25 Ultra Clever IKEA Billy Bookcase Hacks

Billy bookcase with shelf paper on the inside

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

The IKEA Billy bookcase is an ultra popular piece. In fact, maybe you even have one or two of these shelving units in your home already. However, what we love about this furniture item isn't just its storage capacity and budget-friendly price tag—we're also majorly enthusiastic about all of the possibilities it holds. Not sure what we mean? Keep reading to check out 25 brilliant Billy bookcase hacks that will make you want to get DIYing right this second.

  • 01 of 25

    Lovely Library

    billy hack

    Kaari Sommer

    Love the look of built-ins but don't want to shell out major cash for a custom setup? Try a Billy bookcase hack like this one, in which the shelves were installed to appear original to this living space using a wooden platform, some wood trim, and doors added to the bottom half of the structure. Sconces hung above the shelves add that final luxe, library-like touch.

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  • 02 of 25

    Sophisticated Storage

    billy hack

    A Beautiful Mess

    These Billy bookcases were also installed to appear like built-ins and were jazzed up with a clever touch—storage bins in a corresponding color. Bins like these make it easy to stash away kids' toys, craft supplies, workout gear, and anything else that needs a home in the family room. The top shelves still allow plenty of space for actual books.

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  • 03 of 25

    Custom Chic

    billy hack

    Dana VanTongeren

    Once again, an empty wall got a major makeover in the form of Billy bookcases turned built-ins. These homeowners skillfully added a bottom trim piece of wood that matches the moldings used throughout the rest of the house for an ultra authentic look.

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  • 04 of 25

    Elite Entertainment Center

    billy hacks

    Sara Ann Sutton

    These Billy bookshelves were transformed into an expansive entertainment center full of storage. The closed cabinets help keep cords and wires concealed and out of sight, while the shelves provide plenty of space for media storage and knick knacks.

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  • 05 of 25

    Trendy Texture

    billy hacks

    Blushing Bungalow / Madison Bess

    Cane and rattan continues to have a major moment these days, and it's a popular material to incorporate into DIY projects, too. This Billy bookcase got a stylish upgrade in the form of woven cane doors and sleek dark green paint.

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  • 06 of 25

    Fluted Fun

    billy hacks

    Alice & Lois

    This Billy bookcase also got an on-trend makeover in the form of fluted cabinet doors (made possible via chair rail molding). The door fronts are from IKEA's OXBERG line.

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  • 07 of 25

    Statement Maker

    billy bookcase flanking fireplace

    Life After Coffee / Jessica Bowen

    If you're not sure what to place beside your fireplace mantel, built-ins may just be the answer. Once again, the Billy bookcase (well actually, two of them) saved the day when it came to this living room revamp. This DIYer chose to caulk the shelves to the wall to minimize the appearance of any gaps.

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  • 08 of 25

    Bigger and Better

    billy hacks

    Chi Townhouse / Erica Graham

    Go big or go home! This is one of the larger walls of Billy bookcase built-ins that we've seen, but it looks beautiful nonetheless. This DIYer chose to paint her walls to match the bookshelf color for a more seamless appearance.

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  • 09 of 25

    Sweet Solution

    billy hacks

    Shabbyfufu / Janet Coon

    Even a freestanding Billy bookcase can be customized to look a little more luxe. Here, crown molding is attached to the top of one of the units to make it appear a bit fancier and more complete.

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  • 10 of 25

    Luxe Ladder

    billy bookcase with a ladder

    The Makerista / Gwen Hefner

    A Billy bookcase built-in...with a ladder? Just when we thought a good thing couldn't get any better, it did. This ladder provides function (after all, reaching those top shelves can be difficult) but is also full of charm and is bound to enamor guests both young and old.

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  • 11 of 25

    Secluded Study

    billy bookcase desk

    Scavenger Chic / Joan Stricker

    Your office space needs all the storage it can get, right? With this Billy bookcase hack, you'll have plenty of space for all of your precious files and supplies. Positioning two bookcases so that they jut out from the wall and adding a surface in between makes for the perfect desk setup.

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  • 12 of 25

    Jazzy Touch

    billy hacks

    Melanie Lissack

    These Billy built-ins were jazzed up with the addition of some decorative molding and gorgeous wallpaper, resulting in a truly high-end look. Wallpapering the back of your bookshelves is an excellent way to add more personality to a space on the cheap. Plus, it can be a fantastic alternative to painting the walls.

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  • 13 of 25

    Party Ready

    billy hacks

    Mel Vandersluis

    Billy bookcases can look fabulous in the dining room, too. Here, a few bookcases grouped together make for ultra convenient storage for tableware, wine bottles, and other entertaining essentials.

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  • 14 of 25

    Restful Reading Nook

    billy hacks

    Samantha Raising Wildflowers / Samantha Hicks

    When positioned with a bench in between, these Billy built-ins make for the perfect reading nook. Get creative when it comes to positioning your shelves to find a layout that best works for your space and your family's day to day needs.

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  • 15 of 25

    Play Station

    billy hacks

    Lamberts Lately / Leslie

    Anyone with young children knows how key it is to have proper playroom storage. This child-friendly entertainment center, comprised of Billy bookcases, is colorful and charming thanks to the addition of vibrant, easy to reach storage baskets, which may just teach little ones to tidy up after themselves.

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  • 16 of 25

    Feeling Blue

    blue billy bookcase

    Stacie's Spaces

    While we've seen plenty of built-in hacks here thus far, we haven't seen many that involved painting the Billy shelves. This navy blue Billy makeover is a stunner and proves that there's something to be said for going bold. The end result? Storage and an accent wall of sorts.

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  • 17 of 25

    Plenty of Pizzazz

    billy hacks

    Makes, Bakes, and Decor / Lianne Hempsall

    Take things to the next level with a paint and wallpaper combo. Blue shelves with a marbly gray backdrop makes for a moody addition to this living room.

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  • 18 of 25


    billy hacks

    The DIY Village / Jacque Knowlton

    Have young children or grandchildren? They'll fall head over heels for this adorable Billy bookcase turned... dollhouse! While this hack is definitely off the beaten path, it's pretty amazing regardless. Young ones will enjoy decorating each of the spacious "rooms" and designing their own dream house.

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  • 19 of 25

    Cool Cane

    billy bookcase with cane doors

    House of Hawkes / Kathryn Hawkes

    Here we have another impressive Billy hack featuring caning. While many retailers sell similar pieces for hundreds of dollars (if not more!), this one can easily be recreated at home with some basic supplies from IKEA and the craft store, making it a major winner.

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  • 20 of 25

    Light and Airy

    boho billy bookcase

    @urban.bungalow / Instagram

    This bookshelf is kept looking nice and airy due to the glassware and greenery present. We love the idea of using your Billy as a home for green friends (real or fake).

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  • 21 of 25

    Formal and Fabulous

    billy hacks

    @magical_manor / Instagram

    A robin's egg blue hue shines on these Billy bookcases. This setup proves that this furniture piece can look just as lovely in more formal living spaces as it does in family rooms and offices.

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  • 22 of 25

    Happy Hutches

    billy hack

    Tasha Agruso

    Maybe you're looking for an affordable, stylish hutch to display in your living room, playroom, or dining room but just can't find the perfect piece. Well, it's more than possible to go the DIY route using a Billy bookcase as a starting point—some skilled woodworking and a pop of paint will go a long way. This hack actually also features an IKEA dresser, making it a two-for-one.

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  • 23 of 25

    Clever Corner

    billy hacks

    @1930shouserevamp / Instagram

    What's great about hacking a Billy bookcase is that you can design an end product that truly fits your needs—even if that means manipulating things a bit to fit a tricky corner spot.

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  • 24 of 25

    Outstanding Office

    billy hacks

    @ourhome.becoming / Instagram

    This Billy configuration also looks right at home in a corner spot and adds so much dimension and sophistication to this home office.

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  • 25 of 25

    Pretty Pantry

    billy hacks

    @little_birdhouseinyoursoul / Instagram

    We get it: Keeping a pantry organized is hard work. Make it easier to keep boxes and cans looking nice and orderly by incorporating extra shelving...in Billy bookcase form. Easy peasy!