This IKEA BILLY Bookcase Hack Will Help You Maximize Your Space!

LaRue attaching bookcase wall onto its base

All of you who work from home are well-acquainted with how distracting it can be—especially if you don’t have a separate home office of your own! Sometimes sticking a desk in the corner of your living room just won’t do! Luckily, we’ve got a great project for you that will help you separate your space easily and economically.

Isabelle LaRue of EYSpace uses the iconic IKEA BILLY bookcases as effective partitions to add some much-needed separation between her office space and her living space.

You see, LaRue was dealing with a work-space quandary of her own. She explains, “The one thing that I was missing was storage, and the one thing I didn’t like was that it was completely open to my living room.”

Fortunately, this hack is quite easy to recreate. The BILLY Bookcase is one of the most popular IKEA models. If you aren’t keen on paying full-price, then hop on Craigslist or take a look at some local garage sales. These pieces tend to be quite easy to locate.

To complete this handy organizational project, simply follow these steps:

  1. Join the two bookcases together

    Attach the pieces together by using screws at the front, then cover the back of the two shelves with ¼” plywood. Be sure to place the newly combined piece on the floor so that the back is facing up for the next step.

  2. Bring in some re-enforcement

    Screw in a 1-inch-by-3-inch board in the space between the plywood and the bookcase. LaRue explains that this step will give more stability to the base of the now larger bookcase.

  3. Prime it!

    Cover the bookcase in primer.

  4. Style it up!

    For a more ornate-looking piece, do what LaRue did, and apply your choice of wallpaper to cover up the primed back-facing side.

  5. Tidy up your cords

    If you are going to build this partition in an area of your home that does not have enough outlets available, then you can add holes in the bookcase’s base to run your necessary cords to the power sources that you need to access. The best way to do this is by using a hole saw bit to safely and easily create the holes.

  6. Add some length to your divider

    If you want to bring in even more storage space to your new “room,” then focus on installing cross pieces to the top of the original bookcases. LaRue completed this stage by gathering one-by-fours and cutting them down to her desired size. She screwed the pieces together by first drilling in pilot holes, then attached the cross pieces in the same manner.

  7. Join the top to the base

    Our host left a 1/2-inch overhang, then secured the top piece to the base piece. To give the new dividing wall a more finished look, LaRue added a 1-inch-by-6-inch and 1-inch-by-4-inch to the bookcase base, as well as a 1”x1” on the wallpapered end to maintain the illusion of a border.

  8. The final result!

    Chic and oh-so useful!

Watch EYSpace’s video below for further instructions on how you can best achieve this build!

What do you think of LaRue’s partition? Have you worked on a similar project before? If so, how did you go about completing it? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!