Sister bizes make holiday decor easier

KNOXVILLE — Two Knoxville sister businesses are providing synergy to holiday decorating for homeowners.

Co-owned by Linda Heaton Ridings and Mary Ellen Nichols, Design Decor provides all the interior décor for every season while Christmas Decor Plus More provides the outdoor lighting. Both businesses are located at 627 American Glass Way, off of Lovell Road.

The collaboration between the women started after Nichols, who started her business career as a commercial banker then acquired multiple The UPS Store franchises with husband, John, purchased Christmas Decor Plus More in 2020.

Then she called Ridings, a certified master florist and certified interior decorator who was ready to jump in “in a heartbeat.”

Christmas Decor Plus More, a franchise focusing on holiday outdoor decorating and lighting, had been an established business for 15 years while Design Décor, which is not a franchise, only opened last year, Ridings said.

“We’ve taken a concept to be able to bring looks, themes and styles that nobody has brought to this area and made it affordable, to have in your house and not have to go to the attic, not have to pull it down, not to have to dust it off,” Ridings said. “It’s always going to be right, ready, fresh and perfect for you for each season.”

To celebrate the holidays, they are hosting a Cookies with Santa event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, in the store, where children can have their photos taken with Santa.

With the two separate sister businesses, Nichols and Ridings “deliver every season, not just Christmas,” Ridings said.

After the holiday, when the house is empty and everything is put away, “we can bring you a winter look; and when winter’s over, we do a spring look,” she said. “Everything you do for Christmas we can transfer and do it for the next season — except for your tree.”

However, “We’re not interior designers; we’re interior decorators,” said Nichols, explaining an interior designer focuses on architectural elements, such as moving walls and building kitchen cabinets, while a decorator “comes in after your kitchen’s done and puts in the pieces so your home has a cohesive look.”

“… We’re that razzmatazz at the end that shows who you are and makes you special from everybody else,” Ridings said.

“We would bring in the tree, the mantle, the paintings outside, your wreaths … and have a cohesive designer look theme,” she added. “What I find is most people are trying to capture that look and, every year, add a little more to it and they never get it because their pieces and parts are not cohesive … They’re still not satisfied.

“So, once you decide on the look that you like, you tell us what you would like us to do, what your budget is and I will do that. We will deliver it to you and install it in your home, typically, in less than four hours. You could have a dinner party that evening.”

Design Decor has three options: customers can come into the retail showroom and buy only one item or more and take it home; they can buy a whole look — “we set it up, we take it down, we store it for you until next year,” or they can lease a “look” and “we still do the same thing — we set it up for you, we take it down and we store it for you – (but) the option of the lease makes it easier to change,” Ridings said.

“The day of having your Christmas tree and all of your stuff 20 years or more are gone,” she added. “People are tired of going into the attic; their kids don’t want it, the grandkids don’t want it.

“This way (by leasing a look), you can change it every year. If you wanted to do Gingerbread (look) one year and you lease it, next year you can do ‘Noel’ or ‘Silent Night.’ You can change the look, and I bring everything to you.”

Design Decor can provide unique trees from 6 to 18 feet, she said.

Customers also can purchase or lease furniture, lamps, wall hangings and more from the showroom.

“Right now we have 15 different themed looks for Christmas,” Ridings said.

The shop is open from 10 am. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and closed Sunday.

For more information, stop by the showroom, visit online at or call 865-896-3450.