Before & After: This built-in BILLY is unrecognizable after a mint makeover

When Scandinavian minimalism meets mint green, it's a match made in design heaven

Mint green BILLY bookcase hack
(Image credit: Claire Douglas)

The IKEA BILLY is known and loved for its durability, versatility, and ability to endure transformation. The latter is the case with this mint green built-in – that pays homage to one of the most fashionable color trends of the moment.

You may already recognize this IKEA hack from Claire Douglas (opens in new tab) after we covered the process behind her (formally) Scandi-cool transformation on Livingetc. However, the designer has elevated her built-in further by drenching the unit in a stylish mint green hue. This makeover celebrates the enduring power of green – which remains one of the most sought-after tones of the year. 

Mint green BILLY bookcase hack

(Image credit: Claire Douglas)

Sharing her modern living room idea in a recent post (opens in new tab), Claire shared an insight into the recoloring process – and we're taking style notes as she speaks. Here's what you need to know about this newly decorated BILLY.   

IKEA BILLY mint green makeover – before 

Mint green BILLY bookcase hack

(Image credit: Claire Douglas)

Even prior to picking up the paintbrush, Claire's built-in BILLY was already something to behold. The major transformation process behind her Scandinavian-style BILLY bookcase hack is available to read here. However, it is the mint green makeover that truly turns her living room into a SS/22 style haven. 

'The changes to these built-in shelves were only cosmetic this time round and really straightforward to do,' Claire says. The designer went from a white tone (similar to that of Farrow & Ball's All White) to a green and peachy pastel palette.

The designer chose a paint resembling Farrow and Ball's Setting Plaster for the inside of her shelves. Meanwhile, the green is a Deep Breath (opens in new tab) from Decorating Centre Online's Wellness Collection 2022. 

IKEA BILLY mint green makeover – after

Mint green BILLY bookcase hack

(Image credit: Claire Douglas)

After painting, Claire transformed her BILLY further by elevating her accessories with paint. 

‘I [painted] the green ornaments I had previously displayed on these shelves. I used a combination of the paints that I used on the shelves themselves along with a pale green-grey called Retreat,’ Claire explains. She also used a small amount of Farrow and Ball’s Dix Blue (opens in new tab) to add another hue.

Mint green BILLY bookcase hack

(Image credit: Claire Douglas)

‘I probably had a bit too much fun with this DIY project, but that's the great thing about decorating in your own home you can make it as mad as you like,’ Claire adds. We’re taking this as our cue to experiment with a new paint idea asap. 

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.