Chantilly Charmer

Sophisticated style meets casual comfort in this creative home.


When Billy and Heidi Royal decided to build their new home just a few blocks from their previous one in the Chantilly neighborhood, the couple knew that they wanted it to be different from the traditional bungalows the area had become known for. “In this neighborhood, everyone has always built the same cottage-style, traditional bungalow or house,” says Billy. “We wanted something different, something that was less traditional but still fit seamlessly with the other homes on our block. Plus, our lot is unique and we knew we had to work around that.” The couple’s corner lot is just 35 feet wide, which meant a sprawling one-story bungalow was out of the question. Instead, they put into motion a plan for a three-story, 3,300-square-foot transitional home with traditional elements.

Drawing from his experience as a civil engineer for high-end custom builder Grandfather Homes, Billy enlisted the help of his firm’s architectural team to pull together the couple’s dream home, checking off each of their criteria along the way: an open floorplan, non-traditional façade, and sleek, clean architectural details with the interiors. But once the building began and the home was nearly done, it became clear to the Royals that their new house needed the touch of an interior designer, who could create an aesthetic that was sleek and transitional with modern and industrial accents, and all the while complementing the home’s unique architectural details. “I know what I do well and what I do not, and interior design is not my forte,” says Billy.

It wasn’t until the Royals scoured the internet, poured over Houzz listings, and vetted recommendations from friends that they finally came across an aesthetic they knew would work for them. “I’m not sure exactly what project of Lisa’s we saw, but the moment Heidi showed it to me I knew that she would be perfect for this job,” says Billy.

Designer Lisa Sherry of Lisa Sherry Interieurs was ideal for the project—her work boasts a classic, modern ideal that seemingly effortlessly combines neutrals, texture, and organic accents, creating a look that feels at once sophisticated and comfortable. “We were on the same page from the moment we met,” says Sherry.

At the front of the home’s entrance is the dining room, an unconventional setting as a foyer but one that worked well in the flow of the home. A round wooden pedestal table allows for easy movement to the kitchen and living room, and the shape accommodates six people comfortably, a must for the couple, who frequently entertain. White oak hardwoods stained natural and white walls with black trim serve as the perfect backdrop for some of the industrial-meets-organic accents such as the console that sits behind the living room sofa and delineates the living areas “but still keeps it open and airy,” says Sherry. A pair of navy armchairs flank the neutral sofa and complement the eye-catching artwork.

“Billy and Heidi’s style skewed a bit traditional so we had to push them a little,” says Sherry. Billy’s office off the main living area was one such space. “I knew I wanted a black office and when I told Lisa she was totally on board,” says Billy. Heidi, however was not. “But once she saw the room finished she fell in love with it,” he says.

The couple fell in love with the rest of the home, too. “What Lisa did really completes the house,” says Billy. “Neither of us has an eye for interior design. I like something when I see it, but I just don’t know how to complete the look. Lisa made it all come together so seamlessly.”

Photography by Mekenzie France.