Best Interior Design

Big Time Design for Cameo, Miami
  A 10-foot disco ball, halved and scooped out like a massive grapefruit, is the DJ booth, and the crux of the striking design created by Big Time Design at Cameo. The landmark Cameo Theatre, which was the sign-less Crobar from TK until early 2007, has a glammed up look that can attracts patrons for more than just the DJ name on the bill. The 18,000-square-foot multi-level club features eclectic décor including: a two-story wall of faux Warhol Marilyn Monroes that turn to Tony Montana with a subtle switch in lighting, a 40-foot tic-tac-toe-like light wall in homage of NYC's Palladium club and poles inspired by the hedonistic atmosphere of Studio 54. -CM

Francois Frossard for Set, Miami
If Mansion was the opera, Set is the silver screen. Veteran Opium Group designer Frossard crammed a whole lotta style into the venue's 10,000 square feet, creating what he calls "a 1940s Hollywood mansion ambiance." The dancefloor-less space boasts working fireplaces, decorative elephant tusks, authentic Pucci fabrics, and two tube-shaped, floor-to-ceiling, glass-enclosed pneumatic elevators for dancers. Even the usual disco ball gets replaced by four spherical chandeliers in glittering Swarovski crystal. The resulting look is richly layered and full of glamour. Frossard custom-designed each piece of furniture, and also had a hand in creating the lighting and video systems. -KLM

Jeffrey Beers International for Aura, Bahamas
With its mirrored bars, glowing LED perimeter, and egg-shaped V.I.P. room, Pure Management Group's Aura bears a striking resemblance to another great venue: MGM Grand's Tabú, arguably the first ultra-lounge. Both are the work of celebrated architect Jeffrey Beers, who also created The Cove, the grand new resort within the Atlantis complex, of which Aura is a part. The venue is the club to Tabu's lounge, a macro version of the same concept, with a sunken dancefloor for ultimate movement. "We not only sunk the dancefloor but we raised the perimeter seating above the circulation zones, which also helps with sightlines and creating a hierarchy in the space," says Beers. The result might just be the perfect single-room club.

Kenny Baird for Circa, Toronto
The building alone is a marvel: Four levels wrap around like a drawn-out spiral staircase with a ground-level dancefloor at the eye of a hurricane. It was enough to keep owner Peter Gatien from giving up clubs for hotels, but Gatien isn't one to settle for structure alone. Enter Kenny Baird (Area, USA, Maritime), now a quasi-reclusive artist. Baird outfitted the 3,000-capacity mega-club with fetish photography, syringe-adorned mirrors, and headdresses feathered by Native North Americans; and used his set design skill ("Pee-wee's Playhouse") on exhibits like gas-masked Wall Street tycoons wading through gold bars, a mechanic shop scene complete with live dominatrix, and a foyer of video screen skies hung with hand-crafted ravens in S&M attire. Over-the-top is an understatement. -CM
Mister Important for Motif, San Jose

Charles Doell, aka Mister Important, may be the Willy Wonka of eye candy, as his latest interior for San Jose-based restaurant/club Motif handily proves. From the daisy-linked chain curtain with the elegant floral patterns in the main room, to the this-is-not-a-chair chair pictures, and the u-brackets which make the white vinyl ceiling look like the TV in Videodrome, there's plenty in the space that's likely to make you look twice. Subtlety for this Asian-themed project, however, was also key, and the sleek lines and eclectic, no-frills choices for furniture and materials showcase Doell's talent for creating atmospheres where the flashy and the subdued peacefully coexist. -JH
Robert McKinley Creative for Goldbar, New York
It's pretty safe to say Goldbar's décor is as unique as it is opulent. Where else could you find 3,000 gold skulls on the walls of a lounge? The gold theme goes beyond just the color to a look of wealth and meticulously detailed design. Commissioned portraits, perfectly styled for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, depict not dukes and earls, ladies and princesses but club investors, employees and friends of the operators, wearing their bling. It's no wonder the venue, owned by Cain's Jamie Mulholland and designed by Robert McKinley, draws patrons from the fashion and art scenes through its golden chain-link drapes, under its grandiose crystal chandeliers and to its engraved bottle service tables. -CM