Saturday, February 28, 2009

Beautiful Clocks

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I have never really given much consideration to clocks, so pulling together this post was a bit of a challenge. Although I have so many pictures in my inspiration files, I never save pictures because of a clock, so any pictures I found in my files must have been saved for some other reason - a pretty fabric, light colored floor, architectural elements, or the overall design of the room.

I do remember thinking this picture was striking when it was on the cover of one of my favorite magazines, although I can't remember which magazine (maybe Traditional Home?). It was the clock that immediately caught my eye.
This image (via Cottage Living) shows a nice big clock on the wall of a family room.

Another picture of a large clock on the wall (also via Cottage Living). I could only find three examples of this look in my files, which either means I haven't gravitated to the look in the past, or that the look is not reflected in the design magazines I read.

Readers, what do you think about large clocks on walls? I have decided that I like the look and am giving serious consideration to putting one over the sideboard in my kitchen. It would be both interesting to look at and functional, as it always seems like my children are racing against the clock when getting ready for school. On second thought, maybe it would be stressful for someone like me who likes to be prompt! I like the look of these wall clocks from Ballard Designs.; they are 31" in diameter. I just can't decide whether it is 'me', but it is not an overly expensive commitment. If you know of any other sources for large clocks, please email me, or better yet make a note in the comments. I get the feeling that if you are going to go for this look, the bigger the better, and 31" might not be big enough.

Let's move on to the Swedish Mora clock. This picture, from Traditional Home, is truly beautiful, and the clock is part of what gives the entry such character. Others have done good historical posts on this style (such as this post from Willow Decor), so I will just focus on my admiration of the style. I have quite a few pictures of Mora clocks in my inspiration files because I love the light and airy look of Swedish decor, and Mora clocks tend to beautifully accent homes with this design aesthetic.
Recently, when posting about where to put a series of framed intaglios in my front hall, several readers emailed me and suggested that I put a Mora clock at the top of my stairs. I must admit that I am intrigued with this idea, and if I didn't have the steadfast belief (or maybe pipedream given the steep decline of our stock portfolio) that I will be moving within the next 18 months, I might have seriously considered this.

Lars Bolander, master of elegant and sophisticated Swedish style (and from Sweden himself), uses a beautiful and rich colored Mora clock in this design.

The Suzanne Kasler designed home that I posted about last month has a Mora clock tucked into the curve of the stairs.

This picture, from At Home magazine, shows a darker toned Swedish clock.

A pastel Mora clock seen on Daisy Pink Cupcake.

A room from the most blogged about movie decor of all time - Something's Gotta Give. Cote de Texas did a famous post on the decor from this movie, and she noted that the Swedish Mora clock is a very important design element in the room.

GJ Styles makes nice reproduction Swedish clock. This is the regular version, at 82" high. It also comes in blue.

This is the tall version, at 90" high. This one also comes in blue.

A. Tyner is a Swedish antique store in Atlanta that has literally dozens of Swedish clocks, both antique and reproduction. Here are a few examples that caught my eye. You can see additional examples on their web site.

Last but not least, a new discovery for me. While working on this post, I came across the most beautiful object on Cote de Texas' blog. It was from one of her first posts. Joni told me that it is an antique French barometer, and noted that they can be quite expensive; I verified this when looking at 1st Dibs. There is a gorgeous French barometer that is listed for $60,000! I initially thought it was a clock and a barometer, as it has a clocklike look (and this is why it is part of this post), but Joni corrected me after reading the post and said that it is not a clock, just a barometer!
Here is a picture of the barometer in the context of the room. Interiors by Joni Webb (isn't this a beautiful room?).
In a happy coincidence, the new issue of Southern Accents has a lovely French barometer on the cover. The home belongs to Patrick Dunne, contributing editor of Southern Accents and owner of New Orleans antique store Lucullus. I will certainly be keeping my eye out for barometer in design pictures (and in fact, another reader suggested a barometer for the top of my stairs instead of a mora clock). It will be like playing 'Where's Waldo' every time I open a magazine or a blog post.

Beautiful framed intaglios, available here:

Unique architectural renderings, available here:

QD collage

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  1. Oh what a great assortment to think about! I was at a friends home the other day that had just inherited the most beautiful grandfather clock that she place in her dining room...

    When the clock literally 'struck one', it made the most beautiful, soothing chime.... I loved it. In this digital age I thought- what a stylish way to know the time of day!

  2. I hadn't even thought about the sound component of a clock! That would be an important consideration for me - what does the clock sound like when it chimes? I know this feature can be turned off (in new clocks), but it would be so nice to have a soothing chime.

  3. What a wonderful post! I have an old Mora clock that still chimes. Most of the older Mora clocks have bells not chimes, which ding on the hour. My clockworks are very primative on the inside, but it keeps time perfectly. Great post!

  4. I think you already know that this post speaks to me.
    All of the clocks you included in your post have such charm and character. I have loved tall Swedish clocks for many years now. It has become a bit of an obsession. I am fortunate to own two of them now.
    I just couldn't resist bringing one of them home from the shop when it arrived from Sweden last week.
    The French barometer is gorgeous. Leave it to you and Joni to introduce us to more beauty.


  5. I'm not into the large clock on the wall trainstation look, but the Swedish clocks are wonderful sculptures in their own right. I would also make a case for the American/English/Irish antique tall case clocks in traditional homes. They often have wonderful painted faces, fine inlay and lovely sounds.

  6. I love the Swedish Mora's and an assortment of other styles. I think the large round clock can look good in the right settting, a large enough room so that it is not right up in your "face" :)

  7. Thank you for your comments! Thank you in particular for the opinions about the large clock on the wall. I am just not sure about it (for my own home) and love hearing others' opinions.

    Brooke, I had a feeling you would end up with something from your shipment at your home! The pieces are all so beautiful.

  8. My favorite are the antique wall clocks you posted.

    You're right. The first image is indeed from Traditional Home.

  9. I'm working on a loft right now that would look amazing with some kind of great clock. Love the idea, thanks for putting it in my head. Love your inspirational blog!!

    ps. A big clock would look great in your dining room!

  10. I recognize your first photo!!! I love that home. It was built by Brian Thompson (for his family) and Bellacasa Design did the decorating. In Houston. I was the stylist on the shoot for Traditional Home, which published the story. Fab home. And I love your collection of clocks. I'm with ya. Very striking accessories....cheers, -susan

  11. You're right - there hasn't been much posted about clocks on blogs. Your post is great. Really love the room from At Home magazine.
    Thanks for the other Atlanta store ideas. I'm hoping to fly in really early the day before I have to work in May and mapquest myself from one store to the next! Michele

  12. I must admit, no matter how much I love Swedish design, I have never been a fan of Mora clocks. They just don't catch my eye. Although I LOVE that Lars Bolander photo and have it on file also. I think it is the colour, rather than the clock that sells me!

    I like the other large clocks you mention, the railway stye, etc. I quite like clocks, but not enough to collect. I do like this look but find it ubiquitous. That being said, occasionally you find one that is really unusual or striking and it is a joyful thing to look upon.

    Funny you should mention this, as I have been considering a large railway style clock for over the desk in my office.

    I have no tips on companies and have seen them arond at various boutiques but no idea where to go online. I even saw one at the Bombay comapny that I liked!

    Good luck and keep us "posted". ; )

    P.S. Did you buy anything at the art market?

  13. I love a big clock! And I have one (and would love another, even bigger one for my kitchen).
    And the Ballard ones are nice and as you say, a little pricey.
    Don't laugh but Target and Wall Mart (and maybe I saw one at World Market Cost Plus too) both have the same size clock for around $89.-$99.
    They don't have the detail that the Ballard ones have, but they look pretty good and probably would be great in your kitchen.
    And the Mora clock is a classic for sure.
    Thanks for all the eye candy!
    xo xo
    PS Brooke and Steve have a great clocks in their home!

  14. What a beautiful post! Thankyou, so much! I have plans to have a 1metre (39 inch) rought iron clock in my meals area over looking my kitchen in my new home. I have had the clock for almost 12 months waiting for my house to be built. I fell in love with it, and just had to have it!

    Ideally, I'd love a Mora clock in my hallway or lounge room, but they are very pricey in Australia!

    Thankyou for the inspirational post!

  15. i am crazy for clocks.

    i am not 100% on this but, is there not some ' rule' about rooms that should not have clocks ?

    i am not famous for following rules , but i am almost sure there is one concerning clocks.
    it is about there proper placement in the home, and what is, and is not good taste.

    who cares, i think clocks are cool, and mechanical, which makes them even more interesting.

    do what makes you happy.
    you will know instinctively when you hang it !!

  16. love love love this~ you should have shown Visual Vamp's clock - it is wonderful!!!!!

    Also - a barometer is not a clock--it is a barometer - it measures humidty - the barometric measure. Hmmph -a college dropout has to explain that to a Rice graduate!!! hahah

    and yes - the chimes of the clock are so soothing! It means home! I never realized this until I met my inlaws. their clock chime was so important to them.

  17. Thanks for the comments! I do not remember seeing Visual Vamp's clocks, but since I posted this, Visual Vamp and a few other readers have emailed me the most beautiful photos of huge clocks. Velvet and Linen even has a place in her own home where she has both a large 'train station' clock and a mora clock! There are so many unique images I am going to do a follow up post.

    Thank you for the clarification on the barometer! Seeing it at a distance, I assumed that the face was a clock, and the tall part was the barometer - I can't believe they didn't teach me how to differentiate in college!

  18. I love clocks and watches. I don't know why, but I'm just drawn to them. Maybe it's the faces... or how the hands look... I really don't know. I DO know that I LOVE your post about clocks!! Thanks so much for sharing all the wonderful clock pictures :-)

    Personally, I would love to have a big clock hanging on a wall in my house :-) It wouldn't even have to be functional -- I think clocks are just beautiful to look at. Hmmm.... maybe if you're worried about being stressed for time by having a big clock on the wall, you can set the clock at a time that's meaningful to you or where you like the angles of the hands, and treat it like a piece of art.

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  19. Design Ties - I actually love to know the time and hate it when I cannot see a clock to see what time it is, so maybe instead of stressed I would feel more in control (and maybe the kids would be more aware of the time!).

  20. I've always thought it would be fun to do a whole wall of clocks. But then, the noise and having to reset them all the time gets in the way of the plan. Love, love, love the blue Mora clock - gorgeous!!

  21. Great compilation!! The Swedish Mora clock would be my cream clock. They're so gorgeous. Also, I'd never seen the barometers before!!! beautiful!

  22. I love this post! I adore the big antique wall clocks - so beautiful! Amanda x

  23. such magnificent grandfather clocks...unusual! each clock has a power of charm and charachter! i like how you gave thought to the chimes....

  24. Hi! I just love Mora clocks - and those beautiful big clocks. I bought a repro Swedish clock from Howard Miller - I put a slight bit of gilding on it - and antiqued it and I'll be putting some other finishing touches on it - I'll send you a before and after when I'm done! I have a picture of it (antiqued) on my website - www.studioofdecorativearts.com. But I am planning on a few more flourishes!

    Linda Leyble
    Studio of Decorative Arts
    Beautiful Staged Homes


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