IKEA Hack for gas meter using Billy bookcase

Ikea Hackit

PROBLEM: Hide an ugly wall gas meter standing in our previously converted garage/now sitting room

SOLUTION: IKEA hack solution using a BILLY bookcase with 2 kitchen cupboard doors attached to the bookcase.

During our renovations we were quoted about £3500 to move the gas meter to a cupboard on the other side of the wall. Since this would have been a rather costly exercise we decided to think of solutions on how to make the gas meter a less unsightly feature in the sitting room. We came up with many different floating wall cabinet ideas that we even tried out in the interior design software to get an idea of how it would look. (If you missed my post on the interior design software we used for our kitchen renovations then check it out here.) The other concern though was interfering with possible electrical cables located in the wall from drilling.

I then started researching IKEA hack ideas but struggled to find hacks that would meet our exact requirements. The very few ideas I did come across involved using deep TV cabinets which would make it even more obvious that we were trying to hide something. I then decided to take a trip to our nearest IKEA to see if I could find any inspiration. (If you’re unfamiliar with what an IKEA hack is, it’s remodelling or refurbishing existing IKEA furniture to suit your needs.)

I knew of the BILLY bookcase but only when I saw the dimensions and size of it in the store did it prompt an idea in my head. The dimensions of the bookcase are 80 cm(W) x 28 cm(D) x 202 cm(H). In comparison to a cupboard which can range from a depth of 40cm to 60cm, the bookcase is a lot narrower. I then walked excitedly over to the kitchen section to have a look at the available kitchen cabinet door finishes while the idea was brewing in my head. The solution was to reduce the depth of the shelves and bring the back of the bookcase forward. And so our IKEA hack was born!

Ikea Hackit Gas meter
This is the unsightly gas meter

I unfortunately didn’t take any photos of all the hard work my hubby had to do to get the bookcase to the state in the picture below. So instead I’ve included an IKEA instruction pic in an attempt to explain where he had to make the biggest amendment. Obviously this was done before all the panels were fitted together.

Billy Bookcase backboard

The original side grooves couldn’t be used for the back board because of the long pipe from the gas meter. So new groove lines were cut into the side panels of the book case to push the back board forward in to the book case (down to the red line). The blue circle indicates that new pin holes also needed to be drilled for the new narrower shelves.

Ikea Hackit Billy bookcase
The Billy bookcase adjusted and fitted against the wall around the gas meter and in front of the long pipe. Take note: the back board was also shortened

The shelves were then cut narrower to accommodate the now narrower depth of the bookcase (due to the pipe behind the backboard) and the gloss kitchen cabinet doors were attached to the bookcase. The doors are actually a mustardy colour rather than bright yellow. The pipe sticking out to the right was repainted and is now less obvious.

Ikea Hackit Billy bookcase with doors

The Billy bookcase was the ideal solution for us as it was cost effective (£45 for the Billy bookcase and £83 for the Method wall cabinet with doors = £128!) and it’s a narrow bookshelf that doesn’t take up too much space. By keeping the bottom of the bookshelf open rather than enclosing the space with doors makes the space feel more roomy rather than having one big enclosed cupboard filling up the space. The kitchen cabinet doors were also the correct height to cover the gas meter box. The effort took quite a bit of time(a whole weekend), patience and DIY skill from my handyman but we were extremely pleased with the end result 🙂

I can’t believe after almost 4 months of DIY/home renovation posts this post now brings me to the end of this series…well for now 😉 I hope you’ve found my posts informative and enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed revisiting the whole process. I may still share other DIY or home renovation posts in future on an ad hoc basis.

I’d love to hear your comments on our IKEA hack or if you have any questions about our hack. I also welcome comments on what you enjoyed most or found helpful in my renovation series.


  1. 7th July 2016 / 8:54 AM

    Great idea, I love all the bits you can get from Ikea 🙂

  2. Miriam @londonkitchendiaries
    7th July 2016 / 11:04 AM

    What a clever and elegant way to hide the gas metre! Love it ♡

  3. leffune
    8th July 2016 / 9:37 AM

    Awesome idea. 🙂

  4. Joanne
    24th August 2018 / 11:33 AM

    Hi. Did the kitchen doors fit perfectly on the billy bookcase? Thanks.

    • whatudidntknow
      26th August 2018 / 9:51 AM

      Hi Joanne, yes they did! But I now know that the Billy bookcase also has the option of doors as we’ve bought another one since writing this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: