It’s time to think about clocks as accessories

“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” is a song written and sung by Robert Lamm for the rock band Chicago and recorded for their debut album The Chicago Transit Authority (1969).

We all really want to know what time it is, even though some may not admit it. Even if you don’t have kids to take to school, hair dresser appointments or any place you need to be, it’s wise to have some idea of what time it is. I mean, if you didn’t, how would you know what to eat, i.e., eggs, Caesar salad, pork chops; or what to wear, i.e., pajamas, church clothes or Bermuda shorts.

In my irreverent design tips, one of the tips that has never changed is: Every room should have a clock. Knowing what time it is is timely. And, clocks are great accessories.

Some may look at clocks as essential devices, kind of like a remote control, can opener or some other household component that we take for granted, don’t think much about, but use every day.

Time pieces are changing, however. With the very common use of computers and cell phones, not as many people wear watches nor possibly have as many clocks. They rely on their electronic gadgets to keep them on time. There are definitely many more ways to find out what time it is today that do not involve gazing into the sky for clues.

Clocks in the house are still relevant and important to me. Not only are they functional, some are beautiful and great additions to any décor. I have a collection of clocks – surprise – some I’ve been dragging around for years. Occasionally I will see one that I just can’t live without and add it to my clock family.

Several of my clocks are engraved with my name and some event or deed I was involved in. Clocks are great gifts for retiring board members or employees –  thanking them for their time.

One of my favorites is a small Waterford clock that my boys gave me years ago for my dressing table so that “I would see it every morning and think of them.” One is in its own wooden box and was given to me by a former boss. I liked her, and I liked my job, so that clock has happy memories. Strolling through an art show a couple of years ago, I saw a contemporary, colorful metal clock that stuck my fancy, and it now lives in my kitchen.

My most recent addition to Muse World is an enormous red wall clock. I had another plan for it when it was purchased, but it has ended up in my office and tickles me each time I look at it. It also ticks and when it gets really quiet, I can literally hear time go by.

Clocks also have history and memories. There were no grandfather clocks in my family so I don’t have a family heirloom clock. I wish I did, but I certainly have memories of clocks. All of the clocks in my Grandma Flora’s house ticked, and every time I hear one I think of her. Her clocks were wind-up clocks and had that tinny sound, unlike today’s clocks that have a more hollow sound.

So, I hope that I’ve inspired you to think about clocks in a different way. I’m sure you have special ones in your house, even if you hadn’t thought about them as collectibles or great décor accessories before. We all have the digital ones, like the ones on the oven or microwave, and the one by the bed to wake us up; but invest in one that you may like for its construction material or its look. You’ll be glad you did and, who knows, you may start your own collection. It’s time.

Carolyn Muse Grant is a design consultant, expert home stager and creator of beautiful spaces. Questions can be sent to her at

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