What’s the Best Way to Incorporate Antique Maps into a Study’s Decor?

Decorating a room is an art form in itself, a way to express personal style and personality. For many, the study is a sanctuary, a place of concentration and contemplation, an area to work or think, to plan or dream. Outfitting this space with an ambiance that inspires and invigorates is essential. One unique and eye-catching method to accomplish this is by incorporating antique maps into your study’s decor.

Old maps aren’t just navigational aids – they are windows into the past. Their muted colors, complex details, and artifacts of historical importance make them wonderful pieces of artwork. This article will touch on several ways to incorporate these vintage treasures into your study’s design, lending it a distinctive and sophisticated aura.

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Using Wall Maps as Wallpaper

Wallpaper has made a significant comeback in recent years. It’s a great tool for injecting color, pattern, and personality into a room. When you think about wallpaper, you may picture floral or geometric designs. However, using wall maps as wallpaper is an innovative and stylish alternative.

Opt for a single large map, or create a collage of several maps for a more dynamic visual effect. Map-themed wallpaper will work well on one wall as a statement piece or all around the room for a more immersive experience. It can be used subtly to accentuate space or dramatically to define it.

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The balance is key here. If you choose to use a map as wallpaper, keep the rest of the decor relatively simple. Earthy tones or neutral colors for furniture and other furnishings will complement the map and prevent the room from looking too busy.

Incorporating Maps into Artwork

Another inventive way to incorporate maps into your study’s decor is by turning them into artwork. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can frame individual maps, create a gallery wall of several framed maps, or even use them to create customized art pieces.

If you’ve got a beloved city or town, get a map of that location and have it framed. Maybe use several maps of places you’ve visited or wish to visit, and create a travel-themed wall. You can also use maps to cover canvas or wooden panels to create unique wall art. Mod Podge works great for this kind of project.

Remember, it’s not strictly about geography. A map can represent journeys, dreams, or personal history. The art does not need to be literal – it can serve as a metaphor for your explorations or aspirations.

Transforming Maps into Functional Decor

Think beyond the traditional by transforming maps into functional decor. For instance, maps can be used as a table covering. Using an antique map under a glass table surface is a clever way to showcase it and pique the interest of any visitor.

Maps can also be used as lampshade coverings. This interesting light source will not only create a conversation starter, but also provide a soft, multi-colored glow that enhances the ambiance of the room.

You can also use maps to cover storage boxes, book covers, or even waste baskets, transforming ordinary objects into items of interest.

Maps as a Color Inspiration

Color is a powerful tool in interior design. It can affect mood, influence perception of space, and tie a room together. Maps, especially antique ones, come in a variety of colors, from soft sepia and warm browns to faded blues and greens. These can be a fantastic starting point for your room’s color scheme.

You might choose a map in shades that already match your room, or you may select a map with colors you love and build your room’s palette around it. Either way, pulling colors from a map can make the room feel cohesive and well-designed.

Antique Maps in Unconventional Spaces

Antique maps don’t have to be restricted to the walls. Think about using them in unconventional spaces like the ceiling or the floor. Imagine a large, beautiful map adorning the ceiling of your study, or a floor cloth or rug designed from a map. These unexpected uses can create a wow factor and take your room’s decor to the next level.

Consider using maps to line the back of bookshelves or the insides of drawers. These small details might not be immediately visible, but they add a layer of complexity and charm to the room’s overall design.

Incorporating antique maps into your study’s decor is a unique way to create a space that is stylish, reflective of your personality, and full of worldly charm. Whether you use them as wallpaper, artwork, functional decor, color inspiration, or in unconventional spaces, these vintage gems are sure to add a touch of sophistication and intrigue to your design.

Combining Modern Map Elements with Antiques

The beauty of interior design is the freedom it offers to mix and match different eras, styles, and elements. You’re not limited to antique maps alone. Modern maps can also be incorporated into your study decor to create an interesting contrast and narrative.

Think about it: a modern map can be positioned alongside an antique map to visually demonstrate how places have evolved over time. This creates a compelling story for your study, a room dedicated to thought, planning, and creativity.

Another idea is to select a map mural that spans an entire wall, depicting a modern-day cityscape or the current layout of the United States. This could be paired with smaller antique maps in frames, depicting the city or country as it was centuries ago. The combination of old and new prompts a captivating historical journey, right in your own study.

Remember to consider the other elements of your decor. For example, if you have modern furniture in your study, a living room map wallpaper might not suit the overall aesthetic. Likewise, if your study is filled with vintage items, a modern map might look out of place.

Consider the colors and styles of your vintage maps. If they’re all in sepia tones, a brightly-colored modern map might clash. A black and white modern map, however, could add to the vintage feel while still adding that contrasting modern element.

Adding Maps to Unexpected Rooms

While this article has focused on the study, don’t feel limited to this single room. Antique maps can add character and charm to any room in your house, including the kitchen dining area, kitchen bathroom, or living room.

Imagine an antique map serving as a charismatic backdrop in a dining area, or a modern map adding a splash of color in the bathroom. The possibilities are endless.

In the kitchen, vintage maps can be used as placemats or framed to create unique wall art. Or consider a map wallpaper for the bathroom, creating a remarkable space that guests won’t forget. These unexpected placements can turn the mundane into something extraordinary.

However, if you’re unsure about how to integrate maps into your decor, it might be worth consulting an interior designer. Professionals have extensive knowledge and experience in creating harmonious, stylish interiors, and can guide you in making the best choices for your space, whether it’s your study, kitchen, living room, or bathroom.


Incorporating antique maps into your decor is an inventive way to express personal taste, add visual interest and create a space that feels both sophisticated and personal. Whether you opt for a large map mural, framed wall decor, or map-inspired accents, these pieces can add depth and personality to your design.

Remember, there are no rules when it comes to interior design. Feel free to experiment with different styles and eras, combining antique and modern maps to create a unique narrative. Add your own personal touches by highlighting places that hold significance to you. And don’t hesitate to place maps in unconventional spaces – from the kitchen dining area to the bathroom – to add an element of surprise and intrigue.

So, why not embark on this design journey? Start exploring the world of antique and modern maps to discover how they can enhance your space. Happy map making!