Fall ‘22 One Room Challenge Week Two – Dining Room and Butler’s Pantry

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!

Dining Room Inspiration & Plans

For this week’s post, I want to focus on my plans for the Dining Room in particular. Last week I shared my biggest inspiration for the space – the Beefbar Restaurant and Bar in Paris, France, seen below – but I have some additional inspiration images and mood boards I want to share with you today.

LOVE the contrast of colors and straight vs. curved details!

I’ve also been very inspired by the wall moldings at the Beefbar, and will be talking more about the details of how I plan to give my dining room walls a similar look, in an upcoming post.


The strong black and white contrast, circular and rattan elements in this dining room make my heart go pitter patter! My plan is to incorporate the rattan into my design with the vintage dining chairs I’ve found. Stay tuned for more on those in an upcoming post!


This dining room by Design Works by Em Lee leans a bit more traditional than my vision, however I love the strong colors, floral elements and just the overall statement it makes.

Now that you’ve seen a bit more of of my inspiration, here is the mood board I’ve created for my dining room:


Let me break down some of the above elements to give you an idea of how it will all come together.

  1. We already own a Red Lacquer Chinese Wedding Cabinet similar to this, a similar Moldovian Floral Rug that we bought in Turkey,  this Bubble Chandelier, which I had installed when we moved in, and this gorgeous Lynn Dining Table by Woodbridge Furniture was our first big purchase for this room.
  2. I was originally planning to have curtains made in this Kelly Wearstler Graffito Fabric by Lee Jofa, because I love the bold, graphic design of the fabric. But with my large bay windows I would have needed 24 yards of fabric, so they would have been too costly to have made. I now have some ideas for how I can use this fabric in a smaller quantity – one of which is to have it stretched and framed like art, which it really is!
  3. I love the dark green banquettes in the Beefbar Bar & Restaurant images, so I went searching for green velvet curtains instead, and found these extra wide 100” x 108” panels, and these 50” x 108” panels on Amazon, and they are the perfect shade of green! If I have time, I would love to add an interesting trim tape to the leading edges to customize them a bit.
  4. This black faux marble console table and art deco inspired mirror are both from Safavieh, one of my favorite wholesalers for reasonably priced rugs and home furnishings, and I’m super excited that they’ve agreed to give me an additional discount on them for the One Room Challenge!
  5. For the dining room chairs, I’ve been searching and searching for just the right thing, and I’ve finally found a set of vintage chairs through my fabulous, amazingly talented furniture restorer Grace Frye of ReFryed Furniture. There are six side chairs and two armchairs, which is exactly what I wanted, and they are solid and well made. Here are a couple of before shots of the set as they look now:

The seats will get velvet upholstery (either a rust red or yellow), and the cane backs are in good condition and will provide great contrast to the frames which we plan to paint in a black lacquer finish. It will be so fun to see the transformation of these chairs!!

So that’s where I’m at for now! Next week I’ll be sharing my plans for the Butler’s Pantry, so be sure to swing by then for those details!!

Cheers to Fab Interiors,

Here is my ORC progress

Week 1  ||  Week 2  ||  Week 3  ||  Week 4  ||  Week 5  ||  Week 6 ||  Week 7  ||  Week 8