A Room Full of Stories

After a couple of failed attempts in finding someone I do not know with a Billy bookcase, I have to admit that I started to feel a bit hesitated. However, after some deeper digging I did find a family with a whole room filled with great stories and 6 Billy bookcases. The feeling I had was comparable to winning the lottery!

I interwieved Tiina a Sunday afternoon, she lives in Älvsjö with her husband and three children.

Two bookcases in one of the corners contain mainly children’s books. On the lower floors there are board games and little things such as paint for the children to play with. Apart from books there was is a printer and some boxes that containe pens and things that are commonly used in an office.
Both her and her husband’s and her old children’s books that they used to read are there too. Placed a bit higher than what the games are that the children use now. One floor consists of only English books, since Tiina’s grandparents were English speaking wanting her to learn the language.

In the middle of the room, in front of the window there is a computer and

on the left handside of the computer there are a lot of folders and one floor is used as an action area, containing administrative papers used more frequently. The folders are mainly from Tiinas studies, and in many ways have affection value. She expressed she hardly looks at them, but do not feel it proper to through them away since there was a lot of work put into her studies.

Next to the administration and folders there is one shelf containing mainly scientific literature, also from Tiinas studies, and a series on Swedish classics collection on one of the upper floors.
Next to the scientific literature there is a bookcase containing novels, both hard covers and paper backs which most have been read. The first floor visible from the bottom contains the oldest books that Tiina read when she was younger and the upper floors contain more resent novels.

There are some shelves with only CD’s, but Tiina admits that they do not buy new ones as often anymore, though it does happen. They listen to music mainly from the computer in the middle of the room (and other computers in the household), the same goes for videos and DVD’s in the same room (though they were not in Billys and hence are not included in the pictures).
In the right hand corner, when standing in the middle of the room facing the scientific books and novels, there is another corner piece of the Billy that is no longer sold at IKEA. Folders for the three children, their administrative papers and drawings they have made, but also little baskets were they keep material for drawing and creative “stuff” and family albums. Once again, there are more recent pictures and videos stored digitally, and when asking what would be the most valuable thing in the room, Tiina without hesitation replies it is the memory stick with pictures.
The spare time room, or Billy room, seems to be a sacred place for the whole family. Tiina brings several times up the fact that they have deliberately wanted to keep the room as a library room, correcting herself describing it more as a working room, and then settling more for the word “fritidsrum” spare time room. Being very clear that though the room contains a bed sofa were guests sometimes sleep, it is not a guest room, but some sort of a spare time room for relaxation, but also some household administration.
It is evident that there is something for all of the family members in the room; computer, the little key board in front of the bookcase, books, films, music anythinh used in running the administration of a house and enjoying yourself.
They decided for the Billy since it was practical and very flexible to rebuild and adjust if wanted. They have expanded the cases at different occasions and the top shelves were bought at Blocket. Tiina did also mention that they would likely take out the sofa and bring in even more Billy’s and instead of the sofa have an armchair were it would be possible to read books.


  1. I like this post. It is a very good example of how the furnishings create the room and the activities that are situated there.

    Ways of using rooms spring from the interior layout, rather than the room's purpose being strictly defined in advance.