Powder coated steel shelving, kitchen cart and desk accessories, new from Ikea

ekby jarpen wall shelf from ikea

After writing about the classic String System shelving designed in Sweden in 1949, I am mellowing on my attitude toward writing about Ikea. In the past, I was kind of anti-Ikea because (1) I had a bad experience with quality about 10 years ago [office table that looked terrible after excrutiating assembly process] and (2) well, Ikea is not doing it “The Hard Way.” But thinking further about the String system, I decided to give Ikea and its current generation of Scandinavian designs another look-see. I went online shopping and my best find: The Ekby shelf, above — quite similar in concept to the String Plexi. In fact, I found a number of powder-coated storage solutions that I think are worth knowing about.

The Ekby design seems very similar in concept to the String Plexi system — except the sides of the Ekby shelf unit are powder-coated steel, while the String Plexi sides are plexiglass.

The Ekby shelf sides come in powder-coated white or green steel. That green is very nice — very 1960s, an ascendant color, for sure.

Size of this unit is 31″W x 23″H x 7.5″D. Strangely, the website indicates two different prices — one for $35 and another for $50 — for two almost-identical versions; the only difference I could find was in the way the shelves were finished, one had foil, the other, paint. In any case, you can only get these in the store.

I could see this little number doing duty in lots of place in the house.

ekby wall shelf sides onlyWoah! You can also buy just the sides, a pair costs $20. Also available in white. Add… glass for a bathroom? Add stainless steel for a kitchen? Hmmm, these bits seem like good fodder for a hack.

ikea kitchen cart raskogAlso new to the market: The Raskog kitchen cart in blue from Ikea. This is super cute. Also, how about considering it for the bathroom for toiletries and other small storage…  for the mudroom for gloves… or for the office studio for art supplies.

kitchen cart from ikeaAlso available in dark gray.

powder coated steel letter tray from ikeaIkea seems to have identified powder-coated steel shelves, storage and accessories as a market that’s ripe. Which makes me happy, because things made from steel last a long, long time. Hurray for durability! Ikea also has a new “Kvissle” line of desk accessories, which is quite nice looking. This letter tray is just one piece – there are more.

  1. Joel says:

    Thanks! That utility cart will hold about 200 LP records, with the middle shelf for turntable accessories. And it rolls. Can’t ask for more than that.

  2. Hugh says:

    It’s something of an art to shopping at Ikea. With a little seaching it is possible to find nice pieces that doesn’t scream ‘IKEA’ like some of your neighbors places.

  3. RAnderson says:

    Been an Ikea fan since they opened one of their first US stores in White Marsh (Baltimore) in the ’80s. Some of the stuff IS disposable but there’s some great buys if you’re careful. I can’t say enough good about their Poang chairs, we actually had a mint vintage rosewood and brown leather (rare!) Eames chair and footstool that we stumbled across in a basement sale and got cheap, but we sold it when we found that the Poang was more comfortable to sit in for long periods of time! They have some creative designers with that great indigenous Scandinavian sense of clean style. We just picked up a whole set of their gorgeous and cheap modern-style turquoise dinnerware – you may want to do a feature on it!

  4. natalie says:

    i neeeeed that cart! but not available for order online? and not in stock in atlanta? 🙁

  5. Pixxie says:

    I have the aqua kitchen cart in my shop and I use it for all my tagging supplies and stuff. It’s great to wheel out when I need it, and roll back when I am finished with it. It has held up well so far with daily use for the past few months.

  6. zumpie says:

    I like Ikea for certain things—like my basement rec room.

    I actually ENJOT putting ready to assemble stuff together, so that’s not my issue. My think is that their stuff, for the quality offered isn’t really all that cheap. Their stuff that IS really cheap, is really, really cheap, disposable crap. Their better quality stuff is priced about the same as “real” furniture.

    But you can buy the better stuff used on craigslist—which works out better anyway, because their look is becoming less Ikea and more mainstream, anyway.

  7. Tina says:

    I love Ikea. They charge for particle board when a piece is made of particle board and solid wood when a piece is made from solid wood. Many furniture stores charge for wood when their stuff is really particle board.

    Does anyone else call the furniture in their house by its Ikea name like we do? “Your keys are on top of the Expedit.” “I put that book back on the Kubist.”

  8. Andrea says:

    we have the Kvissle wall magazine rack in our closet/office space & I love it. I love IKEA but I agree you really have to look at the individual item. Good ones we have: kitchen cabinets, bed frame, bathroom canbinet & sofa. Bad ones: flooring & dresser.

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