My Closet Transformation Details

How Inspired Closets Chicago Brought it All to Life
Jennifer Lake Closet Renovation

A couple weeks ago, I was thrilled to unveil my dream closet with Inspired Closets Chicago. A good friend of mine asked me several years ago, “what would would a Jennifer Lake closet look like?’ My answer, “Very, very girly.” Well, let’s just say Inspired Closets Chicago achieved my vision and inspired me to think bigger. I am still in complete shock with the final results! I’m head over heels obsessed with it. It’s one thing to have a certain design in mind, and it’s another to find a company who understands and brings it to life.

Best of all, they’re giving Style Readers an exclusive 10% discount through the end of December 2020. Just use this inquiry form and mention my name in the comments, and you’ll be set! Even if you want to look into a possible project for 2021, best to secure the discount now.

Journey to my New Closet

When we moved into our house, I wanted to reimagine one of the bedroom spaces and transform it into my primary closet. After all, it’s just me and Bob living here. We don’t have kids, and due to the pandemic, we don’t have a lot of visitors or guests staying overnight. Therefore, we have the ability to personalize a floor plan that suits our lifestyle and needs. Plus, we already have the perfect guest room space in the basement, so this room was ideal for the project.

Jennifer Lake Walk-In Closet

In fact, we bought our place knowing that one bedroom would ultimately become my walk-in closet, and another would be dedicated to a home office. We feel fortunate to have a space that’s not only something we want, but also something we really need for work and life.

Going into the project, I quickly became aware of how the custom closet industry is quite competitive. Google “closet companies,” and you’ll be flooded by a billion search results. At first, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to find a company with the quality and caliber of work that I wanted.

Friends, let me tell you – Inspired Closets Chicago exceeded my expectations and then some (and I’m a tough crowd). 🙂

Jennifer Lake Shoe Closet Wardrobe
photo by Aimée Mazzenga

Inspired Closets Chicago

After visiting Inspired Closets Chicago’s Oakbrook showroom (see a few images in this post), we met with Mike Carson (the amazing owner), to review their various closet options, materials, hardware, and beyond. Prior to that meeting, Mike had also visited our home to measure the space and create a floor plan prior to our visit. Love that! He was really efficient with our time, and it ended up saving me a lot of stress down the road compared to previous home transformations.

I sincerely appreciated his hands-on approach to the project from start to finish. Best of all, his consultation immediately put me at ease that they were the best company for the job. Plus, an initial meeting with Inspired Closets Chicago is completely free, so it really gave me a sense of the options, budget, etc.

Style Charade Closet
photo by Aimée Mazzenga

Showroom Visit

During our visit to the showroom, Mike sat us down and walked us through Inspired Closet’s proprietary software. In minutes, he pulled up a recommended closet set-up including a feature wall, central island, shoe wall (or “shoe shrine” as they call it), and beyond. I was stunned! He not only spent the time to pre-design things for me, but he got almost every element of it right. Seriously!

Sure, we made some changes here and there – a few more lights, take out this shelf, add more hanging and valet racks, etc. However, the vast majority of his recommendations eventually came to life.

Plus, I felt extremely safe at the showroom. We had a private appointment, and there were only the three of us in the space. Plus, we were all wearing masks the entire time, and they had sanitizers everywhere.

After the showroom consultation, Mike emailed us a 3-D design proposal with measurements and details for review. As someone who enjoys seeing the interior design process come to life, the renderings were SOOOOO cool. I’m sharing a few below so you can see!

Design Details

We ended up deciding to go with the Boutique Closet with Strato Quartz for the island countertop and feature wall. Yes, you even get to personalize materials down to the countertops and even glass. So good!

I also opted for brushed gold oval rods, which added a bright, sleek finish. They also offer the rods in several other styles (even black or polished chrome for a more modern look).

Jennifer Lake Sunglasses Drawer Organizer

In terms of the materials, we decided picked “Morning Mist,” a wood-like texture in off-white. I’d seen it in the Inspired Closets’ showroom, and it just so happens to be their most popular option. I love the durability, look, and feel. While I’d considered going with a crisp white look, Morning Mist felt luxe and more visually interesting.

In the first iteration of our design plan, Mike had even included a pull-out hamper. Thankfully, our laundry room is steps from the closet, so we ended up removing it in exchange for additional hanging space. However, I love the variety of solutions, from tie and scarf organizers to jewelry storage and beyond. The choices are pretty much endless!

Jennifer Lake Closet Design
photo by Aimée Mazzenga

As an aside, I decided to purchase my own hardware (see our drawer pulls and knobs in this post). Inspired Closets has phenomenal options, but we had already been working on wallpaper, lighting, and drawer pull samples with our interior designer, Amelia. Therefore, we decided to just stay the course with the options that she sent us.

Lastly, two of our best decisions were going with three elite valet rods and designing the height to go all the way to the ceiling. Valet rods are retractable hanging pieces that are affixed to the closet that help you hang items when you’re steaming or just want to have an outfit ready to go. Game changer.

Amelia recommended that we take the design to the ceiling with crown molding. I’m SO happy she did because it truly allowed us to maximize the amount of space.

Style Charade Shoe Closet
photo by Aimée Mazzenga

The Installation

The actual installation of the closet took a little under three days. There was just one worker in our home who wore a mask the entire time. He was fantastic! He arrived on time, worked diligently to install everything, and I was amazed at how quickly he set everything up. Plus, he was happy to answer our questions and walk us through the steps of his installation.

Jennifer Lake Closet Purses Bags

Also, while there was a lot of construction, there was very little dust and dirt. He kept the work space very clean and organized, which made me very happy! He also cleaned up after himself, and the noise wasn’t disruptive at all. I was amazed!

In Closing

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about why the final design has meant so much to me. Sure, I’ve dreamt of having a space like this since I was little. Moreover, I think it’s because the pandemic has taught me a lot.

Jennifer Lake Closet

This year, one of the greatest lessons has been to live the life you dream of right now. Often, I’d tell myself to wait on a project like this or to put it off for later. Then, 2020 hit and we’re now spending more time than ever at home. Why not surround myself with people, things, and a space that brings joy and happiness?

This closet is the epitome of joy for me.

If you’ve been thinking about redesigning a space in your home, I give my highest recommendation for Inspired Closets Chicago. We’re already dreaming up other ways to bring new life to other parts of our home. Give them a call or schedule a consultation via this link. Be sure to tell them I sent you to save 10% off your project (the offer is only valid through the end of December, but it counts towards projects in 2021). I can’t wait to see your spaces transform into rooms that you truly love.

Disclosure: I received a discount for the walk-in closet design and installation. However, all opinions are my own. Thank you to the team at Inspired Closets for working with me to create the closet of my dreams. Partnerships like these make Style Charade possible.

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  1. M
    Meg wrote:

    Your closet is a total dream! How beautiful! You’ve inspired me to clean out my closet.

    Published 12.30.20 · Leave a Reply


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