How to Design With Maps

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Carefully crafted to convey a trove of information, maps can also be excellent tools in the interior designer's repertoire. Whether abstract or richly detailed, they can greatly shape any room in the house.

The kids' playroom features built-in storage and a Fly pendant from Design Within Reach. Reddy purchased the mural from World Maps Online and the small table and chairs from Igloo Play. Photo  of How to Design With Maps modern homeView Photos

Designer Suchi Reddy crafted this family-friendly New York City apartment; the kids' playroom features built-in storage and a Fly pendant from Design Within Reach. Reddy purchased the mural from World Maps Online and the small table and chairs from Igloo Play.

Modern home with Kids Room, Bedroom Room Type, Girl Gender, Pre-Teen Age, and Bed. The organic bedding is from The Canopy. Photo  of How to Design With MapsView Photos

Actors David Alan Basche and Alysia Reiner reworked their Harlem town house with an eco-sensibility and an eye for smarter spaces. Their daughter's 144-square-foot room now boasts a custom play area that comprises a reading nook, a loft bed with a secret passageway that opens just to the left of a built-in desk, and myriad storage options, all designed by Gus Deardoff, a theatrical set designer, and built by Peter Sobierajski of J&P Construction Services. The organic bedding is from The Canopy.

Modern home with Bedroom, Bed, Dresser, and Pendant Lighting. Francesco and Mafalda’s bedroom is open and playful with only a bit of Algue by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec guarding the stairs. The lamp was designed by Francesco himself and the decal on the wall is from My Vinilo. Photo  of How to Design With MapsView Photos

With its architectural history reaching back to the ancient Greeks, Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, has plenty of old bones. In 2001, while still students, native sons Francesco (now an architect) and Alberto (a photographer) bought a crumbling building that dates from the 18th century. Seven years—three of them spent on construction—and one UNESCO permitting process later, the Moncada brothers moved in: Francesco on the top two floors and Alberto on the first. Now the two globetrotting brothers, as well as Francesco’s girlfriend, architect Mafalda Rangel, use the place whenever they’re in Sicily. The modern interior, replete with furniture of Francesco’s design as well as a few Italian classics bought on eBay, serves as the perfect counterpoint to the weight of the town’s considerable history.

Francesco and Mafalda’s bedroom is open and playful with only a bit of Algue by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec guarding the stairs. The lamp was designed by Francesco himself and the decal on the wall is from My Vinilo.

Modern home with Living Room, Carpet Floor, Lamps, Sofa, Table Lighting, and End Tables. The kids' room is outfitted with a cheerful orange Case Study daybed from Modernica and a selection of vintage maps and artwork. Photo  of How to Design With MapsView Photos

An interior designer in Portland updated this 1950s home by a celebrated local architect; the kids' room is outfitted with a cheerful orange Case Study daybed from Modernica and a selection of vintage maps and artwork.

A peek inside the bathroom, where a raised topographic map doubles as reading material and travel inspiration. Photo  of How to Design With Maps modern homeView Photos

Setsumasa and Mami Kobayashi’s weekend retreat, two and a half hours northwest of Tokyo, is “an arresting concept,” photographer Dean Kaufman says, who documented the singular refuge in the Chichibu mountain range. “It’s finely balanced between rustic camping and feeling like the Farnsworth House.” Seen here is peek inside the bathroom, where a raised topographic map doubles as reading material and travel inspiration.

Modern home with Living Room, Sofa, and Light Hardwood Floor. A mustardy couch and a large map of the world—Whitlock travels all over the place for work—keep the living room bright and cheerful. Photo  of How to Design With MapsView Photos

Resourceful sound mixer Brian Whitlock sourced some local design talent, rolls up his sleeves, and built this small, green, and affordable in Bozeman, Montana. A mustardy couch and a large map of the world—Whitlock travels all over the place for work—keep the living room bright and cheerful.