before & after: joel’s clock wall

today’s final before and after comes from joel pirela at blue ant studio. working with this home’s owners, joel decided to find a way to cover a big textured wall that they hate. the owners were using wall-mounted squares and artwork to cover it before, but joel had affordable 8′ birch panels installed to cover the wall instead. the birch created a warm, unified palette for the room and provided a space to create a clock wall of some of the owners’ mid century designs. and voila! a branch new look for a low cost- well done, joel!

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

  1. Alix says:

    The eye-shaped clock is so cool!

  2. Carrie says:

    I think that might actually be Joel’s house. I see him post things from time to time on AT. He’s got FANTASTIC taste.

  3. When I saw the before pic, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the room…but then I saw the after and loved what he did. There’s so much more interest now. kudos!!

  4. fabi says:

    GREAT DECORATION! i love that room! DCW chairs have been my desire for some time now… and they look great with that contemporary sofa and now the birch wall. excellent!

  5. Awesome space and I love the creative, mod birch walls with the menagerie of very cool clocks. Love this before and after!

  6. Tanya says:

    More clock options :)

  7. Rose says:

    Wow, that looks fantastic! So warm and inviting :D

  8. Great design, thanks for sharing these photos!

  9. mina says:

    wow, somebody is a time freak. :)
    I love the blue one though.

  10. Andrea says:

    HOW did you acquire so many amazing wall clocks?? my mind is a little blown

  11. Jen says:

    That’s really delightful and dynamic. Some people might feel nervous around all of those clocks, but since they’re such fun it’s not so unnerving as a wall full of those elementary-school ones…

  12. kathie says:

    wow, very cool! i love the clock that looks like an eye — even has eyelash spots!

  13. aya says:

    Albeit this might be a bit of off topic…are the wood finish of chairs changed from walnut to natural? Or it’s just a lighting? Can anyone tell for sure? I love how the natural finish of the chairs go very well with the after look.

  14. Megan says:

    I *adore* the clock collection!

  15. max says:

    These clocks are great, every single one of them. And the wall, so nice and warm.

  16. Lisa says:

    Amazing wall of clocks – I am guessing all the wires are run behind the wood panel?
    Oh “a branch new look for a low cost” was that a play on woods?

  17. Erin says:

    I admit it, I was just pleased to see that I have the exact same silver lamp as seen in the Before photo.
    But those clocks are so terrific, and since I was looking for similar clocks for myself, I know you can get most of them relatively cheap off of Amazon! Awesome and on budget—my favorite kind of design :)

  18. Joel says:

    i’d like to see the first pic with the white balance corrected. Don’t get me wrong, i like the new space and the clock wall but it’s not fare to the before to make it look colder than it really is….

    1. grace says:


      i didn’t do anything to the images or white balance.


  19. Joel Pirela says:

    Thanks for the feature Grace! (just for the record, the previous poster named Joel is not me!!!!) The before picture is what I sent to Grace. The wood panels just happen to make the colors warmer.
    And yes, that’s my home but we treated that project as if we were hired to do it!
    thanks for the nice words!
    joel pirela

  20. very cool clocks…fresh and hip.

  21. Anissa says:

    Do you mind if I ask where you got the wood panels from? I love it. It looks amazing.

  22. Joel Pirela says:

    Got the panels from HomeDepot. They where $24 each. Secured to the wall via 6 screws. I bought the 3/8 thickness because it was sturdy enough to be sag free…
    thanks for the kind words!
    -joel (the real one! :)

  23. Matt says:

    I love the idea of a whole wall of clocks. Got a few clocks scattered throughout the house (albeit not nice retro ones like these) and might be nice to try them all out in one room.

    I like the orange clock with the little balls on.

  24. Kathy says:

    I suppose you’ve been inspired by the Vitra House in Weil am Rhein/Germany ( I saw nearly the same decoration there.

    1. grace says:


      considering these are nearly all vitra clocks, i wouldn’t be surprised if something like that existed in the vitra house. i used to work for their american PR firm back in the day and i feel like every darn press shot we got of those clocks were in masses on a wall ;)


  25. Joel Pirela says:

    I have 3 more clocks that are located somewhere around the house but the wife told me to stop the wall of clocks as you see in the pictures! LOL! All the clocks are vitra with the exception of the big six sided wood one that is a vintage howard miller. Got the inspiration from, what else, vitra and other publications and stores (DWR) displays. Thanks again for the nice words! -joel pirela


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