Come Along and Ride on a Maptastic Voyage

8 million years ago I wrote a post on my map fixation, and you all seemed to agree that maps rule the world. Well, don't spend too much time fixating on how I brilliantly used language and the internets to write something long before the Big Bang, because part deux is coming at all you map lovers bright and early this morning. Set your international time clocks to awesome and let's get this globe trotting. Now I could do my usual patter that goes something like: maps... globalization... maps... economy... maps... self deprecating political joke. But in my own little latitude x longitudinal coordinate, pollen is dripping from the trees in our canopied neighborhood and making my life a living hell, so I'll settle for maps... pretty. That works, right?

sr gambrel

Interior designer, S. R. Gambrel goes nautical in this room decoupaged with maps. I'm a thinking this look can move beyond the solely sea worthy, though. Industrial glam would work equally well.

annie schlecter

Annie Schlecter makes this map retro fresh by adding a dash of Mimosa yellow to cool gray, dropping in a sprig of shiny pendant goodness, pouring in a heaping helping of shaggy delight, and garnishing with a burl wood cross section that acts like nature's own growth chart. Delicious.

per ranung

Per Ranung

This humble little map pirouettes on center stage like a prima ballerina in this... boy's (?) room. Whatever. I'm keeping the metaphor. Boys can dance, too, right?

map quilt

At night, little Billy Elliot in training could cover up with an amazing map quilt by Leah Evans. This beauty is already sold, but you should check out her other work which walks the line between symbol and abstraction with stunning intricacy.

map wall


This Belgian architect couple spends six months out of the year traveling around Europe in a very swank mobile home, and the other six living in a garage they've tricked out with various and sundry creature comforts. A map is a must for planning future journeys.


Here they show off their essentials: Ligne Roset's Togo sofa, kitchen appliances, a picture of their beloved camper, and the ever popular globe.

globe lamps

Speaking of globes, check out what this crafty chica did to hers. One whole makes two halves (and a very cool pair of pendant lights).

map covered chair

Here's another nifty idea for all your peeps unafraid of a little glue, courtesy of The Bedlam of Beefy's funny blog. Based in the UK, online retailer All Things Original stocks their virtual shop with tons of cute and quirky selctions. Good thing the interweb makes hopping across the pond nothing more than a skip and a jump.

gavin turk

This incredible TEXTILE by Young British Artist (YBA) Gavin Turk hits all those political notes I alluded to but am too lazy to actually cover in this post. The map is fashioned from bits of commercial packaging that reflect the increasingly global nature of consumerism. What's most important is that Coca Cola is available in Uzbekistan, right? Insert your own analysis here.


Nope. Not the same house as the first image, but just goes to show that great minds think alike. Courtesy of the now defunct Domino, via Alicia B. Designs.

tokyo map

Say hello to my current obsession: maps of Tokyo designed by cartographer extraordinaire, Hajime Ishikawa. This little gem is even conveniently featured in chartreuse and turquoise, a hot color combo discussed here and here. Its veiny rivers and jagged arteries set my heart to double pump!

Mmmmm... topolicious.

Pompom Phenomenon

A few days ago, Stephanie at super awesome radicool blog even*cleveland posted on all kinds of crafty pompoms, those fuzzy wuzzy balls of good cheer. I've been lusting after a pompom bedspread since summer, so I feel compelled to post an intrablog follow up to show you some more... balls. This time in interiors. Soon, you'll want to sew pompoms onto everything, but control thyself! Balls are very powerful, and require a judicious measure of restraint. So without further ado, here's the pair that first inspired my desire:

tom scheerer pompom fringe

I'm not a big fan of the peppermint patty headboard in this Tom Scheerer bedroom, but I love the dreamy quality the pompom fringe brings to the edge of the bed. My dear sweet mother sewed fringe onto EVERYTHING (Couch: check. Every pillow on the couch: check. Curtains: why not?), so I certainly have a nostalgic appreciation for those little dingle berries, as well as a healthy fear for the havoc they can wreak.

domino pompom fringe

But, hark! Here is the very same bedspread featured in Domino (apparently available only through ABC Home and Carpet. Grrr! Why don't I live in New York?), and does it not captivate? The soft texture it adds to rough surfaces and hard lines balance this simple room out beautifully. Please ignore the bleed through from the back page... Miles Redd and his striped rooms are also very powerful stuff.

pompo fringe decor8

If you want just a splash of texture, a colorful throw like the one in this lovely apartment featured on Decor8 might do the trick. Oh, and I will also take everything else in this room, please. Thank you.

pompom bedspread

For a dose of color in an all white room, consider sewing a colorful ball fringe on a white blanket, and hey presto! You have a sexy little number to keep you warm at night. Photo via the Style Files.

chenille bedspread

An old school chenille bedspread packed with pompoms adds bohemian charm and texture to this bedroom. Plus it makes me want to jump up and down on the bed and scream, "Wheeeeeeeee! I love balls!" Photo via Elle Decor.

domino pompom fringe

Perhaps you'd like to keep your ball lovin' on the down low. Discreet pompoms sewn onto these coverlets are cheeky without resorting to kitsch appeal. Photo via Domino.

elle decor bedspread

Then there's this hot little throw, strewn oh so casually across the bed, that gives me a warm feeling inside. It's tres elegant -- looks very high class and expensive -- but you'll want to spend all night long with it. Photo via Elle Decor.

modern fiber lab throw

Speaking of throws, this is -- all kidding aside -- the MOST amazing throw, ever. It comes courtesy of Etsy seller Modern Fiber Lab, and it is worth every penny of its asking price. Felted by hand of wool and mohair using traditional techniques, it's simply the most weirdly elegant pompom pelt in the universe. Period. You know what I want for Christmas next year, so start saving up.

pompom rug

Although I obviously have a crush on pompom bedspreads and throws, you can feel free to spread the balls far and wide throughout your home. Case in point: this crazy rug beckons for your sweet, sweet love down by the fire. Courtesy of Sew Very Prairie.

pompom pillows

Karly has a killer pompom pillow that makes her couch look like a million bucks. Be like Karly and bring a little squishy love into your life with these fringe elements. Clockwise from top left: Pillow via Country Home Living, Red or Brown Pillow at World Market on sale for $7.48, Minimal Pompom Pillow Cover at West Elm on sale for $6.99 (indigo only), Handmade Retro Red Pillow at Weezi for $24.98.

domino pompom valance

If you're crafty, you could sew a line of pompom fringe onto just about anything, like this window cornice. Photo via Domino.

pompom craft ideas

More ballsy craft ideas... or just feel free to buy from the source. Sheer curtains with tiny pompoms available at PB Teen (!), Crazy pompom fringe parrot lamp at Whatiszot Design, Ball fringe blanket at Calypso.

bohemian hellhole

No jokes here, only a gorgeous image that combines a lot of pretty pretty elements all framed by an amazing vintage crocheted curtain dripping with delicate pompoms. Me likey. Picture courtesy of Bohemian Hellhole, a great blog with a great name.

So, don't be afraid cheer for the return of the pompom, because it's time to get ballsy with decor. If these two strapping young bucks could go down out on the fringe, so can you.

ball fringe guys

Before and (sorta, kinda) after: Diana's Fireplace

Did I ever mention that my husband is a handyman / contractor?  No?  Well that's just plain crazy.  Let me catch you up to speed:  my husband is a handyman / contractor.  Recently he was hired by Design Crisis reader, Diana to clean up the colonial mess of a fireplace that was haunting her living room.  There are still some finishing touches to be done but I just couldn't wait to show off his little project.  Behold, the before and after(ish):

fireplace before

Sick of having guests throw up in their mouth when they came over, Diana decided to have Matt do this:

That's right, bitches, beautiful pristine plaster.  Yum.  And don't you traditionalists go getting your undies in a bundle, no bricks were harmed in the resurfacing of the fireplace.  He built some fancy thing around it then covered that with the plaster.  He also made little cubby holes in the back for her stuff.  That TV is going to be mounted (I'm not 100% sure where) and Matt will be doing something very complicated and technical to hide all the wires in the wall.  Ok, complicated to me only.

Believe it or not, the paint on the sides is just grey primer,  she's going to be covering it with Sanders approved Harbor Gray.

And yes, yes, we know, those tiles are killing our eyes, but hey, no worries, Diana's a smart and savvy lady, which is why she's having matt shred 'em to install a glorious expanse of hardwoods.  When he's all done I'm going to kick her out and move in.  Then I will post more photos.

For now, I'll leave you with Diana's inspiration pic from the October '08 issue of Domino Magazine:


PS Here's hubby's site if you're so inclined: Austin Fix It