When we were in the very early stages of planning our dining area we knew we were going to paint it a shade of grey (in the end we opted for Farrow and Ball’s Cornforth White) and we also knew we’d need to inject a pop of colour. On a rainy day last January in East London we found the answer.
It was peeing it down and we were at Columbia Road Flower Market – we’d made a special trip back there to replace (as far as one can) stolen wedding jewellery after we were burgled.
There’s a great vintage shop called Glitterati which is where we were heading; treading the steps my beloved mum used to when she nursed in that area back in the 1950s.
However, partly because we wanted to escape the rain and partly because Oliver is a huge map fan, we dived into a tiny little shop called the Future Mapping Company.
After gazing at it a while we got chatting to the seller who told us how it is drawn using equal-area projection to represent countries in their correct proportional size. It’s then printed using a lithographic process, with special colours, including silver metallic for the seas. The print is finished with a sealer, to protect the inks, and a gloss UV varnish is applied to the landmasses – for contrast.
Oly was sold, he wanted it and we knew – instantly- which wall it was destined for.
To save lugging it in the rain we ordered it when we got home (free shipping!) and it then spent several glum months in a cardboard tube.
The talented Robin Taylor then did a superb job of framing it for us – not an easy job on something this size, particularly when we didn’t want glass so’s not to obscure the print perfection.
And now, finally, we have been able to hang it.
The size of our wall somewhat dwarfs the 2m x 1m map in the pictures but, in real life, it looks very impressive and achieves the shot of colour we wanted.
Oly has already been lost to the wonder of the map, idly gazing. I suspect he won’t be the last.