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. Here’s the progress I’ve made the past week:
Dining Room Wall Treatments
I knew I wanted some sort of interesting wall treatment as I was dreaming up my initial design concept for the dining room, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it would be. I thought about panel moulding, which I love and have used in several clients’ homes, but the more I looked at the photos of my main inspiration for this space, the Beefbar Restaurant in Paris, designed by the incredible team at Humbert & Poyet, the more I wanted to do something really unique.
I already knew from the start that I wanted a fluted detail, similar to that shown above, and although I found plenty of inspiration images, most of them were European, and I was having difficulty tracking down a specific product I could use to achieve this look:
I continued to dig around on the internet, until I found Fasade Decorative Thermoplastic Panels. As the name implies, these panels are made just to add texture and interest to walls, backsplashes, and ceilings. And lucky me – they have a fluted design like I was searching for!
From the photos, it’s a little difficult to tell what the texture and scale is like, so I ordered this 12″ x 12″ sample, and was so happy that it looked exactly as I was hoping it would!
I decided to use the Fasade panels on the lower half of my dining rooms walls to create a unique chair moulding. They’re sold in 8 foot lengths which are 48″ wide, which meant I would need six to go all the way around the lower half of my walls, including the tricky little “slices” of wall between the windows, and in the niche. They aren’t inexpensive, but compared to actually using wood, half-rounds nailed individually all the way around, the panels are much more economical in both money and time!
Although Fasade also sell trims to go with the panels, I wanted something with a little more pizzaz to top them off. I kept going back to this photo in particular I had found in my initial search for fluted paneling:
I adore the contrast of the shiny brass and the matte fluting! But I knew I also needed a way to conceal the top of the panels so there wouldn’t just be unfinished little wavy lines where it ended, which made me think of using Schluter! Schluter Systems fabricate the metal material typically used to finish off the edges of tiled surfaces like this bathroom by Nolen Homes:
So I pulled out my handy-dandy Schluter samples, and landed on this one!
Not only would the rounded profile of the Schluter Rondec compliment the fluted details of the paneling, but it would also conceal the edges and give me that sleek contrast I wanted! Schluter is only sold through authorized dealers, and since I needed a very specific shape and size, I ordered five 8′ lengths from Daltile and we had just enough!
Now that I had the idea of the fluted panels nailed down, I started to think about the upper two thirds of the walls. Of course, I love the curved wood moulding used on the walls of the Beefbar Restaurant as seen above, but knew that would be super expensive and difficult to recreate. I began to search for a textured, paintable wallpaper, and stumbled across this Cloisters Paintable Luxury Vinyl wallpaper by Brewster Home Fashions
Just to be sure, I ordered the sample (along with a few others from the same collection), and fell in love with the subtle, Art Deco, vibes of this one!
Wall Treatment Alchemy
Last Thursday, all of these wall elements began to finally take shape. My fantastic wallpaper installer, Cathy Patterson, returned to hang the dining room wallpaper, the Fasade panels were delivered Friday, and I picked up the Schluter Monday afternoon.
The Fasade panels were rolled when shipped, so I laid them out in the basement with a little weight on them so they could flatten over the weekend. My excellent carpenter/tiler/electrician/plumber, John Fennell, began installing the Schluter and wall panels yesterday. The ribbed design of the wall panels runs along the length, so each panel was cut into 2 40″ x 48″ pieces
Next, the wallpaper and paneling will be caulked and then painted with Sherwin-Williams Snowbound SW7004, which will create a cohesive look and also help disguise the seams. But until then, here’s a little preview of all of the elements coming together to create wall magic!