The Magic of Vintage Globes and Decorating Ideas With Globes

Retro Staff Comments

I really have a weakness for vintage globes. What I consider a very appealing characteristic is that they were made with such a wide variety of colors. There are vintage globes printed in pastels, primary colors and some in nearly neon colors. Another thing I love about globes is they way they invoke a wistfulness about travel and where we could go, not necessarily places we will visit. They represent possibility and adventure. They also represent change. Depending on the age of a globe, some countries may not yet exist and others may no longer exist at all. This is the very thing that helps to date a globe.


Retro Planet Globe Collection

The vintage globe collection at the Retro Planet offices includes examples from the 1940s to 1960s.


More Vintage Globes

This private collection includes vintage globes of a wide variety of sizes and materials, including paper, plastic, metal, tin and glass. (The glass globes are the smallest and appear on the left.)


There are many vintage globes around our office as part of the owner’s personal collection. Displayed in groups they have a great impact. You can appreciate the differences in size, color and design. Most of the vintage globes in the office are made of hand applied printed paper over a cardboard ball. The frame and base are usually metal. One, in particular, is very interesting in that the base is hollow and in that space sits a small world atlas. This model must have been used in classrooms as an aid for teaching geography.


Vintage Atlas Globe

Vintage globe by Replogle has a world atlas in the base. This classroom globe dates to the 1940s.


World globes need not be vintage to be interesting; reproduction globes can be just as exciting as an old one. Take a look at this reproduction of a 1930s travel agent globe. Featuring a Super Constellation airplane in polished aluminum, this globe was designed to promote air travel and remind potential customers of how small the world has become with this ability.

Travel Agent World Globe

Decorating with globes is a lot of fun. Clustering several vintage globes on a side table or on top of a shelf creates a beautiful vignette. Arranged together, globes of different styles add interest and drama to a room. Placing one globe among a grouping of books or one of your other collections creates an academic, timeless feel. At least I think so!


Grouping Globes

This is a great example of placing a group of vintage globes together for great interior design. This idea is perfect for an office, bedroom or livingroom. With the addition of a vintage movie camera and a colorful metal sign featuring an African elephant, everyone will believe you’re a world traveler—even if you’re not!


Black Replogle Globe

A 1950’s vintage globe by Replogle adds a mid-century feel to a simple setting with a vintage phone and cool wall decals.


A globe is a great way to add a mid-century look in a home. Adding a single world globe can enhance an arrangement of decor items on a side table or desk. Grouping three or more globes can make a statement and become a design element when placed together. Another decorating idea is to use the globes in a whole new way like the one I came across on Pinterest. In this pin, at least two dozen illuminated globes had been suspended from a ceiling. It was a very cool effect as they cast a very subtle glow. This would be inspiring in a child’s room, especially for budding adventurers.


Repurposing Vintage Globes

These two ideas were found on Pinterest. Repurposing vintage globes as unique light fixtures is a fantastic way to give an updated look to a vintage item and add some real interest to any room. The photo on the left is from ArchitechtureArtDesigns and the image on the right is from Upcycled Wonders. These are both very clever and beautiful ideas!


One thing is for sure: these beautiful vintage pieces that were once only found in classrooms or home offices have come into their own as a unique design element in their own right.

Last updated: Nov 01, 2016
Filed under: Retro Decorating Ideas Tagged with: Decorating Ideas, Vintage globes