10 Tips for Planning a Galley Kitchen – A galley kitchen consists of two parallel runs of units forming a central corridor in which to work. The galley layout works well for all kitchen styles; it’s also the preferred design of many professional chefs, who love it because it enhances safety and efficiency during cooking. Just like the compact galley on ships, for which the layout is named, galley designs optimize space by packing in an abundance of storage and work area, making them ideal for small kitchens. If you’re considering a galley layout or revamping one you have, here’s what you need to know.
Also know that a galley layout, while ideal on a professional level, is usually an enclosed space without a dining area. That means that if there’s no possibility of opening up the space, it’s potentially not the most sociable of arrangements. On the other hand, a galley layout in an open-plan space can offer the best of both worlds. (Read on for details about galley kitchens with islands.)
How to plan the right kitchen layout for you
Finally, 12 feet allows space for the units on the opposite run — the fridge, oven housing and pantry storage, for example. This arrangement provides ample storage space, helping keep the kitchen tidy and the countertops free of clutter.
This arrangement works really well if the kitchen is quite narrow, since without a tall bank of units as you enter the kitchen, the space will feel more open.
Depending on the number of people in your household, this may not be a problem, but if you have small children or pets, you won’t want them charging through the kitchen while you’re holding a sharp knife or a pan of boiling water.
You can enhance the safety of your layout — particularly where the corridor is very narrow — by planning your kitchen with the sink and cooktop on the same run. Though less efficient than having those features opposite each other, this arrangement focuses your appliances in one area, so you won’t have to turn to the opposing run with potentially dangerous items in your hands.
Alternatively, there might be room for some open shelving, a nice painting or perhaps a family-friendly chalkboard wall, as seen here, which can be used for playful drawings and notes or for shopping or to-do lists.
The clever use of the mirror in this compact kitchen is also worth noting; it creates the impression of a bigger space.
In this kitchen, the island replaces one of the runs to become part of the kitchen layout and functionality. It sits parallel to the longer run of units and typically houses either the range or the sink. Whichever of those is not positioned in the island would be staggered on the opposing run rather than directly opposite. This staggering is safer and more efficient during cooking, because it reduces the amount of turning required between the sink and stove.
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This was part of the goal for the kitchen seen here, which was designed for a professional recipe developer who worked from home. Her kitchen also had to accommodate the needs of her husband and two young children, and the seating on the far side of the island helps with this, keeping the kids safely clear of the cooking area but ensuring a more sociable arrangement than a standard galley would have.
If there’s space to add a table between the opposing runs of your galley kitchen, this can sometimes work. However, you need to be careful when planning the space, because if it pushes your work surfaces too far apart, they’ll be much less efficient.
Adding a small cart as an extra work surface might be an effective alternative, although in most cases there’s sufficient counter space in a galley to eliminate the need for this — unless it’s a specialized addition such as a butcher block.
As already mentioned, losing the continuity of tall units in favor of wall units or shelving will help open up the space. The choice of furniture also helps: High-gloss finishes in pale colors are best for reflecting light and enhancing a sense of space. Similarly, doors and drawers without handles give a clean look and take up less physical space than handled ones.
Finally, lighting is key. Well-placed and oversized lighting will soften the kitchen’s look and create the impression of more space.