Do you remember that episode of Friends where the Chandler and Joey are tourists in London and Joey has to ‘go into the map’ in order to get his bearings? He put the map on the floor and stepped onto it to work out what direction to head in, even though he’d only just left the hotel. I’m not saying that I’ve ever done this before, but I have turned the map while following the route, and I’m sure that’s not necessarily the ‘done thing’ in map-reading but it works for me, and ‘going into the map’ worked for Joey back in the 90s.When I visited The Grandest Views exhibition at Keswick Museum (which I wrote about last week – read my review post here) the massive Ordnance Survey map covering the floor of the museum put me in mind of this idea of ‘going into the map’ and I loved being able to follow routes on a larger scale. If only I could buy that massive map – I’d have the ideal vinyl floor for my kitchen!
Images by Thomas Peter of Reuters
This giant map of 18th Century Berlin was painted by a team of 8 artists on Schlossplatz in 2012 to commemorate the 775th anniversary of Berlin’s founding. The map is 2,500 metres and is on a scale of 1:775. As you can see from these photos it really was possible for visitors to ‘go into the map’ and walk around, finding their home and workplaces within the installation. I wish I could have visited this artwork but it was only open durin the anniversary celebrations until October 2012. However, seeing this artwork, combined with my experience at Keswick Museum got me thinking what a great idea it would be to use old maps as flooring and I searched Pinterest to find more examples of this.
Coincidentally I visited a vintage shop last weekend that had done that very thing; pasted old maps on the floor of the store. Vintage Mischief in Suffolk in one of my favourites shops for retro finds and I’ve kitted out most of my mid-century modern home with their teak furniture. It was here that I spotted the floor-map idea in action and I took some snaps on my phone while I was browsing the vintage homewares. This floor was made from a selection of old maps, which had been over-lapped and pasted to the wooden floor. Once the map montage had been completed, the owner covered the floor in numerous coats of varnish to seal it and make it hardwearing. With hundreds of customers visiting the store every week I’m convinced that this flooring solution is just as hardwearing as any vinyl or painted floor and I would love to try it out somewhere in my own home. Perhaps my husband’s office would be a good place to start? Luckily enough, Vintage Mischief also sells old maps, so I could easily source enough maps to cover the floor and kick-start this interior design project.
What do you think of this map-related flooring idea? Do you think it’s a good interior design solution or are you not convinced that it would last? Would this be taking the whole ‘going into the map’ idea too far? Would you use maps in decorating your own home? Let me know if you’ve ever decorated with maps, send me photos on Twitter @Cassiefairy and leave me a comment below!