Odds + Ends

IKEA is planning to do what?!

My relationship with Ikea’s Expedit shelving system started when I was 14 years old. My mom and dad surprised me by redecorating my room for my birthday. The room design included a large, white Expedit system filled with my favorite books and keepsakes, and the bottom two rows were filled with baskets to organize my things. My dad installed little lights in every other “cube” to showcase my favorite things – like my prized vintage Monkees lunchbox. Yes, a Monkees lunchbox. I’m an old soul. It was my favorite piece of furniture, and served me well until I left for college. When I moved into my first apartment, one of the first things I bought was, you guessed it, an Expedit. Then, just a few weeks ago, we bought a white Expedit for my office. Needless to say, my love for these functional, geometric shelving pieces has never faltered.

Ikea's Iconic Expedit Shelving System // 7thhouseontheleft.com

If you search or “Expedit” on Pinterest, you’ll clearly see I’m not the only one with mad love for this furniture piece. When various news outlets began reporting a few days ago that Ikea plans on discontinuing their iconic Expedit shelving system, I was so surprised! The EXPEDIT, people! Needless to say, the Twitterverse exploded with surprised, disappointed and (oddly enough) angry reactions. My initial thought was, “Why in the world would they mess up something so popular and so iconic to the Ikea brand?”. When I think Ikea, I immediately think of meatballs, affordable picture frames, faux sheepskin rugs and the Expedit.

This morning, I did some clicking around and wanted to hear the news from the source. I found that they’d just issued a press release (here). In their bulletin they said:

“IKEA has updated and improved the EXPEDIT shelving unit with a sleek, new design that is more durable (with a more scratch-resistant surface), more child-friendly (with rounded corners), and still fits all existing storage baskets and boxes. With this new design, IKEA is giving EXPEDIT a new name: KALLAX. KALLAX will be available to consumers in the U.S. starting this April.”

At first when I read “rounded corners”, my initial response was “Nooooooooooo!”. Thankfully, they also attached a photo of the new design, and it looks strikingly similar – if not identical – to the original Expedit design:

Ikea's Iconic Expedit Shelving System to be Replaced by the Kallax // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The “rounded” corners are barely noticeable, and it doesn’t have the 80’s vibe I feared. The more durable material will be a nice touch. I’m just hoping the finish doesn’t look strange in person.

So, in light of this news, here are my questions… Will the finishes of the Kallax match the finishes of the existing Expedit? The existing baskets will fit the new design, but will they be coming out with new versions and discontinuing the old ones? Why are they giving it a new name if it looks pretty much the same? In my book, they can call it whatever they want because it will always be an Expedit to me.

Images from here and here.

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  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    OMG! I almost had a panic attack! I thought I was going to have to drive up to Canada (closest IKEA to me in upstate NY) within a couple weeks to get one more shelf! haha, #firstworldproblems!!!

  • Reply
    Tiffany (A Touch of Grace)
    February 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Phew! I almost had a heart attack when I read the part about them being discontinued. I was all ready to drive to my local IKEA and buy 4 or 5 of them in various sizes just to have them for future house plans. Thank goodness that’s not the case! The new one does look exactly the same really. Glad they didn’t make any major changes.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I saw your post on Facebook and had to rush over here to read this!!! There’s going to be a massive run on the originals at IKEA, I’m sure. Kind of a bummer beause we have been planning on using the original style to help us retrofit some “built-in’s” but we aren’t at the buying stage yet- still taking care of other areas in the house first. Bummer!

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      We know all about that “stage”, haha. Hopefully the new ones will work out. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they still over the same colors!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I cracked up at ” I immediately think of meatballs, affordable picture frames, faux sheepskin rugs and the Expedit.” because it is so totally true. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    The updates sound fine enough, but I think the name change is a poor choice. Expedit is one of the few Ikea line names most non-Ikea nuts are likely to recognize (and pronounce!). Not to mention all the free advertising for the name Expedit that’s already splashed across blogs and Pinterest and magazine articles. Perhaps the fact that they’ve got people talking again about one of their standard pieces factored into their decision to change the name, but I don’t think it’s a great long-term move.

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Yeah, that’s a good point! The only other name I know how to pronounce (or remotely remember) is Karlstad, haha.

  • Reply
    Rain P
    February 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    YES! I heard about it yesterday! E V E R Y B O D Y is talking about it! They must be extremely certain about the new product. I hope so anyway. Bad move if it doesn’t stand up to the Expedit.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Now I am panicked that they are going to mess with….I mean change some of the other “classics”. I am planning on purchasing an Ektorp sofa in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t get a makeover before then. It would be my luck for it to disappear the week I go to buy it.

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Ooooh, yeah, the Ektorp! I had the leather version of that in my first apartment and loved it so much.

  • Reply
    Sara M
    February 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Hahahaha! You’re write about the meatballs, affordable picture frames, and faux sheepskin rugs. So funny!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I just hope this doesn’t mean this is going to happen for other items too. UGGGGH!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I think it’s a big PR stunt. Why else would this do this to their most popular item ever? The differences will only really matter to previous owners who want to add on to their current system.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I think it has a new name because it’s a new design, or, improved design with natural wood vs prepainted. Some people are going back to the natural rustic stain look and prefer to pick their own paint stain. That’s my two cents. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Unfortunately, I’ve heard the dimensions of the new Kallax will not accommodate vinyl records, which sucks for any vinyl lovers out there (my husband included).

    • Reply
      February 21, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Ooh, yeah. That’s a big bummer. If the current baskets and fittings fit, maybe the vinyls will still fit…?

    • Reply
      February 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Crap! That’s what I was going to comment to ask about. We actually lucked out and found have a similar height shelving system from Target because there are no IKEA’s nearby, but we sold it because we are moving out of state soon. No cube dividers though.

      Expedit is one of the only mainstream affordable units that holds an enormity of LP’s. (My husband is a musician and used to be an analog DJ.) I remember seeing an instruct able for how to turn Expedit into a DJ station, i.e. place for your turntables and records.

      Boo for not including record listeners in the new design!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Oh man! I have been planning on getting an expedit for my nursery this spring. I like that it looks virtually the same. I hope they still make it in the same kinds of finishes. It’s perfect for baby clothes, diapers, and toys!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Brave New Home
    February 21, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Phew, my heart sank there for a minute!

  • Reply
    caroline [the diy nurse]
    February 22, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Hey Hey we’re the monkees and people say we monkey around. But we’re too busy singing to put anybody DOWN!

    Sorry but I couldn’t help myself. I remember I had the hugest crush from watching their show on nick at nite. Then my mom showed me a picture of grown up Davey and I was all like what what?! Bahaha but yea I totally feel ya on that old soul thing.

    Very happy to hear the rounded corners aren’t horrific like I imagined. And um yay for cool parents who redecorate rooms for you. I had to beg to paint mine and then I didnt even get to choose the color!

    • Reply
      February 22, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Hahaha! My favorite was Micky because I thought he was funny and I liked his singing voice the best. Though, Davy with the British accent… that’s a tough call. I loved him when I saw the rerun of the Brady Bunch episode where Marcia tries to get him to perform at their school dance. Ahh, you just can’t beat those old shows!

    • Reply
      February 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      The Monkeys! That was my favorite show on Nickelodeon! Boy was I devastated when I found out that I was watching (really) old reruns! LOL

      • Reply
        February 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm


  • Reply
    Lori H
    February 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I think the name change means the price will go up – they realized the popularity and will make a price move. That’s just me, being cynical, sorry!

    • Reply
      February 22, 2014 at 10:19 am

      I feared that as well : (

  • Reply
    February 22, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Here’s a good article that explains the main reason Ikea is revamping the Expedit (save on wood costs) and what the biggest design change is (thinner edging all around):


  • Reply
    February 22, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Sounds like a publicity event….say you’re updating/changing a favorite, everyone will then go out and buy the old version but will also buy new ones probably, especially if the finishes are more durable. Plus, everyone is talking about IKEA now, so people are thinking “hey, let’s go check it out!”

  • Reply
    Megan // Honey We're Home
    February 25, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    That’s so weird, it looks almost exactly the same! I don’t see any rounded corners either. I have a white one in my office and love it!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2014 at 1:45 am

    I hope this doesn’t give Ikea an excuse to increase the price!!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Kallax is definitely not the same. Besides the dimensions of the outer pieces, they are now constructed with pin and cams. This means each piece definitely has a top and bottom. If you want to use a shelf horizontally, you will see the cam holes on the under side of the shelves. Expedit used only wooden dowels with no visible connectors so you could turn it any way you like. Definitely not as versatile. Disappointed

    • Reply
      May 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

      We just bought a few for our church building and noticed that. It was definitely a slight learning curve from the old model. I miss the Expedits!

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