After a difficult year, the couple are making a fresh start in a new home
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his wife, Lauren, got a fresh start this December, when they moved into a new home following a tumultuous year. Now, the couple is making the New Jersey mansion their dream house with a very special makeover.
Mike, 37, who starred in MTV’s Jersey Shore and the spinoff Family Vacation, reported to Otisville Federal Correctional Institution for an eight-month sentence for tax evasion the last January and was released in September.
“We truly believe that the comeback is ALWAYS greater than the setback and we can’t wait to show the world ours,” the couple told PEOPLE in a statement at the time.
Part of that new life: creating an extra special feature in their already impressive space.
The college sweethearts enlisted the help of Project Neat, a professional organization company, to create their dream pantry. And the pros came with a highly valued endorsement.
“Nicole — Snooki — [Polizzi] had told me once we got settled that she used Project Neat, and Jenni Farley [JWoww] might have, too,” Lauren, 34, tells PEOPLE. “So they definitely came highly recommended from our friends.”
Mike admits the space was less than pristine before before they reorganized. “We were doing the best we could,” he jokes.
“It was a big pantry but there was no structure to it,” Lauren, 34, adds. “So I feel like I was just like filling it up with cases of drinks and buying bulk and just stacking it.”
But after just four hours of work, the couple had a fully organized system in place for storing food, snacks and drinks, all customized to match the style of their new home.
“Our pantry already had these baskets built in from the previous owner that had wood detail on them,” Lauren says. “So instead of doing clear containers, they used these bamboo containers that really elevated it and matched.”
And the pantry makeover couldn’t have come at a better time, she says.
“The best thing was they did it right before Christmas, so I was making Christmas cookies nonstop,” she explains. “The baking ingredients are usually messy, like bags of flour leaking. But it was perfectly decanted in these airtight canisters and it was so much easier.”
Although their newly designed space looks nice, it’s the function that they’re most pleased with, Mike explains.
“The pantry has a system, so if anything runs out, we automatically restock it,” he says. “I actually like going into the pantry because it’s pretty organized and looks pretty — so I don’t want to mess anything up.”
Gilat Tunit, founder of Project Neat, worked with Mike and Lauren on the design.
“I can’t even begin to explain how gorgeous Mike and Lauren’s home is,” Tunit says. “We chose wood and wicker elements alongside acrylic pieces for a calming vibe, which is exactly what their home feels like. Every product in their pantry is now fully organized and categorized in style.”
The couple was so happy with how their new space turned out that they’re hiring Tunit again — this time, to tackle their clothes closets.
“We were so impressed with the pantry that we were like, ‘Oh my god, what can they do with the closets?'” says Mike.
Adds, Lauren, “We desperately need help with them!”