If you are looking for the best, the best of 2011 design that is. You’ve come to the right places. From best website design to best restaurant design and everything in between, we’ve gathered our top design related picks for the year.

Best Website Design


We have to admit, we were already in love with the concept of themed chat rooms where friends or strangers take turns DJing songs from personal music collections or Turntable’s library. But it’s the fun, easy to use interface with a tiny cartoons audience voting on songs spun by the DJ either by clicking the “lame” or “awesome” buttons that makes this such a great website. Get enough “awesome” votes as a DJ and you can unlock additional avatars. Turntable.fm simply a great place to connect with others in a real time music listening experience

Best Product Packaging Design

Domino’s Pizza Proverbs Box

Earlier this year, Domino’s redesigned its pizza boxes with scratchboard illustrations and and something called “Domino’s Pizza Proverbs.”   With campy, off-kilter puns as “universally recognized truths” about pizza making, such as, The Sauce Always Justifies The Means, the new boxes were a hit with punsters and fans of pizza. The  proverbs were selected in a crowd sourcing contest. Out of nearly 8,000 entries, eight were chosen to grace Domino’s Pizza boxes; for a look at the winners visit PizzaProverbs.com.

Best Recycled Product Design

Lily Nightstand – CounterEvolution

We were first introduced to CounterEvolution when we wrote about them in Furniture Fit For A Kingpin. Handcrafted from defunct bowling alleys, the solid wood furniture created by CounterEvolution are really one of a kind pieces are functional art pieces.  This year’s Lily Nightstand continues the tradition of create a compelling, green story using refurbished materials.

Best Restaurant/Lounge Design

The Spare Room – Hollywood, California

Ok, we admit it. We’re suckers when it comes to vintage style that speaks to forgotten decadence and The Spare Room has that kind of style in spades. Located in the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the lavish use of velvet, dark leather, polished dark wood, bronze, and cast-iron give it a cozy speakeasy feel while the the two vintage bowling lanes and custom-made sets of dominoes add an old timey gaming parlor vibe. Designed by the Los Angeles-based firm Studio Collective, The Spare Room successfully recreates an atmosphere of by-gone affluence in a modern day lounge.

Best Hotel Design

Missoni Hotel – Kuwait

While Missoni may have suffered a bit of overexposure in 2011, we can’t deny the Italian design powerhouse has the chops when it comes to hotel design.  The luxury lifestyle brand opened its second Missoni Hotel this March in Kuwait’s shopping and entertainment district of Salmiya. The new hotel uses turquoise, green and gold set strong tones and form a central theme throughout the interior. Filled to the brim with objects from the Italian Missoni fashion brand, Creative Director Rosita Missoni combined the furnishings with her typical patterns and bold colours.

Best Interior Design Book

101 Things I Hate About Your House

In the crowded field of interior design books debuting in 2011, James Swan’s 101 Things I Hate About Your House tops our list. Swan deftly sherpas the design novice on a room-by-room aesthetic adventure. His spot-on observations about common interior design mistakes is tempered with good humor and wit.

Best Over-The-Top Product Design

The Numi Toilet

The Numi toilet from Kohler has every design feature you could possibly want in a toilet and then some. Remote control operation and retractable bidet are just the beginning.  This top of the line loo also boasts motion sensors,  ambient lighting and built-in speakers.  But all these design features comes with a price, owning a Numi will set you back a cool $6400.  Kohler has produced a slick video that dramatizes all the over the top features. It borders on parody, so trust us, you don’t want to miss it.

Best Sneaker Design

Limited Edition Nike MAG

We may have had to wait a good twenty years to see the NIKE MAG come to fruition, but they did arrive a few years quicker than first predicted.  It was 1988 when Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) donned the first pair of NIKE MAGS in Back to the Future II when he visited the year 2015.   The new kicks were created with the original from Back to the Future II in mind.  Nike commissioned designers Tinker Hatfield and Tiffany Beers to bring the iconic shoe into the year 2011 – four years earlier than the movie predicted.  Details that pay homage to the original include the contours of the upper, the glowing LED panel and the electroluminescent NIKE in the strap. The 2011 version feature an electroluminescent outsole with a rechargeable internal battery good for 3,000 hours.

Best Infographic

Mashable’s History of Apple Design Infographic

The passing of Apple visionary Steve Jobs was one of the biggest stories of 2011. Artist Mike Vasilev created an infographic for Mashable, highlighting the major Apple product releases and design changes from 1976 through 2011. While the graphic was put together a few months before Jobs passed away, it is a nice tribute to the house that Jobs built starting back in 1976.  You can check out the full graphic at Mashable.com.

So there you have it. All the best of design for 2011.