Named after the space saving cooking space on a ship, galley kitchens are perennially popular because they make efficient use of space and are perfect for small apartments or homes where space is at a premium.
It’s not just about making do with a small space. The layout of a galley kitchen means that everything is within easy reach so cooking and cleaning are a breeze. The lack of dead space between cabinets and appliances also lets you use every inch of counter space.
Although galley kitchens are often found in smaller homes – as a solution for the lack of space – this style is becoming more popular even in very large kitchens. Installing a galley kitchen in a large open plan kitchen actually allows home owners to effectively create separate zones for cooking and entertaining in their open plan kitchen.
What are the downsides of a galley kitchen?
Galley kitchens can feel a little cramped, especially if benches are cluttered and busy. If you aren’t careful while designing the kitchen, moving around or opening cabinet drawers and doors effortlessly can be a challenge. Additionally, galley kitchens often look narrower than other kitchen layouts. However, with a little bit of creativity, you can avoid these problems and create a galley kitchen that works well for your needs.
If you’re thinking about installing a galley kitchen in your home, take the time to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. By understanding what a galley kitchen is and what it has to offer, you can make the best decision for your home.
You may prefer not to work in a constricted space, but of course the structural changes involved in knocking a narrow kitchen into another room to make a larger kitchen/diner may be prohibitive… maybe it’s time to think a little more creatively about the space instead?
What are the upsides of a galley kitchen?
A galley kitchen is a compact and efficient design that can be used to make the best use of space – especially if you integrate space saving solutions like vertical storage. What you lose in counter top space compared to other designs you gain in ease of use – since fridge, sink and cooking space will all be close together running back and forth.
You also gain a private cooking space – because your kitchen is not integrated in a larger living space you can keep cooking mess and smells away from other family or entertaining areas.
Galley Kitchen Layout Ideas Design Tips
When it comes to designing a galley kitchen, it is important to think about how you will use the space. This will help you to determine what layout will work best for you.
If you love to cook, you may want to consider a layout that offers more prep space. If entertaining is your thing, you’ll want to make sure the kitchen is open and inviting.
Here are a few good general rules for planning a galley kitchen though:
Follow the architecture of the space
When designing a galley kitchen, it is important to follow the architecture of the current space. If you have natural curves, go with them and use cabinetry that is designed to hug the contours of the space. This will make the kitchen more efficient and user-friendly.
Install Open Shelving
There are a few things you can do to make your galley kitchen more cozy and inviting. One of the best ways to do this is by installing open shelving. This will add extra storage space as well as visual interest. Think about decorating your open shelving with plants or other decorations.
Open shelving can be a great way to utilize the vertical space in a galley kitchen. Not only does it provide extra storage, but it also adds personality and style to the space. If you choose to install open shelving, be sure to carefully plan the layout so that it is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Draw the eye with a bold coloured feature wall
If you’re looking to add some personality to your galley kitchen, consider using bold colours to create a feature wall. This will add visual interest and make the kitchen more inviting.
Using light coloured cabinetry, decorating with plants, and creating a bold feature wall can give a galley kitchen a very fresh and modern look.
You can also create a feature wall effect by using a different material on one wall… consider alternatives like stone or wood effect tiles.
Use galley kitchen layouts in an open plan kitchen
Galley kitchens are not limited to small spaces – they can also be used in large open kitchens. The benefits of a compact and accessible work space can also be achieved in a large open kitchen, giving you plenty of space in the rest of the room for entertaining.
Keep it open and bright
Just because a galley kitchen utilises a cramped space, doesn’t mean it needs to FEEL cramped. Think about using mirrors hung above the countertop to give the illusion of a more spacious room. You can also use open shelves as storage to avoid the ‘closed-in’ feeling.
Another great way to make a galley kitchen feel larger and more functional is by creating zones for cooking, cleaning and dining. This will help to keep the space organised and user-friendly.
Light is extra important in a narrow room
Lighting is also critical in a narrow space. If possible, you may want to consider a skylight to help bring in natural light. If the architecture of the space doesn’t allow for a skylight, think about using more bulbs, and certainly think about brighter lights.
This applies to the colour scheme too, you want to avoid dark colours as they will make the space feel smaller. Instead, opt for lighter colours which will help to brighten up the space.
Opt for handle less cabinetry
When it comes to designing a galley kitchen, every inch of space needs to be well-utilized. This means choosing compact and efficient appliances, as well as opting for handle less cabinetry. This will help to keep the space neat and organized.
The last thing you want to do is to catch your leg on a protruding handle while cooking.
If you’re really tight on space, you may want to consider using freestanding furniture. This can be a great way to save space and still have all the storage and functionality you need.
You can make even a tiny kitchen work
In a tiny galley kitchen there is an one-side opening and a dead end with extra cabinetry and storage. This can be a big challenge when it comes to layout, but it’s not impossible. With careful planning you can make even the tiniest kitchen work.
White Galley Kitchen – Go simple and scandi
If you want to really use a light theme think scandi or nordic . With white furniture, light walls and light flooring you can brighten up a small space with ease. This type of decoration is perfect for a minimalist style lover, as it keeps the space feeling open and airy.
How much space is needed for a galley kitchen?
A minimum of 8-foot by 5-foot is needed for a galley kitchen. However, if you want to include an island or dining area in your galley kitchen, you will need more space.
How do I get more space in my galley kitchen
If you’re tight on space, you may want to consider using freestanding furniture. This can be a great way to save space and still have all the storage and functionality you need. You can also make use of wall cabinets to save on floor space.
How do you plan a galley kitchen layout?
When planning a galley kitchen layout, you need to think about how you will use the space. Will you be cooking, cleaning or dining in the kitchen? You need to create zones for each activity to make the most of the space. You also need to think about how much storage you will need and what appliances you will need to fit into the space. Finally, you need to consider the lighting and colour scheme of the kitchen to make it feel bright and spacious.
How much space do you need between cabinets in a galley kitchen
You need to leave at least 36 inches of space between cabinets in a galley kitchen, otherwise you may find you can’t even open cupboards and appliances. We would recommend at least 60 inches though as this will allow you to move around easily while cooking.
Where should a refrigerator go in a galley kitchen?
The refrigerator should ideally go in the dead end, to avoid taking up too much space in the one-sided opening. However, this may not be possible depending on the layout of your kitchen. If you have to put the fridge in the one-sided opening, make sure you leave enough space for people to move around easily.
Can you put an island in a galley kitchen?
While it is possible to put an island in a galley kitchen, it can be a challenge to fit everything in. If you have the space, an island can be a great way to add extra storage and functionality to your kitchen. However, you may need to compromise on some of your other kitchen designs if you want to include an island.
How can I make my galley kitchen better?
We share multiple tips in this article to improve the look and feel of your galley kitchen. Our top tips are:
- Think about freestanding furniture where appropriate
- Use open cabinets and avoid handles
- Use light colours and mirrors to give the illusion of space
- Use mirrors to give the illusion of space
What is the best cabinet colour for a galley kitchen?
When it comes to colours, dark colours can make a small kitchen feel even smaller. So, unless you have a lot of natural light, we would recommend sticking to light and bright colours. This will help to reflect the light and make the space feel bigger. White is always a good option for a light and airy feel, but other light colours, like pale greys or blues can work well too.
Galley kitchens can be a challenge to design, but with careful planning you can make even the tiniest kitchen work.