Home decor designer, Yvonne Ellen, shows how you can transform IKEA’s classic Billy bookcase into a creative and stylish upcycled work of art with the help of this clever, little IKEA hack.
The Billy bookcase is easily a longtime loved piece for many in their homes, mainly for the practicality and versatility it holds, from being a great shelving idea to kickstarting book storage ideas, it’s a classic.
However, when the time comes that it’s charm no longer hits the same and is need of a makeover, refreshing your trusty old Billy has never been easier – and that’s where this golden DIY trick comes into play.
How to transform an IKEA Billy bookcase into a stunning display cabinet
We’ve seen before how you can easily transform your IKEA Billy bookcase into a luxury cabinet, and since then, we’ve seen even more inspiring transformations and IKEA kitchen hacks surface to make the flatpack classics look bespoke.
Home decor designer, Yvonne Ellen (opens in new tab), reveals her top tips for breathing new life into what may be a drab-looking bookcase, without breaking the bank.
‘IKEA is usually my go-to for hidden gems and the Billy bookcase was the perfect essential to get creative and make into a personalised showcase that suits my taste and style. I love how they’re affordable and super easy to make and the best part is you can add on extra units and completely customise it to how you want it to look.’
1. Switch up the colour by painting
If you have any old pots of paints tucked away waiting to be used, there’s no better time to bring them out than now. This is a budget decorating idea, after all, so use what you have before buying new.
‘To give this neglected bookcase new life, start by cleaning off any dust or dirt, then take some pastel paint and get creative – you can layer different colours for subtle or bold contrast depending on your design goals,’ says Yvonne Ellen.
2. Add in rails, hooks, and storage boxes for better organisation
If there’s one thing we’ve picked up and always remember from storage and organisation advice we’ve been given, is to always utilise vertical space. Yvonne encourages us to think about creating a hanging space to make grabbing items easier.
‘I installed these fab gold rails and hooks that you can get from IKEA which has made it the perfect grab-go teacup holder. Then add another layering of shelving such as the IKEA PALYCKE (opens in new tab) and IKEA CISSAN (opens in new tab), just any ones that can hold anything light that you don’t want to take up space on the main shelves,’ she advises.
‘You can never have too much storage and the more organised, the better!’
3. Install lighting for extra visibility
Lighting is an essential that so many people often forget for display cabinets and kitchen cabinet ideas alike, and it’s extremely easy to pull off as well.
Yvonne used a battery-powered motion-sensor light that she bought from Amazon, like this 3-pack for £9.99 (opens in new tab).
4. Personalise with detailing for a unique finishing touch
Yvonne says this is the best part of the process, as adding some fine detailing is what makes for a more personalised and exclusive look.
‘I used gold leaf and added it to the bevelled edge of the doors which fits in with my style. Finally, finish off by adding some fancy handles of your choice for an extra kitsch look,’ she adds.
‘I think it makes them look much more expensive and gives you another way to show off your style and creativity. Here I chose these green and gold vintage-looking handles from Anthropologie and I love how art-deco they look!’
And voila, the transformation is complete. With just a trusty drill you can turn your old bookcase into a beautiful showcase. Now, you can fill your stunning ‘new’ display cabinet with all your favourite things.
Who said you had to buy new to update your staple home decor pieces?