The de-squaring and shelf-itizing of an Expedit unit


Materials: One Lack shelving unit, one-4X4 Expedit and one-1X1 Expedit

Confession, I have a love-hate relationship with the IKEA Expedit line. I purchased one in 2012 because it worked like a dream as a room divider, or more accurately as a “messy bed hiding area,” in my old studio apartment. However in the new apartment it stuck out like a sore thumb. It was just so “square.” It made the apartment appear shorter and looked out of place with the rest of the living room. I wanted to elongate the unit without losing all the storage space.

Inspiration hit!

I had a Lack shelving unit hanging around that I hadn’t yet installed in the apartment. I decided to combine both units to change the bulky “square-ness” my Expedit into a “step-up.”

Over the years, IKEA has modified the dimensions of its Expedit and now has changed the line entirely into Kallax. Please use my measurements as a rough guide. Double check that my measurements will suit the dimensions of your unit.

Cut the following pieces:
Bottom = Cut off 5 cm (Leave bottom uncut if not attaching to Lack shelf)
Top = 71.9 cm (76.9 cm if not attaching Lack shelf) and 42 cm, make sure to measure from each end to keep the finished overhangs
Side = 68.8 cm
Top from 1X1 Expedit = 40.3 cm
Sides from 1X1 Expedit = 30.2 cm (you will have two of these)
thin inner panels = leave one uncut, one 67.4 cm, one 102.4 cm
For the 42 cm and 40.3 cm pieces cover the rough edges in matching white contact paper.

2) Drill holes in the Lack shelf to allow pieces 1, 2 and 3 to connect via the dowels. These holes should be at the exact spacing of the inside of the Expedit Side piece, with the additional 2.5 cm holes for attaching the Bottom piece, (make your life easier by using the existing side piece as a guide).

3) Lay the shelving unit on its side and attach the Lack shelf to one side of the Bottom and the 68.8cm Side panel to the other. The Lack shelf is attached via two dowels and the Side panel by two dowels and two screws. Secure the lack shelf by two L-brackets.

4) Assemble panels 1 and 2 as if it was a regular Expedit unit, but with the Lack shelf is your side panel.

5) Drill eight holes 2.5 cm from the rough end into the 42 cm piece. These will be used to connect this piece with the lower upright thin panel and thicker upright 30.2 cm side panel. On both sides, drill four 1/4″ holes (the two outer holes must go through the particle board) for the dowels from the thinner piece to enter.

6) Attach the 42 cm piece by four dowels to the thin upright panel and secure it by two screws to the thick side panel, (use the long screws provided in the Expedit unit). Further secure the unit by attaching two L-brackets to the front and back interior of the thinner upright panel to reinforce the joint between the 42 cm panel and panel 2. Then attach the 30.2 cm panel by the four dowels.

7) Ok! You’re a third of the way there! For addition of the 40.3 cm panel repeat steps 5) and 6).

8) Last piece! Drill four 1/4″ holes for the dowels, 2.5cm from the finished end of the 71.9 cm piece to connect it to the top 30.2 cm side piece. On the rough end, drill four 1/4″ holes, (two per a side) through the particle board.

9) Attach the 71.9 cm piece to the 30.2 cm side panel and Lack shelving unit by eight dowels. Secure the top panel by attaching two L-brackets to the front and back of interior of the Lack shelving unit to reinforce the joint between the new top panel and the shelving unit.

Congratulations on your new de-squared Expedit!!!

More details can be found at our blog.

Jules Yap