Grandfather clocks

Finding a Grandfather Clock that I Remember, Part I

10.13.08

I have a real affinity for grandfather clocks. They were in the homes of most of my relatives when I was growing up in Europe; even then they were a sophisticated addition to a home and those with the money to do so would often showcase their grandfather clocks in their foyer where guests were welcomed or in their study where guests would take tea. Even as a child I felt the grandfather clock to be a statuesque observer; something that was both comforting in its melody and brooding in this design.

When my family came to this country we had very little in terms of money and we stayed with relatives that had come years before us. With many of us cramped into a two-bedroom apartment there was little room for luxuries; only enough for necessities and there was barely enough for that. My mother longed for a time when she would one day have her own house again so that she could make a home for her family and fill it with the things that she most loved in the world.

That day finally did come many years later when the business that my family started finally began to realize success and my family was able to move to a home in the suburbs of the city. I remember the feeling of being able to breathe again, as we were able to spread out within what felt to me was a grand palace of space.

One of the very first things that my mother did was to have a grandfather clock made for our home. It honored the place of our heritage and made our new house in this new country a true home for our family.

Much like I would do many years later….

State to State: Finding a Grandfather Clock

10.09.08

I have recently been transferred in my company which means that we will be leaving Ohio where we have been living for ten years and heading for Georgia where we will be making our home in cosmopolitan Atlanta. I am excited about the move but not necessarily looking forward to all that must be done to set up shop in our new home. We are moving our personal items and a few pieces of furniture but all in all we will mostly be buying new pieces to fill what is going to be a much larger home.

This is where the Internet has been enormously helpful. It’s no longer necessary for me to wait to get down there before I start picking out the pieces that will be perfect in our new home. Everything from furniture to bedding can be found online and shipped right to our door so that it is waiting for us when we arrive. This online experience certainly makes the move – and all that is associated with it – much more convenient to say the least.

One of the things that I am desperate to have in our new home is a grandfather clock. I have always loved the look of grandfather clocks but we didn’t really have the space in our home to pull it off with style. Now that we are moving to a larger home, there will be plenty of room for a grandfather clock and I did all my browsing and shopping online through an amazing website that I found. This online purveyor of clocks offers a variety of grandfather clocks for sale and I was able to find just the clock for our new home. Best of all, it will be waiting for us when we get there!

Grandfather Clocks in Our Nation’s History

10.09.08

I was in Philadelphia recently where I was able to tour the many spots synonymous with the birth of our nation – Independence Hall where they signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Carpenter’s Hall that hosted the first Continental Congress, and what was once the home of Benjamin Franklin – writer, printer, inventor, scientist, politician, and diplomat. In touring through the museum dedicated to Franklin, I was amazed to see that they had in their possession many of the items that were actually in his home – from pieces of furniture to some of his many inventions that he crafted throughout his lifetime.

One of the items that I was most drawn to was a stunning grandfather clock – called a tall case clock at that time. Handcrafted for Franklin in 1750 it was made by Edward Duffield – a member of Franklin’s Junto Society; a group of gentlemen that met on a regular basis to discuss ways to improve life in Philadelphia.

What struck me was the high quality of this grandfather clock and the fact that it was in such spectacular condition. Clearly it had been lovingly restored and well maintained by those in charge of gathering these historic relics. But even so it was still just as beautiful as I imagined it was standing in Benjamin Franklin’s home.

There are few pieces like grandfather clocks – that span the history of this country so completely. Today’s grandfather clocks are the modern versions of those simple – yet glorious – early designs. But we know that they will represent yet another time in history when grandfather clocks were a part of the décor of our homes.

Looking for Something Dramatic? Why Not a Grandfather Clock? Part II

10.06.08

In the last post we talked about how easy it is to be sucked into the world of mass-produced, garden-variety home design because it is easy and affordable. But without choosing at least one or two pieces that completely and totally reflect our own personality we are unable to really put our own stamp on our home décor. And so it is important to still seek out those pieces that can dramatically change the way our homes look but do not break the bank in the process.

Grandfather clocks are still some of the greatest accessories in homes around the world because they have impact in any room in which they are placed. In no other accessory can you get as much decorative impact than with grandfather clocks. Their size, their scale, and the power of the presence are such that they can literally transform any room in the home in short order.

Consider the ways in which grandfather clocks can be used in any home:

* In an entrance. Nothing welcomes visitors – or a family home after a long day at work – more dramatically than a grandfather clock. Everything from their artwork to the melody they play upon the hour will set the tone for anyone who walks into the home.

* Living room. Where formality normally reigns is where grandfather clocks really shine. Living rooms are often the place where people gather for visits; a grandfather clock warms the room up so that it is sophisticated but approachable.

* A study or library. In such rooms as libraries, studies, or offices – that generally encompass warm tones and sophisticated furnishings – grandfather clocks are decorative and functional.

Looking for Something Dramatic? Why Not a Grandfather Clock? Part I

10.03.08

Today it’s harder than ever to really infuse your own personality into any of your home décor. After all, with retail outlets around the country mass producing inexpensive furniture, perfectly coordinated bedding sets, and accessories to complement any room design, it’s more difficult to find your own voice. It’s not as though these are bad things; they are ways to help us outfit our homes most affordably and for those who have a difficult time defining their style, these retail outlets can essentially walk them through the process.

But it does mean that something is lost in terms of finding things that are unique to only your home. And why it’s still important to seek out those special items that will elevate your décor from bland to spectacular. In this respect, it makes sense to seek out those items that offer the best in terms of bang for the buck – that make a dramatic statement and really “fill” the room – and the home at large – with phenomenal style.

Grandfather clocks are the quintessential room fillers because they offer such dramatic style and the opportunity to have something really traditional and interesting in the home. Grandfather clocks, in fact, are all about the drama and can really pack a punch in terms of changing the tone of a room – even making it feel bigger, adding sophistication to a room that does not have a lot of “high-end” design elements, and even creating some cohesiveness in a room that perhaps has an awkward layout.

In the next post, we’ll look at ways that we can use grandfather clocks to create the most drama.

Grandfather Clock: A Gift for My Daughter

10.03.08

There are those moments in a parent’s life that they will never forget; the day their child is born to be sure, along with the big moments – the first steps, the first lost tooth, the first dance, graduation – and the smaller moments as well. When these moments come upon us we tend to take a snapshot in our head so that we can remember every detail later on better than any photograph album ever could.

I surely reveled in all the firsts and accomplishments of my daughter as she grew up and getting her first job was no exception. She worked so hard all through college to earn her undergraduate degree while holding down several part-time jobs. And when she graduated she went right on to graduate school to earn her MBA. I could not have been more proud. Today, all this work has paid off as she has been offered a wonderful position with a terrific company.

While I am so happy for her I am also saddened by the fact that this job will take her to another state where she will living on her own. I will miss her terribly but know that this is the culmination of all her years of hard work and she deserves the reward. And so I am focusing on helping her decorate and prepare her very first home as a grown woman.

To surprise her I have purchased her a grandfather clock for her new house – something very similar in style to the one that I have in my living room; something that will always remind her of home.

She has always loved our grandfather clock and now I am able to give her one of her own as she celebrates this new journey in her life. I hope that it will bring her (and one day, her family) as much joy as it has brought us.

Grandfather Clocks for Your First Place, Part II

10.02.08

In the last post we started to talk about the responsibilities – and the freedoms – that come to us when we first move out on our own. Away from the restrictions placed on us by our well-meaning parents, college dormitories, and roommates, we are free to explore those things that make us happiest – including that which will look the best in terms of decorating our first place.

Being on our own for the first time definitely requires some budget minded shopping in terms of decorating our homes. But there is a false economy that is very much inherent in this process. Because of our budgets, oftentimes we tend to gravitate towards what would be considered “throw-away” items. They are cheap, they are versatile, and they can easily transform a room in terms of style. In most cases this will work with a few items but when we start filling our homes with cheaper items we find that very quickly they need to be replaced.

In terms of cost-effectiveness it is much better to purchase “foundation” pieces that are high quality where high quality means the most – solid furniture, good linens, and one or two pieces that you are likely to have for a lifetime and that work well anywhere. In this regard, grandfather clocks are often the perfect pieces to choose for newly purchased or rented homes. They are an investment to be sure but they also:

* Command attention. Grandfather clocks fill a room like a dozen smaller, unimpressive artifacts never could.

* Represent a lifetime. When maintained properly, grandfather clocks can last you a lifetime; something that you can share with your children and even your grandchildren.

*Create a buzz. There’s nothing like a grandfather clock when it comes to create a conversation piece in your home; something that really shines.

Grandfather Clocks for Your First Place, Part I

10.01.08

For those who have recently left the comfort of home – be it their parents’ home or the place that they had come to call home in college (that while sparse in some instances had, more than likely, turned out be comfortable on many levels) you are surely just now experiencing that lightheaded feeling that comes with having to decide everything on your own.

Sure, you expected it to a degree. You have bills to pay now, perhaps a car to maintain, a job to go to; adult things to do. But it’s the little things that probably threw you off a bit. Like realizing for the first time that it was completely and utterly up to you what color you wanted to paint your walls, or that you are were completely in control of the type of cereal that would be purchased (perhaps now was the time to fulfill those Froot Loop fantasies you had as a kid?).

Decorating your first place very much is a big deal. It represents your first foray into adulthood and this first home is a way to put your personality on a canvas for the world to see in many cases. So it pays to do it right; and it pays to do it affordably as most of us are on a serious budget when we are first on our own.

You may not have thought too much – or even at all – about considering a grandfather clock as a part of your home décor but the truth is that grandfather clocks actually offer many benefits – both style-centric and beyond – that can make the perfect choice for your first place.

In the next post, we’ll list some of the reasons that grandfather clocks can fit perfectly in a new home for someone just on their own for the first time.

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