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.
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:
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.