In the time it takes you to read this sentence, another IKEA Billy bookcase is made—there’s one produced every three seconds. By the time you read this sentence, another Billy has sold somewhere in the world—that’s estimated at one every five seconds. Since its launch in 1979, the Billy has become an IKEA staple, having sold over 60 million bookcases worldwide—sixty! million!—with countless design-minded folks turning their blank slate of a bookcase into a genius Billy Bookcase hack.
We get why the Billy is so popular. It’s sleek, it’s versatile (since it’s able to be configured in so many ways), and it’s affordable. Depending on the size and color, Billys can cost as low as $49. We also get why people would want to personalize it, creating a “that’s a Billy?!” moment with a coat of paint, some molding, or cabinet doors.
Inspired? Scroll on for 15 oh-so-smart Billy bookcase hacks that’ll have you running to the hardware store.