I have been dreaming about doing this for a really really long time. Like 3 moves ago–long time. But I’ve never had a house with the right sized wall, or the right space, or a house that was special enough to take on such a nostalgic, dear-to-my heart project.
This is a picture of what we called the “pantry” in my grandparent’s house. You’ve probably heard me talk about this special place many times here before. There were 15 kids and this pantry was a long narrow room with a wall of cupboards on one side and a giant map on the other. Down the middle were two long farm tables with benches on either side. It was where we’d gather for meals. Some days every spot at the benches would be full with extra bodies overflowing into the kitchen. Other days there would be a quiet 3 or 4 gathered at one end for a cup of soup or a glass of iced tea.
The giant map covered the wall from floor to ceiling. Every so often it would get replaced with an updated version. It was great for conversations when talked about someone’s trip or things happening in the news. And served as the backdrop to many meals, craft projects, coloring sessions or games of cards.
One of the things I love about our home is including things that remind me of my family.
And hanging a map wall has been on that list for a really long time.
But when we moved to Waffle Hill Farm, getting the map hung was high on my to do list. (aka Dan’s to do list.) This winter when we had a big gathering for a Christmas party, Dan decided to take on the map hanging project and we had the perfect place.
The large wall in our downstairs hallway was almost the exact size of the complete map. And although I pushed just a wee bit for hanging it in the dining room, it was definitely the perfect spot.
Dan prepped the wall a few weeks before by repairing some cracks and painting the entire wall with a flat primer.
The map comes in several sections with directions (which we lost) and a powder used to mix the paste. But Dan used wallpaper adhesive instead of the included powder. The whole process is basically like hanging wallpaper and requires some intense matching of lines–especially since the pieces tend to wiggle a bit as they are applied to the wall. But Dan completed the entire map-hanging in an afternoon. And he did it all on his own. (He tends to tackle major house projects when I leave the house for extended periods of time. This is what 17 years of marriage has taught us.)
I cannot express how happy this wall makes me. It’s such a fun statement in our downstairs hall. It’s great for geography lessons or pointing out where Emma will be in a few days on her trip to Rome. (*sniff*. More on that soon!) And most importantly, it’s like having a little piece of my family history, and a place dear to my heart, inside my home.