January 12, 2019 5 min read

Staging in the home of Sophia Polenek is definitely a privilege — she's an accomplished woman, with a degree in engineering under her belt and a wealth of knowledge on home renovation and entrepreneurial endeavor. As a current Realtor with Trillium West in Guelph, ON, Sophia is an expert on selling homes as well as creating the feeling of them too! We wanted to know more about the woman behind it all, and specifically how her job plays a role in home design and creation for her clients, and also for herself. But let's get real, we really just wanted an excuse to pick her brain and learn more about her fabulous space and aesthetic.

Can you tell us a bit about a day in the life of a Realtor?

You wake up knowing anything could happen. Most people think our days are flexible and that we set our own schedules. Truth is, life as a realtor means you need and want to be there for your clients no matter what day of the week or time it is.  What I will say is that it's variable....literally anything could happen and you need to be ready!

How did you get into the business, and what inspired you to become a Realtor in the first place?

I was at a crossroads in my career as an Engineer. I craved being my own boss and being responsible for my failures and successes.  A few peers suggested I consider a career in real estate given my technical background and interest in home design. I began to do extensive research on the career and eventually took a leap of faith.That was 17 years ago and I haven’t looked back since! I don't want to sound cheesy - but I quickly discovered I had the ability to help people with their lives and real estate tends to be a big part of the equation. 

 "TRULY I HAVE BECOME AN ADVISOR, COUNSELLOR, AND FRIEND TO MANY OF MY CLIENTS OVER THE YEARS."


Are there certain things you find your clients are always looking for when searching for the right home?

I find many clients have an idea of what they are looking for, but are not sure of all the considerations when determining if a home is right for them.  It’s easy to agree that we all like clean and well designed spaces. One of the biggest considerations is the client’s lifestyle - will the home work for the realities of life and offer a lifestyle the client will truly enjoy?  There are a lot of moving parts to consider and it's up to me to help sort through what would work best. A happy life is the goal!

Not only do you sell homes, you design as well! Describe how you approach interior design?

I LOVE design!!! I mean I gush over it. I have designed many homes for myself and countless clients. Taking an analytical approach to things is part of my nature. As I walk through spaces I consider sight lines, efficiency, and functionality - but it needs to look and feel right at the same time. A desire to create and inspire has always been a part of who I am!

You also appear to be quite an impressive multi-tasker! As a mother, wife, professional, fitness instructor, and artist, how important is having a functional space to come home to?

The RIGHT design! - match that up with your lifestyle and you can make any space work.  As far as multi-tasking goes, I don't do everything all at once - a little bit here and there will get you places ;)!

How would you describe your house, and the interior spaces within it?

 Quality over quantity - this is how I strive to live my life as well. This means different things to different people.  As far as design goes, room proportions, simplicity in design, and classic and timeless looks are something I strive for when designing a home.  I love many looks, but for my personal space I like a modern design aesthetic while still maintaining warmth and comfort. My walls are white and floors a warm grey - but the furniture pops as does the very colourful art on the wall- I've had the joy of creating this art over the years.

What colour combinations do you gravitate towards in your home?

WHITE! Love white. When done right, it makes everything in your home stand out. It's fresh, clean, bright, tranquil - happy. But definitely colour for my artwork. LOTS of colour there.

 What is your favorite room in your house, and why?

To be honest I have a couple favorite rooms, but one of my favorite spots is definitely the great room...it's where I spend most of my time at home. Here I can interact with my husband while cooking in the kitchen, watch the kids run up and down the stairs, and enjoy views of our small but private outdoor oasis.

Your home has a lot of beautiful art, and you are the artist behind it all! How would you describe your art, and what purpose does art play in interior design?

As an engineer at heart, it feels completely illogical for me to think that art has value.  But my heart says otherwise...it brings me joy.

From an interior design standpoint, art brings a room to life. It best reflects the homeowner's personality and life energy. The funny thing is when I paint, there are times I find myself attempting to achieve perfection in a brush stroke, but it's when I let go that the magic really happens. Isn't that how we can all live our best lives? I'm always learning :)

Do you own any pieces from Rug & Weave, and what do you love about them?

I love so many of your products and honestly, it's tough to decide! I have been looking for the perfect rug and can't wait for the right piece to come along. I own some of your pillows and love how they add colour and texture to the room.

What do you love about our brand, and what’s on your current wish list from our shop?

I really enjoy the organic nature of the brand. Love that Rug & Weave are a husband and wife team and value family. You’ve incorporated your own passion for unique items, travel, and family into the brand (my husband Joe and I work together as well, and making memories with our kids is most important). I also appreciate the passion to collaborate with other local businesses - working together and building each other up - I think it's great.

 As far as my wish list is concerned, I'm definitely looking for the right classic rug with a pop of colour for my main floor living spaces. My foyer, master bedroom, and great room all could use a truly unique vintage rug.

"I LOVE THAT YOUR RUGS HAVE HISTORY - THIS MAKES THEM TIMELESS, CLASSIC AND WORKS OF ART."

If you’d like to see more of Sophia, she can be found on instagram @sophiapolenek 

click here to find out more about what she does, and get in touch!



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