God bless google and its online street maps but they are simply not up to the real thing... an antique map, a creased city guide on a weekend trip or the thick bound atlas on the newsroom's foreign desk.
That creamy paper in your hands, those gorgeous faded colours and lightly drawn contour lines. Endlessly fascinating. Full of places you'd love to go back to, those you'd forgotten existed and the ones you can't quite place. To the right of Afghanistan or below?
A little while ago on the covetable Velvet and Linen blog I found this beautiful room that California designers Brooke and Steve Gianetti put together for a client.
They created a map room complete with room for lounging and planning the family's next trip. The maps have been framed without glass so the client's children can use pins and mark where they'd been. Love it.
Love too the thought of a house with an office, playroom, garden room, television room AND map room. Cancel the en suite I want one of these.
We've collected a few maps over the years - the favourite is the London A-Z. We lived in London in the pre-iPhone age (the five year old calls it the Olden Days which is enough to give me another wrinkle). A tatty A-Z lived in the handbag, another in the car and a few littered the house. When I shared a house there was a poster version on the kitchen wall - it was always a conversation starter.
You can buy your own poster on the A-Z website, have one custom made or get an A-Z application for your iPhone.
Ours has waited five years for a wall. Now it's going in a frame and I can stroll the streets of my favourite city.