SUPER CHIC CLOSETS

by ALAENA HOSTETTER

IN THE SEA OF CUSTOM closet companies, Boca Raton-based JL Closets rises to the top. The company not only puts customers first, it also has an enormous inventory of finishes, colors and textures, and more expertise in specialty design and installation than its competitors, according to owner Kristoffer Nino.

“We take on jobs that other closet companies don’t want to do because they’re too technically complex,” says Nino. “We’re not your standard closet company. Our competitors want to do basic shelves and panels and call it a day, move on to the next project.”

Some of those elements in which JL Closets specializes include fulfilling design plans from overseas companies in Europe. Floating shelves are another favorite request. “We like to explore with our clients and do things that are more out of the box,” Nino says. “Our competitors say they do European-style contemporary closets, but they charge a ridiculous amount because they don’t really want to do them.”

JL Closets offers an array of colors, textures and finishes that amount to 300 different options. “Most companies offer like 30,” Nino says. “We use a lot of materials from Europe. We’ve got super matte to high gloss, materials that look like concrete, bleached wood, distressed wood, leather backing—all kinds of really exotic things.”

Lucky for clients, JL Closets will travel anywhere in Florida and beyond, having completed projects in the Caribbean and the Northeast. One of JL Closets’ out-of-the-box designs for a homeowner in Fort Lauderdale won the company an award for “Best Product Design” from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

“The client wanted something contemporary to go with the house itself,” says Nino. “We did Italian floating shelves and Italian hardware.” The backings have a high-gloss finish, while the extra-thick shelves and drawers are textured wood grain. LED lighting was installed over the hanging bars, and the drawer banks are lit from underneath. A wall of glass serves as the entry to the closet, and with its high-end build-out, it looks just like a luxury boutique.

“You really have to know your stuff to pull off that sort of technical design, or clients are going to stop using you quickly,” says Nino. JL Closets is happy to interface directly with homeowners. However, a large portion of its clientele is repeat business from interior designers and builders of high-end homes.

It’s worth mentioning that even though the majority of JL Closets’ business is for closet build-outs, the company fulfills requests for any room of the house, including offices, wine cellars, garages and more.

To be able to accommodate the wide variety of projects, JL Closets preps all its materials in its 7,500-square-foot factory and showroom. “All of our equipment is brand new from Italy,” says Nino. The type of machine JL Closets uses to cut materials to specification is one of few such machines in the United States, according to Nino.

“Its extra-large format accommodates all of the materials that come from Europe. We can go way more custom. Clients will bring us an idea from something they saw at a trade show in Milan, for instance,” he says.

A project under consideration for this year’s ASID awards was contracted by the developer of a 10,000-square-foot home in Lighthouse Point, Florida. “It’s a beautiful, very high-end, large home with a contemporary design,” Nino says.

The two-tone closet features a medium brown-and-white color palette with Lucite drawer handles. The design maximizes storage by reaching to the height of the ceiling—a full 10 feet. A stunning geometric light fixture hangs over the center island.

Whether JL Closets is contracted for a project with a $50,000 budget or a $1,000 budget, Nino says taking good care of his clients is his top priority. “We’ll keep coming back at no charge until they are thrilled with the look. We don’t nickel-and-dime clients,” he says. “We’re super focused on making sure clients are happy. That’s one of the big differences between us and other companies.”

__

Alaena Hostetter is a content strategist, editor and journalist who writes about  art, design, culture, music, entertainment and food.