Published on January 25th, 2013 | by Jules Yap


Stealing Space From the Outside

Materials: PAX Clothes Closet + Sliding Doors

Description: Our Eichler Kitchen pantry was not big enough nor did we have space to add a bigger one.

We stole space from the outside. So – opened up a wall – pushed a PAX Clothes Closet with Sliding Doors through the opening – added Ikea pull out kitchen drawers – put a window on top – then enclosed the outside of the closet with cinder block.

~ mike graff, san jose

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

19 Responses to Stealing Space From the Outside

  1. annette says:

    this is absolutely beautiful! I wish I could do this but I’m in a rental.

  2. michel graff says:

    sorry – should have said City of San Jose not California

  3. michel graff says:

    no plastic sheeting needed. there exists a roof over the cabinet – no rain gets even close. Going on 3 years now.

  4. michel graff says:


    there was no building code violation here. California requires a permit if it exceeds 120 sq ft. this is 14 sq ft. No electrical and no plumbing and does not encroach on the lot line since this is an internal atrium.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Permits and all that aside, I think it’s brilliant, and beautifully done!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t there some sort of architect’s pledge against hacking an Eichler like that?

    • michel graff says:

      hardly. You should see some of the additions by “architects” in this neighborhood. They are horrible, invasive and cheap looking.

  7. Charles G. Irion says:

    I love this. Very creative.

  8. Anonymous says:

    More of a HouseHack than an IkeaHack.

  9. Anonymous says:

    not living far from you in San Jose just let me say that I would love to live in an eichler. love all the modern touches….

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is really creative and looks great. I wanted to ask if any type of plastic sheeting, waterproofing, barrier, etc, was used between the bricks and the Ikea unit. From what I understand, water & moisture can leak right through concrete…so I’m curious about the Ikea unit holding up if the outside area isn’t exactly waterproof.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great idea and beautifully executed outside – gorgeous! This was a pretty brief posting – too busy enjoying it, now it’s done, maybe :) - so perhaps for brevity it was felt that it “goes without saying” that changing the integrity of a house’s outer walls and/or footprint requires professional advice and/or permits.

  12. Keira says:

    Aside from whether or not it’s legal, it looks fantastic and is a great idea! Love how you finished the outside as well.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Whether or not you comply with the local building codes might not seem like a hassle now, but could prove to be a major headache if you need to sell the house. The sale of my mother’s house has been delayed by our local council because we didn’t have an engineer’s design for one step. Four months and $20,000 later we might be able to sell.

  14. Matthew says:

    Be sure to check your local building codes before attempting this. As it would definitely not be legal in Minnesota!

    • yeld says:

      Are building codes that harsh in the US? I thought it was like build what you want and then someone will come to check if it fits the regulations. I am asking because in Poland we have such a pain inducing building code that it’s unbearable. But buildings are safe I guess.

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