Meet Justine Dennen

My Story

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated with making houses. Whether they were saguaro cactus and tree forts with baked clay floors in the Arizona desert where I grew up, or miniature dream homes for my Barbie dolls, with an eclectic mix of inflatable furniture, handkerchief bed linens, and tiny china tea sets, my imagination knew no boundaries.

As I got older, I applied my imagination into a career in theater. I studied theater, art and design at California Lutheran University, then earned a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Brandeis University. It was there in Boston, while living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in a lovely old Victorian house, that my passion for making artful homes resurfaced. So, instead of waiting tables while I auditioned for theaters, I worked as a Design Consultant for Pottery Barn.

When my husband and I moved to South Africa as newlyweds, I was inspired by the natural beauty around me, and the amazing skills of the local craftspeople and artisans. Then, while expecting my first child, I noticed the need for quality children’s furnishings in Cape Town. I began designing my own line of kids’ home furnishings, opened a children’s lifestyle boutique showcasing my whimsical bed linens, furniture and accessories, and started designing imaginative children’s rooms.

After returning to the U.S. and settling down in Northern Virginia in 2009, I found myself greatly influenced by the vibrant, creative experiences of living and working in different locations, and after decorating our family home, began my own business as an Interior Decorator—Blue Leopard Interiors. I am self-taught and believe that my strong sense for color, pattern and style, coupled with a passion for resourcefulness and affordability, set my designs apart.

Blue Leopard Interiors is based in Great Falls, Virginia, and I work with clients throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and DC.

Justine Dennen, Winner of the 2019 Signatures of Loudoun Design Excellence Program Makeovers Award for her commercial interior design of The Blockchain Building, 880 Harrison St., Leesburg, VA