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Most rooms of the house could benefit from the addition of a clock.
Living rooms are typically chilled-out spaces, where time can feel like it’s being sucked into a black hole - especially if there’s a juicy box set you’ve fallen headfirst into. Arguably, here’s where you need a clock on display the most, to tell you when you’re going into one episode too many or when it’s time to switch to Freeview for the expose documentary you don’t want to miss.
Carriage clocks, also known as mantel clocks, might feel like a hangover from your nana’s interior mood board, but they’re still popular today. They’re a way to liven up the fireplace or add interest to bookshelves and open cupboards while still offering functional use as a time-telling device. Choose the right one to inject colour into rented properties or a vintage-look design to fake antique style without the usual expense.
They also make great gifts especially if you’ve got a housewarming on the horizon. While choosing presents can be a pernickety exercise, the offering of a clock is pretty much foolproof. Who hates time?
There are thousands of designs to choose from, so we’ve whittled down the selection to a choice few.
Auraglow LED Light Up USB Wall or Desk Word Clock - Copper
No need to wonder where the hands are pointing with this clock: it spells it out clearly for you. The copper piece features cut-out letters at the front and lights behind the display, updating every five minutes. It can be installed on the wall or used as a mantel clock with USB charging facilitated. The LED clock comes with a two-year guarantee.
John Lewis Mid Century Wood Mantel Clock, 16.5cm, Natural
Offering a Scandi update to a traditional carriage clock, this curved wood and metal design from John Lewis is deliberately kept simple to allow the quality of the textures to shine. The streamlined face runs on battery power and comes with a one-year guarantee from the department store.
Acctim Colney Pendulum Quartz Mantel Clock
A pendulum-style clock that looks like it’s floating thanks to the glass panel, the Roman numerals on the face give the design an elevated feel. Also available in silver, all it needs is one AA battery to work.
Jones Clocks Speakeasy Mantel Clock
Love the old-school feel of a traditional mantel clock? Jones keeps the shape but pares back the colour to ensure it will slide neatly into any interiors set-up. The Arabic-style dial adds subtle style to the analogue design.
Newgate Clocks Railway Silent Sweep Round Analogue Mantel Clock, Black
This bold little number from Newgate is inspired by the great big clocks you’ll often find in countryside train stations. It’s a striking piece thanks to the red hour and minute hands. Best of all, those with sensitive hearing will find all the clock emanates is a faint whirring sound rather than a clanky tick-tock. Sold with a two-year guarantee.
Addison Ross London Tortoiseshell & Gold Alarm Clock
Trust tortoiseshell to instantly elevate any piece of homeware; mantel clocks included. Addison Ross uses a faux version instead of the real thing and comes with an alarm too, so you can use it as a bedside clock as well as one for the living room. The hands also glow in the dark, charging solely by daylight.
Rosalind Wheeler Contemporary Metal Electric Tabletop Clock
With an antique gold-coloured frame and natural tan leather stand, Rosalind Wheeler's mantel clock is an update on classic style. It'll make a lovely gift for parents or anyone who works from home, allowing them to keep an eye on the time (and when it's time to log off) throughout the day.
London Clock Company Hus Tabletop Clock
Hate the look of old-fashioned clocks? Bring contemporary style home with this house-shaped clock from the London Clock Company which pairs a peaked silhouette and wood veneer with clean white hands for a look that wouldn’t be out of place in a minimalist’s abode. An alarm is also in the mix, making this clock more useful than for aesthetics alone.
Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation, 2022 release)
For the smartest clock around, look no further than Amazon’s Echo which acts as a PA to tell you the time, the weather, traffic updates, or answer any random questions that pop into your head, like “Can dogs understand each other?”. You can also use it as a speaker and to control compatible tech, like lighting and heating. Available in three colours, it’s currently half-price.
Habitat Alarm Clock - Orange
While some folks like their clocks to fit seamlessly into the background, others want homeware to bring a pop of colour to their space. Enter Habitat’s clock, rendered in a bright orange frame to ensure there’s no missing it - unless the rest of the room is pumpkin-themed too. Operating on quartz movement, all it needs is one AA battery to run.