The World’s Most Popular Bookcase: Best Uses of the IKEA Expedit

updated Mar 11, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you love looking at pictures of interiors like we do, you’ll probably see a few of the same pieces crop up over and over, design classics like the Eames lounge or Harry Bertoia’s wire chairs. But one of the most ubiquitous pieces has a humbler pedigree (and a much lower price point). It’s the IKEA Expedit, and it’s taking the world of storage by storm.

1 / 10

The genius of the Expedit is in its simplicity — the deep square shelves make it suitable for storing practically anything, and the extra thickness of the outside frame gives the unit a pleasingly solid appearance that belies its low price tag.

The simple design, and the fact that the shelving units come in a huge variety of sizes — 2×2, 2×4, 4×4, 5×5 — make the Expedit adaptable to many different kinds of spaces, and almost infinitely hackable. Below are some of our favorite Expedit spottings from our Apartment Therapy house tours, and from all over the web.

From Apartment Therapy:
1. From Jon and Tyke’s California cabin.
2. From Shane and Andrew’s California Home.
3. Expedit + milk crates = quirky, budget storage solution, as seen in Christi’s creative and crafty Austin apartment.
4. An Expedit makes a perfect room divider in deRaismes’ tiny, beautifully textured studio apartment.
5. A white Expedit melds nicely with the black and white palette in Stefanie and Taylor’s Washington, DC digs.

6. Expedits provide storage for a home office in Alexis and Josh’s San Francisco apartment.
7. Sleek storage in Irene’s home office.
8. In the Midcentury mix at Katherine and Jem’s Chicago Apartment.
9. As a TV stand in Lauren and Kevin’s Chicago apartment.
10. An Expedit helps to fill a large wall in Nick and Rachel’s Brooklyn loft.

1 / 15

From the Web:
1. A supersized Expedit in a children’s space. From Scandinavia with Love via Apartment Therapy.
2. What’s better than one Expedit? Two Expedits, stacked on top of each other. We highly recommend this, if you have the ceiling height. Image from The Decorologist.
3. A whole wall of Expedits has a custom, built-in look. Painting the back of the bookcases to match the ceiling ties the room together. Image from Mires Paris via Lamps Plus.
4. An artist’s studio from Desire to Inspire.
5. Expedits in a stylish white-on-white office by Lloyd Ralphs Design, via Canadian House and Home.

6. An Expedit is the perfect size for holding records, like in the Paris apartment of Leslie David, seen on Freunde von Freunden.
7. Adding a mirror behind your Expedit kicks it up a notch. Home of Naomi Stein, from Design*Sponge.
8. Two Expedits make a cozy nook around a bed, as seen in Skona Hem.
9. This black Expedit has a certain dark glamor. From Rue.
10. Stacked Expedits and books by color from Bright Bazaar.

11. An Expedit behind a couch is good for storage in small spaces; put items you don’t need to access frequently on the lower shelves. Home of Sharilyn Wright, as seen on Cafe Mom.
12. This guy took an IKEA Expedit, rejiggered the shelves, and mounted it on the wall. Now it’s something completely different. IKEA Hackers via Apartment Therapy.
13. An Expedit in a home office from Better Homes and Gardens.
14. Books in the bedroom — what could be better? Image from My Favorite and My Best.
15. Stacked Expedits make great storage in a mudroom or closet, like in this black and white apartment seen on French by Design.

(Images: as linked above)