Decorating With Vintage Maps

Confession: I've been a total flake when it comes to blogging lately. Blame it on a lack of inspiration, or laziness. Probably more of the second one. 

Anywho, back to business!

I consider myself very fortunate to live in a historical house in Charlestown, MA. It's one of those large estate/boarding style houses that has been broken into multiple units by adding a wall here, removing a set of stairs there... Hence, we have a strange layout where each room connects to one another, but there is also one long hallway that stretches the entire length of the apartment connecting the rooms too.

Call me crazy, but I went ahead and mocked it up for you. ( stole my productivity for an entire afternoon.)

Since moving in a couple months ago, I've been racking my brain on what we should display for art in the long hallway. After endless Pinterest searches, Etsy browsing, and many trips to local businesses in search of inexpensive art; I landed on the idea of framing vintage maps. And after failed attempts at finding reasonably priced maps on Etsy, I found my way over to the USGS website. Their online store has maps from across the decades, plus they are priced at only $8.00 a piece (without shipping).

Given my love of all things nautical, I thought it would be a neat idea to purchase maps of coastal New England cities - featuring lots of blue ocean area. I tried to pick maps from the 1970's, as they appeared to use the same blue shades and I wanted the maps to appear "gallery-like" and one cohesive look.

Next, I purchased five 11x14 white frames with white matting and maps for the following destinations:

- Portland, Maine
- Nantucket, Mass.
- Provincetown, Mass.
- Newbury Port, Mass.
- Boston Harbor (early 1900's version)

Framing the maps was easy. You simply position the map under the matting to frame the part you like best (they were much larger than the frames and needed to be cut down).

I love, love the way they turned out!

I'm now on the hunt for blue runner-style rug for the hallway's hardwood floors. Wish me luck!

P.S. Apologies for the terrible photos, and for not having an "after" image of the hallway - I promise they look awesome!

~ Alicia


To satisfy your curiosity (I flatter myself), here is a picture of the frames in the hallway.


  1. I love seeing the layout of your place! And the maps look so pretty framed like that. I'm going to check out that site; great find!

  2. Oh my gosh, I love this!! I am going to that site!


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