Decorating With Map Collections

Inspiration Gallery

Maps and cartography decor may be saturating the blogosphere and posing in their fair share of big brand catalogs, but they're here to stay. Maybe its their nostalgic draw in a digital age, or their strong associations with adventure or our own personal memories, but maps are a design classic that trendiness won't force out of style anytime soon. However, just because they're not going anywhere, doesn't mean map collections can never look contrived. The best way to ensure your map decor feels authentic is to decorate with maps that have a personal meaning to you. Maps of your home town, favorite vacation spot, or family origin location will always have a place in your home. And while some of the coolest patinas come from authentic vintage wear, even a new map of a favorite spot has its place in your life.

There are as many ways to decorate with maps as there are maps themselves, and with the resurgence in main stream popularity recently we've seen them move well beyond the gilt frame or dowels…

• Using maps as wallpaper has seen its fair share of fame in recent years. A whole room of maps can add charm and character to old and new construction alike. My favorite application to date is George Krauth's use of vintage maps of the Chesapeake bay in his bedroom. Rather than covering the whole room, he used them to anchor the bed and compliment other elements in the room. The yellow is a perfect contrast to the moody, sophisticated gray, and the maps also show his love for colonial port towns.

Maps as art can take many forms. Many have a graphic nature that can stand alone just as any other piece of art. Others place in casual frames in spare places play up the humble nature of maps. And still others, grouped in large collections can have a similar "library" effect as a large grouping of old tomes.

• Using maps as you would any other decorative paper can make a strong and personalized statement. We love Kim's use of maps from her travels abroad to cover containers for her craft supplies, and Rhiannon and Victor's cabinet coverings. You can also use them to cover map shades, books, or even roller shades!

How have you put your map collection to work?

Images: 1: Tria Giovan for Southern Living, 2: Inside Out Magazine, 3: S.R. Gambrel, 4: Domino, 5: Charlotte Magazine, 6, 7: Elle Decor, 8: Metropolitan Home, 9: Susie Nadler and Victor Obeck for Apartment Therapy: SF , 10: Leah Moss for Apartment Therapy: DC, 11: Notebook Magazine, 12: O at Home

15 Comments