Homegrown shop offers home decor, gifts traversing every crevice of Picket Fences feels like stepping into the mind of an interior decorator, jumping from each cleverly designed room or setting to the next. Whether customers have a soft spot for owls, hope to buy a new dining table or just looking for some tips to design their bedroom, Picket Fences can help.
Owner Lisa Thompson decided to open the store more than a decade ago to help pay for her children’s college education. Thompson said she has always had a knack for design, even doing floral design out of her home in the years before opening the shop.
“Anything that involves working with my hands—I’ve just always enjoyed doing,” she said. “That’s how it started. I’ve always been interested in arts and crafts.”
Picket Fences was established in Oak Ridge North in 2001, occupying a 6,000-square-foot space near Flip’s Gymnastics on Robinson Road. Thompson focused primarily on creating silk florals before evolving her business into a home accessories shop. After five years, Thompson’s vision for the store grew as she realized she needed larger space. The shop moved to its current 11,000-square-foot space in Shenandoah in 2006, where it was then able to offer new wares, including furniture, and bedding.
“We were really able to put the whole picture together that way,” she said.
In addition to home decor, accent furniture and floral design, the store offers gift options, such as candles, jewelry and frames. The store has also grown to include a baby section with decor and gifts.
Picket Fences sells special seasonal items as well, Thompson said. With Christmas being the strongest season for the business, Thompson said, the shop offers Christmas decorating items and ideas, as well as seven or eight themed trees every year. She said other holidays also receive attention and the store’s themes change seasonally.
Thompson touted the store’s variety and customer service, but she believes Picket Fences’ eye for decoration sets it apart.
“We give customers ideas in the store with our decorating in our display,” she said. “We try to use our display to direct them and give them ideas to pull things together.”
The design elements of Picket Fences extend to the floral department, run by floral designer Sandy Whyte, who has worked with Thompson since the store opened. Whyte often visits a customer’s home to design arrangements and she collaborates with her customers.
Whyte praised Thompson’s entrepreneurial vision and risks she has taken.
“It’s the epitome of a success story,” she said. “We forget how beautiful this store is, but when I take a step back and really look at it, it really is beautiful.”