Expedit kitchen storage hack

Materials: Expedit bookcase (Ikea), Expedit door insert (Ikea), Expedit drawer insert (Ikea), Annamoa fabric (Ikea), Solid orange fabric (Ikea), iron-on hemming tape (Ikea), Velcro, scissors, sewing thread and needle, iron, floor shoe trim (Lowe’s), nails and hammer, hand saw, knobs (optional)

Description: We moved into a new place and it turned out our kitchen storage space was much smaller than what we were used to. I like to have half of Trader Joe’s inventory immediately accessible in my kitchen, so we needed something like a pantry.

1) We got an Expedit bookcase and put it in the living room with its back facing the kitchen counter wall, and filled it with stuff as a first step

2) Then we bought a door and a drawer insert for two of the openings and I covered the rest with fabric. I made the middle one centered on the mountain because my husband likes mountaineering. I was planning to use a third solid color (yellow) but I think it is a little bit more serious and elegant and living-room-y with the orange only. I also cut some microscopic orange fabric circles and glued them onto the small knobs to match the rest. That didn’t work so well, the fabric circles came apart and those knobs are just too small to be comfortable.

3) This is how the pantry looks after almost 2 years. I got some colorful knobs from Anthropologie (spent a total of 5 hrs trying to decide on separate days) and now I don’t like them anymore, they are just too big.

4) This is how I made the fabric covers: folded the fabric over to make it two-ply and used the iron-on hemming tape from to “stitch” it in the middle.

5) I folded the bottom end and made a pocket to insert a thin piece of wood to keep the fabric cover straight. The piece was cut from a “floor shoe trim”, 5/8″ wide, made of some very soft pine wood.

6) For the solid orange covers I used three pieces of Velcro (one at each end and one in the middle) to attach the cover to the inside top of the bookcase. This doesn’t look that good: you can see the gap between the cover and the bookcase and it is not very straight. But well, it is detachable and you can keep your fabric covers clean if you are so inclined (apparently I am not, never detached those covers since I made them 🙂

7) This a better way of attaching the covers, but it is not detachable and it takes more work: I had to empty the whole bookcase, put it top down on the floor and nail the thin piece of wood (I can’t hammer something up).

~ Ani, Sunnyvale, CA