All Mapped Out

21 Jan

My attempt to turn a carpet remnant into a custom rug runner turned out to be surprisingly successful!


It took about 4 hours total and roughly $100 in supplies.


Of course, a couple of doors need to be trimmed down now to clear the rug. Can’t win ’em all.


But I love how it looks with the entry.


I’ll be back with a tutorial later on. It was a very easy process, and I’ll definitely do it again.

But what I really want to share is what I put up on the walls. Steve and I have been collecting maps from all of the places we visit for years. It started when we found a copy of a map from the 1920’s of DC in a Manassas bookstore in 2005. Then that summer Steve brought me back a map of Paris from a trip to Europe with his brother. After that we made a point to find one on all of our trips. Not all are necessarily maps but instead have something to do with the city we visited.

We’ve had some framed but most have been rolled up in a closet for the past few years. I told myself a few weeks ago that as soon as Aaron Brother’s had their penny sale (buy one frame, get one for a penny) that I would finally get them all framed. And wouldn’t you know it, two weeks ago they had a sale.

So this weekend we got to work hanging them in the hallway. I traced them all out on craft paper and taped to the wall to figure out the arrangement.


Thanks to Steve’s help, the hanging was relatively painless.




I love getting little peeks of it from different places in the house.




At the back of the hallway is a map of Savannah and the surrounding area from 1757 that we picked up last November.


On the left wall is a map of what Chicago looked like in 1893. It’s from a trip we took in November 2010.


On the long wall:


The Angel Oak Tree outside Charleston, SC. It’s the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi. From a trip to Isle of Palms in May, 2011.


Charleston, SC in 1704. From the same trip to Isle of Palms in 2011.


The map of Paris from 1889 that Steve got for me in the summer of 2005.


Representing the hometown … an old map of Atlanta. Not sure of the year.


The Florida Keys from our honeymoon in May, 2008.


Blueprints of the Golden Gate Bridge from our trip to CA in summer 2012.


A guide to the monasteries in Meteora, Greece from our trip in December, 2006


A map of DC in the 20’s from a trip in March, 2005


A post card of NYC titled “The Future New York, The City of Skyscrapers” Not sure of the year. From a trip in December, 2011.


This was a gift from my brother-in-law this past Christmas. It’s the Waldseemuller Map, the first map on record to use the name America. From 1507.

I’m so happy these are finally framed and hung so we can enjoy them!



25 Responses to “All Mapped Out”

  1. Erin Lindt January 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    love the map gallery!! Of course I’m partial to the Chicago map being it’s my hometown. do you remember where you got it? I just love maps and would love one!! I have the same Paris map too! Such a cute wall!!!

    • house185 January 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      What a fun city to call home!! We were there for 4 days and easily could have spent another 4 exploring! We got it from a super touristy store across from the Art Institute of Chicago. It was on a corner. I wish I could remember more!

  2. Karen January 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Kate the rug looks great…can’t wait to read the tutorial.

    Your gallery wall of maps is really stunning! I love that they each have special meaning to you and I love the subtle colors. They are just gorgeous. Perfect for your beautiful home. They make a great statement in your hallway and I’m sure will bring you much joy!

    Congrats on two awesome projects! xo

    • house185 January 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

      Thank you so much, Karen! I really appreciate it!

  3. Gabbi January 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    I adore your map gallery wall! It looks so beautiful with the amazing hallway details…love it all!

  4. Diana @ Boy + Girl January 22, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Your hallway is nicer than most people’s living rooms! I would be pulling a chair in there and enjoying a coffee! Haha.

  5. Lori January 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    What an amazing gallery wall! I love how you used maps of places that you’ve visited. Love love love!! The icing on the hallway/cake 🙂

    • house185 January 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Aww, thanks Lori! It’s so nice when you can incorporate something sentimental into your home decor.

  6. Whitney @ drab to fab January 24, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Omg I love this so much!! Your whole hallway looks awesome! The maps, the runner rug, the trim! We have a long hallway as well and I couldn’t find a runner long enough so I bought two matching runners but now I’m second guessing myself!

    • house185 January 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks so much Whitney! I’m sure the 2 runners look great! I considered that option myself.

  7. Beth January 25, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    Love the rug-anxious for tutorial. Maps look stunning. Great job.

  8. CSR January 26, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Again, very impressive work. I love your “tour” as we’ll!

  9. Kelly@Bungalow Blue January 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Love it! What a great collection-I especially like how the frames pop against the wall color. Well done! I have maps my hubby uses to dive for work – you can see his pencil marks and I love how it makes it that much more personal! 🙂

  10. Shelly January 30, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    I love the map idea of places you have visited! Can you tell me what the color is on the walls? Love it!

    • house185 January 30, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Hi Shelly! Thanks so much! The walls are Sherwin Williams Pavestone.

  11. Megan November 6, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    I love your board and batten! I’m getting ready to do a similar project and would love some details like….what type of wood and measurements you used. Thanks so much! =)

    • house185 November 7, 2013 at 7:58 am #

      Hi Megan! We used Primed Finger Joint Board from Home Depot. We purchased 1 x 4 x 8 boards for the vertical pieces and the piece that runs horizontally on top. We used a slightly wider (maybe 6 inches) piece for the baseboard, and a more narrow piece for the cap on top that sticks out from the wall. Next we used a small piece of decorative molding to go under the cap.

      The board and batten is about 47 inches tall. We meant for it to be a few inches shorter, but I remembered the measurement we agreed on wrong 🙂 I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t taller than 48 inches which is the halfway point on our 8 foot tall walls. Any taller and I think it would look off.

      The distance between the boards is different everywhere, but on the long walls (the one with the skirted table in the entry, and the one on the right down the hall) it’s 19-20 inches (that’s the distance between the boards and does not include the width of the boards). We were consistent with the widths of each individual run of wall, but obviously couldn’t be consistent throughout. On the shorter walls we just tried to keep the widths from getting smaller than the 19-20 inches we used on the longer walls and held the boards up to see how it looked.

      I hope this helps! And makes sense! I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have. Good luck with your project! 🙂

      • Megan November 8, 2013 at 6:12 am #

        Thank you so much!

  12. Megan June 26, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    What’s is the name and brand of the wall color? It’s beautiful!

    • house185 June 26, 2014 at 7:29 am #

      Thank you! Sherwin Williams pavestone!

      • Megan June 26, 2014 at 9:49 am #

        Sorry for asking a question you’ve answered before! I have a similar upatairs hallway and yours will be my inspiration piece. Did you carry the color into any other areas of the house? I’m trying to figure out if I should carry the color down the stairs, then what do I do with the front entrance walls and hallway, then the living room, and dining room and kitchen and family room?! All the downstairs rooms flow together in my house and I can’t decide if I should do it all one neutral color or pick stopping and ending points and paint different colors on some walls. My dining room is the most contained room where I could paint another color with no problem.

      • house185 June 26, 2014 at 10:08 am #

        All of the rooms in our house are very self contained, so I’ve never run into your problem. I wish I could see your space to answer what I would do better! I tend to think that sticking with one color would be the best. If there’s no great way to start/end paint colors, I would go with one color throughout. Picking ending points and ending up with a lot of different colors on different walls sounds too choppy, but flow is something that’s very important to me. I think spaces feel more relaxed and well-designed without variations like that, you know? And if you go that route, picking one color doesn’t have be neutral and boring! I love to pick chameleon colors that could be green/grey/beige depending on the time of day. You can very easily pick a color that will look different in every space! Then do something a little bolder in the dining room to set it all off. I hope this helps a bit. I’m very flattered you’re using my hallway as your inspiration!! Best of luck!


  1. Adding Navy to the Hallway | Drab to Fab Design - February 3, 2013

    […] is crazy long, and it seemed that the only way to get a runner long enough is to sew one, like Kate did!  However, we didn’t have any extra carpet laying around and you kind of need to own a […]

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