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Spring Forward

Will you make better use of that "extra" daylight time coming to some of us this weekend? That's part of the idea behind Daylight Saving Time (DST), sometimes referred to as summer time. Starting this Sunday morning for many in the Northern Hemisphere, DST ushers us out of standard time and into more light.

The idea is that by setting clocks forward one hour, we in the Northern Hemisphere will make better use of the daylight during the long days of summer. Those in the Southern Hemisphere, of course, don't observe DST until sometime between September and November.

For you design devotees who are setting your clocks forward this Sunday at 2 a.m. (or before you go to bed), this is a good time to assess your timekeepers. Do they add to or detract from your décor? Are they easy to read? Are you ambivalent about them or is there a special story behind them? Do they boast handsome hands and pretty faces?


Prominent or statement clocks aren't for everyone. James Huniford, a New York-based designer, says, in fact, he can't recall any clocks in his designs. For Huniford and most of his clients, time is kept via a dependable cell phone. "I don't really have a clock in my own home," says Huniford. "I look at my phone when I need to know what time it is," he adds with a laugh. And in these times of sophisticated mobiles, cell towers, and innovative electronics, Huniford won't need to bother changing his phone's time this Sunday. (Stay tuned here for a future post on Huniford's "finest hours" - when and how he discovers and installs extraordinary statement pieces).

Interior designer Barbi Krass of Colorworks Studio in Michigan believes clocks can be important, practical and artistic elements in home design, especially in a kitchen.

She remembers a cool reproduction of a train-station clock for one of her client's kitchens. "Though there is always a clock on ovens and microwaves, the numbers are small. Our client wanted to be able to see the time from the kitchen sink and table area as well as from the coffee nook, which is across the room, so this solved the problem."

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Photo Credit: Barbi Krass

DINNER TIME! Krass also recalls another clock infused project. "Our client was interested in a unique façade for around the cook top, so instead of a conventional range hood, we constructed the exterior of the surround in rough plaster and applied a tea-stained finish to give it an Old World look. The cook top was in a great location for a clock so we found a decorative large-scale piece (33 inches in diameter, in rusted metal) to make a bold statement without needing a piece of artwork and without competing with the tile backsplash."

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Photo Credit: Barbi Krass

ARRIVAL TIME This reproduction train-station clock projects out from the wall and has a face on both sides. "Our client wanted a decorative clock to not only look good, but to be large enough to actually see the time from more than a few feet away," says Krass.

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Photos credit: Erik Kvalsvik

OLD TIME An antique grandfather clock holds court at the top of the stairs, a sentinel that ties this old house to its colonial roots. From the book "Roots of Home: Our Journey to a New Old House," by Russell Versaci (The Taunton Press).

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Photo credit: Jeff Garland

"ISLAND" TIME The family at this Northern Michigan getaway love to gather around the island, thanks to the open space with contemporary accents, like the huge, stunning clock, whose style meshes well with the appliances, ceiling fan and more. "The homeowners requested a large gathering area for cooking, eating and relaxing," explains Jeff Jordan of New Jersey-based Jeff Jordan Architects. Designed with an accent on natural light and fresh air, the home inspires inhabitants to undoubtedly be extra thankful for Daylight Saving Time - all the more daylight for taking in lake and forest views.

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DESIGN YOUR TIME The photos above and below are of pieces by designer Barbara Cosgrove. The X Clock with Hook in antique brass and nickel are perfect for a den or powder room where a large clock is not necessary but the old world elements of a time piece are desired for impact in design. The X Clock with the Large Black Face, takes a contemporary approach to telling time. The negative space on one side asks you to linger awhile on the clock's face.

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With all of these timely reminders, we hope we help you remember to set your clocks forward this Sunday.


Megan Swoyer - Megan Swoyer is a Midwest-based lifestyle editor and writer whose work appears in Michigan Blue magazine, Sherwin-Williams', the Somerset Collection annual holiday book, Detroit Home magazine, Country's Best Cabins magazine, Shore magazine, and other print and online publications.


March 8, 2012

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