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Framed Map Madness

I love a house that tells a story, don’t you?
A house that has interesting elements that your eye lingers on, that intrigue you a bit? That’s why I think I’m drawn to framed maps. What better way to tell your story than with reminders of your favorite places.
The merits of maps:
1//  they can be quite affordable 
2//  they come in endless sizes and colors
3//  they can be framed in all sorts of configurations.
In a nutshell –
maps are customizable for your home, and for your story.
I’m currently helping a friend give her house some personality with a few pieces of art and we’ve been on the hunt for the perfect map for a big blank wall in her kitchen. In searching for maps of places that are special to this family I’ve been re-schooled in various types of maps.
Who knew when I studied cartography way back in elementary school it would pique my interest 30 something years later? Maybe I should have paid more attention.
There are so many kinds of maps, and so many interesting ways to hang them – 
lets take a look shall we???
Nautical charts or maps are used for navigational purposes, depicting water depth, obstacles, distances and landforms.
This map is a NOAA chart (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). You can order a paper chart for $15-$30 from various online sellers (this seller’s price is the lowest I’ve found).
The charts come in various sizes.
I mounted this nautical map to a sheet of insulation and framed it with corner molding – a very inexpensive way to mount and frame a large print. 
A nautical map triptych from Pottery Barn (no longer available but imagine how easy this idea would be to DIY with large eye hooks screwed into the top of the frame and some nautical rope?)

Quail Lane Press on Etsy sells nautical map prints that have beautiful hand drawn details and colors.


Topographical charts show the shape and elevation of land and bodies of water. Lines close to each other indicate elevation or depth. Lines that are spread out indicate flat areas.

A blown up and divided topographical map can make a huge statement and fill up a big wall. Think free map images (start with this awesome site full of high resolution maps!!), and Ikea frames.

How cool are these 3-D wood topographical maps by Wood Chart? They are around $138-$300 (16×20″ on up).

There are topographical maps, and then there are typographical…..maps that are comprised of words.
This one has all the counties of Massachusetts.
$20-$25 for 8×10″-11×14″

Typographical map by Cupcakes and Cashmere via Apartment Therapy.
Do you love this as much as I do?

Also known as tourist maps, these maps are illustrations of an area.
Josie Portillo via Etsy
$30-$45 for 8×10″-11×14″
Wouldn’t this be cute in a kid’s room or playroom?
SepiaLepus via Etsy
$18-$28 for 8×10″-11×14″

Tourist maps that one uses to navigate a city by foot, or road atlases that are used to drive the streets of a particular location are both considered street maps.

I love love love how Alissa at 33 Shades of Green framed and grouped together street maps that she used on a trip to Italy! The maps are colorful and also a reminder of a wonderful trip.

This canvas art is a city comprised of pages from a 1960s road atlas book.

Cartesian Studio on Etsy  

Street maps without words have a modern and graphic feel.

Michael Tompsett via

City Fabric on Etsy has maps printed on 18×24″ paper that are on sale for $11-$19 in several color ways. Good bang for the buck!

City street maps are striking grouped together.
Restoration Hardware always nails it with the mounted antique maps; but ouch, they are usually out of my price range. This one is *only* $279…..
….but if you love the look of the RH antique maps don’t miss the tutorial for this amazing and huge street map tutorial on the blog Maison de Pax!

What else…..political maps…..climate maps…..economic maps……

So tell me……do you have any framed maps adorning your walls??

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Calypso In The Country

Saturday 24th of January 2015

Great ideas Lisa! I have always loved maps, love decorating with them and love just staring at them. I have collected many over the years. We have a few hung in our house - a Caribbean one over our piano, a US one in my son's room...and I plan to get one of those big Ikea ones for the basement playroom. They really add so much character and personal touch to a room when the places have special meaning. Enjoy your weekend! We have a ton of snow here!Shelley


Saturday 24th of January 2015

I don't have any, but especially love them in a gallery wall - great images!

Jane Bernard

Friday 23rd of January 2015

I soooo love framed maps!! These are Awesome, thanks for sharing, pinning a few of these for sure :)

Privet and Holly

Friday 23rd of January 2015

What an awesome post,Lisa! So much goodnessto pin : ) Love the idea ofusing maps of places thatwe hold dear as a designelement, and it can be donein so many fabulous ways,as you present, here. Thankyou for putting this together,sweet friend!

xo Suzanne

Kris Jarrett

Friday 23rd of January 2015

Thank you so much for putting this all together! I've searched for maps before on Etsy but get totally overwhelmed. LOVE so many of the ones you found!