When we fell in love with a map

The Future Mapping Company shop

Small but perfect shop

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.

On the back wall of the shop – which was, incidentally, about the width of the shop – was a fabulous 2m x 1m world map in shades of green.

Future Mapping Company's world map

Future Mapping Company’s world map

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.


Perfect against the Cornforth White walls, – ceiling is in Strong White and it’s All White on woodwork and cornice

Future Map

Litho print with metallics and gloss UV


Looking good with DownPipe cabinets in the background

Pretty as a picture – what’s not to love about a map?

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.


Filed under Decor

6 responses to “When we fell in love with a map

  1. Jo

    Gorgeous maps. Who thinks of stuff like this? Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  2. Cool map! Very unusual. I’m a sucker for maps, too. The frame is just stunning … sets it off perfectly and looks so good with your paint!

  3. As soon as I saw the title of this post I knew which map it would be – we have the same one, it’s just gorgeous. Seeing it looking all lovely and shiny on your wall reminds me that I really, really, really need to get ours out of the tube and into a frame and actually, like, hang it up somewhere – but then I look at the seventeen layers of 130 year old paint on our stairs that need carefully stripping off by hand, and sadly re-file the map at the bottom of our enormously giant to-do-list. (We’re DIY renovating a Victorian house in Manchester. Stop by and say hi some time!)

    • Thanks for stopping by! How funny that it’s the same map! It really does look ace, you’ll love it when you can finally hang the poor thing. Your blog/house is amazing by the way, you totally put us to shame – we’re proud when we just manage to paint something!

  4. This map is amazing! It always bothers me when the Northern hemisphere is much bigger than the Southern one. Nice find.

  5. That’s so true! We really love the map, was a very happy lucky find.

Do you have any comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s