We made a list of the best IKEA BILLY hacks to celebrate the world’s most beloved bookcase.
It’s been around for an incredible 40 years and have undergone new colours and accessories, doors and add-ons. For this birthday, BILLY gets three new skins — yellow, dark red and beige. But structurally, it has remained the same hardworking bookcase, first envisioned by the late Gillis Lundgren.
In 1978, Gillis sketched out the design on the back of a napkin. And he named it BILLY, after a colleague who expressed his desire for a ‘proper’ bookcase.
I think Mr Lundgren would also be very pleased to see how far we, people who tinker with IKEA, have evolved his iconic bookcase. Now not just for books, we’ve have IKEA BILLY hacks for shoes to toys to wine and so much more.
And it’s so versatile, you can practically use the IKEA BILLY anywhere in your home.
Let’s celebrate this illustrious bookcase with the best 14 IKEA BILLY hacks.
#1 In the kitchen: BILLY island
Courtney’s farmhouse styled kitchen island with open shelving. She made in out of 3 BILLY bookcases, a butcher block countertop and beadboard. See more of the DIY kitchen island.
#2 At the Entryway: Mudroom furniture from BILLY bookcases
Jessica recently took an under-utilized closet, added some IKEA pieces (BESTÅ and BILLY) for storage and made them into beautiful mudroom furniture for her home.
#3 Craft room: This is sew good
Liz hacks a sewing cabinet / craft pod with 2 BILLY bookcases. Open to craft. Close to hide the clutter. Perfect. See the sewing machine cabinet and craft pod.
#4 In the Library: BILLY hides a secret door
Meg’s solution to turn an awkward space into a whiskey and tea library includes creating a secret door that leads to their home office/guest room. See the secret door BILLY bookcase hack.
#5 Upstairs landing space: Daybed reading nook
Jessica shares her IKEA hack — a daybed reading nook — made from 4 BILLY bookcases. It’s amazing how it turned out.
#6 Dining room: Tall Wall-Like BILLY bookshelves
Roel needed to add some extra storage space in the living room. They came up with the idea to make a tall cabinet at the head of the table, with a more “wall like” appearance. See their tall cabinet hack.
#7 Bedroom: IKEA BILLY hack hides a murphy bed
MSILBERBERG lives in Manhattan where space is a premium. They were fortunate to have a playroom that also doubled up as a guest room. Their idea was to hide a queen Murphy bed behind their IKEA BILLY bookcases.
#8 Anywhere: Cat shelves in one compact BILLY
Cave Lion fashions a fantastic set of cat shelves in a BILLY bookcase. It looks pretty easy to do too. And it looks a lot of fun! See the cat shelves.
#9 Basement: DIY home bar
A gorgeous bar from tall and short BILLY bookcases. The tall ones form the storage cabinets for the bottles. The bar counter are 2 shorter BILLY bookcases and a walnut kitchen counter also ordered from IKEA. Read more on this DIY home bar.
#10 Playroom: Dollhouse bookcase
By adding a roof, chimney, wooden details, paint, fences, walls and even windows, the BILLY Bookcase becomes a chic beach house, or a fab urban row-house. Use as a bookcase, shelf, or dollhouse… you get to decide! See the dollhouse bookcase.
#11 Living room: BILLY is for built-ins
Jeff had a really long wall that needed something to separate the games area from the media area. What better way than to introduce more storage and some built-in bookshelves.
#12 Home office: Hide a workspace in a BILLY
Here’s a desk that hides away completely in a BILLY bookcase. A great idea when you don’t have space for a big workspace. See the secret bookshelf desk.
#13 Living room: Full BILLY wall
When you need to fill an entire wall with shelves, BILLY’s your man or bookcase. See the full BILLY wall.
#14 Hallway: Make it float
The BILLY bookcases take on a new lightness when hung on the wall. Also, furniture off the floor is the way to go for me. Makes cleaning so much easier, eh. See the floating bookshelves. Here’s another version if you prefer a wood wrap-around.
Hope you like these IKEA BILLY hacks. Which is your favourite? Tell us in your comments.