Welcome to the Blue Leopard Interiors Blog! I’m so glad you’re here! My name is Justine Dennen, and I’m the owner of Blue Leopard Interiors, a boutique residential interior design firm in Great Falls, VA. Although I’ve been in business as a designer for five years, this blog is brand new! For my journey into interior design and a little more about my current and former homes, check out my very first blog post here.
I’m thrilled to be participating for the first time in the Fall 2022 One Room Challenge!! In case you haven’t heard of the One Room Challenge, it’s an eight week online event which happens every spring and fall, where interior decorators, and home bloggers, undertake redesigning or designing from scratch a room of their choosing, while sharing the progress along the way. It’s not a competition, as there is no winner, just a supportive group of like-minded design enthusiasts challenging themselves to complete a room in eight weeks. Huge thanks to Linda Weinstein, the creator and director of the One Room Challenge.
For my first foray into this event, I’ve decided to undertake both my Dining Room and Butler’s Pantry. For before photos, and the story of why I’ve finally decided to participate in the One Room Challenge, (after following it for years!), check out this blog post, where I talk more about it. But for today, let’s jump into the details of how I plan to transform each of these rooms in eight weeks!
Week Five – Dining Chairs, Countertop, and Wallpaper!
It’s week five of the One Room Challenge, and although I still feel like there is SO MUCH that needs to get done, when I think about how much progress was made in the last week, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at. There was a pretty big hiccup that happened with the dining room wallpaper yesterday, and I’m still waiting on the delivery of one of the most important elements for the dining room, but I’m determined to get it all done just in the nick of time. So, let’s check out the past week’s progress!
The Dining Chairs
You may remember that I mentioned in week two that my friend and amazing furniture magician extraordinaire, Grace Frye of ReFryed Furniture, had found this set of eight vintage Pottery Barn cane back chairs, which she was certain were perfect for my dining room.
I have to admit, I liked them and could certainly see their potential, but I had something much more modern in mind originally. I ordered a set of two chairs that were great dupes of the chairs used at the Beefbar Restaurant in Paris, my main inspiration for these rooms.
And although they looked very similar to the Beefbar chairs, the originals were designed by Verner Panton, a famous Danish Interior Designer, most well-known for this iconic chair which he designed in 1960:
The chair used in the Beefbar is his Series 430 Chair, which he designed in 1967, and is still being produced today. And although I would have loved to purchase eight of the originals, they were way out of my price range, and only available through European dealers. So when I saw the dupes, which came as a set of two for under $260, it seemed almost too good to be true – and it kind of was! They looked great, but the quality was just not there, and I really wanted something we could use for years to come. So I returned them, and went back to the drawing board. I thought more about the cane back chairs Grace had shown me, and decided to take a chance. Grace had the vision to lacquer them black, keeping the original cane backs, but upholstering the seats, and having worked with her on so many furniture transformations for clients, I knew I could trust her. I managed to find just enough yellow velvet from my favorite home decor fabric store, Haute in Chantilly, VA, and promptly popped it in the mail to Grace. Less than a week later, she delivered these beauties to my doorstep!
Grace, you were right – these chairs were meant for my space! The gracefully carved, mahogany frames are such high quality, the cane backs are classic yet stylish, the black lacquered finish is gorgeous, and the yellow velvet adds just the right amount of zing! I am thrilled to give these chairs new life!!
The Butler’s Pantry Countertop
Back in my very first blog post, I talked about how we recently sold our home of 13 years before we moved into this one. We did some renovations to the kitchen before we listed it, and were fortunate enough to work with Winkhel of The Countertop Guru, who replaced the old countertops with this beautiful Aura quartzite from East West Marble Company.
When I contacted Winkhel about installing a new countertop in the Butler’s Pantry, he told me he still had a remnant leftover that was big enough to use, and would only charge us to fit it. I knew the colors in the stone would look great with the rest of the Butler’s Pantry elements, so he squeezed me in last Friday, and had the new countertop in so quickly, I didn’t even have a chance to take a progress photo!
Ahhh, the wallpaper!! I first introduced this wallpaper when I went into detail about all my Butler’s Pantry plans in my Week Three blog post, but on Monday, this stunning Cranes Wallpaper by Milton and King became a reality!! I was not about to take a chance and install this myself when I know that the talented and hardworking Cathy Patterson will knock it out in a few hours and the work will be impeccable. Cathy has installed wallpaper in so many commercial and residential client projects for me, as well as in our old house, and the powder room of our new house, which you can peep here. I am absolutely thrilled with how much interest and dimension this wallpaper brings to the little Butler’s Pantry. We can catch glimpses of it from so many places in the house, and it just draws the eye and makes me so happy!! Without giving too much away, here’s a styled shot with one of my vintage bistro chairs, my Statuette Side Table from Anthropologie , and a pretty green wine glass from Estelle Colored Glass.
And one more shot, looking from the Butler’s Pantry into the Dining Room – doesn’t it just make you want to explore more? And once the these rooms are finished, it will be a journey worth taking!!
That’s all for this week – make sure to check out my progress in Instagram – and come back next week for hopefully lots more!!