Consider me running full speed ahead to jump on that band wagon.  that’s right.  I love me some maps.  And I don’t care how trendy it is – I wanna big ole fatty map.  I love em so much that I am willing to actually strap on my kicks (after blowing the inch of dust off them of course) and breaking a sweat for a good one.  So when I saw this vintage roll down school map of the USA and Mexico while perusing ebay….I broke out the debit card and made it my personal mission to win at any cost.

$27.55 cents later (and one killer bidding war – ok ok so 11 bids is not killer but I am fairly certain I almost had a heart attack at the last moment when I was fifty cents down…so yes, I almost died) I was the proud new winner of the bid for this beauty.

I had certain criteria for my first big map – it had to be big (which I could see by the photo of the guy holding it up that it was indeed large) and I wanted something with more muted colors (lots of them looked a little more childrens-playroom to me vs vintage collector map) so this one really fit the bill with it’s less-is-more color scheme.  Plus, I googled the tar outta the name Kuhnert Relief-Like Series and learned that this map was probably designed sometime between 1910 and 1930.  (although revisions were likely made during that time)

And I certainly had the perfect place for it in my mind – our giant blank wall that is more awkward than a grandpa picking out training bras.

At first that spot stayed blank – and then at one point we added a shelf and a canvas (also blank but I feel like at least we were getting a feel for something being present there).

That canvas turned into my jellyfish art piece (that now lives in my office)…

And once I was back to square one…err two?…with the shelf alone, I decided to just hang random baskets and frames up.

I liked the idea in theory but it was really odd seeing as how the art was incomplete (aka non-existent) and the whole thing felt ungrounded.

Soooo winning this map meant that I had one GIANT piece of artwork that was ready to go.

Funny tidbit – notice the shipping states $15…it was actually $28.50…which meant that I paid more for the Postman to bring it than for the map itself.  BUT it was well worth it because it actually came with the original hardware – the giant dowel rod with the seal of authenticity and the metal bracket that is used to hang it.  So I figure that the extra moolah was well worth it in the long run.


Oh and did I mention that the thing was actually a printed map on paper that then was adhered to linen like canvas?  So cool.

Jeremy helped me hang with since ladders and I have serious issues.  as in, I don’t believe in them.

We simply took a bit of clothesline we had lying around in the basement and tied it to both ends of the hardware to hang it.  Then we put in a little Walldog screw on each side through the mounting bracket to secure it to the wall.

I feel so cool now.  Kinda like the time my mom bought me actual Keds in elementary school…the ones with the little blue square on the back of the heel vs. the cheapo discount blue-squareless-versions that I always had.  Or like when I finally got a Jansport backpack…or those pink and white tie dyed parachute pants…I wish I was kidding right now.

Oh and here’s another fun tidbit – we analyzed the map for clues of it’s date….and it shows cities over 1 million and cities under 1 million and there were only 6 in the entire US that had reached the 1,000,000 mark.  So armed with that data, we found that this map was originally made in 1910 and used for schools in the 1930s…I love random historical items like that.

I slid the ottomans beneath it to take the place of future console tables (they will be much longer and taller and hopefully provide a bunch more toy storage!) but for now I am loving the look.

And yes, I moved the couch back to in front of the tv.  I confess….I am a chronic furniture mover.  I think we just came to the conclusion that we will save some more money to buy the right couch for this space.   Having a room that is so long and with a mounted tv so high, we absolutely need to utilize this area the right way for us….and this particular couch being there….well, it restricts us.  And it makes a big room feel cramped.  So for now, we will watch our tv in comfort and then later we’ll pull that couch trigger.  Hopefully something big and leather and begs for kanoodling.

Have y’all jumped on the map bandwagon with me yet?

No?  Well you should – the ride isn’t bumpy at all – it’s actually quite scenic :)



  1. says

    I need to give Ebay a try because I’m looking for a historic map of Baltimore to put up somewhere in our house! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Becky says

    The wall you have the map on is the perfect size for that size of map. Is there any way you could trim the black stuff off the bottom of it? Or maybe flatten it somehow?

    • says

      It’s actually one of the things I love about the map – plus I think most of it will be obstructed with the console tables anyhow…so we both win :)
      xo – kb

  3. Kristen says

    Katie, it’s gorgeous! I would love a huge map of the world, or the US, for my future home – I’ll have to keep an eye out on eBay when the time comes!

  4. sue says

    LOVE THE MAP. I almost bought an absolutely awesome pull-down map about 6 years ago (when the map craze was just taking off, I guess) off of ebay. Now I’m totally kicking myself for not getting it. You got a steal – even with shipping!

  5. Kate says

    I bought one on ebay in the fall! We have vaulted ceilings in our living room and always struggled with what to put on the “big wall”. I love it. Plus, we have found ourselves “consulting the map” on several occasions so it’s kinda fun. Mine has the date on it… 1946. So cool! Love yours too, great colors! And, what a steal!

  6. JENN says

    LOVE. THIS! Too funny too because literally 5 minutes before I saw this post I “jumped on the bandwagon” and searched map art on pinterest. Funnily enough, the pin I added was from a blog connected to Sherry and your pinterest challenge. How’s that for coincidence?

  7. Gigi says

    The part that got me was I was the kid who couldn’t afford real Keds either. I actually used a blue marker to color in faux tags on my shoes! I also too thought I was too cool when I final got a REAL Jansport backpack…now parachute pants…no, never had those. I was never that COOL! =)

  8. says

    Oh, Katie, this is so cool. I’m so excited for you. My husband was a geography major and he would totally love this. I must visit eBay more often…right now we just have piles of old geography textbooks that he collects and, while still kinda cool, they don’t make the impact this big map of your makes.

  9. Abilu says

    I am impressed that you found a map of this age and quality for so little. I recently purchased a a newer classroom map from eBay, and it cost nearly $300 (including domestic shipping). I don’t have any regrets, but I am envious of your bargain shopping abilities. Looks great!

  10. Carrie says

    During college I studied abroad in Spain for a year. And while I was there my parents went to Canton, TX to the First Monday Trade Days (largest in TX…you just gotta go if you are ever in TX) and found a map of Spain. Its an old pull-down school map too except it’s in Spanish and has export trade routes on it. And they got it with all of the original parts to hang it for a mere 5 bucks!!! They used it to keep track of all the places I visited and when I got back they gave it to me. That was 9 years ago and it’s been on my walls ever since…so I’m definitely not a bandwagonner…although I don’t blame you one bit. If I didn’t have this one I’d be all over this craze.

  11. Ashleigh P says

    Hi Katie! I jumped over a few months back from YHL & love your blog!!! I’m also a GA Peach from Woodstock (we’re neighbors!). I adore your living room decor (or is that your den??). I’ve been working towards an Americana feel without being too in-yo-face stars & stripes & you have nailed it! Can I ask where you found your rug?? That is exactly what I have been searching for! Thanks so much for your continued inspiration!!!!!

    • says

      The blue and white stripe rug is from Pottery Barn outlet (it’s actually a Williams Sonoma rug but apparently PBoutlet sells their stuff).
      xo – kb

  12. says

    Ahhhh I just love maps so much! My love for them has only grown since realizing I am probably spending the new 15+ years (and the last 3) moving all over the globe with my hubby… So now it just seems appropriate to have excessive quantities of map related artwork to document our military life… (my dream is to have a gorgeous map gallery wall in our home someday when we are actually permitted to settle down!)

  13. Dawn says

    I bought my husband a wall world map decal for his birthday. Of course, I can’t find the name of the company I ordered it from! It’s cool – you can take it off and re-position it or move it to a new location and it will stick like a giant decal. It really brightens up his desk area. I’m so smart!

  14. Melissa says

    Have you ever considered knocking that wall down entirely? Or would you not be able to? I think the map is alright, but kind of meshes with the rest of the room. But hey, to each his own :-) And I am loving your pillows! You always have the best accent pieces!

    xoxo Melissa

    • says

      ha. It’s funny how you think it meshes…but I see it as making the room so much better! Definitely funny how we all see things differently, huh?!
      And that wall is not able to be knocked down – it actually is a supporting wall for our stairs so it has to stay…that is, if we ever want to see our bedrooms again :)
      xo – kb

  15. Jamie says

    I didn’t at all realize maps were trendy right now! Our nursery is actually travel and adventure themed so we have maps up in there. Yay for happy accidents, I guess. Anyway, I love the map! It looks great!

  16. Bree says


    I love this idea!! In fact a few years ago I “stole” some of Kevin’s old hunting maps and cheaply framed them to take of space like yours…it was in our case a long hall way. Maybe I should pull them out again….

  17. Susan says

    Are maps this old like safe to have in the house? Didn’t know if there were weird chemicals or lead paint in them? Didn’t know if there was a way to clean them before installing them in a house with kids! Just wondering what you knew about it!

    • says

      I never thought of that. I wouldn’t imagine that they would have lead paint because they are printed on paper but it’s a possibility. I would definitely check especially if the map wasn’t used in a school but in a place that would distribute or create chemicals (like if it was in a distribution warehouse for cleaners or fertilizers or something like that.)
      xo – kb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *