Spring ’23 One Room Challenge|Whimsical Parlor| Mood Board Choices


Hello, and welcome back to the Blue Leopard Interiors Blog! I’m thrilled to be participating again in the One Room Challenge!! In case you haven’t heard of it, 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.

In case you missed last week’s post, for this go ’round, I’ve decided to spruce up my living room – or “parlor”, as I like to call it – in my own home. I thought about entering the challenge with a client’s project instead of a personal one, but when working with clients, the projects are typically bigger, and more time consuming. Since I’m doing this in “real time”, I didn’t want to stress myself, or certainly my clients out, by trying to complete a project in eight weeks. And as I mentioned last week, I’ve already had a head start on this room, which really helps with the timing. Most of the furniture and accessories that are already in the room, I’m keeping. I will be adding more seating (with a fun, up-cycled, vintage loveseat), but the big impact elements I’m adding will be wallpaper on the ceiling (!), and painting the walls a coral-ly pink. There is also a very good chance that I will be refinishing the hardwood floors – next week! But more on that in my next post, let’s get into the inspiration behind the design, and then the mood boards I created for the parlor!


When I’m working with clients, my main objective is to listen closely to what they want, and really try to get to know and understand their distinct style. I then use all that data to create rooms that tell their family’s unique story. I absolutely love this process, and while I have a distinct point-of-view as a designer, no two projects ever look the same in the end, because they were each created specifically for the family that lives there. I adore color (lot’s of it!), plenty of pattern, texture, and character in a room, and try to incorporate all of these elements into each of my projects, but I can’t necessarily go all out for a client like I would for myself. I’ve heard some designers say they want their own home to be very subtle and calm, with an all-white palette, since they work with so much color every day. But for me, I am completely inspired by mixing up lots of patterns and colors, modern pieces with antiques, rustic and refined, and everything in-between. This home is my laboratory, and I’m the mad scientist, mixing up the elements to create design alchemy! With that said, here’s a peak at a few of the rooms that have inspired my little parlor:

An eclectic gallery wall, and curated color in the Boston home in interior designer Liz Caan


A whimsical showhouse library with fabulous millwork and color, designed by Barrie Spang of Sapphire Pear


Home of designer Jorge Vazquez designed by Amaro Sanchez de Moya – I adore the graphic, black-and-white checkered floor against the color-drenched walls, and pops of yellow and pink.


The Manhattan home of the fabulous Miles Redd – those salmon pink walls and the zebra-print door!

So now that you’ve seen some of the amazing rooms that have inspired my own living room, let’s see how I incorporated some similar elements into my mood boards…

Mood Board Option One

One of the best decisions I’ve made for my business, was to invest in the software program DesignFiles. It’s a fantastic, all-in-one program that handles my invoicing, purchasing, client communications, floor plans, and probably the most fun, and useful tool – mood boards! I think creating a mood board for a project, no matter how small, is essential for putting all of your ideas into one place. It’s totally different than collecting ideas on a platform like Pinterest or Instagram, because with a mood board, you’re adding individual elements, and seeing how they all work together. And although I also use Pinterest for myself and my clients as well, (you can see my Pinterest Board for this room here), a mood board is much more curated and distilled, than a Pinterest board which tends to cast a wider net of images that appeal to you. In the mood boards I created for my parlor, they really helped me see how the two main elements I’m deciding on – paint and wallpaper – will affect the overall feel of the room once installed.


I started with the idea of using this Milton & King Papilio wallpaper

I love how whimsical this design is. It comes in several colorways, but there’s something about this pink background that I love. When choosing wallpaper for a ceiling, it’s important that the design isn’t too linear, as that will look odd on a ceiling, but since this is so free form, and looks good from all directions, it works well. I think it’s super unexpected in a living room, and I’m really digging the idea of painting the walls pink or coral. I tried lots of different, large paint swatches  with it, but my favorite was Resounding Rose from Sherwin Williams. The background of the wallpaper is very pink, and I like the way the Resounding Rose balances the sweetness out a bit and keeps it from looking like a little kids’ room 🙂


Let’s see how this wallpaper and wall color look together on my first Mood Board:

Fun, right? This isn’t the exact set-up of my parlor since I have a big picture window above my aqua sofa, but this gives a good idea of how all of the elements will work together.


Mood Board Option 2

My other top choice for the ceiling is Flower Pool by Milton & King:


I’ve had a thing for floral patterns on a dark background for as long as I can remember, so this pattern makes my heart go pitter patter! As with Papilio, this design will also look good on the ceiling since the pattern doesn’t have any particular direction. How fabulous to have a ceiling full of flowers! This pattern would work with the Resounding Rose paint color, but in the mood board I paired it with a lighter rose tone, Gracious Rose, also by Sherwin Williams:


So let’s see the Mood Board with these options:

What a difficult choice!! I love the drama that the black background brings, and how it ties into the other black elements in the room. Keep in mind that the scale of the wallpapers won’t be as large as they look here, but I’m a little limited with how much I can tweak the images in my software.

I honestly love both combinations so much, it’s really hard to make a decision! Luckily I have a little time to do so, since the painting and wallpaper won’t be happening for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, keep an eye on my Instagram, where I’ll be taking a poll so you can cast your vote!


Thats all for this week, folks. Thanks for following along with me, and if you want to see some of the other creative and inspiring projects happening for this even, click here for alllllll the amazing participants!


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