Q: I adore clocks, and I see a lot of gigantic wall clocks used all over in kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms. My grandparents had an old mantel clock that ticked loudly and chimed every 15 minutes. Although I don't think I could handle the chimes, I love the ticktock. Yet the clocks I see in the stores are all electric.
A: Large wall clocks are certainly a fun trend these days, fueled in part by the French- and industrial-inspired looks, and the modern farmhouse style that is so popular. The large analog (not digital) style clocks with moving parts and warm ticktock add motion and sound to an otherwise quiet home. I also love clocks, especially large ones.
Many of today's giant wall clocks are far from heirlooms, though they are beautiful and charming. Many manufacturers are reproducing vintage clocks found in old train stations, schoolhouses, factories, and other public locations. Some of these are quite inexpensive, and there are also clock kits available that let you create the numbers and hands any way you want.
But these clocks often don't have that nice, resonating "ticktock" you love. Some new clocks do make more noise than others, but you'll probably need to pack a battery and test it at the store.
Large wall clocks are perfect accessories for high or awkward spaces that you're not sure how to fill. Over a fireplace, they stand in for both art and refer to the mantel clock tradition. They're also fun over the range in the kitchen, in a stairwell, in a dining room. There are even clocks made for outdoor spaces.
If you have a special clock you love but it's not large enough for you, consider mounting it in the center of something big and round, and hang it all. Or, get a large round frame, hang it on the wall and paint the inside before placing your clock in the center. Or just use the paint to paint a large round circle! It's OK, too, if the clock doesn't actually work. As long as it suits your style, it'll be a great addition to your home.
Let me know what you find.