A galley kitchen is extremely versatile and can be adjusted to any style and size of a kitchen. It is made of two parallel lines of units with a corridor running in-between.
In addition, many professional chefs favor this type of a kitchen, thanks to safety and efficiency it provides when cooking. Te very name of this kitchen layout derives from the compact galley on ships – the galley design optimizes space by incorporating the large number of storage furniture and sufficient work area, which makes it perfect for compact and medium-sized kitchen, although – as we mentioned before – this kind of layout is so versatile that it will suit every size of the room.
Should you be considering a kitchen remodel that would include a galley layout or you just want to bolster your present design, we have condensed all the necessary information in our in-depth guide. Here’s what to do:
Adjust the layout to space
Galley kitchen can work with medium-sized kitchens as well, albeit they work best with small cooking areas. If on the other hand, you decide to go for a galley in the medium-sized kitchen, you have to make sure that the opposing lines aren’t too far from one another, since the kitchen will lose its efficiency for the sake of extra, irrelevant space.
In a closed-plan space, a galley layout will not be the most sociable place, as there are no possibilities for opening up the area. With that said, if you’re not a professional cook and you fancy hosting guests in the kitchen, the galley layout may disappoint you because it was genuinely invented to meet the needs of ship cooks. Fortunately, if you are given the courtesy of having an open-plan space, you will be able to have everything at once.
Choose the look o your galley
As far as the look of a galley is concerned, there are to major layout schemes:
- Symmetrical: This means that the length of the lines runs on each side to create a mirror reflection of one another. The symmetry level is up to your preferences.
- Asymmetrical: There are a couple of approaches you can use to create an asymmetrical galley kitchen. One of them entails installing tall cabinets and appliances banks on one side of the area and wall entities on the other. If you don’t like this idea, you can opt for a mix of wall and tall units along one side and base entities on the other – this solution is common for open-plan rooms, in particular
Devote one wall for tall cabinets
If a kitchen galley is to be designed in one of the ways illustrated above, you should go for a wall length (or 12 feet at the minimum) to make the sink and cooktop be put in a way that allows enough between the items. You can also choose the option with cabinets or drawers below the range, which is required for drawers to ensure room for all the major appliances.
The last but not least, 12 feet of space allows enough room for the entities on the opposite line, which is the fridge, pantry storage, and oven housing, for instance. Such a composition ensures abundant storage space, which will help you maintain the neatness of the room and keep your countertops decluttered.
Break up the lines
For asymmetrical units, you may want to embrace the one side of your kitchen with tall and base units along one wall. It’s advisable to place three tall cabinets at one end of the kitchen and three base entities a the other. Above the base units, many homeowners prefer installing floating shelves, a window or wall units above the base ones. On the opposite side, wall units, a window or even a plain wall will be welcome.
Such schemes work exceptionally well with narrow kitchens, as the space would feel too enclosed, but for a tall bank of units.
Don’t neglect your galley’s corridor
Galley kitchens usually come in two ways, one of which involves the far end leading to another room or the outdoors, and the latter has the galley closed off at one end.
If you have a big family living in your house, you will experience a lot of traffic in the area near the kitchen and, believe me, you don’t want your children to be running around the room when you’re holding a chef’s knife in your hand.
In order to avoid such a situation, it’s best to design your kitchen layout in a way that will entail installing the sink and cooktop on one run. This will help you focus the appliances in one area, without worrying about turning to the opposing line with dangerous utensils in your grip.
Make use of the closed-off wall
A galley kitchen that has one end closed off is definitely a safer layout, as there is only one entrance, so the cook is provided with the greater awareness of the traffic within the area. However, there is one certain flaw that haunts the owners of a closed-off galley kitchen, which is the closed-off wall. You can install a window here, to let the natural light in or you may very wall paint it with a chalkboard paint. Moreover, open shelving and an appealing painting also come in handy. One of the less common, yet still practical, solution is to place a mirror on the wall. Not only will it make the room appear more spacious (an exemplary way to bolster the size of a small kitchen), but you will also be able to see the smile on your face, which indicates how awesome a cook you are.
Install an island within your galley
As for enclosed kitchens, we’ve already mentioned that they are not the most sociable arrangement, albeit its praised functionality. If you have a kitchen that is capacious enough, you may want to consider installing an island.
You can replace one of your runs with an island that will be parallel to the longer line of entities and has either the range or the sink accommodated. Whichever appliance you will choose, keep in mind that it’s better to have it staggered on the opposing run, instead of having it directly opposite. Should you want to know the reason behind this move, it’s very simple – it will reduce the amount of turning around between the sink and stove.
Make your galley more sociable
As mentioned before, closed-off kitchen galleys don’t belong to the most sociable arrangement. Given this, many homeowners marvel at the possible ways of adding an island without losing the additional work surface to the clutter. This is particularly useful for people who bake a lot of home and like to use the area for rolling pastry.
If you want to kill to birds with one stone, you should opt for an island that will be installed in the corner of your closed-off galley. Such island will allow your children to take their time and get absorbed by whichever activity apart from interrupting your food prep and cooking. In addition, it will make a social heart of the kitchen for your guest, come unexpected party.
Remember about seating
Sometimes, there will be space for a cozy breakfast bar in a galley, so you should maximize the arranging possibilities such a layout provides. Keep your peninsula fully clear of the cooking area and add seating on its far side.
Should you look for adding a table between the two runs of your kitchen, it can work but be careful when you’re planning the space, as the work surfaces will be driven too far apart, making the area significantly lose its efficiency.
If you don’t have enough counter space in your galley, you can use a small cart as an extra labor surface.
Avoid the “corridor” effect
Speaking of a galley layout, you may be frantic about making the kitchen feel tight and crowded. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this problem.
Try to break the unity of tall units by adding shelves or wall entities – they will help you open up the space. Picking the right furniture is also of the essence, as high-gloss finishes in unsaturated hues are a bliss or reflecting light and taking the sense of space to the whole new level. If you’re shopping for doors, choose the ones bared of handles; they will add a touch of tidiness and will take up less space than the doors equipped with handles.
Lastly, you will have to focus on lighting. Opt for oversized lamps, for they soften the kitchen’s appeal and make the room look more spacious.
The eleventh commandment: Thou shall not design a galley without completing this guide
Overall, designing a kitchen galley that will not only be functional but will also have ‘the eye of the tiger’ is easy only at face value. In fact, it is easier said than done, as a galley layout is very specific, albeit its versatility. First of all, you should adjust the layout to your kitchen measurements. After that, decide on the galley look – do you want it to be symmetrical or is symmetry something you desperately want to break? If yes, mix the cabinets of different heights along one run and wall units on the other.
Play with tall cabinets or break up the run, with regards to your needs. Working with a galley corridor (which depends on whether the galley of yours is closed off or open to other rooms) can do the wonders, too. Should your design be closed-off, you may well use the free wall to convert it to the layers of open shelving, hang a nice painting, install a window, or create a chalkboard wall, with which you will provide space for sticky notes, recipes etc.
If that doesn’t satisfy your needs and you happen to have a large kitchen, consider installing an island that will either replace one run of cabinets and drawers or stand on the very far end of the galley. The latter works exceptionally well with big families, as it creates social space in the arrangement that is not dedicated for gatherings. If your kitchen provides enough room for seating, don’t hesitate to add it to the layout – sometimes, you will need to take a break from cooking and unwind with a generous cup of coffee.
Well, having considered all pros and cons of having a galley kitchen in your house, it is high time you made a final decision – do you want to make a significant shift in your food prep and cooking area or you’d rather stay on the traditional course?