Another use for nautical charts

Charts
Courtesy Steve Morris
The nautical chart wall-paper in Steve Morris’ office shows the San Juan Islands near Seattle where Morris learned to sail.

Nautical charts have long been used for decoration, often as framed posters or wood carvings. For the last 16 years, Steve Morris has been thinking on a much larger scale.

Morris, who learned to sail in Seattle in the 1970s, came up with the idea for nautical chart wallpaper years ago while working as a professional fundraiser. He recalled walking into a client’s office and seeing a massive painting of the Brown Island chart occupying an entire wall.

“I noticed that when sailors would tell about where they sailed or where some of their adventures were, they would always take out a chart and unroll it and use it as a storytelling device,” he said. Thus, a small business was born.

Now retired and living in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he produces customized charts on his computer and has them printed into wallpaper through a company based in New York. The charts themselves can be exact replicas or fully customized to match a room’s color scheme.

Morris has created more than 100 designs over the years, often for clients based on the East Coast. Cape Cod, Mount Desert Island and parts of Florida are some of the most common requests. Lately, he’s also fielded orders for the Great Lakes and West Coast locations. His own office is decorated with a large chart for the San Juan Islands.

The cost for the wallpaper will depend on the size of the room or wall. Morris charges a $170 flat set-up fee, and the wallpaper costs $10 per square foot. Shipping is free. For more information, or to contact Morris, visit nauticalchartwallpaper.com.