Published on April 22nd, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Expedit kitchen storage and counter

Materials: Expedit 5×5, Integral hinges, Lansa handles

Description: Our small kitchen was meant to be an eat-in kitchen despite its very modest size and the fact that it’s right next to the dining room. So for the last two years we had a collection of random hand me down kitchen carts and shelves on the empty wall to hold all our cookbooks, pots, pans, and assorted gadgets. When I saw this post by K. Klose: I was inspired by the simplicity of it, but wanted to add a few more features including a pull-out counter top.

The difficulty was that counter height is in between the second and third shelf so a simple hinging counter would not do. I imagined that the edge of the counter would have to pivot about a point and then slide down a track to lock at the correct height. After I figured the theory out, I called my dad who worked out the details, built the counter carcass and cut the doors, and brought it all up to assemble on site (I helped with that part).

The actual counter sits in its own specially made box that slides inside the Expedit. We had to cut out two set of shelves from the Expedit, which we marked and cut out as we were assembling the whole (we assembled the whole Expedit as we wanted, then slid in the ready-made counter box). The top end of the counter is attached to a metal bar, the ends of which slide down channels cut into the sides of the box. The bottom of the channel is counter top height (account for the height of the bottom of the Expedit when measuring). The legs were affixed to the other end of the counter with double-locking hinges (they lock both closed and open – no sudden collapsing).

Opening and closing the counter is very manual and requires the two bar handles at the ends of the counter to pivot and lift. We could have used a spring assembly, but it would have eaten more of the interior space behind the counter where we now store all of our small appliances. When the counter is opened up there is a small shelf just level with it which has a power strip on it. Any small appliance needed can be used right on the counter and easily plugged in.

The counter and doors are all the same wood. As stated in the first Expedit kitchen storage post, you can’t hinge doors on the outer shell of the shelves, so ours tend to open in random directions. We also added two extra shelves near the top. We just took some of the vertical shelves we didn’t need from the counter section and turned them sideways and drilled holes for the dowels at the height we wanted.

After we were done I painted the edge of the counter box white to match the Expedit, filled it with all our kitchen stuff, then sat on the stool and admired it. And then I took my dad out to a very nice dinner.

The wood and hardware for the hack added up to about $150 US. Expert labor was free. :)

~ Marie, United States

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

15 Responses to Expedit kitchen storage and counter

  1. Jacquie Harris says:

    I love this! Could you send me details? I’m not sure if it will fit on my wall with out specks. I also would love a more detailed description of the build and supplies. Feel free to email me if you can.

  2. Pingback: Expedit it | My Casita Living

  3. Tom Fraatz says:

    I’ve been oggling this for the past few days. Very cool.
    I’m thinking about doing something similar with a 4×4 with a dropleaf -style table for kitchen eating, but I was hoping to put stools in the space behind the table. Is it possible to take out two horizontal shelves? Or, even better, turn the unit 90 degrees on its side and just not put that cross piece in?

  4. Elsa says:

    Wow! I was impressed even before I scrolled down and saw that the large cabinet pulls out into a tabletop. Great idea and execution!

  5. majeral says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    Marie: I have had hard copy of the Martha Stewart hidden space project for over a year, thinking I could do something with it. After seeing the Beeno CD Tower on this site a few days ago, I think that the MS idea would work wonderfully with the Tower since it is not as deep as a bookcase would be.

    I love your hack! I have a Hoosier cabinet base and think an Expedit top like this would work great in my crafting space.

    Thanks for a great idea!


  7. Milja says:

    Nice! Well done! I think this could be a good solution for crafts as well.

  8. Kara says:

    What a great idea! Love the space saving design.

  9. Marie says:

    Jose A, this is our fourth Expedit bookshelf in our house. They’re all a little different, but this is the first one we seriously hacked.

    Greg, those are some sharp eyes. I am from Virginia and tomorrow that wine is going to be a part of a rabbit ragout (drink some, pour some in the pan, drink some more).

    Robin, this is something I’ve been thinking of for a craft space/hidden desk: http://www.marthastewart.com/267768/clever-office-hidden-space That definitely seems like something that could be done with IKEA parts.

  10. Greg says:

    You must be from Virginia with the Cardinal Point wine.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love it! Our expedit never really came together all that great (I think we got one that had incorrectly drilled holes). This would be the perfect thing to fix some of the issues with it!

  12. Very beautiful & nice engineering on the slide down counter! Hat off to you!

  13. Jose A says:

    This is so so great! Honestly I don’t own a single expedit thing in my house, but so many people seem to, that if you can make a bunch of these I bet you could sell them. Or sell the idea to Ikea. Because, they’d sell like hot cakes. Especially since it sits in its own box.

  14. Nicole says:

    Looks great!! Awesome idea.

  15. Awesome, I love it! An amazing solution for my sewing room! Will definitely be showing this to my husband! Great for an office or kids room too!

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