Ikea’s Expedit: One Piece, Five Different Looks

One beautiful thing about Ikea furniture is its simple, clean-lined, contemporary design. One challenging thing about Ikea furniture is that everyone and his neighbor has those same clean-lined designs. Take, for example, Ikea’s Expedit bookshelves. You know the one – various sized rows of squarish cube-shelves. Highly functional, to be sure, but how do you set yours apart? How do you reflect your own personality in a piece that, frankly, is globally accessible? To get your creative juices flowing, below are five ideas to transform this wonderful yet generic Ikea piece into custom furniture that meets both your needs and your style:


For a very easy customized look, consider this temporary fix. Simply string a sweet crocheted (or not) garland across the top of the bookcase. This works particularly well in a nursery or child’s room, where buntings are right at home and where sweet and subtle details are the defining factors. I love how this idea packs such a powerful punch without any major repurposing of the Expedit.{found on katrinesfoto}.


This creative idea involves three single Expedit units; two are placed side-by-side, while the third is turned and painted with chalkboard paint. Apparently, the homeowners didn’t originally intend for this layout, but there was a measuring miscalculation. In my opinion, it couldn’t have turned out more perfectly. It breaks up the almost overwhelming squareness that would have abounded had the three shelves been put together traditionally. And the chalkboard paint just puts it over the top, both stylistically and functionally!{found on thesmithnest}.

Not all Expedit shelves must be housed vertically to be successful, as this padded-bench arrangement clearly shows. Laying two single-row units on their sides and covering them with reinforcing MDF and high density foam, the shelves ingeniously serve double-duty as organizing units and seating. So creative! And with their horizontal layout, it allows the homeowners to show off more of that fantastic birch tree wallpaper, which is a definite bonus.{found on iheartorganizing}.


When given an opportunity to increase storage in our homes, most of us seize it. This was certainly the case with these homeowners, who turned several Expedit units into a workstation with sizable storage. One unit even turns into a worktable, with the simple addition of a matching white tabletop and poster legs. The entire combination exudes a sense of built-in, and it is a fabulously creative yet structured use of these generic box forms.{found on bedifferentactnormal}.


Of course, some of us may not have any wall space to spare, even for a piece as versatile as the Expedit. That’s where this great idea comes in handy – turn a couple of units into a bed! It provides built-in storage while maximizing the bed’s footprint with handy shelf space. I love the neat, crisp look that this setup gives the entire space, and it definitely scores style points as a raised platform bed.{found on ikeahackers}.



Published by in DIY Projects, on January 7th, 2013

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