How to use the wall clock, to good effect

When there’s a clock to be hung most of us will simply gather a hammer and nail together, find a central spot in the room and apply hammer to nail firmly.

It gets the job done and makes checking the time easy without scanning the room. It also means the clock is visible to visitors unfamiliar with the layout of your house.

But the centre of the room may not always be the best place, particularly if it’s one of those designed time-pieces that are all about fun as well as function, and can be described as a statement-piece.

To make it stand out as its design dictates, consider the background against which your clock will hang. If it’s metal or white, then use a strong colour behind it, but if it’s colourful, then a neutral background is best.

There’s a new vogue for grouping clocks together in the same way we might treat photographs or artworks. Clocks are pretty inexpensive so you could gather together a collection. But if you are a fiend for detail, you must make sure they are all set to the exact time or it will irritate you to the point where you can’t relax in the room.

If your space is on the smaller side, it’s essential you consider the sound level of the clocks’ tick-tock. You won’t notice one timepiece, but several together, while not quite equalling a 747 taking off in your room, could torture your peace in a way that can only be achieved by tiny, but relentlessly regular sound.

Opting for the clock grouping arrangement, remember the rule of odd numbers, hanging three or five together and so on.

From an aesthetic perspective, this approach works best, but ultimately you must suit yourself as it’s your wall and your clocks.

If there’s one particular clock that is a stronger statement piece than the others, or for some reason you want it to stand out, the background wall colour will be crucial to making it have the desired impact.

Another option is a line of identical clocks which you could set to show real-time in famous world cities like New York, Sydney, Paris and Hong Kong, putting the names beneath each one.

An upside of this is that if you have loved ones living in far-flung places, knowing what time it is in their location gives you a sense of what they might be doing at any one time: getting up, going to bed or heading off to work, so instead of putting city names beneath, put the names of your loved ones there instead.

A large single clock, if that is all you have, can become part of a vignette of objects.

Try giving a new dimension to a high kitchen shelf where you are displaying cookbooks, glassware and other favourite objects you don’t want to shove into a cupboard. Add your outsize clock, either by hanging it above the shelf or sitting it on the shelf in a slightly off-centre position

It’s worth noting that clocks can be hung as high on a wall as you like in a way you cannot do with art or photography which needs to be viewed more at eye level, so don’t be afraid to play around with time.

¦ Next week it’s ethnic-style patterns.


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