Saturday 20 September 2014

The Old with the New

Adding the furniture, pictures and general finishing touches to our hall, stairs and landing is proving to be a very slow business.

But, we have one item!

This grandfather clock was given to the Lumberjack's Great Great Grandfather when he retired on Christmas Eve 1937!

(We need to give the plaque a polish)

Cool eh?  I'm not sure anyone gets the chance to work for a company for 37 years any more.

I was a bit concerned about where we were going to put this in our home, and whether it would go with the style of our d├ęcor.  I just figured that we were going to have to make it work somehow!

As it happens, I think it looks great in that spot in the hallway!  It gives a bit of depth, interest and character to the space.  Despite being 77 years old, it doesn't seem to look out of place in it's modern surroundings.  What do you think?

Now, what I have really wanted since we moved into the house 16 months ago, is a little console table against the opposite wall.  Something quite slim so it doesn't get in the way when you get to the bottom of the stairs.

I'd been thinking oak, but now we've got the dark wood grandfather clock, do you think we should go with dark wood?  I've grabbed an oak side table from the living room, just to see how the colour of the wood looks.  What are your thoughts?  Looking at this, I think dark would be best, and the oak doesn't look right.  But then I look again, and think maybe it is ok... nah, definitely leaning towards going dark.  Very interested to hear your thoughts, as I find I can over-think these things to the point where I really don't know what my opinion is any more!

On the subject of the old... the Lumberjack has also inherited this picture:

Now this I really am struggling to assimilate into our home.  I do think it's a nice picture, but it's not really my style - it's not something I would ever have bought.  It brings the Lumberjack lots of happy memories of visiting his grandparents, though, and I want to find a way to make it work.  I actually like the moody sky and trees - it's the horses ploughing I'm not keen on.

I know you could say, just hang the damn picture and stop being so selfish!  But I just feel strongly that your home should be full of things that make you happy - not that annoy you every time you look at them.  If you can't have things you like in your own home, where can you?!  (But of course, it's the Lumberjack's home too, I know...)

Well, I'd been reading the Swoon Worthy blog (which really does make you swoon - Kimberly's home is incredible) and she did a post on custom framing with  The thing that really caught me is that you could upload an image of your picture in order to see how it looks in the frame.  I'd been thinking that re-framing the picture might make it look less old-fashioned, and this meant I could actually see how it looked before committing to anything!  Here's how it would look with a black frame, and black second mount:

(Picture above has been removed and replaced, as I'd accidentally done something to the cropped image I uploaded to the framing website that make it look greeny - no idea how! - thanks for the comment Kiwijo!)

Does it look better?  Worse?  Just as old-fashioned as ever?  I'm not sure it helps really.

Well, I'll end here - as I've bombarded you with questions... heaven forbid I solve my own problems!!

All opinions welcomed, I need help!

EDITED TO ADD: I should say, it's a big picture.  In the current frame, it's 60cm tall and 85cm wide.


  1. Hey! Aw thanks so much for the mention and your lovely words!! So sweet :D The uploading function is so helpful, isn't it? And I have to say, yes, I like it better with the more modern frame (the black bottom mount looks fab too!).

    What I would do is not hang the picture on the wall - instead get the little console in the room (and yes, go dark, I think the oak looks a bit off), lean it against the wall and then layer something in front of where the horses that annoy you are. ;) You can hang other artwork around or above the console - this way it becomes a part of the vignette rather than the 'star' of the show. Your Lumberjack ;) gets to enjoy it and I think the painting and the clock will then 'speak' to one another in the sense that they are from a similar era so they work together to give it a bit of an eclectic look.

    Not sure if that helps but that's what I would do! ;)


  2. Hi Maria, just catching up now that I am back, I have been reading, just not commenting. Your hallway looks great and is a massive change from how it was previously. I totally understand about the integrating things that might not be your own personal style, but mean a lot to someone else in the family and that you want to include. I wondered if the picture - which I really like, and I didn't actually notice the horses to start with! - could hang above your yet to be found table in the hallway, that way it would greet you when you arrive, would form part of an area when your precious family treasures are all together and it would be displayed, but not something that you would be looking at all the time if it is not your most favourite picture. I also really like the other frame that you tried out, it really does give it a different and more modern look. Any good picture framer will be able to help you to choose the right frame and mount and it doesn't have to be expensive - I speak from experience, it is well worth it as I now love a picture that I didn't really like, but it came with my husband, we had it reframed professionally and it made a massive difference. Sorry, I didn't mean to go on so long! It all looks lovely and I look forward to seeing more! xx

  3. Love, the clock, and love the fact that Lumberjacks Great, Great Grandfather started work for that company in 1900. :0)
    I prefer the first frame as I think the second one makes the picture look too greenish, the colours look sharper (and more realistic) in the older frame. Why not hang it in an area Lumberjack sees or uses more than you do, that way he gets to have all the fond memories of it and you dont have it in your vision all the time.

  4. Fab clock! I think it looks awesome in the hall corner, like it was meant to go there.
    My hall is similar in that I have neutral walls and some dark mixed in. The oak table just doesn't suit, but it is very tricky matching wood tones - why don't you think about painting a table a grey shade and use dark picture frames to carry on the touches of dark in the area? I love the previous comment about propping the painting on the table, with other, smaller pics in dark frames around and above. The darker frame looks good, definitely worth taking to a framer to get the perfect matting and shade of dark frame. Good luck, can't wit to see more! Chrissie x

  5. My sister had the same struggle - her partners inherited grandparents pictures. And she took the new frame route and all of a sudden they looked more contemporary and not at all out of place. The modern frame you tried for LJ's picture picks out the trees and they sky more and that is what you like right? I would definitely reframe and then I am sure it will work. As for the hallway. Dark wood!!! I will e-mail you an auction site we use and there you can pick up some nice tables with a bit of age that goes with the clock. By the way Matt would love that. He want a grandfather clock more than anything! xx

  6. I freaked out over Whatsapp about Lumberjack's grandfather's grandfather clock (phew, that's a mouthful), and it's so good I'm going to gush about it again. It and your new hallway perfectly compliment each other. A perfect balance and juxtaposition of old and new, dark and light.

    And the custom framing - oh my god, it completely transforms that painting! I do have a soft spot for really atmospheric paintings like that, but that new frame really makes it modern and current. NAILED IT.

    xx A

  7. I love the new tile in your entrance. I may have to convince my husband that is the style we need too.
    I agree with the other comments that a dark table would look better.
    You could try spray painting the old frame and gettinga new matting. With such a large picture that would be a cheaper option. Good luck wit decorating the space. I love reading your blog. :)


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