It is someones 40th birthday and we are so happy to be part of the celebration!

Growing up, ‘BILLY’ was a household name as almost everyone had an IKEA’s BILLY somewhere in their house. The name, for once being not a typical unpronounceable Swedish one, allowed us all to refer to our shelving unit as a family member.

Already forty years ago, IKEA launched this set of flat packed shelves. Although officially named ‘Billy the Bookcase’, these shelves have been used for much more then just books.

The BILLY is a blank canvas for creativity. You can style it as you want and use it where you need it. Where 40 years ago it was a standard white version, BILLY now comes in a range of finishes and different sizes. Doors can be added, giving it a whole other look and feel. Even after all this time, the minimalist design allows it to fit in with every style.

We have chosen to celebrate BILLY’s 40th birthday by focusing on it’s versatility. A ‘who wore it best’ competition  where we worked with two differently styled BILLY cabinets. For both set ups we first created one cabinet from different units. As you can see, they have different widths and sizes. We deliberately choose to put the shelves on different heights to create a playful effect.

The first BILLY  shelf is an arty eye catcher in a living room. As the wall was already in a soft pink, we used the same color on the BILLY.  By leaving out the back side of the cabinet you get a sleek tone on tone effect. Some contrasting black, brown and burgendy accessories give the pink tones a bit more edge.  Furthermore you can pick and choose exactly which products you want to display. Our advise: Less is more.

The second cabinet is in a kids room. Again, we painted the BILLY in the same teal blue as the wall, leaving out the back side and playing around with the shelf hight. This blue goes so beautifully with natural colors and a rusty red. Add some storage basket, display some of their books and beautiful toys and you are ready to go

As you can see you can easily change the look and feel of the same BILLY by merely changing the color and playing around with the accessories. So now it is up to you to decide: Who wore it best?

Are you inspired to turn your BILLY into something unique? Play around with color and make a #shelfie. Tag @ikeauae for a chance to win an IKEA voucher of AED 350. The winner will be announced mid April on the @ikeauae Instagram page. Good luck!

You can find the article at Ikea BILLY BOOKCASEBILLY/ BOTTNA

Styling and Photography Live Loud Girl


  1. Kath Hawkes March 1, 2019

    Kids style wore it best for me! Although they both look amazing with LLG styling on point, as always!!

  2. Melani March 1, 2019

    Hi Linda. Just wanted to share how much I love your ideas and creativity. All the best from Hamburg.
    And by the way: the kids chair, where is it from?
    xo Melani

    • Live Loud Girl March 16, 2019

      thank you for the compliment! thats always good to hear. Kids chair is from ecobirdy!

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  4. Florence December 18, 2019


    What colour is the cupboard painted in? Thank you’

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