In my previous post I mentioned needing somewhere to store my many, many books. Somewhere not too far away from my Office Corner is ideal and somewhere that also can hide a few other bits of junk. Okay, maybe not "junk" per se... I don't make a habit of hoarding chocolate wrappers (although I did once push them to the bottom of the bin, so as not to give the game away... back in the day, you know... don't say you've never done it!)

The IKEA locker-style unit we had was great. It packed away LOADS. But it was also very tall and the corner I wanted to store everything in now, is closer to the window frame. Oh and there are some rather lovely framed Linotype plans that I didn't much want to move from the adjoining wall. So, I decided to search for the most compact, slimline bookcase I could find. Something below window height that wouldn't jut out too much and overpower the room.

Hello Billy Bookcase!

IKEA always comes up trumps, doesn't it! Well I think so anyway. Don't get me wrong... the idea of a beautifully bespoke, crafted piece of wooden furniture that has been passed down for generations and will continue to be for years to come, is most definitely something I would prefer, given the option... but that wasn't an option at the time. We needed something quick, something slimline, (preferably pale in colour, so as to keep the room light and airy) and also not too expensive. So, with our pockets just £12 lighter, we bought this little gem home from the Land of Flatpack Dreams.

It fit perfectly, just as I hoped! But then I tried arranging the books on the newly built shelves by size order... nope, not quite right. I also tried colour-coordinating the books (I don't know about you, but the more clashing colours I see in one space, the more stressed I get)... nothing was working. Many a time I have admired other people's bookcase and how they give off that whole "educated and cool" vibe. Especially when it belongs to a designer/artist... I have a friend who's bookcase was without doubt, the pièce de résistance of her entire flat. It seemed to tell a story of who she was. I would stare for ages at the amazing collection of vintage covers. But then again, her flat was also overlooking Matt & Phred's Jazz Bar and with the window open the sound of saxophones would drift into the room and out again like something from a cool indie french film... so maybe it wasn't just the bookcase. Anyway, after trying to someway replicate that look that my friend had achieved, most probably without even realising she was doing it, the reason for ME previously opting for something with doors suddenly hit.


I have an inability to remember past decisions, particularly when I have ruled an idea out. I am like a moth that keeps forgetting the light is VERY hot & NOT AT ALL fun to fly at. The same thing happens when I get a fringe– I hate the hassle, I grow it out... I get a fringe– I hate the hassle, I grow it out...I get a fringe– I hate the hassle, I grow it out...I get a fringe– I hate the hassle, I grow it out...I get a fringe– I hate the hassle, I grow it out... okay you get the idea!

Then after a couple of days of using my hand as a blinker when walking past the corner (so as not to get too irritated by my rubbish solution) I was looking for linen table runners for the dining table. It was then that I thought, what if I drape something pretty over the shelf to hide what's beneath? Yes, I thought... that's got to work!

Somebody had mentioned Higgs & Higgs and their amazing selection of fabrics available to buy online, so I trawled through all of their "silver grey" and "ivory" prints to find just what I was after... something quite simple and graphic. This quatrefoil pattern by Riley Blake is available in small and large (I went for small) so as not to overpower the room. I loved it even more so when I spotted the "four petal flower" shape within it, that was near identical to a shape we used throughout all of our wedding stationery. There! A sign! (There are signs in everything you know!)

My Mum ran the fabric through her machine and crisply hemmed each edge. She also added some velcro so that the curtain could be attached to the shelves (something very handy with little fingers about... especially ones that want to twirl themselves in every curtain they see so that they can unravel whilst shouting "peekaboo Mummy!")

Et voila...! This is the result.

... and look at how much it can now hide! (...but shhhhh! Nobody else need know!)

If you're anything like me and love personalising something that would otherwise be a little boring, check out my Pinterest board for some other inspiring IKEA hacks!

Tata for now...


Mika x

#IKEAhack #flatpack #bookcase #spacesaver #niceandtidy #away #tidy #hidden

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