Published on May 3rd, 2010 | by Jules Yap


From Billy Bookcase to built-ins

Materials: Billy Bookshelves

Description: The room is in our basement and has this awkward ledge that runs across two walls. The area above the ledge was always challenging to decorate and seemed like wasted space. This solution provided an architectural focal point for the room as well as the one thing no kiddo can have enough of – storage!

before the built-ins

We used 5 Ikea Billy bookshelves (3 small and 2 large) to make this entire wall have “built-ins”. When we assembled the bookcases, we left the backs off so that we could paint the wall behind blue. We centered the bookshelves on the ledge and attached them with L-brackets so they won’t topple over. We took one of the shelves to Home Depot and had them color-match the paint. We then custom cut and fit pieces of MDF at each edge to cover any gap between shelf and wall. Lastly, we attached crown molding painted to match the shelves across the entire top to make it read visually as one unit.

Here is the cost breakdown:

Ikea Billy Bookcases – $270
Blue Paint – Free (leftover from previous project)
Black Paint to Match (1 quart) – $13
Wood for sides – $10
Molding – $19
L-Brackets – $6
Total – $318

See more on of Anne’s Billy Built-ins.

~ Anne Drager, Twin Cities metro

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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".

5 Responses to From Billy Bookcase to built-ins

  1. Bookcase says:

    You are Mixer.

    Good looking

  2. Anonymous says:

    Point taken :)

  3. It might have been cheaper to buy the wood, but with a 3-year old underfoot, time is more valuable to us. The time savings is the main reason we went with Billys.

  4. Herbie says:

    It may have been cheaper to not use Billy Bookshelves, but it saved the builder from having to do all the other machining (like drilling the hundreds of shelf pin holes) and finish work on the wood. Using Billy stuff also means they can use all the Billy accessories.

    When I built my Murphy Bed out of Pax cabinet frames, a big part of the reason was that it allowed using the Birkeland doors, ikea hinge hardware, etc. all without having to do any machining or finishing work on the main carcasses. The only machining I had to do was to drill a couple of replacement (wider) top/bottom pieces of melamine for the ikea stud-and-cam-lock hardware.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don’t you think this could have been done for half the price if you bought the wood instead of 5 Billy bookshelves?

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