Galley kitchens were the standard for many homes built during the pre- and post-war eras. Even homes that opened up slightly into a kitchen eating area or a full dining room were often designed with a galley-type layout, characterized by a narrow corridor, with appliances, and countertops flanking each side.
While it's true that open floor plans are the trend in contemporary home design, there are plenty of ways you can optimize an existing galley kitchen floor plan to enjoy a spacious, stylish design with plenty of room for storage and food prep.
5 Tips For a Stylish Galley Kitchen Design
Here are some tips to think about as you brainstorm design ideas for your galley kitchen.
Remove a wall section
If removing the wall to create an open floor plan isn't an option, it may still be possible to remove part of a wall. For example, if one walled-end of your galley kitchen is adjacent to a dining room, a doorway between the two will add light to the kitchen and give the eyes a greater range of view. Even if the kitchen is adjacent to a hallway, another entry/exit point can't hurt and it can add light to either of the spaces, depending on which one is the most naturally illuminated.
Think small but mighty
Some galley kitchen designs are quite large, in which case a small peninsula or narrow kitchen islands may still be a potential. Most of the time, however, galley kitchens are on the smaller side. For this reason, it's worth it to consider the design tricks that make a small kitchen seem larger.
Things like removing unnecessary soffits and taking your cabinetry all the way up to the ceiling can make a big difference in how your galley layout looks and functions. Color combinations, the lighting plan and smart storage go a long way when it comes to smaller or narrower kitchen designs.
Functional drawer pulls
Drawer pulls can add a powerful visual punch to your design but they're also functional. In a galley kitchen, we recommend installing at least a couple of thoughtfully placed linear drawer pulls which can double as dish towel hangars during busy kitchen sessions. While linear drawer pulls are typically thought of as modern or transitional, there are plenty of ways to mix-and-match them with other styles so they don't look out of place.
Interior designers strive to strike a balance. This balance relates to colors, contrasts, textures and patterns. In the case of a galley kitchen, which is linear by nature, round or curved features can help to balance the straight edges and corners that are inescapable.
Examples can include things like a rounded furniture-like pedestal supporting the edge of a countertop end - using some of the space beneath for open shelving with an arched accent piece at the top. Maybe your hood can boast some rounded or flared accents. In this Vintage Hazelnut Kitchen, the rounded faucet and the slightly arched wood panel above the window adds a softer, rounder contrast to all the square corners.
Celebrate the work triangle
Typically, a galley kitchen will need to adhere to the kitchen work triangle concept in order to be functional. If your kitchen is large enough, you may be able to implement a kitchen island for part of this. If not, consider placing the stovetop/oven and sink on the same side of the kitchen since this can make clean-up more efficient.
Visit the design team at Kitchen Magic for more ideas about how you can make the most of your own galley kitchen design.