When it comes to embracing comfort and style while also maintaining a busy life with her family, interior decorator Jen Sottosanti has struck the perfect balance. Her beautiful home in Ontario, Canada is layered with sophisticated textures, stately furnishings and—most importantly—thoughtful details.
The moment you step foot in Jen’s home you can see how custom features pull a space together. The family room beckons you with a wall of bookcases flanking its cozy fireplace. Her formal dining room has been cleverly converted into a multipurpose laundry room. The side entrance boasts a corridor of cubbies and benches designed to accommodate boots, coats and miscellaneous outdoor gear. And her windows are adorned with Silhouette® Window Shadings with PowerView® Automation.
After visiting Jen’s stunning home, we sat down with her to get the inside scoop on her passion for design and how thoughtful interiors can enhance daily living—particularly for her family of five.
Hunter Douglas: How did you discover your passion for decorating interiors?
Jen: My love of decorating stems all the way back to my childhood when I was always rearranging my bedroom layout or changing the paint on the walls. After becoming a mother, I yearned for a creative outlet and started taking on small design projects for friends and family. It wasn’t until my biggest project—designing and building my family dream home—where I realized my passion for design could turn into a fulfilling career.
I quickly recognized the amount of knowledge it takes to build a home, as well as how stressful it is. I also realized I could help guide other people through the process by removing the stress that overwhelms them. As a decorator, my goal is to create lifestyle-based solutions for each client, which results from my attention to the details.
HD: When decorating a space, what aspect do you get most excited about?
Jen: I get most excited about seeing it all come together, from mood boards to reality. Adding in all the mixed materials that ultimately, in my eyes, makes a space cozy and inviting. I love to combine different fabrics, metals, and natural textures, from the window coverings down to the rug, to create interest and variety in a space.
Beyond beauty, I always want design to have functionality that makes sense for a person’s needs—whether that’s flow or integrating smart home technology. Cabinets are a great example—you can never have enough storage! Another example is wiring the home at the beginning to accommodate smart home technologies such as speakers and automated window shades.
HD: What are your top three favorite must-haves that add convenience and make a difference in your day to day?
Jen: Number one is my automatic shades for sure! They are such a smart and brilliant idea when building a custom home. All of our shades with PowerView Automation are integrated with our smart home system, making them even more convenient for our daily routines. The shades are preset to open, close and adjust at specific times based on the sunrise and sunset as well as the direction of the sunlight throughout the day. This feature allows us to not even think about operating the shades each day—plus, we can always use our remotes to control them as needed. It’s that easy!
Number two is my double set washer and dryer. The amount of laundry our household of five produces is crazy! All of our kids are involved in sports, which requires doing laundry almost every day. And we really appreciate having two sets when we come back home after a long vacation.
It’s hard to narrow down to just three, but I’d say a number three is the filtered Elkay water bottle filler in our kitchen. Being in the hub of the home, it’s our go-to water system and it has definitely become a staple. It even has a feature that tracks the amount of water bottles we have saved!
HD: What is your favorite thing about having automated window shades throughout your home?
Jen: No doubt, the convenience! Hands down PowerView Automation is the easiest part of our daily routines.
As a natural light lover, there’s no better way to start my day than waking up with morning sunlight filtering through as the blackout liner rolls up behind the shades. With the shades preset to open with the sunrise, walking through our light-filled home in the morning is such a wonderful experience. This convenience is especially great when we are rushing in the kitchen to make breakfast and assemble lunches for the kids.
One of my favorite PowerView moments comes at bedtime. This is when all the automated shades close—either with the sunset or by using the remotes. I honestly can’t imagine telling my family: “I’ll be there in 15 minutes—I have to go around and close all the shades first” every single night! This makes it all about maximizing family time, which is so precious because of our busy schedules.
Nothing makes a home more beautiful than when it functions to the fullest for those who live in it. With PowerView Automation, Jen saves time and energy with automated schedules, as well as enjoys just the right amount of natural light in a room.
We can’t wait to see more projects from Jen full of thoughtful details!