Ted + Chelsea

Etsy’s first-ever global design award winners offer a glimpse into the future of independent design

Nena Farrell  – October 11, 2019

Global marketplace Etsy’s first-ever design award winners were just announced, and from intentionally imperfect vases to magnetic wallpaper, there’s plenty of creative design ideas to get excited about from the craftiest of Etsy’s sellers.

The 14-year-old platform is known for its marketplace of makers from around the globe, and today has over 2.2 million sellers on the site. Its inaugural design awards feature five categories: Inventive Decor, Creative Collaborations, Earth-Friendly, Signature Style, and Festive Celebrations. One grand prize winner and five category winners were chosen from each of the categories. From thousands of applications, a judging panel of seven style, art, and interior experts picked the finalists and winners.

First, meet our top three picks from the final winners.

Interactive Magnetic Dino Wallpaper

Sian Zeng

Grand Prize Winner: Interactive, Magnetic Dino Wallpaper by Sian Zeng

This magnetic wallpaper turns the bedroom walls of your kid’s room into their new playground and inspiration, letting them move around the dinosaur magnets anywhere their imagination takes them.

“Magnetic wallpaper for children is fresh, innovative, and also opens up a whole new world of creative play while also appealing to parents who love design and wish to expose their children to inspiring surroundings early on. This is an absolutely brilliant product,” says Holly Becker, a decor expert on the judging panel. Anavila Misra, a fashion designer on the judging panel, called the wallpaper a “beautiful combination of design and utility, coupled with customer engagement.”

It’s easy to see why London-based designer Sian Zeng won the grand prize. Zeng, with a background in fine art and textile design, opened her Etsy shop in 2009 and experimented with wallpaper designs.

Custom Mid-Century Doghouse

Ted + Chelsea

Creative Collaborations Winner: Custom Mid-Century Doghouse by Pijuán Design Workshop

The winner of the creative collaborations are architects Alejandro and Sara Pijuán, who create mid-century-inspired pet furniture. They build made-to-order doghouses with each of their clients in mind. “I have literally never seen anything like this,” says Robinson. “The quality of the build, the attention to detail and the originality is impressive. It is indeed a dog’s life!”

‘The Sling’ Walnut and Leather Chair

Ted + Chelsea

Inventive Decor Winner: ‘The Sling’ Walnut and Leather Chair by Fernweh Woodworking

The Sling Chair is the first that Oregon-based, self-taught woodworker Justin Nelson ever created. Each design is made-to-order with a hand-shaped walnut frame, slung with high-quality, hand-stitched black leather. Besides winning Etsy’s Design Award for Inventive Decor, the chair has won two awards from the Oregon Chapter of the International Interior Design Association’s 2017 Design Excellence Awards.

“These chairs are a complete celebration of craftsmanship,” says interior designer Sophie Robinson, one of the judges. “You can see the passion the maker has to use the best natural materials along with long-lasting craft techniques.”

The Sling chair wasn’t the only item that caught our eye from the Inventive Decor entries. Out of the series of finalists from the category, three additional items are on our radar for great design.

Floating Cocktail Cabinet

HouseVH

Inventive Decor Finalist: Floating Cocktail Cabinet by HouseVH

The wood-carved arch motif on this floating cabinet makes it an immediate conversation piece. Put two together for a set, or just add one to your gallery wall as a surprise, or above a bar cart for extra storage.

Minimalist Ceramic Vase

Clay & Craft

Inventive Decor Finalist:  Minimalist Ceramic Vase by Clay & Craft by Nicole Novena

These intentionally-altered vases embrace wabi-sabi style, bringing imperfect beauty into your home. Each design is one-of-a-kind, and both the vase and its “mistake” are designed to represent a potter’s real journey through clay.

Brutalist Planter

Collage Crafting

Inventive Decor Finalist: Brutalist Planter by Collage Crafting

These hydrostone geometric planters are made in small batches to ensure more unique designs, and are recommended for plants that need little watering, like tillandsia.