Happy Birthday To Billy! 5 Ways To Keep Him Looking Spiffy

Billy has a major birthday this year. The iconic (or basic, depending on your point of view) bookcase from Swedish flat-box retailer Ikea has reached a milestone in its life. This year, Billy turns the big 3-0. Designed by Gillis Lundgren, who was Ikea’s fourth employee and also developed the flat-package concept, the bookcase was introduced in 1979. Today, more than 41 million Billys have been sold worldwide, and they continue to be made non-stop in the village of Kättilstorp, Sweden, where, each night, more than 6,000 flatpacks go out the door.

To celebrate Billy’s big day, Ikea has introduced several new colors to the line. Now, in addition to black, white, and a couple wood tones, you can get a Billy in red, blue, and silver, along with three limited-edition patterns. But how do you class-up a bookcase that costs as little as $59.99? Keep reading for our five tips. [Ikea Fans]

  1. Line a bunch of them across an entire wall and it will look like you have fancy built-ins.
  2. Paint or wallpaper the back of each shelf to give them a little more dimension and a personal touch.
  3. Organize your books according to color, and the shelves can’t help but look artsy-fartsy, too.
  4. Put a pretty fabric curtain in front if you can’t keep your books neat and tidy.
  5. Don’t forget to add cute bookends and knickknacks throughout!