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What do magnetic wall paper, rainbows and butterflies, and shoes made of discarded tires have in common? According to design experts, they’re the best of the best on Etsy right now.
Etsy’s first-ever Design Awards honor six talented and creative sellers around the world — from the U.S. and U.K. to Greece and Israel — who embody the spirit of the handmade and vintage peer-to-peer marketplace.
The awards include a grand prize finalist, as well as honors in categories like “Earth-Friendly Winner” and “Inventive Decor Winner.” Etsy’s trend expert, Dayna Isom Johnson, said the awards were a way to showcase some of the most interesting finds on the site.
“We’re constantly looking to uncover the latest trends emerging on Etsy, and the Etsy Design Awards were an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the highest quality items created by talented makers around the world,” Johnson told HuffPost.
London-based designer Sian Zeng was awarded the Etsy Design Awards Grand Prize for her interactive magnetic wallpaper that combines hand-drawn illustrations with ingenious magnetic lining. The result is a creation that wowed the international judging panel with its inventiveness and playfulness.
“The idea of the magnetic wallpaper really stemmed from my final year university project,” Zeng told HuffPost. “I was writing a thesis about Little Red Riding Hood and how the story has evolved and been retold over the centuries. I was fascinated by the fact that the same set of characters appear in so many different versions of the story around the world. As humans, storytelling is fundamental to how we connect and communicate. I wanted to explore this concept, so I created an interactive surface that served as a base for this storytelling.”
Zeng said her magnetic wallpapers are a fun choice for children’s playrooms, but also have broad appeal.
“We have speech bubble magnets in our shop, and we see lots of people using these on the magnetic wallpaper to leave notes for each other, written on the magnets themselves or on paper held up by the magnet,” she said. “It’s a great way to keep in touch as a family, or in the office.”
The international judging panel was made up of writer and actor Dan Levy, style expert Joe Zee, author and artist Garance Doré, interior designer Sophie Robinson, décor expert Holly Becker, fashion designer Anavila Misra, and Etsy’s Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson.
Below, you can browse all of the category award winners for the first-ever Etsy Design Awards. Be sure to sign up to HuffPost’s sales and deals newsletter for more editor-sourced products and reviews:
Etsy’s top six sellers around the world, below:
Etsy / Veerle EvansSian Zeng's hand-drawn illustrations are paired with magnetic lining to become unique magnetic wallpaper. The best-selling dinosaur print impressed judges for its sophistication and playfulness. Get it here.
Ted + ChelseaThis midcentury-inspired dog house was created by Los Angeles architects Alejandro and Sara Pijuan. Get it here.
Ted + ChelseaAthens-based couple Vicky Moudilou and Stam Guinis create these sustainable slides from discarded tires and upcycled fabric. Get them here.
EtsyIsrael-based artist Naomi Shiek meticulously creates paper cutouts by hand, including this wedding vow artwork. Get it here.
Ted + ChelseaThis is the first hand-crafted chair design from self-taught woodworker and former Marine Justin Nelson. Get it here.
Ted + ChelseaTexas-based designer Molly Goodall created this playful child's coat by hand. It features silver and gold butterflies on a luxurious wool-blend felt. Get it here.