IKEA Hack: The Best BILLY Built-Ins of All Time

published Feb 25, 2015
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(Image credit: IKEA)

Transforming IKEA furniture — and especially the BILLY bookshelf — has been done before. But when I saw this hack, I was truly impressed. Prepare to have a bunch of superlatives spewed your way, because it’s really that good…

(Image credit: The Makerista)

Gwen from The Makerista recently redecorated her friend Laura’s living room and, as part of the project, brought someone in to create these remarkable “custom” library shelves, using the IKEA Billy as the base.

From Gwen:

Laura’s home already had wonderful, historic bones, but the living space could use a bit more character. Laura wanted bookshelves, and while we had talked about something clean and modern, I really encouraged her to stick with the period of the house and create something that looked original. Custom built-ins aren’t cheap, and we knew this would need to be on a budget. Hacking the Ikea Billy has been done before (my friend, Kristin, did a beautiful version) but with this being an older home, we had several obstacles to overcome.

One, we didn’t want to have to rip out any of the existing woodwork. Usually you cut away the base trim when you want something flush against a wall, but Laura wanted to keep the over-100-year-old trim in tact, in case the built-in was ever removed. And two, nothing is level. A lot of settling has certainly happened over the decades, and while it’s not really noticeable to the average looker, it’s a problem when you’re trying to get things level. To get a truly built-in look, this was going to take someone who knew what they were doing.

(Image credit: The Makerista)

And hey, the rest of the room ain’t too shabby either!

Check out how they did it, along with more photos of the process and the whole room, over on The Makerista.

Nice job Gwen! And thanks….

Re-edited from a post originally published 2.25.15-NT