Decorating with Maps

Who doesn’t love a good map?  They speak of history, travel, adventure.  Why not do a little decorating with maps?  I’m going to show you a few ways you can liven up your interior world with maps of the exterior world Map via John MutruxMcClatchyTribune

framed maps via marthamoments

Pick your points of interest or even a color scheme.  Then cluster a grouping of maps in a hallway or entry.  You’ll seem so well-travelled.

Street maps work great in a tight cluster like the one on this wall.  The neutral colors work great in a masculine space and create an interesting focal point.  You can do this by taking a vintage-looking street map to Kinko’s and having it blown up huge.  Then cut it to fit your predetermined frames. Framed Maps via poetichome

Wallmap via ohdeedoh Outfit an office space with this fabulously fun wallmap from Urban Outfitters for $140.  That’s not very much money for a huge piece of art and a bold statement.

Check out this traditional office with a map on the ceiling.   Didn’t I tell you last week that wallpapered ceilings were all the rage!

ceiling map from masterstouchfaux

Maps are definitely the theme of this family room, from the huge wall mural to the framed maps on the adjoining wall.  The red works well as a foil for all the natural, neutral colors in this room.

Map Wallpaper in Family Room via House Beautiful



Mudrooms can be really boring.  What a great place to incorporate maps as decor!  I like the way this space remains neutral but textured, a smart choice for a functional space.

Maps in Mudroom via 3bp blogspot

trad home img_atlantashowhouse_12 Even a large laminated map enlivens this den.  Create contrast when choosing maps and/or wall color.  This way your artwork will “pop,” so to speak.

How’s this for multi-tasking?  Plan your next vacation while in the john.

Bathroom Wall Map via apartment therapy

What kid wouldn’t love a room like this.  A wall mural of the earth by Kit Pollard MAKES this space.  Everything else is spare and simple.   I guarantee the little boys who live in this room will make an A in geography. huge wall map from kit pollard

kids room world map via anita kaushal I think maps are a really sophisticated way to go with a child’s room.  Fantasy and adventure, but not overfocused on one particular character.  Instead, your child is the character, the adventurer, the explorer.

PotteryBarn for Kids Map Mural Another fabulous example of a map wall mural by Pottery Barn Kids.  Unfortunately, it is no longer available (bad, bad, Pottery Barn!).  Sorry to get your hopes up.

Fortunately, companies like Kidlandia make CUSTOM maps to delight any child (or parent).  Create your own fantasyland while incorporating your family members’ names and kingdom of your choice.  You specify colors and size.  Maps come in both scroll form and as a wrapped canvas. kidlandia custom kids maps

Narnia Map from All About C.S. Lewis This map is AMAZING.  I love the script, the colors, and style.  There are other Narnia maps available, as well.  Rose Publishing sells a 19″ x 26″ laminated map for $14.99.   Click here to check out a free downloadable map.  You can have it blown up to any size you like.

Or, you can just go ahead and wallpaper the whole room.   This room is too fun for words.

kbreenbo's son's room wall maps

Not convinced you want to go full throttle?  How about testing the waters with some interesting map pillows.   Even more special when the map is from a favorite vacation spot or your dream destination. Map Pillows from The Lennoxx

Map decoupaged chair via blog.nj Ever tried your hand at decoupage?  It’s the easiest art you’ll ever do.  All you need is a little Modge Podge and a sponge brush (both available at Michaels).  White Elmer’s glue works pretty darn well, too.  What a great way to personalize a desk chair in a child’s room.

Here’s another decoupage map art project – even easier on a flat surface like drawer fronts.

map decoupaged drawers via flickr

Carolina’s Cottage sells these map covered trays, but it’s a lot cheaper (and more fun) to make your own.  This is an art project mom and kids can all enjoy. Carolina Cottage's decoupage trays



  1. Jen C.

    kristie, i LOVE these ideas! whenever i think about framed maps, i automatically think lawyer’s office or some other boring space with too much mahogany. but, once again, you’ve changed how i think about something! i’ve been trying to think of something to spruce up my little office corner, and i love the idea of making it ‘mine’ by putting up city maps of european cities i’ve lived in and visited. and i’m all about decoupage, so i love those things i can do with the girls. and those personalized kids’ maps–wow! i smell some awesome christmas presents. thanks, as always, for the inspiration.

  2. Christiana

    I have been wanting to do something with maps, and this was my inspiration, Thanks!! Do you know if there is water proof decoupage? I was thinking about doing the kitchen table, but it would need to be water proof.

  3. kristiebarnett

    Christiana, I have decoupaged a tabletop with paperdolls and I just put a layer of furniture wax over it. I’ve never had a problem with it, but it doesn’t get wet often. You could always put a layer of polyurethane over it – make sure you get the non-yellowing kind if you don’t want a darkening patina over time. But the yellowing effect would look cool over maps, I think!

  4. Aubrey

    Love this post – thank you! My husband has over 200 maps and aside from making homemade risk, I am just at a loss for what to do with them. Thanks!


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