Wednesday, April 27, 2011

11 Reader Space: A Blissful Billy Bookcase!

Once upon a time I shared a little story of our Billy Bookcase built ins:

The built in consisted of five "Billy" bookcases from Ikea, all smooshed together to create one lovely piece.  It was a life changer for us and our family space....

But this isn't about me.  The only reason I brought it up is because sometimes ideas are more impactful and inspirational when shown in multiple scenarios!

A reader recently emailed me her story, in which Billy bookcases changed her spaces effective story as well!

Dear Jen,

I just found your amazing blog through one of my new favorites- Casa Greer.  How did I only just find it?!  I absolutely love all your tips and posts- very inspiring, especially as I sit here contemplating starting on my spring cleaning while my son naps. {Ugh!}

I wanted to share a little project I finished which was also featured over on Apartment Therapy- it's my "Gettin' out the door" bookcases which have greatly improved my life, as well as the lives of my husband and son. We moved to a smaller apartment in Boston from our home outside of DC and I lost all my "spots" for hiding essentials away.  On top of that, we moved to a two story apartment, so I found myself running up and down stairs to retrieve all those little things I forgot just as I was heading out the door.  Which just won't do when you have a 6 month old restrained in his stroller. We had to find a solution that met our storage needs as well as my organizational needs.   

Insert the familiar Billy Bookcases from Ikea that we had in our old home. No longer am I running up and down the stairs for that last item I forgot- I've got everything I need right at hand, from keys, bills and stamps, to diapers, socks and toys for my son. And I can also keep the shoes, scarves, hats, etc. I use the most without cluttering up our front closet {which is also filled to the brim due to my little tiny coat addiction}.

I've attached some before's and after's for you, too, just in case!

SO glad I found your blog- definitely on my must read list! Keep em coming!

Kate Hannan

Oh I am SO excited Kate found the blog and wrote in.  This is the perfect example of truly maximizing your space, and making life easier!



And the ultra organized system, AFTER:

Wait, you don't see how those shelves make her life SO much easier?  Well, that's because all of the daily essentials are tucked neatly behind those fabulous doors!!

Leaving for a neat and tidy, clutter free entry into their home!!

Totally incredible.  So pretty.  So smart.  So functional!

What do IHeart most?  Well, not that it's an easy decision because the entire project is pure genius, but I adore that they are able to keep all of their daily necessities right at had, but tucked out of site to reduce visual clutter.  The bookshelves offer a lovely display in the room of cherished photographs and trinkets, yet, the lower half is total function.  I am also always a fan of using bookcases for shoes.  And then popping doors on the front to keep in "closet" form, YES PLEASE!

Sure, the pictures of Kate's space are LOVELY with a capital L O V E L Y!  Yet, there is so much to learn from this update and setup as well!

In fact, I am off to try the less is more mentality and give my bookcases a quick refresh.  Thanks Kate for the incredible inspiration and for writing in and sharing such a life changing makeover!

And a button for you:

IHeart Organizing

Feel free to stop by Kate's blog to say hi and give her some major props for a job well done, or leave a comment here as well with a virtual high five!  And let me know, what you take away from this space and your favorite part!

Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please send your story and photos to and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and un-editted.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!  More Info HERE.


  1. I don't have an entryway, but right at the bottom of the stairs (I live in a basement apartment) I have a tiny console table (craigslist $2.50 find) and an ikea chalkboard with hooks above the console. As soon as I walk down the steps I hang my purse/bag on the post, keys on the hook and place any mail or things I need to grab before leaving on the table. Sometimes I also put things on the steps (I won't forget grabbing it in the morning when I'm rushing out). Here's a pic of the area when it looks tidy!

  2. I love the variations of the Billy bookshelves. We have three that have moved several times with us and somehow always manage to fit perfectly wherever we land. What I like about Kate's solution is the Zen that it adds to the room while solving a problem at the same time.

  3. The shelves are great, but the cabinets are even better, if you ask me. So much can be hidden behind those doors, which is fantastic!

  4. ooooh yes please! I love yours and kate's too! Love the combo of shelves and doors b/c I haaaaaaaaate dusting and doors mean no dust on my books and schtuff! <3

    another fabulous + inspirational post =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  5. Love it! I can't believe how they transform the space! Thanks for sharing!

  6. thanks for sharing! I check on your blog everyday for my daily fix! So inspriring!

  7. One of my favorite-est posts everrrrrrrrr. You're BOTH amazing

  8. I always love stopping by here. I have an organizing passion as well and these projects just make me feel happy. One day soon I may tackle something like this. Thanks for all the inspiration.


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