Barcelona studio apartment so cosy after this 2-day hack

A lovely bed nook with the BILLY Bookcase as a room divider.

I hated being able to see my bed from the “kitchen” and vice versa, so needed a cheap way to hide it!

Here was how it looked when I first moved in:

bed - before


sofa - before


Quotes for a partition wall came in too expensive, plus it’s a rental, so I decided to use the BILLY bookcase as a room divider.

Related: See this guy’s striking IKEA makeover during lockdown

IKEA items used: 
Other materials and tools: 

DIY IKEA bookcase room divider

First, I primed and painted the backs of the bookcases as I’d be able to see them from the bed. You could also use adhesive wallpaper, or leave as is.

Then I constructed the bookcases and configured the shelves. I put them in position and used metal braces along the top and middle to join them together and stabilise them.

metal brace

For the curtains, I threaded the curtain wire through the IRJA curtain rod so that it would stay rigid (rather than sag in the middle). The rod also makes it nice and slide-y for the curtains.

BILLY bookcase room divider

I stuck a strong 3M hook on the wall, and screwed a hook into the bookcase on the opposite side.

BILLY bookcase room divider

Partition in progress

I removed the curtain tabs, folded over and sewed into a rod pocket instead.

Then, I hemmed the bottom to the correct length.

Popped the curtain on the rod, hooked each side and voila! A cosy bed nook that doesn’t distract your eye when in the rest of the flat 🙂 

BILLY bookcase room divider

Whilst being in coronavirus lockdown, I have been filling in the empty dowel holes on the bookshelves with a little white filler, smoothed down with a credit card.

BILLY bookcase cover up holes

Covering up the dowel holes

They can be popped out with a nail if you want to rearrange the shelves in future.

How long and how much did it cost?  

Two days to prime and paint (optional), plus a few hours of construction.

Total cost:  146 EUR plus 50 EUR Delivery from IKEA, 30 EUR on sundries. Total: 226 EUR

What do you like most about the hack? 

It’s so simple, relatively cheap, makes the other side feel more like a living room and can be easily moved or reconfigured!

What was the hardest part about this hack? 

Nothing hard, filling the little holes has been blissfully mundane and repetitive.

What to pay special attention to? 

I made sure to put heavier items on the shelves at the bottom for more stability.


~ by Jess