Vintage map prints have seen a major resurgence in popularity as home decor items in recent years. These antique map reproductions add visual interest to any space in your home while also evoking a sense of nostalgia and wanderlust. If you’re looking to decorate with vintage maps, there are a few important factors to consider before making your purchase. This article will provide tips on choosing the best vintage map print for your particular home and style, present answers to common frequently asked questions about vintage maps, and recommend the top 5 highest rated vintage map prints on the market this year based on customer reviews. Let’s dive in!
How to Choose the Best Vintage Map for Your Decor
When browsing the many vintage map prints available online or in decor boutiques, it can get overwhelming trying to select just the right one for your home. Here are some key things to keep in mind as you shop:
Consider Which Room the Map Will Hang In
Think about the overall aesthetic of the room you plan to hang the vintage map print in. Is it a living room, bedroom, dining room, home office, bathroom or other space? The map you choose should fit in with the existing style and color scheme of that room for a cohesive look. For example, a coastal or nautical themed map would complement a beachy blue and white bedroom or bathroom.
Measure the Wall Space You Have Available
Take physical measurements of the wall space you have available to ensure you get a print that will fit. Measure width and height. Make sure to account for extra margin space you want around the edges for proper framing and visual balance. Nothing looks worse than a frame squished too small or floating too alone in a big empty wall.
Match the Vintage Map Print to Your Decor Style
Vintage style is the obvious choice, with distressed antique looks and sepia tones. But map prints can also work in modern, Scandinavian, rustic cabin, industrial and various other decors if selected wisely. Choose map artwork that makes sense with your room’s existing color palette, materials and accessories.
Select a Map Region That is Meaningful
Often the most meaningful vintage map prints show a region where you live or have lived, depict a favorite travel destination you’ve visited, highlight your hometown or ancestry, or represent somewhere you dream of going. Make it personal. Shop for antique maps of special locales that connect with you somehow. They’ll have more sentimental value that way.
Decide Between Black & White or Colorized
Vintage map prints come in original black and white/sepia coloring or colorized versions with everything from subtle muted palettes to bold vibrant hues painted on. Black and white has that classic antique appeal. Color makes the map details and places stand out vividly. Choose whichever style best suits your personal taste and home decor.
Simple Style or Artistic Flourishes?
Some reproductions maintain the simple clean lines of the original old maps. Others add artistic embellishments like visible fold marks, painted edges, compass graphics, banners with typography, or even sea monsters and ships decorating the oceans! Determine whether you prefer a simple nostalgic style or a more decorated artsy map print for your space.
Consider Size – Small to Extra Large
Map prints typically range in size from about 16 x 20 inches on the smaller side up to 36 x 48 inches or even larger for an especially dramatic statement piece. Make sure the size suits the wall space but also fits with the room’s proportions. A giant print may overwhelm a small space. Measure carefully so your map doesn’t look dwarfed or interrupt flow.
Frame Choice Makes a Difference
While basic standard frames get the job done, ornate vintage-style frames really complement and complete the antique map look. Distressed wood, carved detail, gold/silver finishes, wide bands, etc. Elevate with an impressive frame. Simple black is always safe too. Just stay flush within the frame edges so details aren’t cut off.
Set a Budget Limit You’re Comfortable With
Like most home decor, map print prices run the gamut from affordable to high-end splurges. Simple mass-produced unframed prints could cost $50-100, while unique large-scale framed ones by specialty artists may cost $500 or more. Set a spending cap for yourself and stick within reason. There are deals to be found!
For sourcing affordable vintage map prints, check out thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets, school fundraiser sales, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and specialty online shops like RareMaps.com, AntiqueMapsInc.com and VintageMaps.com. Comparison shop for the best print at the best price for your budget.
The Top 5 Highly-Rated Vintage Map Prints
If you don’t want to gamble on just any map artwork and prefer to go with customer-approved pieces, here are 5 vintage map prints that rate highly and receive rave reviews:
1. Butler Maps British Isles Map
- 19.7″ x 27.5″ size
- Colorized vintage style
- British Isles region focus
- Rustic antique look
- $147 unframed
- 5 out of 5 stars from over 650 reviews
This vibrantly colorized map of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales printed on antique paper with burnt edges has customers raving about its high quality and beautiful colors. They say it looks far more expensive than the reasonable price. An elegant map for those with British or Celtic heritage.
2. Juniper Print Shop World Map
- 18″ x 24″ size
- Black and white simple style
- Entire world focus
- Geographic layout
- $85 including frame
- 5 out of 5 stars from over 1,500 reviews
This cleanly printed old world map with a classic black frame suits a variety of decor styles from modern to farmhouse. Customers love the crisp details, quality heavyweight paper, affordable price, and fast shipping. A bestseller for good reason!
3. Grafomap Custom Map Print
- Varied sizes from 8″ x 12″ to over 40″
- Black and white or color
- Custom with your address
- Typography art style
- $49 and up
- 5 out of 5 stars from over 8,000 reviews
Grafomap lets you customize a map print with any address in the center and surrounded with typographic facts about the location. Users say seeing familiar street names and city sights makes for a thoughtful personalized gift or art piece for you own home.
4. Historic Map Works State Map
- 24″ x 36″ extra large size
- Colorized vintage appearance
- Map of individual US state
- Decorative details
- $199 framed
- 5 out of 5 stars from over 500 reviews
Reviewers are amazed by the high print quality and ornate antique styling of these customizable US state map prints from Historic Map Works. They make an impression in any room. Made in the USA and hand-framed with care.
5. Antique Maps Inc World Map
- 33 x 24 inches
- Sepia tone with muted colors
- Classic geographic style
- Handmade antique look
- $245 with distressed wood frame
- 5 out of 5 stars from over 100 reviews
Those looking for an extra large statement vintage world map print recommend this top-rated one from trusted site Antique Maps Inc. The slight distressing and color shading mimics an authentic antique without the hefty price. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vintage Map Prints
If you’re new to shopping for vintage style map prints, you probably have some questions about how to choose, frame, care for and creatively age them. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:
What Size Vintage Map Print Should I Buy?
This depends on the wall space you have available, the room it’s going in, and your personal preference. Most common sizes range from 16 x 20 inches on the smaller side for tight spaces up to 36 x 48 inches for a bold statement. Just measure so it fits your wall appropriately.
What is the Best Way to Frame and Hang a Vintage Map Print?
You’ll want acid-free matting and backing materials to prevent aging. Style the frame to match your decor. Use D-rings and wire for hanging – never sawtooth hangers which damage walls. Hang about 57-60 inches from the floor to eye level.
Will the Vibrant Colors in My Vintage Map Print Fade Over Time?
Quality reproduced vintage map prints shouldn’t fade significantly if kept out of direct sunlight. Avoid hanging on walls getting intense light. Also keep away from heat registers, fireplaces or anywhere with excess humidity. Maintain moderate indoor temperatures as well.
How Can I Make a New Print Look Authentically Old and Aged?
Some ways to artificially age a print to look antique include staining the edges with tea or coffee, lightly baking it in the oven, gently crumpling and straightening, using sandpaper lightly around the edges, and applying small amounts of water damage. Go slow and easy!
Where Can I Buy Vintage Map Prints for Cheap?
Check thrift stores, flea markets, antiques malls, Facebook Marketplace, school fundraisers, estate sales. eBay and Etsy can have hidden deals too. Or look for limited time sales from specialty vintage map print retailers. Sign up for email newsletters to receive discount codes too.
Can I Get a Map Print of My Hometown or Other Personal Place?
Yes! Many sellers on Etsy or custom print sites like Grafomap will make personalized custom map art from any location. Provide the street address of your childhood home, favorite vacation spot, wedding locale, etc. and they’ll design a unique custom map print for you.
How Can I Make My Own DIY Vintage Map Print?
Find a high resolution digital scan of an antique map to print yourself. Print on thick textured paper or tea stain for old look. distress the edges and use an ink eraser in spots. Press between books. Custom frame it. Use transferring or ironing methods to apply a map print onto wood, metal or other surfaces too. Sealing with polyurethane will help protect your self-made print.
What’s the Difference Between Actual Antique Maps and Reproduced Vintage-Style Prints?
Authentic antique maps from the 17th-19th centuries are much pricier but hold tangible history and value as original artifacts. Vintage-look reproductions are more affordable ways to get the antique map aesthetic, but won’t increase in value. Both have appealing charm!
Bring Vintage Map Charm to Your Decor
Whatever region, size, framing or print style you choose, vintage map art makes a wonderful decorative addition to any home. Let guests follow the routes and contours imagining travels to all those places. Chart a course to new interior design destinations as you enjoy learning the stories behind old cartography and artistic mapmaking.
Hopefully this guide helped explain the many factors that go into picking that perfect vintage or antique-style map print to complement your home’s decor. From display placement to sizing, styling, sourcing, pricing and more – you’re now equipped with tips to navigate this popular trend in home furnishings.
So unroll those navigational charts and let your decorating journey begin! Transform your living space by proudly displaying a handsome vintage map print that suits your personal taste and celebrates the beauty found in travel, adventure and history. Let your love for geography and art live on your walls and spark meaningful conversation. A life well-traveled is a life well lived.