Spring ’24 One Room Challenge | Outdoor Oasis Week Eight | Final Reveal!


It’s WEEK EIGHT of the Spring 2024 One Room Challenge, and I am just barely skidding in sideways to get this post up before Reveal Week closes!

In case you’re new 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. 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!

This is my fourth ORC, (take a look at my Fall ’22 Dining Room and Butler’s Pantry, Spring ’23 Whimsical Parlor, and Fall ’23 Bistro Kitchen reveals to get an idea of my style and process) and my project this time has been to transform my back deck and patio into an Outdoor Oasis. The impetus for this project was to get the outside (or at least the backside!) of our new-ish home looking as good as the inside, in time for our middle daughter’s high school graduation party on May 31st.

Last week I updated you on my first foray into creating a container garden, and I’m happy to report that all of my new plants seem to be happy and thriving! But whew, it’s been kinda hectic getting my deck and patio ready for their big reveal this week, and I am very grateful for the long weekend ahead, when I can sit back relax a little, knowing that my Outdoor Oasis is graduation party ready! Although I am SUPER excited to show you all the pretty reveal photos, let’s first take a look at how these spaces looked eight weeks ago, when I made the last-minute decision to jump into the Spring ORC:


The Deck – Before Photos

Our back deck, BEFORE, looking towards the family room French doors, with the sectional seating area, (which has now been moved to the elevated area), and the table and chairs that we use most often when we sit outside for meals.


Back Deck BEFORE looking toward Butler’s Pantry French Doors, and the elevated seating area.


The elevated seating area BEFORE, where most of the remaining deck furniture has been covered and stored for the winter. This includes a chaise lounge, a bar cart, an umbrella table, a large ottoman, and three swivel rocker club chairs.


A pulled back view BEFORE, of the most of the deck area, taken from the stairs leading to the deck from the backyard.


This photo was in the original sales listing for our house, and shows the back deck with all of the cushions in place, and a few more plants since it was taken in summertime.

The previous owners had built the deck, and when we bought this house, they offered us the outdoor furniture for a reasonable price. Since we had sold all of our outdoor furniture to the family who bought our old house, and were moving in mid-July, it made sense to purchase the furniture. It’s definitely not what I would have chosen, but it’s very well-made (its the Hanamint Grand Tuscany collection), and it would have cost a lot to refurnish not only the whole deck, but also the lower barbecue and fire-pit area. My main goal with this ORC, was to update the look of the  “Tuscan” outdoor furniture, while helping it relate to the style of the house, and with our own personal style. My hope was to make it all a bit more cohesive by swapping out some of the cushions, and adding lots of fun new accessories, lighting and potted plants and flowers.

The Patio – Before Photos

This is the barbecue area, looking towards the firepit, BEFORE


Looking from the fire pit towards the table and chairs near the grill, BEFORE

The main goal with the lower patio area was to also make it relate to the house, and echo our personal style a bit more, while still working with the existing furniture and without making any changes to the landscaping. I knew that with new seat cushions for the chairs, a new market umbrella, and some pretty accessories, this space could work just fine for us.

But in searching for design inspiration for the deck and patio, I came across some images which really helped me form my vision –

The Outdoor Oasis Inspiration


When I stumbled on this photo of the terrace at Annabel’s London, a private club designed by Martin Brudnizki.I knew I had found my inspiration for the deck and lower patio! The mix of patterns on the cushions and pillows, plus all that lush greenery is so visually exciting to my maximalist-leaning senses!


Another corner of the Annabel’s terrace – can’t you just imagine spending a summer afternoon here, sipping on Aperol spritzes? I might never want to leave!

There were other images and ideas that inspired me, but the two above have sort of served as my “guiding light” when making all of the decisions for my spaces. I also always create digital and 3-D moodbards for all of my projects, and here they are for this one:



My 3-D mood board, or Flatlay that I created early on for this project. Funny, I didn’t actually end up using any of these specific fabrics, but I think the mix of colors and patterns in the final result is still very similar to this.


This was not the original digital mood board, but as I made decisions for the rug, cushion, and throw pillow fabrics along the way, I updated it to reflect them. Overall, this is pretty close to how it turned out!



So, are you ready to see how these spaces finally turned out?!?! Let’s take a look!!


The Deck Reveal

The Deck AFTER looking towards the family room French doors, with the chaise lounge and swivel chair now positioned under the kitchen window and the high-top dining table and chairs



The Deck AFTER with Billie the Shi-Poo lounging on the chaise!

The Deck Dining Area AFTER

The Deck Dining Area AFTER, with the tea cart being put to use as an outdoor bar



The Deck AFTER with the sectional and two swivel chairs now on the elevated seating area – I mean if this isn’t an outdoor oasis, I don’t know what is!!


The Deck AFTER close-up of the sectional

The Patio Reveal


The Patio AFTER looking towards the firepit from the dining table


The Patio AFTER looking down from the Deck



The Patio AFTER



The Patio AFTER close-up of my pretty table settings



So – there she is folks! Eight weeks of love being poured into a space, definitely transforms it! I am super happy with how our Deck and Patio turned out, and cannot wait to put them to good use this summer and beyond!! I’m in a rush to get this posted before the ORC deadline – but check back soon and I’ll update all the images with my sources!!


Huge Thanks to MelEl Designs for my gorgeous upholstery, John Fennell for hanging all the new lights, and Mary Pat Collins for her gorgeous photography!!



Here is my ORC progress

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