Published on March 28th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Bottom-up Billy

Materials: BILLY height extension unit, BILLY wall shelf, veneer strips, stain

I needed horizontal wall cabinets that would run the length of the wall and give me all the space I wanted without compromising on style. So I took a few store-bought IKEA items and turned them into a one-of-a-kind fully customized shelf unit.

For the most part, the 2 BILLY wall shelf units worked very well with the space. However there’s only one option available to buy and that’s the 3-shelf option (6 shelves in total). I wanted at least one more shelf to really take advantage of the whole length of the wall.

What I like best about furniture stores like IKEA is that everything’s out in the open – you can find inspiration everywhere. The BILLY height extension unit caught my eye because it was the exact same size as one of the wall shelves – only without a bottom.

The first step was taking out the shelf partition and turning the extension unit upside down. I drilled in four holes for the shelf support pins so that the shelf could rest on top of them at the same height as the wall units – effectively creating another box/shelf unit that I could attach to my BILLY wall shelves.

I ironed veneer strips over the unfinished bottom edges and stained them to match the colour of the shelves.

After that was done, I drilled holes into the newly constructed unit – similar to the ones that the BILLY wall shelf unit already had – and attached everything to the wall.

Finally, I mixed it up with both glass and wooden shelves and doors to tie it all together into a fabulous and functional wall unit. The “bottom-up Billy” is the one in the middle (the one with the Japanese doll).

See more of the bottom up Billy.

~ Dana M, Vancouver, Canada

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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".

8 Responses to Bottom-up Billy

  1. Shawn says:

    Now who would have thought of this? I have thought of all sorts of ideas when I go shopping for furniture and whatnot but I just didn’t have the creativity and the genius to have this idea. You know, this idea would be great for a blank wall I have at my house. In fact, I’m going to do exactly what you did but I am going to play with height, so instead of a single row of shelves, I would have shelves “flying” all over my wall.

  2. Dana M says:

    The bottom half of the bookshelf is accessible for a medium height person and for the upper half we use a foldable leader. The reason behind this height is the fact that on the opposite wall is a murphy bed that opens till the edge of the rug and we needed the clear path to go around the bed. For more visual see

  3. Dana M says:

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments!

  4. Dana M says:

    Thank you for posting my hack! This is such a fun site, one of the best places you can find on the Internet!

  5. Another unique furniture design. Just my opinion, the is that the book shelve is to too high to reach?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I had this thought too, and it’s nice to see the execution and instruction.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That’s inspired, very impressed!

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