted here, but the look is more sensual than spartan. An honourable mention goes to Tacofino in Gastown, a space meant to evoke a West Coast ’60s handmade vibe: woven “sunset” lamps, Tofino surfer pics, and whitewashed particle board. Designed by Shiloh Sukkau, it’s a room that makes you want to share many cervezas. All that’s missing is an orange beanbag. The Stanghetta Factor It might be presumptuous to already be talking about a front-runner for the 2017 Best New Room award, but based on the buzz it’s generating, Savio Volpe—another masterpiece by Ste. Marie Art + Design’s Craig Stanghetta—has to be considered the early favourite.