Tuesday, March 2, 2010

All Over the Map

Many folks out there have blogged or written articles on the many creative ways to incorporate maps and globes in decorating your home . No matter how often I come across one of them, my interest is never any less piqued than the time before. The fact is that maps and globes are timeless treasures with very cool graphics. Their variations, vintage or not, are enormous.

Taken out of the educational mode, these relics symbolize many things to me. A printed map can pay homage to an area that is special to someone for personal reasons. Perhaps it honors their homeland, or where a special life event took place. It can also be a symbol bookmarking a time in history. For me, I gravitate to the maps of places I've not yet been and dream of someday journeying to. Sometimes it's purely a visual attraction and I just want it to implement them for aesthetic reasons.

Here are a few images of how some folks have creatively refashioned the form and function of these items.

Very simple but striking. A large map was cut into sections, framed and hung.

A wonderful approach with a blackish-brownish photographic print of an aerial view, again just snipped apart and framed. I love how it speaks to the form and color of the coffee table!

Really, it couldn't get any simpler than this and what a great wall treatment! I'm thinking a bathroom would also be a cool room to do this in. No magazines needed for your visitors' reading pleasure!

What a great and unexpected element. The soft colors in this map perfectly mimic the space. By accenting the "4th wall", well, I'd say this reflects a design of quiet genius.

Nothing too involved here, either. 
The framing, colors and exotic feel of the map are what punctuate this vignette.

This vintage pull-down school map adds just the right interest for this wall as paired with the antique church seats. The crisp contrast of the white towels and bed frame ( at least I think that is what it is) offers a whimsical balance.

See, again - a simple and straightforward treatment. By pulling together pieces of a collection, it creates a strong presence and offers huge impact to a space without overwhelming it. 

Interesting lighting alternative..

This is my fave! Then again, I am partial to blackboard paint. 
(Love the lava lamp peeking out from behind the print.)

Purchase a simple clock kit at any crafts store, and voila! Wouldn't it be cool to have a wall of clocks like they do in newsrooms with the time from all over the world? One could just feature specific countries or continents from globes of different sizes  for the clock faces and display them all according to time zone.

This gal decoupaged 2 halves of a globe and glued on little marbles for feet. 
These would be great to display souvenirs in.

And what little kid wouldn't love an excuse to get up out of their chair during their geography lesson?

Another sweet and simple approach that creates a nice punch of style.

 If you are lucky enough to have an antique map, I recommend having photocopies made of it so as to retain the integrity of the original. While you are at it, have some of the copies enlarged and even shrunk so with the varied sizes, you create a number of decorating options with them. Very large prints can be pieced together as wall coverings. If you do not want to cover an entire wall, then frame out an area with inexpensive molding and paste the map inside.

Items that can be adorned or repurposed are endless! For instance:

If you have some unique picture frames but no photos or art to display in them,  maps show great especially when showcased within an interesting frame, be it old or new. 

Serving trays -  Simply place the map under the existing glass in the tray. If there is no glass, you can decoupage the image right on top. We have margarita parties here at our house. I think I need to get some maps of Mexico........

And some more:

-Book covers

-Transfer the image onto fabric to make one-of-a-kind pillows and sheets; even T-shirts



-Place mats

-Window roll shades

-Lighting switch plates

-Photo albums - especially those of vacations pictures

-Note cards

-A centerpiece on your table with a globe as the focal point

-How about a Bon Voyage party?  Find a map of your family or friend's destination that also has some great colors/images and use them as the party's theme decor. Create a tablecloth, or place cards, or party favors with smaller images of  the feature map. How fun would that be?

-Furniture - Decoupage drawer fronts, inside the panels of an armoire door, the tops or sides of a dresser, embellish a folding screen, etc., etc

How about you? What uniques pieces have you seen, created or can think of using maps or globes?

As always - hover over or right click the images so credit is given where credit is due


Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

Excellent post! I would love to do some maps in the hubby's office in the new place. Great ideas! (Thanks for stopping by too!)

A Different Karen said...

I like to use maps as wrapping paper; especially for guys presents. I'll choose a location that has meaning to the recipient or reflects (a hint!) of the gift inside...

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

Those are both great ideas Jess and Karen! Jess - if you do that (like you won't have enough to do already), I would love to see some pics - as would your blog readers, I'm sure!

Maria Killam said...

I adore this idea, especially as wallpaper! Thanks for your very sweet comment on my blog!! xo Maria

Kelly, Arte Styling said...

You've put together some great ideas here! There is something so whimsical about decorating with maps! Especially like that chair. How cool!

Dale said...

Great ideas! Thanks for finding them. If I had the bucks for decorating I'd hire you in a heartbeat. As is, I'll just have to recommend you to everyone who does.

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

Dale, thanks so much! Maybe the next time you score some of those great scones, we could work something out ;)

inspiration is all around even where we least expect it