Wanderlust Style: Vintage Maps as Decor

A few weeks ago we shared with you how we use vintage suitcases to bring that wanderlust style into our home. We love vintage maps as well, and we wanted to share some of our favorite inspirations, including a great DIY that currently graces our living room.

Vintage Classroom Maps in Home Decor

I just adore vintage classroom maps! Their faded colors, tattered edges, and wooden dowel rods for hanging give them so much character. I also love when the maps are old enough that their subject matter has changed – maybe they feature the Soviet Union or the Territory of Alaska. My husband and I have a large classroom map of the world entirely in Spanish. It adds so much character to our guestroom.

Maps in Home Decor - Vintage Classroom Map Collage - www.AFriendAfar.com

[Sources: Top: Conversation Pieces; Bottom: Country Living, Apartment Therapy, Shelterriffic]

Vintage Maps as Wallpaper

If you’re looking to make a really big statement, I love the idea of maps for wallpaper. You can either get a large scale mural of a world map or a city map like the black and white map of London below, or you can make your own “wallpaper” by hanging maps in a collage all over the wall.

[Sources: Majesty MapsThe Inspired Room]

Maps in the Bedroom: Headboards!

As I mentioned above, my husband and I have a giant Spanish language world map that was once used in a classroom. Lucky for us, it’s the same width as a queen-sized bed, and it now serves as a headboard in our guestroom. We hope it inspires sweet globetrotting dreams for our guests.

[Sources: Urban OutfittersMy Favorite and My Best, The Painted Hive, and 47 Park Avenue]

Other Great Examples

The map collages on the slanted ceilings shown below fascinate me. What a dreamy and unexpected idea! Since I’m also a collector of globes, of course, a vignette of globes in front of a large-scale map also caught my eye.

[Sources: Apartment Therapy, Design Sponge, and Elle Decor]

And one final idea for you: the vintage-style map of Italy below, which we purchased at Paper-Source, was my husband’s and my gift to each other for our second anniversary. I used cotton thread to stitch our honeymoon trip along the train routes in Italy. The hearts mark the cities that we visited: Rome, Florence, and Venice.

Sewn Map DIY - Maps as Decor - www.AFriendAfar.com

Do you have any maps decorating your home? Tell us about them in the comments!


Meagan grew up in the North Georgia Mountains and spent her first trip abroad in Italy. She’s been traveling all over the world ever since, learning Spanish, Japanese, and Thai. She travels for the food, the culture, and the history.

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