BILLY bookcase goes bling
Turning thirty this month, IKEA’s bestseller gets a funky makeover for limited editions
Thursday 01 October 2009
It's quite extraordinary the amount of air time and enthusiasm garnered by IKEA's self assembly BILLY bookcase which celebrates its 30th birthday this month. More than 41 million people all over the world (including myself) have bought the ubiquitous bookcase designed by the fourth employee for IKEA in 1979.
Such is its widespread appeal that the Bloomberg news agency recently pitted the BILLY bookcase (instead of the Big Mac) as the new economic scale. Economists are using the IKEA BILLY bookcase (and its differing prices worldwide) to judge the financial situation of various currencies. Just so you know - the shelving unit is most expensive in Israel and cheapest in Dubai, closely followed by Britain.
Unassuming, functional (and if we're honest, very dull), the BILLY bookcase has captured the imagination of shoppers worldwide. IKEA’s furniture factory in Sandhem, Sweden whip up 15 of them every minute. If we laid out all the sold bookcases in one line, they would be over 70,000 kilometres long (almost twice the distance around the world at the equator).
What makes this bookcase so special?
Much of the attraction lies in its no frills blandness and, of course, cheap price (£40). In truth, it is so plain, it is crying out to have a makeover. IKEA hackers swap stories of wallpapering the shelves, painting with blackboard paint or gluing fabric to the back. To pay homage to the BILLY bookcase, IKEA invited designers to create limited editions of it which were unveiled this week and will be in store until 31 January 2010.
The playful limited edition bookcases come in black, orange and green and covered in graffiti-style quotations. Designer Annika Bryngelson, who gave the bookcase a poetic makeover to create BILLY JADER, says "When I designed the pattern I had a young, romantic kind of guy in mind and that’s why I used quotations from William Shakespeare's love sonnets. There's plenty of strong emotions, love and heartache - yet the pattern is still cool with its graffiti-inspired look."
Meanwhile, BILLY BJASTE is inspired by Japanese manga with a "colourful, trend-conscious girl" in mind.
The jury is out as to whether IKEA's limited editions are collectors' items in the making.
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 3 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 4 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
- 5 Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...