Billy Bookcases to Built-Ins

When we were house shopping we created a list of "must haves" that we decided we couldn't live without. If we were going to go to the trouble of moving it needed to be WORTH IT! On the list were things like a kitchen pantry, upstairs laundry, a yard, big closets, an office or designated work area and an upstairs loft. These were all things that we were living without at the time and we dreamed of having! Oh how lovely it would be to not have to store canned goods under beds and in the bathroom cabinets < it was the only place that had storage in the whole house! To never have to step over a pile of laundry we threw down the stairs for cleaning. To have a yard big enough to have a swing set. To actually KNOW what clothes I had and where they were in an organized and functional closet. To not have to set up a computer desk in the kids bedroom closet and tip-toe in after bedtime to check emails. And at last a designated children's space upstairs where they can play, watch a movie, get toys out etc.. without it being scattered all over the living room! Life was happy and great without these things but if we were going to make a move, some changes would be nice.

Now almost a year after our big move I have learned some things.

1. No matter how big the kitchen pantry is, it will always be full of something. Currently in our pantry - food, dishes, step stool, garage vacuum, craft stuff...

2. Regardless of where the laundry room is there will always be clothes scattered around the house - it's just a kid thing.

3. No matter how awesome your backyard swingset is, the kids will ALWAYS still prefer to go to the park.

4. Just like the kitchen pantry, the bedroom closets fill up too - no matter how big they are!

5. I can't lie, having an office is awesome and I spend much of my time in there.

6. And my fantasy about a highly functional upstairs loft was a little disappointing. I still found that my kids wanted to take their toys and games downstairs. Probably in large part because our loft was the "neglected" room in the house. It became the bland open space in the house that random pieces of furniture lived. An old couch and rug, a lime green dresser, a desk with a TV and broken DVD player. No wonder the kids didn't want to go in there.

It was time for a change! I started scouring blogs, pinterest and google image searches for ideas to make a higher functioning and welcoming upstairs loft! When I saw this post on Centsational Girl I knew I had found a winner! Check out how she transformed her walls from drab to fab by turning Ikea Billy Bookcases into built-ins!

Her Before :

And her afters:

Now it was MY turn! I carefully followed all of the steps that she described on her blog and went to work! First measuring the space then purchasing and assembling the shelves. A little drilling here and cutting there and we got this! TA-DA!
I am so happy with how it turned out and it is DEFINITELY my new favorite room in the house! It makes me want to do every room in the house! Watch out hubby, you're honey-do list is about to get a lot longer! While I was at Ikea I also picked up a few square pillow covers for our bed. Cute, but they needed a little something more so I decided to stencil our initials onto them with black fabric paint. I think they're keepers!

29 comments:

  1. It turned out amazing!!! I love it! And I love all the white and yellow accessories.

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  2. Wow! Very impressive! And the colors are fabulous, I would live in there! Great job!

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  3. Your bookcases look absolutely amazing! I am so impressed with the way you styled them too, those pops of yellow are perfection!
    Kate

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  4. What did you use for the tv part of it? I have been wanting to do something like this for my tv wall forever and this looks like something that I can handle! I love the way it looks!

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  5. So pretty! Found you on ikea hackers and am a new follower!

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  6. This is amazing! I'm glad I found your blog via Ikea hackers. :)

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  7. Love it, thanks for the inspiration!

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  8. These came out totally awesome! I also love the stenciled pillow cases.

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  9. How did you do the TV cutout? We've been wanting to do the built-ins but like yours! They look great:)

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  10. I love it! I was there today debating whether to get two Billy's for the living room. I did not jump, but now I might have to. Could you tell em pillow covers you got? I did not see those there. They look just like the linen ones I just got from Pottery Barn. I was looking for something to match!

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  11. Wow - what a fabulous job! My daughter is moving to a new house and will love this. Found you via your feature over on Centsational Girl.

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  12. Wow wow wow! You did an amazing job! I love how you styled yours as well.

    I also did some built-in Billys with trim (and lots of caulk, hehe). We live in a rowhouse and the floors apparently slant towards the back - something we didn't notice until installing the Billys. You have me contemplating removing the doors on the bottom half of mine. Although they are great for much-needed storage space to hide unsightly items.

    www.bmoreloveleigh.blogspot.com

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  13. the 31 1/2" billy was $49 online this morning (in white) - and when i just went back it is now $69. Do they change pricing like this often?

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    1. Is this the one you were looking at? http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/83688210/

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  14. love it but how did you do the tv cutouts??

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  15. Hi Guys, thanks for visiting! Let me answer some of your questions : :

    1. I didn't do the tv cut-outs, I just bought the tv stnd and overhead shelf at ikea with the rest of my items. The come ready to assemble as you see there.

    2. Nicole, I'm not sure on the pricing. I DO know that I bought the taller height billys which were about $10.00 more. Their standard ones go on sale off and on but the ones i got are pretty consistently $69.00

    3. I didn't get the pillow covers at Ikea, I ordered the fabric at fabric.com and covered some old pillows I had already. The yellow pattern is called Cat's Cradly by Robert Allen (Saw it at Joann's in their swatches for $30.00 per yard plus shipping and got it at fabric.com for $17.98 and free shipping)

    Thanks for visiting!

    -Shana @ Belva June

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  16. Here is the link to the Billys that i bought http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10208467/

    Cheers
    Shana @ Belva June

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    1. Hi, Shana --

      Do you have the link to the thinner Billys? I see the 15" deep big ones, but I can only find an 11" deep thin one.

      Thanks!

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  17. Ikea recently added a new depth to their Billy range, maybe that's what caused the price difference.
    This "built in" is stunning, and you styled it beautifully.
    I came via pinterest today, glad I did.

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  18. I love the way you alternated the wider and narrower Billys. What are the dimensions for each?

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  19. You really did a wonderful job. Kudos! I want to do the same, but so many projects on the list prevent me from doing it right away..........! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  20. we are installing our billy bookcases right now which is how I found your blog. Beautiful job! I am stenciling the back of mine, I hope they turn out nice!

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  21. Thank you so much for this! I was going to ask about the TV stand as well, but I see you answered. We just moved into a new-to-us home that is desperate for storage and display cases and we are SO going to do this!

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  22. Hi there... I hope you see this. I am currently designing a built in and want to add a shelf like the one above your tv. Do you know which shelf you bought? Was it an 11" or a 15"? It looks like it is flush with your 15" shelves and the Billy system shelf I see on ikea is 11" so I am wondering how you got them flush? Thanks in advance. It is beautiful!

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  23. Hi! I'm wondering the same thing as girasol about the Billy wall shelf you used and how you attached it if it is the 11". Also, I'm wondering how you did the trim between the Benno tv cabinet and the Billy bookcases. If I cover perfectly between the two, then I will have overhang when I get up above the Benno cabinet (for the whole open space). But yours looks flush all the way...??? Thanks so much!! This was the perfect inspiration for me and now I have all the pieces...just trying to put them together. :)

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