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Galley Kitchen Designs

Galley kitchens emerged from the kitchen layout used on ships or trains, which was designed to fit into small areas with the ability to accommodate multiple cooks. Due to the efficiency of its layout, it soon became a preferred layout for professional chefs and amatuer cooks alike.

Galley kitchens consist of two parallel counters with a corridor running down the middle. Appliances are generally split up between the two sides, creating an effective work triangle. Galley layouts work best for small kitchens, but they can be adapted for larger areas as well.

Read through our guide to familiarize yourself with the varying design options for galley kitchens and select one that fits your space the best. If you're considering renovating your kitchen, be sure to check out our extensive selection of kitchen cabinets. With a versatile selection of styles and colors, we have cabinets fit for any type of kitchen redesign. For more reading, visit our glossary page definition on corridor kitchens.

Galley Kitchen Layouts

There are a few size and layout options for designing a galley kitchen, which are mainly based off of the full layout of your home. If you have a larger kitchen area to work with, you may want to consider creating a galley kitchen with an island to keep it open. If your kitchen is between two rooms or attached to an exterior door, you may want to consider spacing the two countertops farther apart to accommodate extra traffic.

Galley kitchens typically have the sink and refrigerator on one side, while the stove and oven are on the other side. This layout helps keep prep work more streamlined with the ability to travel back and forth between the refrigerator and sink with minimal effort. If possible, it's recommended to place the refrigerator close to the entryway to make the process of putting groceries away easier.

Another good option for galley kitchens is to integrate a window or cutaway into another room. This creates a more spacious feel and doesn't leave the chef in the kitchen isolated from the rest of the house. Check our our pros and cons of each type of galley kitchen to learn more about what will best suit your space.

Symmetrical

symmetrical galley kitchen layout
symmetrical galley kitchen layout animation

Layout Tips

The symmetrical galley layout is defined as having each side be as congruent as possible to the other. That means that both sides will have the same cabinetry set up with the countertops running the same length. The main difference between the two sides will be splitting up the sink, refrigerator and stove which should each be no more than eight feet apart from each other.

A symmetrical layout works well in larger kitchens because you won't need to worry about creating a more spacious feel, but you may want more versatility if you have limited space. If you have a kitchen with limited space, you'll want to consider having an asymmetrical design so that you can have counters of differing length or cabinets that varying shapes and sizes. This will help you to create a more strategic design that works with the space you have.

Asymmetrical

asymmetrical galley kitchen layout
asymmetrical galley kitchen layout animation

Layout Tips

The asymmetrical galley kitchen has a few options. You have the option differentiate the lengths of the countertops, having one run longer than the other. This is a good option if you want to create space for your dining area next to the shorter counter. You can also change the cabinetry set up by adding full wall cabinets to one side and open shelving on the other side. An asymmetrical layout is perfect for small kitchens where you need flexibility, allowing you to break up the counters and cabinets if needed.

Galley Kitchen with Island

galley kitchen with island
galley kitchen with island animation

Layout Tips

A galley kitchen with a long island works great for larger kitchens, which have an abundance of open space. Adding a long kitchen island keeps the open layout feel while giving you additional work space. Consider installing your sink or stove top in the island to break up the workflow and make maneuvering between appliances easier. Having an island in your galley kitchen may force you to sacrifice storage space, so consider this option only if you have full-wall cabinets on one side or if you are open to having minimal storage space.

Storage and Lighting

galley kitchen storage and lighting
galley kitchen storage and lighting animation

Layout Tips

Since a galley kitchen can be constraining, it's best to add storage that creates an open and airy feel. Try adding floating shelves above your counter or install sleek and minimalist cabinets. It can also be helpful to use light color pairings and try ambient lighting such as under cabinet lighting and recessed lighting. Light or monochromatic paint colors on your cabinets or light-colored flooring can give the illusion of more space.

If cooking is a passion of yours and you're looking to create a layout that works well for prep work, then a galley kitchen could be the best layout for your redesign. If you're interested in more inspiration for your next kitchen remodel, check out our kitchen lighting ideas. We cover everything you need to know about adding new lighting to your culinary space to help you create the perfect ambience in your kitchen.

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