A galley kitchen

What Is a Galley Kitchen?

If there was ever a misunderstood—and often maligned—kitchen layout, it would have to be the galley kitchen. It's called a galley kitchen after the efficient “galley” kitchens of railway dining cars. In the home, it's a classic kitchen layout that's versatile, durable, simple, and about as ergonomically correct as you can get.

What is a Galley Kitchen?

A galley kitchen is a long, narrow kitchen layout with services on one or both sides. An aisle runs down the center of a galley kitchen. Sometimes, the galley kitchen dead-ends at one end or it can be a pass-through kitchen.

If you're remodeling, a galley kitchen can work beautifully as one of the most functional spaces in the home. Even though galley kitchens are space-savers and usually fit the need for small kitchen areas, you might even want to consider installing one in a larger space simply because it works so well.

Galley Kitchen Basics

A galley kitchen is a long, narrow kitchen that has base cabinets, wall cabinets, counters, or other services located on one or both sides of a central walkway. Less often, a galley is called a corridor kitchen because its main traffic lane is a long, narrow aisle.

The countertops can be interspersed with appliances like fridges, sinks, cabinetry, and other functional items.

Since galley kitchens are small, they tend to be less expensive to build or remodel than other kitchen layouts. Also, galley kitchens are ergonomically better than some other kitchen design layouts since key services are clustered near each other. This means that walking toward or reaching for items between the refrigerator, stove/oven, and sink is kept to a minimum.

Galley Kitchen Pros and Cons




There are plenty of advantages to a galley kitchen. For one, a galley kitchen saves space so that other rooms in your home can be more spacious. The layout keeps the major kitchen services such as water, electrical, and gas clustered in the same area using the work triangle. Doing so makes it easier for plumbers and electricians to install or service appliances.

Because countertops and cabinets are the most expensive elements in the kitchen, this cost is drastically minimized in the smaller space. Less floor space means less kitchen flooring that you need to purchase. Finally, because you don't have to spend as much money on pricey countertops, cabinets, and flooring, more money is freed up to spend on appliances, the sink, or on other parts of your house.

Since galley kitchens are smaller, they tend to be slightly easier for do-it-yourself remodeling if the layout is simple with two banks of cabinets with straightforward, rectangular countertops.


There are a few drawbacks to a galley layout, one of which is that it tends to be too tight for multiple cooks to work at the same time since the space is narrow. Countertop and storage space can be limited in a galley kitchen because there are fewer base cabinets. Clutter can quickly build up and prep space may be restricted.

Resale value may be lower for homes with galley kitchens than for houses with other types of kitchen layouts because homeowners tend to prefer larger gourmet kitchens. Since people tend to gather in a kitchen when entertaining, galley kitchens are perhaps the least welcoming kitchen design when it comes to accommodating guests.

Galley Kitchen Design Considerations

A galley kitchen needs to be designed with thought to its scale. For example, appliances usually should be kept to standard sizes to avoid overcrowding in a galley kitchen. This type of kitchen makes excellent use of the tight, step-saving kitchen triangle design. Typically, the stovetop and refrigerator will be on opposite walls of a galley kitchen, though the refrigerator may be best at one end of a wall. Here are other considerations when planning and designing a galley kitchen.

Keep to the Basics

When building or remodeling a galley kitchen, stay with basics such as upper and lower cabinets, counters, refrigerator, sink, stove/oven, and a dishwasher. There is also typically no room in a galley kitchen for a permanent, full-size kitchen island or breakfast bar. However, you may have options. if there's room, a mobile island at the end of the kitchen may be a good compromise. If there's a window at the end of the kitchen, add a fold-out wall-mount table and a stool for a tiny eating nook.

Minimize Sink Size

Oversized farmhouse sinks or sinks angled at 45 degrees are difficult to fit into most galley kitchens. Instead, look for scaled-down sinks and keep sinks parallel to the counters. Drop-in sinks with built-in rims take away even more countertop space. Instead, consider installing an undermount sink so that the countertop can extend all the way to the sink edge.

Use Space-Saving Devices

Running kitchen cabinets to the ceiling maximizes storage space which is important in a smaller kitchen. Keep to lighter-toned cabinets, some with glass doors to avoid an imposing presence in a galley kitchen. For lower cabinets, make use of lazy-Susans and roll-out shelves to better utilize that often-wasted space at the back of cabinets.

Consider Removing a Window

You can lose a window in a galley kitchen to gain more upper cabinet space. To decide whether you want to remove the window, think about whether the effort and expense will be worth the extra cabinet space. Does the window give you ample natural light and air, and will it be too dark in the space with it gone? If you decide to take out the window, you may need to call in a professional to remove the window, add drywall and insulation, then install a bank of cabinets inside. Outdoors, the space needs to be closed up with siding.

Think About Aisle or Walkway Width

The aisle or walkway running the length of a galley kitchen is its backbone. The space between opposite counters, or the walkway itself, should be a minimum of three feet. Even more importantly, accessibility can become an issue for those who use wheelchairs or walkers. If aisle width is an issue, consider clustering all of the services on one side of the kitchen only.

Use Light, White, and Neutral Colors

Lighter tones can make your galley kitchen feel much larger. Use light and bright materials for counters, cabinets, flooring, and wall paint. Even appliances should be shiny or matte white or stainless steel. For example, consider unstained or lightly stained maple, birch, or bamboo cabinets or white cabinets and countertops to keep the space streamlined, airy, and light.

45 Galley Kitchen Ideas That Are Practical and Chic

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Galley kitchens are often seen as dated and cramped, relics from a time before open plan kitchens ruled the day. Inspired by the compact, space-saving kitchens on boats, trains, and planes—in which long, narrow rows of cabinetry and appliances are placed on opposite walls with a central walkway in between them—these efficient spaces are often found in older city apartments and historic homes. Galley kitchens appeal to those who enjoy having a self-contained area for meal prep where everything is located within arm's reach, plus the added benefit of banishing kitchen messes out of sight from the main living space.

Check out these galley kitchen ideas in a range of homes that prove that this classic style can be both practical and surprisingly chic.

52 Small Kitchen Ideas That Prove That Less Is More

10 steps to create it

The galley kitchen is a well-known two-row or two-line layout. It is also called parallel. But for now we will use the beautiful name "galley".

Photo: decorhint.com

What you need to know before you start organizing such a galley kitchen? To begin with, it is important to understand how many square meters you have at your disposal. Such a layout is optimal with a room width of at least 220 centimeters - this is exactly what is needed to accommodate two rows of furniture 60 centimeters deep and the minimum allowable hundred-centimeter passage between them.

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pantry adjoining the kitchen. The main thing is that there are technical possibilities for this. Another interesting option for arranging a galley is to allocate part of the space for it in a studio apartment. Moreover, this can be done both as a forced measure to save space, and to combine the dining and kitchen areas.

Photo: home-designing.com

There are several rules without which you will not be able to equip a classic, that is, the correct galley kitchen. The rules are simple, but you need to remember them:

Photo: home-designing.com

We told you about the recommendations of the designers, and on our own we will add: any rules can be broken to create a truly original and comfortable kitchen, even if the room is too cramped. In the end, it is you who should be comfortable here and enjoy cooking.

Photo: home-designing.com

And now let's talk in detail about ten steps to create a galley kitchen in different areas of the apartment.

1. Location of items

Ideally, it is better to place the stove, sink and main work surface in the same row, and install the refrigerator opposite. Crowding is the main enemy of such a kitchen. But such a technique will help protect you and your loved ones from injury and burns if someone goes to the refrigerator. Otherwise, there is a risk of accidentally touching a hot pan or pot on the stove. Yes, and it will be more convenient for you to operate in a small space without unnecessary gestures.

Photo: home-designing.com

2. Passage width

Be sure to measure the width and length of your future galley before starting any work. Perhaps you will change your mind about placing the kitchen in this space and think about another option. If the passage between two rows of furniture is less than a meter, you will not be able to freely use the contents of drawers and shelves. Moving here will also be inconvenient. It is better if the width of the passage is from 120 to 150 centimeters. Then your loved ones will be able to pass by you and not hurt anything, fall down or break anything. And you won't be interrupted when you stand at the stove or load the dishwasher.

Photo: home-designing.com

3. Length of rows

If every centimeter counts in your narrow kitchen and you can't arrange two parallel full rows, make one of the rows shorter than the second. So you can carve out more space for a refrigerator, side table or shelving. This will help to slightly expand the too narrow passage.

Photo: decorhint.com

4. Compact Kitchen Appliances

If the manipulation of the rearrangement does not help to accommodate everything you need, you will have to choose more compact appliances: a two-burner stove, a narrow refrigerator, a small dishwasher, a small sink, a shorter work surface.

Photo: home-designing.com

5. Cabinets to the ceiling

A great way to create additional storage space and at the same time hide the air duct in the upper tier. To maintain visual volume in the galley, choose narrow cabinets with matte light doors.

Photo: decorhint.com

6. Drawers instead of hinged cabinets

When arranging the lower tier of kitchen furniture, give up models with hinged doors - you do not have to block the passage with them in an attempt to find the right thing in the far corner of the cabinet.

Photo: home-designing.com

7. Furniture to match the walls

Even if you don't like pure white, which, of course, visually saves space, make at least one wall in the same shade as the kitchen cabinets . This technique effectively reduces the feeling of clutter.

Photo: home-designing.com

8. Multilevel lighting

Thoughtful lighting scenarios can dramatically change the look of your galley. Naturally, for the better. Do not place a massive chandelier or lamp on the ceiling. Choose small lamps or spots, place them at different levels. Be sure to provide lighting for the cooking area. Furniture lighting will help you quickly find the right item and save you from having to turn on all the lights in the room.

Photo: home-designing.com

9. No door

There is no need to close the door to your galley. There is not much space here, so there is no need to overload the room even more. As a last resort, install a sliding door or decorate the opening with beautiful textiles.

Photo: decorhint.com

10. Carpet on the floor

It may seem like such a small thing, but it can contribute to the effective arrangement of a galley in a narrow space. Lay a horizontal striped rug in the aisle - it will protect the floor from rubbing and visually push the walls apart.

Photo: home-designing.com

Kitchen design in galley style - compact and mega-practical - Articles - Small Spaces

Equip your kitchen in your apartment like on a cruise ship!

When planning a kitchen design, you often face the problem of how to place cabinets in the interior so that it is not only convenient, but also cozy. And no matter what size it is - large or small, narrow or wide - you want to place kitchen cabinets in such a way that, as they say, everything is at hand. We would like to suggest you one option, which, in our opinion, is ideal for any area. This is a galley style kitchen. Yes Yes. Exactly the same as on the ship.

What is galley kitchen design?

According to Wikipedia, a galley is a space on a ship specially equipped for cooking. Simply put, a galley is a ship's kitchen. And since the premises on the ship most often have limited space, all the furniture for the kitchen at the cook (ship cook) was located on both sides - that is, it had a linear arrangement. This arrangement was very convenient, compact and practical.

The galley style on land has been adopted by professional chefs in restaurants and cafes, borrowing the idea of ​​a linear layout for the kitchen from their marine counterparts. And if so, then why don't we use this idea and create something similar in our house?

The galley style, as already mentioned, is perfect for kitchen interiors of any size. If your kitchen is wide and large, then a linear arrangement of cabinets will make the space more organized, efficient and clear. If it is narrow or small, it will visually expand it with the help of the right color scheme for cabinets and walls.

Well, how did you decide to try? Then see our ideas and get inspired!

Modern galley

Glossy sets are a great idea for a galley style kitchen. This modernized version of cabinets and bedside tables will create the illusion of spaciousness in a small kitchen space. The effect of gloss can be enhanced with spotlights. This method of reflective surfaces can be applied over large areas.

By removing “out of sight” all unnecessary things from the surfaces of cabinets, you will not only create a modern and minimalist kitchen interior, but also increase the space in this way.

Galley in open kitchens

Large kitchen spaces combined with living or dining rooms can just as easily be adapted to the style of the galley. The kitchen design in the photo above shows that the suite does not have to have a standard set of cabinets and cabinets. It can also be decorated as an island with a dining area. And all the rest that is needed for galley decoration is to stick to the parallel installation of headset cabinets.

Important details and simple tricks

Light furniture for the kitchen, the use of sets that do not have handles, wooden floors, glass doors, large windows ... All these details "work" for ease of movement and to expand the space in the interior kitchens.

Country & Rustic

The parallel galley layout is also perfect for rustic, country or farmhouse styles. Feel free to use all the elements and details of these rural styles in your kitchen design.

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