What makes a space award-winning? Is it a daring mix of color and pattern? An inviting layout? A commitment to sustainability and efficiency? Or maybe it’s something you can’t pinpoint—a je ne sais quoi that evokes a certain mood or feeling?

When our team sifted through piles of submissions for our seventh-annual Top Denver Design awards, we were simply looking for spaces that made us pause and say “Wow.” The resulting nine winners are so different from one another, and yet they all possess that stop-you-in-your-tracks quality. From a powder room adorned with a hand-painted, gilded-silk wallcovering; to a modern new build that feels right at home in its historic Boulder neighborhood; to a new public space that employs sustainably sourced lumber and recycled milk jugs in its innovative materials palette; each of the winning projects provides heaps of design ideas and inspiration that will encourage you to create boundary-pushing moments in your own home.

Not sure where to start? Look to the local furniture finds highlighted throughout this issue. You’ll meet two sisters who are bringing Portuguese-built furniture to the Mile High City, tour an iconic furniture brand’s new Cherry Creek retail location with design expert Emily Tucker, and get a sneak peek at a Denver furniture designer’s debut eco-friendly collection. Wow-worthy design, coming right up.