DIY Large Scale Printable Maps

So, while my bedroom makeover drags on and on at least I can share some insightful snippets of the journey thus far to (hopefully) keep you keen.

I know a lot of you have been hanging out to know how I was going to create a massive wall map on a budget – cause, dang, those things can be super expensive.

Well, it all started with this image…

Which got the cogs a-turning, and then evolved further when for $40 I scored this…

It was one of those, “Honey, stop the car!” moments when I spotted it outside our local charity store. You might think $40 isn’t all that cheap though this frame is MASSIVE – 150cm x 80cm (60 x 31 inches)!

And finally, after some deliberation, I settled on this map…

So gorgeous. Who doesn’t love vintage cartography?

And now, after some further research and a little bit of work I have this…

(Okay, still to actually be hung though you get the idea – BTW, that’s my TV bench it’s sitting on and overhanging…it’s biiig!).

And all for just $70 total (that’s $40 for the frame and only $30 for the massive map!).

So, here’s how I did it…

1. Find a high resolution, zoomable map somewhere on-line.
Map History is a great resource for this kinda thing. Just remember to make sure the map isn’t copyright protected and reproducing it is permissable.

2. Here’s where the ‘zoom’ feature is important. If you simply tried to copy and paste the whole map in one go the image resolution would be way too small to enlarge it without massive pixilation. So, starting in one corner, zoom in (as far as you need to depending on the size of the map you want to create) then copy that one section or save it as a picture file.

3. Once saved or copied, open up your map segment in an editing program like Photoshop (if you don’t currently have an editing program you can use this program which is free to download).

4. Still in your editing program, make the canvas size the same as that you want your finished poster to be (in my case 120cm x 60cm (47 x 23 inches) – which is the size of the opening in my frame) and assess, based on your initial map segment, if after you copied the entire map in comparable sections it would be large enough to cover your desired area.

5. Sound complicated? It may take some playing around though it is actually pretty straight forward. Trust me, I’m no computer buff (or maths expert) and I managed to work it out somehow :-)

6. Go back to your on-line map and move from segment to segment, copying and saving each section so it overlaps slightly, then pasting it all together, like a jigsaw puzzle, in your editing program to form one giant image (some sites will be more user-friendly than others when navigating from segment to segment).

To make up my completed image only took around 15 map segments and around 1 hour of copy-pasting so, while it sounds like a lot of effort, it’s actually pretty quick and easy.

7. Once you have completed your digital image, edit it as necessary (i.e. change the colour, add a border etc, etc, etc) then save it as a JPEG file. To double check that once printed-out you will have a good quality image, zoom in to relative size (use in-built rulers as a guide) and check for pixilation.

Very slight pixilation can only be seen in my map from as close as around two inches away which is really nothing to worry about.

8. Save your JPEG file to a USB and take it to your local budget printing store to be printed.
Depending on the size of you map you may also be able to print it at home in sections.

9. Do with it what you will!
I simply attached mine with Mod Podge to the existing oil reproduction print already in my frame then sealed it with a burnt umber glaze.

Seriously, this was waaaay easier than I made it sound though I was just trying to be thorough. I am now hooked and am making massive maps for everyone I know!

Making Up the Master Bedroom Bed

I’d been on the casual look-out for a new quilt cover for a while so when I decided to share, on this here blog, my master bedroom make-over, the pressure was suddenly on to actually find – and commit to buying – one.

The problem is, I may be just a tad fussy sometimes….what, no gasps of surprise?

I wanted something; white, textural, not too girly, not too masculine, that wouldn’t wrinkle after two seconds, was casual yet chic, would stand the test of time and was reasonably priced.

Sooo, imagine my surprise when today I discovered a quilt cover with all that actually did exist!

It’s a bit hard to tell from the photos though it’s a quilted cover with a subtle all-over chrysanthemum stitch. It came with matching pillow shams and I was so excited I bought two euro covers too (they have a slightly more intricate pattern so should create a nice contrast). I got everything on clearance for $140 total.

I’m hoping to pair all this white goodness with some natural linen loveliness. I already have the two cushions as shown, so now all I need is a linen throw – which I think I’ll probably end up making myself.

I am slightly ashamed to admit we’ve been using a coverless quilt for way too long now so I can not wait to get my bed all dressed-up proper like!

And on a different note, I just picked up the gorgeous chippy green vintage step-stool on the weekend. I didn’t know where I was gonna put it or what I was gonna use it for though for $40 I just couldn’t say ‘no’.

Decorating with Bedclothes

Just cause you visit it in your PJ’s (or maybe even less!) there’s no reason your bed can’t be dressed to the nines. And when it comes to a beautifully styled bed there’s more than one way to skin a cat. From quilted, pleated or ruffled valances to plain-dyed, patterned or textured throws – and everything in between – there’s a heap of decisions to be made.

I think I’ve finally decided on the sort of pillow combo and blanket set-up I’m going for in my ‘new’ bedroom, and man, am I glad about that!

For anyone else seeking a bit of inspiration, check out some of these alternatives.

Client Consultation….Living Room Dilemma

Hey girls and guys!

Today I thought I’d do something a bit different and share an abridged version of one of my most recent e-decorating consults.

Christine, who mind you, is one of the most loveliest people ever, was having some trouble deciding what to do in her living room:

“Hi Kristine!
I’m in the process of decorating the 1927 Dutch Colonial that my husband and I moved into in January. It’s been great so far but I have to admit that the living room is quite daunting. It’s got sooooo much potential that I’m afraid of screwing it up; built in floor to ceiling bookcases, great big brick fireplace, large picture window, and everything is painted a cozy, cottagey white right now. I would love to know what you would do if this was your room.

Well, she was certainly right about the room having a tonne of potential. I couldn’t have been happier with my new little play space! Here are some of the pics she sent me…

And the criteria:
– Retain existing colour palette of sage, chocolate and white.
– Retain paint scheme.
– Sofa and armchairs need to stay.
– TV to stay in current location.
– More purposeful bookcase display.
– Immediate budget of $500-$1000.
– Practical and attractive storage solution for TV components.
– Needs to be family and pet friendly.
– Inviting modern cottage theme in keeping with the style of the house.

I’ll spare you the 33 page document Christine ended up with though will share some of the suggestions, hints and ideas I offered her.

Suggested Layout
(click to enlarge)

Alternate Layouts
It’s easy to get stuck in a floor plan rut. How many of us have positioned furniture a certain way just because ‘that’s how the previous owners had it’. Although a particular layout will sometimes work best for a space, it pays to keep an open mind and consider other options.
As long as balance is retained a room may work well in any number of ways.
Think outside the square and spend some time moving existing furniture around. Use cardboard or paper to mimic the scale of any pieces you don’t currently own to help gauge the best possible layout for the room.

Alternate Layout 1
(click to enlarge)
Alternate Layout 2
(click to enlarge)

Christine is about to replace her carpet with dark timber floorboards so I suggested using a large area rug to provide an anchor for her furniture. I recommended a woven natural material (like jute or seagrass) to add warmth and texture, or a subtle pattern (such as the ticking stripe above or a trellis or quatrefoil) to add some depth and interest. Because she’s on a budget (and open to putting in a bit of elbow grease!), I also suggested the option of painting her own inexpensive sisal or jute rug.

I liked the softness and neutrality of Christine’s current white curtains.

Though to showcase that gorgeous picture window they just needed a bit of tweaking. I recommended she place a thin black rod towards the top of her wall near the cornice, making sure it extended slightly either side of the window frame, then hang full drop curtains on the windows extremities only. If she requires privacy, bamboo blinds can be added too.

Christine was happy with the white brickwork around her fireplace though wasn’t too keen on the brass surround. I suggested she just paint it herself.

To remedy the dilemma of housing for her television components, I suggested placing a little white console table or cabinet in the wall nook to the left of the fireplace and running any cables through the wall or hiding them with a cord concealer. To create the illusion of symmetry I also recommended hanging or resting a largish white-framed mirror above the console table to mimic the doorway on the right side of the fireplace.

Because the TV is staying in place above the mantel, I suggested a little decor tweaking to create more impact without detracting from TV viewing.

One of Christine’s biggest annoyances was the bookcase wall.

She wasn’t sure how to go about decorating the cases to look ‘designery’.
One suggestion I made was the possibility of using a decal in the nook above the door frame rather than ornamentation, kinda like this…

Lone armchairs can sometimes look a little, well, lonely. To give Christine’s single chairs a bit more definition and purpose in her room I suggested partnering them with a small side table and standard lamp or even a little cane basket or stack of vintage cases.

A great way to add instant charm and extra dimension to a living room is with a character-filled, personality-packed coffee table. For Christine’s space I suggested a box-style piece, like a steamer trunk, old blanket box or textural cane chest, to fit in with the size of the room and scale of existing furniture. Because new reproductions of pieces like this can be just a tad (read; ridiculously!) expensive I suggested Christine check out Craig’s List, eBay, thrift and charity stores, along with yard sales, for an original piece in need of a loving new home.

Christine’s self-described ‘blah’ wall (with the bird silhouettes) needed a bit of a lift.

Due to the amount of visual interest the nearby bookcase projects, I suggested avoiding anything too small, busy or asymmetrical. Instead I recommended placing one large object centrally on the wall, like a big starburst mirror or clock, or an ordered collection of three or four prints hung vertically, horizontally or in a block.

Along with floor plan layouts and an inspiration board a textiles and textures mood board also helps keep you on track when deciding what to incorporate into a space.

I recommended keeping things natural, textural and neutral by sticking with flat colours (like plain linen, burlap and leather) and incorporating one stripe and one floral/feminine pattern in keeping with the existing sage, chocolate and white colour scheme.

So, whadda ya think?

Of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg – Christine got a tonne of extra info, more in-depth explanations and additional pics – though I didn’t wanna bore all you guys with too many project specific details.

And here’s part of the sweet response I got from her…

“LOVE you. Seriously. I can’t wait to get started! It all looks FAB-U-LOUS. I am so ready to take everything off of those bookshelves and re-do them. I’m going to be a very busy/happy girl.”

If you’re interested in a design consultation for your home, view this page for some further information.

Master Bedroom…Some Progress

Did you think I’d forgotten all about my bedroom make-over?

Nah, course not, truth is, I’ve just been super busy.

Between furniture refurbs, design consultations, my real full-time job, writing this blog (and checking out everyone else’s), housekeeping (etc, etc, blah, blah, blah) and this little thing called a ‘life’ – which apparently requires you attend weddings and catch-up with family and friends every once in a while (really, how totally inconvenient :-), I haven’t been left with too much spare time.

I have however managed to make some progress in the bedroom.

I made a quick trip to IKEA for this…

…and these…

Helped with the installation of this…

Researched how best to re-create a giant one of these…

And started sprucing up some of my second-hand furniture finds.

So it’s slowly getting there.

I still need to source new bedding, get more window treatment stuff, finish snazzying up the furniture, find some thrifty decor, create some thrifty decor and so on and so forth.

I really can’t wait to get it done and share it with you guys already!