Element of Surprise: Offbeat Storage

Anyone looking for more storage space in their home? Yep, join the club! While it's certainly easy to drop into Ikea and pick up the ever-popular Expedit (more on that below the jump), we've found a few refreshing alternatives that are pretty interesting and inspiring...

The armoire in the top photo may seem stuffy and ornate, but the bold purple paint job gives it a whole new attitude. What could have been destined for the yard sale is now a strong statement piece for the bedroom.

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In contrast to the monochromatic dressing room in the first photo, this corner with its parrot-green lacquer dresser has such a great combination of colors. It's Asian-inspired, but with a modern twist: Green, yellow and orange with that gorgeous stem of orchids just looks chic and even simple enough to to try in our own home.

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Got an Expedit? Hm, perhaps the real question is: Who doesn't? These versatile bookcases became an instant classic in homes and offices (and even gyms). But in case you're feeling bored of yours, try this idea: Pick up one of Ikea's wire-curtain hanging system with the clips and hide your Expedit behind a curtain.

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We see these popping up pretty regularly on Craigslist: vintage barrister bookcases. But instead of keeping the dust out of tomes, these could be used as an interesting way to put your collections on display--be it shoes or Pez dispensers.

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We're fairly certain this photo has been posted before, but still a creative idea: a birdhouse nightstand. Despite the horror that bibliophiles will feel when seeing a book propped like this (or stored like this), the concept is pretty neat, and it's a nice little nook to stow bedside essentials.

(Images: Living Etc.)