Customaps - Location, Location, Location

Favourite memories and dreams are often comprised of places - places you've been and places you want to go.

So it's no wonder there's been a rise in popularity of maps used in decor in recent years.

Sadly though, a handful of designs have become so mainstream (you know them when you see them - they're in your neighbourhood restaurant, your friend's pricey loft and practically everywhere else), it seemed like a lacklustre idea for awhile there. The images have become so saturated, their true beauty is forever marred by the mass production.

And even if by change you find a map that you  like, it is either way too expensive (what are we buying, gold?) or the wrong size (I don't have a room large enough or worse - how could you possible see anything on that?), or it covers almost the whole city blocks you want, but argh, not quite (you want it to include that block with the French restaurant you used to go with that sexy musician...)

If only there was a better solution.

May I introduce the brand new, brilliant Customaps?

Not only can you choose and order your map online, saving yourself the time and trouble of traipsing around (art store after furniture store after housewares store), you can create ones for yourself and customize maps for gifts for friends and family whenever it suits your schedule.

That's pretty amazing if you ask me, but then it gets even better:

You get choose the location, style and zoom level.

That's right. Go ahead and get in real close to your old neighbourhood (remember that great apartment with the fireplace?) or take a really wide shot of the whole continent where your friend traveled and worked for those two years when he was younger.

You can absolutely choose anywhere in the world. Go ahead, name a place. They've got it. Think of somewhere else. They've got that too. Yes, even that far. Yes, even that one.

This is so cool.

And so personal.

And so easy. You just fill in the blanks.

There are ten original map themes to choose from:

- If you have a lot of places you still want to go, World maps are just the thing.

Satellite images (available as posters and cool peel & stick murals) add a sense of awe and wonder to any room. Have you ever seen Niagara Falls from above? Breathtaking.

- Imagine the joy on your Aunt Sylvie's face when you shop Vintage maps and find her old stomping grounds from when she was a teenager.

- Moving across the country? Have great pride for where you live? State and country maps are a great addition to any home or office.

- And stand out from the crowd with phenomenal large scale  Map murals (I want to cover my whole bathroom with New York and the kitchen with New Orleans). Customaps has made it so easy to make a statement without having to wholly commit. Forget glue or wall paster - this self-adhesive thin fabric goes on - and comes off - like a dream. No residue.

And since it's custom-sized to fit your wall, you no longer have to buy art that's too big or too small for your space.

- I shopped City maps (pictured above) because I am a city girl through and through. I feel more comfortable with concrete beneath my feet than grass or sand. I love where I live and it's a big part of who I am, so I will thrilled when I was able to post it on my wall, block by block, corner by corner.

The first thing you'll notice is its done on stunning greyscale instead of black. So while it stands out, it never jars the eye or looks like an Excel spreadsheet you're supposed to be working on. And the satin finish gives it polish while delivering little glare. I thought for sure I was going to frame it, but truly - it looks fabulous just as is.

The crisp detailing included street and neighbourhood names, with the city written at the bottom in a wonderful hand lettered looking font, all in uppercase, with the province/state placed just below.

The print covers the whole downtown and then some. Mighty impressive to get such a big city all gathered and collected like that and still be able to read the fine print without having to hunch over it.

The thick paper is boss too. Printed on a premium 10 mil (235 g/m2) thick cellulose-based paper and loaded with latex for durability, it's sturdy enough to handle more than a few moves without showing any wear. So sturdy in fact, it's tear-resistant, flexible and is made so that when you fold it, the image doesn't crack. It's also PVC-free and recyclable.

While maps can be enjoyed by everyone, there is something very personal about them. They evoke strong memories of people, places. things, and times in your life that you may not have thought about for sometime. It's a wonderful tool to not just remember the past, but plan for the future (I've made a list of all the places I want to go).

Which is why they make such fabulous gifts, whether it's for yourself or for someone else.

So shop Customaps right now.

Stephanie Dickison

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