Often considered quite claustrophobic, galley kitchens were – up until recently, reserved for houses with limited spaces, only. Lately, they are intentionally chosen as the preferable kitchen design, even in big homes.
Since you may not know much about galley kitchens or the great benefits that come with them, we are going to explore everything about them. Ready?
What’s a galley kitchen?
When we talk about galley kitchens, we actually talk about the kitchen’s layout. It’s a corridor-like layout, which often has the cabinetry on one side and the countertop (or island) on the other side. The terminology of the word ‘galley’ goes back to the ancient Greek ships, distinguished for their long & narrow shape.
Today, the word ‘galley’ is used to characterize a kitchen whose layout resembles this long and narrow shape of the ancient ships. While it’s indifferent where the countertop and the cabinets are located, the main feature of this kitchen layout is that there’s a corridor between them.
The advantages of galley kitchen designs
• Due to the two parallel runs of cabinetry, the whole process of prepping and cooking becomes really easy. All things you need are around you, beside you, behind you. It’s easy to get organized and limit your moves.
• The layout is such that you cannot miss having the ‘golden work triangle’ of stove, fridge, and sink, enhancing the work flow.
• While it depends on the space available in the home, the galley layout hardly occupies much space. Hence, it’s perfect for small spaces. But it can also be adopted for large kitchen renovations.
• Since galley kitchens don’t occupy too much space, they leave room for other activities. For better taking advantage of the home’s floor plan. For example, the dining or the seating area may be bigger.
• Due to their, often, compact size, there’s a limited need for cabinetry. Even more, for flooring. This brings down the cost of the overall kitchen remodel.
• Then again, galley kitchens may be characterized by the corridor running between cabinetry but this doesn’t mean that the corridor is too narrow – although it often is. The interesting part is that galley kitchens may be quite long, taking advantage of a room’s length instead of width.
The downsides of galley kitchens
• Since most galley kitchens are rather small – narrow, if you will, they often feel cramped. To their defense, this is often the case with old kitchens whose galley layout became a necessity – when the home was constructed, due to lack of space. If you remodel the home today, this claustrophobic feeling may easily go just by tearing down a wall. Or using light colors.
• The narrow space of the corridor of galley kitchens may be a problem for wheelchairs and pairs that like to cook together.
How to make the best of the galley kitchen layout
While the layout is very specific, the galley kitchen design possibilities are multiple, if you think about it. Of course, it depends on the overall space provided for the kitchen area. As already mentioned, a really long room enables the stretching of the two parallel cabinetries or putting a table at the end of the cabinets.
On one side, there may be cabinets only, having an island running parallel to them – facing the living room, making socializing possible. With cabinets running up to the ceiling and under the countertop, the storage room is maximized although the kitchen seems to be small.
If elongating the cabinetries is not possible, you can always close them off at one end – although it’s airier to keep both ends open.
Focus on colors. Don’t be afraid to go with all white, especially if the galley kitchen is really small and narrow. Or lacks an island and thus, open space. But don’t be afraid to incorporate some accents, especially contrasts, either. Small tricks like that can maximize an otherwise small space, such a galley kitchen.