By Kate Riley January 18, 2012

The home office has felt a little chaotic for the past month and I’ve been desperate for some smarter storage in here.  Enter the famous and affordable IKEA Expedit shelving unit!  Two as matter of fact, one on each side of the credenza.  I’ve always liked this unit for its universal appeal, clean lines, and modern style plus you can’t beat the price! I was surprised at the quality too, these units are sturdy and very heavy.  Impressive IKEA, most impressive!

kates office ikea expedit


This unit has been popping up in so many different stylish spaces for years, both the larger square and the skinnier version …here are a few more of my favorite spaces using Expedit shelving!

bhg expedit

Family Room Expedit via BH&G


expedit sydney via yhl

Playroom Expedit via YHL


bhg organized home office

Home Office Expedit via BH&G


ikea expedit tara dennis

Dining Room Expedit via Tara Dennis


nursery expedit apartment therapy

Nursery Expedit via Ish & Chi



stacked expedits apartment therapy

Stacked Office Expedits via Apartment Therapy


studio expedit making it lovely

Studio Expedit via Making It Lovely


Hallway Expedit (House and Home) via Damarkz


nester expedit console

Living Room Expedit via Nesting Place

house and home expedit 2

Library Expedit via House and Home blog

Raise your hand if you’re a fan of the Expedit too!



  1. What a timely post…we just bought two of these for my dining room transition to playroom/school room. I love them! Thank you for all of the great inspiration photos!

  2. Definitely a fan of the Expedit! Just put one together for our kids playroom, with TV in the center.
    The craft room will be getting one for all the necessities and added storage. Thanks for sharing all these great ways to use them! Your office looks great!

  3. I have two and I love them! One for my daughters play area and the other as a home for our books. Btw, I LOVE your office!

  4. I have one in the kitchen I use like a kitchen island I have boxes on the bottom to hold tupperware and kids lunch boxes and snack cups etc. and it is a perfect bench height for the little ones to help in the kitchen. It is the same one as you have just on its side

  5. I love them too and have several in my house. They are very sturdy, however the outsides are hollow core and can break if a lot of pressure is put in one spot. I have experience :) (during this particular incident my hubs was travelling and my then 8 yo son suggested I wait till Daddy was back to help)

  6. This is the perfect solution for my next project! Think you can paint them?? I need them in cream. And I only wish my projects turned out as beautifully as what you do!

  7. I have been thinking about getting two of the skinny ones for my office. This pretty much confirms my decision :). I wondered about the quality, even though I have seen them in numerous bloggers homes. I do wish there was an Ikea closer to me!!!

  8. The expedits in your office look fabulous! I’m designing my home office right now and am totally incorporating the expedit shelving into my plan. Seriously…the ability to have stylish storage at a bargain price is worth its weigh in gold in my opinion. So yes, I am an expedit fan!

  9. Love them! I installed them in my kids closet and wala, instant shelving in the closet! Just made sure to secure them to the wall just in case they tried to climb it. Thanks for these awesome photos!

  10. I have one in my sewing room & I love it. Bought it in the as-is section for less than half price. It was already put together (I would actually pay more for that service, so awesome to get it for less). These are always in the as-is section & most have nothing wrong, just returned and unable to get back in a flat pack box!

  11. I am a big fan of Expedit. I used to have the TV unit and it was great, until we moved and had no room for it. Now I am coveting the 1×4 unit. going to turn it on its side, add castors and storage bins and use it for toy storage/bench in the living room. it should fit perfectly under the window between my two bookcases.

  12. Definitely love.

    So much so, that I paid NZD$750 – yup, you heard right – for my 5×5 (that’s USD$600 by the way).

    I believe it’s US$199 in the States???? So… I could’ve got 3 in the States, for the price that I paid here for 1 measly unit : (

    NZ doesn’t have any IKEA stores – I had to get mine from a non legit stockist. He charged a fortune and guess what? It was still the cheapest cubbyhole bookcase I could find in Christchurch, New Zealand. You guys are so lucky over there…

  13. I have one in my living room that I got for free (someone in the ikea parking lot was giving it away because they bought it on clearance and couldn’t fit it in their car!) I love it and I want to get some more for my son’s room and the new nursery : )

  14. Love ’em. Absolutely love ’em. I’ve got three. Two of the larer ones holding fabric and craft stuff and a smaller one in the study. They are terrific

  15. yep, love it! I have two in my sons and two in my daughter’s room now and currently thinking of buy three more for my playroom. It seems there’s always a place for them. I might even need one for my laundry room if my bench/chest doesn’t work out. Is it overkill to have them in multiple rooms in your home:)?

  16. I have the largest one in my office and I love it, but I was surprised at how quickly it filled up with my books. (Putting that big one together was a real pain)

  17. okay, yes, I am sold on them now! You sure you’re not working for Ikea, this has been a great sales pitch. Although you have followed some great style with your office on choosing those shelves, the styling is still up to you, and you did an amazing job. I really love the white vase type sculpture on top. Good eye! Thanks for posting.

  18. I love our exedit bookshelf, so much storage & flexibility. I don’t know how I keep this house organised & clutter free without it.

  19. Kate, my mouth fell open! I measured my office close for one of these units a few months ago but have delayed in fear it wouldn’t fit through the closet door. I was just thinking once again about getting one and a friend and I are supposed to head down to IKEA next week. It’s like you read my mind! :) Love all the examples!

  20. Oh, I love these! I have 4 in my home. I have 3 the same size as yours – one in the living room (my blu ray, modem and router fit perfectly in the cubbies and I was able to the hide the modem & router behind picture frames), one in my bedroom – I flipped it horizontally and use it for my tv stand and dvd storage, and one in my guest bedroom. The other one I have is the biggest one and it’s in my craft room to store all of my supplies. It’s funny, because I just did a post about my craft room, which includes a picture of the famous Expedit! :)

  21. So many of those I hadn’t seen before which is always nice! I’ve been wanting some forever for the playroom, just need to pull the trigger. The playroom is our eat-in kitchen area, so I think I’ve hesitated with this notion that any day he’s going to be over it and I can have my dream kitchen expansion…umm, he’s 3. Not any time soon!

  22. I just scored one of these babies for $40 from a coworker! I am using it in my crafting room/office!

  23. I have been reading your blog since I was first introduced to you on the Nate Berkus show, but this is the first time I have left a comment. Just a thank you for the inspiration and instruction. You have helped me more than you know.

  24. I love Expidit shelves and plan on using them in my office as well. I really like the idea of stacking like the image above. More storage and even more impressive focal point!

  25. I am a huge fan of Expedit. You’re right the quality is awesome. I have one in our downstairs family room and I just used one in a new room design I did for my daughter’s best friend. I hope to be revealing that space in the next week or so. It looks so good in any space…modern or traditional.

  26. I’m loving the functionality of Expedit. I don’t own any but thanks to your display of the options there are alot of ideas running through my head right now. Loving the inspiration.

  27. We have them for the playroom, but I wish I’d gotten the largest version! I’m trying to convince my husband we need one downstairs too… I pinned the hallway one to try and convince him!

  28. Ahh thank you for posting this! I have 2 of these in the dark brown that need major work. Mine are sloppy and need to by styled! This really helps give me some ideas to make mine look better. Maybe paint them, or put a wallpapered background…

  29. I’ve had these in my boys’ room for years! They have held up beautifully. I always recommend them to people because of the reason you said, but also because for a kid’s room it is wonderful for keeping neat. If one shelf gets messed up the rest of the squares stay tidy. And the double sided finish means you can put it in the center of the room (which I have done) and it looks great on both side. Fabulous! Lisa~

  30. Raising my hand!!! I love mine. We did the same size one, but hung the desk off of it was well. Not as easy to get to the bottom part, but it holds a lot of stuff and I love the look of it. I might get another one for the office though. Need some better storage. Love all the inspirational pictures!!! :)

  31. Kate,
    Please post updated pictures of the whole home office. It looks like you’ve changed the color scheme quite a bit – can’t wait to see how it all came together!

  32. Expedit shelves are so versatile! We love them. We’ve had customer’s who have incorporated these into their kitchen designs and the result is always great!

  33. Ah, the Expedit…it’s definitely divisive – you either love it or hate it, and I am absolutely a fan! Great round up of Expedit inspiration, makes me want to restyle mine on the double :)

  34. Oooh thanks for this post! I don’t have an Ikea close by, and had never even heard of them till a few months ago, but I totally might order some of these online! They seemto be the perfect storage solution!

  35. Oh, yes! Big fan! We’ve got a few in our house. You have your Expedit beautifully organzied, Kate. I like your artwork you have sitting on top!

  36. Hi! Kate,
    I’m a big fan but never comment.
    We use the Expedit as a divider in my daughter’s studio apartment in New YORK Which is just 16 x 12 in size

  37. Yes! Everyone in my family has caught the Expedit fever ever since I got one for my office. I actually have it in the corner at an angle. It’s perfect…

  38. We have the same Expedit shelf in my daughter’s closet for extra storage. I decided to use that instead of a spendy closet organizer. It is perfect! All of her books, dress up accessories and barbies are finally organized. When she gets older and needs more space for clothes and shoes, we can move the shelf somewhere else in the house. Thanks for sharing pictures of how others use these shelving units!

  39. I love it! Its so simple. Clean lines. Easy to paint, it you wanted to, but gorgeous in white as well. I love the ones who turned it sideways especially, I love it when people use ordinary things in unexpected ways. But most of all, I just love IKEA!

  40. Yep! We Expedit!

    Ours was originally in our living room, but since we moved recently it has ended up in the spare bedroom/shop storage room for me. We’re book lovers, so if we didn’t have a massive bookshelf like the Expedit, we’d have them stacked on the floor. (Heck, we still do. Just fewer.)

  41. I am raising both hands, i absolutely loooove Expedit, i want the big one, only need to make more room for it in my home.
    I am planning to have one in the bedroom, for storing all my craftitems.

  42. I just installed the huge Expedit unit in my sewing studio for fabric storage. Mine was a hand me down in that AWFUL fake golden oak color so I painted it. The exact color of the wall. It is GORGEOUS! Plus it looks semi-custom since it isn’t standard white/black/birch.

  43. LOVE the expedit! We have one in our office at the moment but it is quite uninspired and needs some design love. Thanks for all the great ideas.

  44. I love the Expedit. I actually want to have some long, but short shelves in my living area – one along the wall and the other to run behind the couch and face the entry way for more storage in there. The Expedit laid sideways would work great for that, however, I may have my handy hubby custom-build what I want! Though, the Expedit would work great in other areas of our home as well!

  45. We have Expedit in several rooms at home and recently I used them in all of my husband’s offices when we redecorated his agency. They are so great for organizing because they will adapt to anyone’s style depending on what sort of baskets and boxes they use to fill the cubes! I like the inserts too, in moderation. I have a cupboard and a set of drawers in my craft room expedit and it makes some stuff quickly accessible and pleasantly hidden.

  46. Hey! Thanks for the post. Is the bookcase white white? I have the Bill bookcase and it is not so white or of a flat off white. What is the finish on this one? Thanks!!!

  47. LOVE the graphic quality and low price of the Expedit but I don’t have one yet. I’m sure I would if we had an IKEA nearby, but I may make the pilgrimage this spring to the closest on, in Montreal, to get the giant one for my guest room that I’m redoing.

  48. I want one of these so bad….. only problem is that I’m halfway between Chicago and Minneapolis and the shipping on the $129 one I want is $350!!! Come on IKEA! ha ha.

  49. I LOVE the Expedit series. First for those thinking of buying them – they are much heavier and sturdier than you might think. I have 2 of the largest ones in the birch colour, lined up on one wall in my office, with the desk attachment at one end. On the wall opposite the large units, I have the smaller one on its side with bankers’ boxes in each of the 8 squares and use it as a filing cabinet, above that I have 2 LACK shelves in birch which match well with the Expedit. I have had so many compliments on this room.
    Expedit is so versatile – after finishing my office, I loved the Expedit so much that I bought another small one and installed (on its side) it the narrow hallway leading to my laundry room. It’s a great place to fold laundry. I put rattan baskets in 6 of the squares – one basket for white socks, one for dark socks, one for my pjs, one for his, the other two are for his and her undergarmets. When folding laundry fresh from the dryer, I just have to plop the items in the appropriate baskets, and put towels in the 2 open squares. It also makes getting ready for work in the morning a breeze – just put your hand in your underwear basket, grab whatever coloured socks you want and frees up space in your dressers. BONUS! Both of my brothers have since bought Expedit shelves since viewing mine.

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