My entire house is covered with maps, mostly geological maps. No, seriously:
(I’m in the middle of a sewing project with my Fangirl Congress/Sewing Circle, so there will be lots of sewing paraphernalia in these pictures. View at your own risk)
When I first moved in my apartment last March, I wanted to decorate and I wanted to create an introvert-safe space. Since most of my parties are by and for introverts, I wanted to cover my walls with something that people could dive deeply into and enjoy and talk about without making eye-contact with anyone.
Also, if you haven’t guessed, I love geology and I couldn’t get cheaper or better decorations than $1 for my Fossils Through Time poster and $25 for my map of Dasht-e Kevir (also known as or Great Salt Desert, is the largest desert in Iran from the United States Geological Survey).
Because I think Colorado has some of the most diverse geology in the United States, and because most of my close friends in D.C. are from or have spent a lot of time in Colorado, my kitchen is graced with a large Ecoregions of Colorado map. This map has the added benefit of having the most text and it’s healthier for my iPad if I have something to read in the kitchen on which I can splash pasta sauce with few consequences.
My bedroom is more of the same, with a huge and swirly geological map of the U.S., with Indonesia and East Asia maps bracketing it on the right (because Indonesia is one of my favorite countries and I have enough friends in/affinity for Japan that I should be more familiar with how it looks on a map):
And for my final map, in my bathroom is a Groundwater Cycles children’s map. Because it’s funny.
The only non-map piece of art I have in my house is my signed, Paul D. Goodman original, which gets my biggest and nicest-looking wall all to itself.
There is one more map in my house. I’m sharing it out of a commitment to full-disclosure for anyone else who wants to decorate with maps stuck on the wall. I hang all of my maps with those sticky-but-does-not-peal-paint-strips that every college student buys in bulk. And they work fine, for the most part.
Except when I open my windows.
I live in Virginia and it is humid here. And, as I discovered one day when I opened my windows for an evening and over the next 6 dark hours nearly all of my posters had fallen off the walls, the stickies stop working when there is enough moisture in the air.
You don’t know terror as a person living alone until you’ve turned off all the lights, snuggled up in bed, and then, from the dark living room, inside your locked apartment, you hear what sounds like the slip of a katana from its sheath. It was the sound of a 5-foot-tall poster makes when it falls off the wall. Because Virginia weather hates posters.
Long-story-short, this poster fell off the wall and I quickly put it back up a few weeks ago on my way to work, and this happened:
And since I mostly wanted it for the colors and I can read upside-down just fine, I’ve left it. I’ll wait until it falls off again to right it.
If anyone wants direct links to any of my posters on the USGS site, just leave a comment.
6 months after decorating, I’m still happy with my maps. They let me put all of my homes around me at all times. The SF Bay Area, Middle East, Washington state, the national parks I’ve visited and which I have yet to visit, the places my country is responsible for and the places I hope it leaves alone. They give me something to read while I’m cooking, my guests appreciate them, and I feel like I’m learning something all the time.
Which is kind of the best feeling.
“With their four-dimensional minds, and in their interdisciplinary ultra verbal way, geologists can wiggle out of almost anything.” –John McPhee