Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA is responsible for introducing the world to thousands of minimalist furniture pieces, but there’s noting quite like the iconic Billy bookcase. “It is estimated that every five seconds, one Billy bookcase is sold somewhere in the world,” boasts Ikea’s website. As one of the most versatile items in the store, the Billy bookcase has the potential to be so much more than place to store books. For its 40th birthday, we’d like to celebrate with a few show-stopping Billy bookcase hacks.
When Billy Liljedahl, an IKEA advertising manager, told his furniture designer colleague Gillis Lundgren that he wanted a “proper” bookcase, Lundgren set out to create just that. What resulted was an eponymous product, of course, that “could belong to almost anyone and everyone,” IKEA explains. Now, there are many different variations of it to choose from, from wide options with glass doors to tall and skinny designs. With so many styles to choose from, there’s an endless amount of ways to transform the Billy bookcase to work for your healthy home—and these are the best hacks to start with.
Functional and chic IKEA Billy bookcase hacks
1. Add a sliding door
Designer Kristina Steinmetz‘s idea to add a sliding door to the Billy bookcase smartly disguises clutter.
2. Switch up the shelves
Installing a few strategically placed shelves as vertical dividers is one of many great Billy bookcase hacks for displaying objets d’art. Place of My Taste will show you how to do it.
3. Line your wall
You don’t have to spend a fortune on build-ins. Several freshly-painted Billy bookcases pulled together with a little trim via A Beautiful Mess can look fully custom.
4. Add some shiplap
5. Use it in the kitchen
Instead of using your bookcase for, well, books, use it as a display cabinet in the kitchen by adding some matte black glass doors.
6. Add a pop of color
There’s no easier way to transform this simple bookcase than painting the interior of the shelves with bright pop of color.
7. Add some wallpaper
Have some wallpaper you love but not sure you want to commit to using it on an entire wall? Give it a home in a Billy bookcase like this one by Erin Spain.
8. Create a custom closet
If you’ve always wanted to create your dream closet but didn’t think you had the budget, the many styles of Billy bookcase come together for the perfect setup in this hack from Fashion Hippie Loves. You’ll never have to stuff your shoes in a bin ever again.
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