Design snapshsot: Humble picket fence

Click on this photo to see it in the note cards/prints gallery.Everyone knows the American dream of homeownership is incomplete without a white picket fence. Or is it? What about a blue-green picket fence? Where does it fit in? Something as simple as an unconventional color can happily turn expectation on its head, and allow us to see an element anew.

This simple, weather-worn picket fence is less about an archetype and more about practicality with a twist. It does its job handily, demarcating a boundary using tried and true materials and methods. The pickets are just wide enough to create some privacy and the spacing between is just large enough to convey a hint of transparency. It’s a little taller than some fences which suggests that it’s more business than show. The angled picket tops shed water away from the end grain and discourage folks from setting objects atop the fence or, worse, seating themselves atop the fence. It’s a working fence rather than a storybook fence. Yet it’s painted an unusual color, one that’s pleasingly compatible with the summer landscape. So, maybe it’s not all business after all. It’s a balance of handsome utility.

by Katie Hutchison for the House Enthusiast