All Around the World: Five Ways to Decorate with Maps

Though functional objects, maps have also always been decorative.  Mapmakers would add details like sea monsters and made antique maps into works of art.  Maps can bring a sense of adventure to a space and spark memories of travel. Vintage maps can also bring a feeling of nostalgia to the decor.  The colors, patterns, shapes, and textures of maps make them super versatile to decorate with. It’s no wonder they’ve been growing in popularity.  Let’s take a look at a few ways to decorate with maps.

Window Treatment

We wouldn’t recommend using a vintage map for this, since the sunlight will fade it, but we like this unique way of displaying a map.  If you have an old classroom map that rolls up into itself you could affix that over your window. Another option is to get a linen roller shade and fuse or transfer a map to the linen.



If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional headboard, try a map.  Most maps are rectangular so they’re already the perfect shape to be above your bed.  A map is a great way to create an accent wall and draw attention to the head of the bed.  It might even help you dream of far off lands and fun vacations.



An unexpected spot to add a map or maps is to doors.  If you have French doors adding maps to the glass will create a sense of privacy while adding visual interest.  But even plain wooden doors can get a makeover with the addition of maps. On a smaller scale you could also apply maps to cabinet or dresser drawers.


Wall Mural

Are you a go big or go home type person?  Than perhaps map wallpaper or a map wall mural will suit your style.  Whether you choose a bright colorful map or a more neutral one it’s sure to make a statement in your room.  You can even personalize the map by marking off places you’ve been or circling where you want to go next.


Curated Collection

If you already have a bunch of vintage maps or globes you can easily created a curated collection.  Create a gallery wall with framed maps, or set up a vignette with globes. The key to making your collection look cohesive and not messy is to try to choose maps with similar color palettes.  The same applies to globes. Depending on how many maps you have you could group them by color palette and swap them out occasionally to mix up your decor.


In the days of GPS and everyone having a digital map in their pocket, there’s a sense of old world charm attached to paper maps now.  Many maps are more functional as a work of art than a navigational tool, which is probably why so many are ending up on walls. It’s hard to deny the history and romanticism of antique or vintage maps and for some that’s very appealing to include in their decor.  We still have some maps that we brought back from Brimfield, so make sure to ask about them if you’re interested in adding maps to your walls!