If you aren’t sure about what exactly a galley kitchen is, it’s more than likely that you’ve been in one many times before. More common in smaller homes, galley kitchens provide practical uses of space by keeping all units, appliances, and cabinetry saved for each side of an otherwise narrow space with a central path to walk through and work in. But when it comes to savvy gallery kitchen ideas, luckily, there are easier routes than any other style of kitchen to consider.
Galley kitchens are pretty common, but they can feel hard to design and difficult to make the most of if you don’t have anyone to point you in the right direction. They can feel closed off and small, and space in a galley kitchen is more often than not quite limited. To help you make the best use of yours, we turned to interior designers for advice (many of whom have had their own galley kitchen at once), to help you make the most of the space you have while creating a modern and stylish kitchen that will work in your favor.
In case you didn’t already know, mirrors perform instant magic when it comes to making even the smallest spaces look larger, feel more luxurious, and brighter at that. And since a galley kitchen is normally short on wall space and natural light, consider them essentials.
You can easily source a stylish mirror affordably from just about anywhere, but if you have a more flexible budget, nothing will beat the look and feel of mirror fronted kitchen cabinets. Or you could opt for a distressed chrome for a more maximal and warm feel.
Perfect for minimal and more traditional galley kitchen ideas alike, just like mirrors, glass-fronted cabinets will make smart use of important wall space usually restricted with a closed off feel.
Plus, they’ll help you see what’s inside with ease. However, our interior designers suggest opting for a frosted or corrugated glass so what’s inside doesn’t read as visually noisy clutter. And that said also, do store items inside glass cabinets in an attractive manner to keep up with a sense of everyday elegance no matter how busy you are.
SMART STORAGE SOLUTIONS
No matter the size of your kitchen, at some point or another, we all need smart storage solutions to make cooking and hosting all the easier. And when it comes to galley kitchen ideas, brilliant storage solutions will pay off big time.
In fact, besides the budget you have to work with and the style of kitchen you have in mind, your approach to storage is crucial in creating a working kitchen that’ll keep you inspired and stress-free.
Another design hack when it comes to modern galley kitchen ideas is to go for contrasting cabinetry for a warm play on juxtapositions. To get the look right and keep it easy on the eye, opt for darker lower cabinets and lighter upper ones.
This will, in turn, keep the eye moving up and will make your ceilings and floor space appear much larger than they are. And there’s no denying how striking this contemporary take on kitchen cabinetry will look for years to come.
OPT FOR MINIMALISM
When it comes to realizing any challengingly small space, almost nothing comes as easy as a room-defining take on the serene simplicity of minimalism. And a galley kitchen is the perfect spot to stick to a pared down, clean sensibility.
But since its a kitchen, we aren’t simply talking about clean and clinical minimalism. Instead, go for a black, gray, and white color scheme, unadorned flat-front kitchen cabinets, and sleek and smooth surfaces and finishes.
KEEP THE COLOR SCHEME CALMING
Just like with contrasting kitchen cabinets, a cool color scheme will certainly help you make the most of timeless galley kitchen ideas with a slight nod to retro charm.
Think matte pastels like mint, light sage, berry, and even a watery pink for a more modern feel and go for a boldly patterned floor to add an eclectic feel and a spirited energy to your small galley kitchen. This way, you won’t have to veer too far off into the experimental while still getting to rejoice in the joy of color.
LIMIT UPPER CABINETS
A galley kitchen runs the risk of feeling closed in and one of the best ways to ensure this doesn’t happen in your home is to limit the number of upper cabinets you have installed along on the wall. Limiting your upper cabinets to one wall of your kitchen will ensure it doesn’t feel closed off and limited in space – this idea will open up your kitchen, helping it feel as wide as possible while lending the feeling of additional space.
Of course, it should go without saying that anything you can do to create the feeling of space with your galley kitchen ideas will work to your benefit. And by skipping out on a wall of upper cabinets, you’ll effectively resize and maximize your kitchen space.
OPEN KITCHEN SHELVING
Another way to make your galley kitchen feel more spacious is to invest in open shelving. Open shelving negates the need for kitchen cabinetry, which allows you to open up your kitchen, and give it a more spacious feel. Choose your open shelving well and allow it to blend seamlessly with your kitchen – say, white or glass shelving on a white wall so it doesn’t stand out too much – this will give the feeling of as much space as possible, at the same time as providing you with plenty of storage space.
Open kitchen shelving also makes for a stylish feature to highlight your galley kitchen decor. Just be sure that you keep the less attractive kitchen essentials out of sight underneath and stored away.
Glossy surfaces are a godsend in a galley kitchen, reflecting light and helping to brighten up your space. Allowing natural light to bounce around your galley kitchen will help your space feel as large as possible while opening it up. You have so many options when it comes to glossy surfaces in kitchens, from tiles to backsplashes to countertops to kitchen cabinets, there is so much opportunity for light reflection when it comes to standard kitchen elements.
You can go for a light colored countertop and glossy grey cabinetry, the light reflecting properties of the darker kitchen cabinetry will stop it from feeling too moody.
Don’t make the mistake of suffering from a badly lit kitchen (there is nothing worse than fighting with a lack of light in a galley kitchen). A lot of galley kitchen designs don’t provide the luxury of natural light, so you will need to overcome that by ensuring it is well lit.
This might mean choosing some new light fittings that provide plenty of illumination or investing in some under-counter lighting to keep your countertops brightly lit. If you are doing a complete galley kitchen remodel, then it might be a good chance to add in some more ceiling lights as well.
White is known for its light reflecting properties and its ability to make a room feel larger, lighter, and airier. White walls, white countertops, white kitchen units, and white flooring will come together to create a galley kitchen space that feels as spacious as it possibly can.
Add some character and interest with your accessories – interestingly shaped handles, bold fixtures, fittings, and kitchen appliances in vibrant colors will all work together to create a galley kitchen design that will feel spatial and full of personality at once.
Never underestimate the power of clear countertops in a galley kitchen – there isn’t a single option on this list of galley kitchen ideas which works better to create the feeling of space, then keeping your countertops clear. If your countertops are cluttered, they’ll immediately make your space feel smaller, shrinking your kitchen. If you don’t have space for all your things, then it’s time for a proper edit or time for some more storage ideas.
You may need to pop some more shelving up or sort your kitchen out with some clever storage options to get some of that clutter off of your surfaces. You’ll be surprised at how much more visual space a clear surface will create and how much more open and spacious your kitchen will feel as a result.
OPEN UP YOUR SPACE
Think about ways to re-work your galley kitchen designs to open up the space. Is there a wall you can knock out? Or even a portion of a wall? Even opening up a small section of space can work wonders in a galley kitchen remodel – letting in some light, breaking up the space and doing something a little different with your kitchen will immediately help your kitchen to feel much more open.
It might be that you need to change the order of your kitchen units and think about where you place your appliances, but with a bit of thought, your kitchen will feel opened up in no time.
ENRICH A KITCHEN WALL
If your galley kitchen is closed off at one end, make an impact with your galley kitchen decor and make a feature out of it. If you can’t remove the wall, then you be keen to embrace it. Chalkboard paint is a fun and useful way to make the most of a kitchen wall, enabling you to write shopping lists and weekly menus on the wall, or give the kids a space to sketch while you are busy cooking.
You might want to fill your wall with art, to liven up your kitchen, or create a wall of striking plants to make your galley kitchen feel as warm and inviting of a small space as possible.
TALL KITCHEN CABINETS
Tall kitchen cabinets that extend to the ceiling wasting no space ahead will provide plenty of additional storage in a galley kitchen, enabling you to put everything away in a cupboard, so you don’t have to leave anything out on the surfaces. Storage solutions are often a problem in a smaller kitchen and providing as much storage space in a kitchen like this will prove vital.
Put your lesser used items on the top shelf, so you don’t have to keep clambering up to get things all the time. And invest in a step stool to make accessing items on the higher shelves much easier. We like how the kitchen above kept the look of its extended cabinets light with glass panels for an airier look.
MOVE THE KITCHEN SINK
In a galley kitchen, the best place for the sink is almost always at the end. If your sink isn’t already situated here, then if it’s possible, consider moving your sink to the end of your galley kitchen to make the best use of this challengingly small kitchen style.
It will make the space feel wider as there is a wide focal point at the end of the room and it doesn’t take away from your preparation and storage space, which is best on the sides of your kitchen space. No matter where you place your kitchen sink, it’ll be best situated where it’ll be less obstructive to your counter space flow.
In a smaller galley kitchen, basket storage is a smart, stylish, and affordable solution that is also easy to source. With these, you can easily access storage and your most frequently used items by storing all related items in one basket to make them easy to put away and find.
Plus, to save time, you can then remove the entire basket containing the items and pieces you need and take it with you to the other end of the kitchen to use. This enables you to keep everything tidy when you are using your galley kitchen, as well as when you aren’t using it since pieces will be easy to put away since they have a designated area.