15 Gorgeous Galley Kitchens to Inspire You

If you thought you couldn't get creative in a tiny kitchen, think again.

A galley kitchen, one with two parallel counters, is a classic design that has survived for decades. While it’s often the most efficient setup for a kitchen with limited square footage, it works just as well with some additional space, too.

We’ve combed through Instagram to find our top 15 eye-catching galley kitchens, each bursting with great ideas to steal for your own home.

Wall of Windows

It might be worth it to forego some cabinet space if you’re able to create a similar wall of windows in your own kitchen. In this example, the homeowners made up for the loss of storage by taking the cabinets all the way up the ceiling on the opposite wall.

Undercover Cabinets

In this sleek galley kitchen, the cabinets almost fade into the background. Without any cabinet hardware, you can recreate a similar look in your own space. The beautiful skylight and bright, white color makes this space feel much larger.

Unexpected Color

This light teal color is not one you often find in a kitchen, but in this gorgeous example, it really helps the smaller space stand out. Using a narrow console table and stools as a breakfast bar is a genius solution for a more narrow kitchen. The art and rug instantly help the space feel more cozy.

Go for the Gold

If you want to "up" the glam factor in your galley kitchen, consider using hammered gold cabinets like they did in this space. While it makes a bold statement, it could work really well in an especially tight space. Also notice how the rest of the space is simple and neutral to offset the bold gold color.

Simple + Gray

Using all one color is another great approach. Even the countertop choice echoes the gray tonal color of the walls. The single color helps the kitchen feel very pulled together.


Shiplap is a material that often shows up in barns or older homes, but it’s also a great choice to use in a smaller galley kitchen. You can choose to use shiplap on just the walls or take it all the way up to the ceiling as they did here.

Bold Tile

Using a colorful or bold pattern tile on your floor is a great way to add some visual interest. If you have a limited amount of floor space, it’s an especially fun spot to experiment with. You might also be able to splurge a bit more on tile if you’re covering a smaller number of square feet.

Wide Open Spaces

While we typically think of galley kitchens as a choice for smaller homes or tight spaces, the design is so functional it’s often chosen for homes with larger spaces as well. In this example, the galley kitchen is huge with a large open space between the two parallel counters. They even managed to fit in a wood burning fireplace!

Chevron Floor

If you’re gun shy about using a bold tile but would still like to make a statement with the floor in your kitchen, consider using more traditional wood flooring but laying it in an unusual pattern. This chevron patterned floor veers from the typical vertical plank pattern used with wood flooring, so it’s a great way to make your space stand out.

Built-In Shelving

In this tight space, the homeowners make excellent use of the opposite wall with a custom shelving solution that works perfectly with their space and provides a ton of extra storage.


There’s no rule that says that you have to use the same color for each side of your kitchen. In this example, the homeowners have created some additional visual interest by using a darker color on one side of their space. By choosing a color in the same tonal family, you can keep your space looking cohesive.

Extra-Tall Windows

If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, think about adding an extra tall window to your galley kitchen. In this example, the window height brings extra light into the small space, making it feel open and spacious.

Dark Cabinets + Graphic Flooring

If traditional, white kitchens feel a bit “been there, done that” to you, it might be time to go dark. In this kitchen, the navy cabinets and black-and-white, graphic floor are a fun surprise. The white backsplash, countertops and banquette balance the dark colors perfectly.

Light Wood

Another unexpected choice for a galley kitchen is to use woods that are lighter in color. In this example, the floor is a light, pickled-white hue and is paired with light wood cabinetry. The lighter woods pair well with the black accents of the space, including the windows.

Vintage Rug

This stunning vintage rug works perfectly in this bright, white kitchen. Using a traditional, non-kitchen rug is one of my favorite ways to bring some personality and uniqueness to a space. For tighter spaces, runners are a perfect choice.

Before + After Galley Kitchen Remodels

See All Photos

5 Galley Kitchen Makeovers

Previously dark, dated and cramped, these five galley-style kitchens are now bright, modern and functional. Browse the before-and-after photos, and learn how the designers overhauled these spaces.

From: Anjie Cho

Before: Cramped Quarters

This Brooklyn kitchen was so small it could only fit one. The owner wanted to be able to entertain in her kitchen and talk to guests while cooking. She also wanted more space for counters, kitchenware and – believe it or not – food.

Photo By: Anjie Cho

After: Entertaining Kitchen

Designer Anjie Cho removed the wall between kitchen and living room and added a peninsula with overhang for seating. The move gave more space to the galley, allowing the kitchen to be wrapped around the seating area for added room next to the table. 

From: Anjie Cho

Before: Colorless Cooking Space

The kitchen in this Lexington home ”was so dark, even though it was all white,” recalls Anjie Cho. “It was bleak, outdated and just sad looking.”

Photo By: Anjie Cho

After: Warm and Open

Walls between the kitchen and hallway and the kitchen and dining room were removed, the range was moved and an island was added for family meals. “This family of four was thrilled to have their kitchen open out to the dining area with a large peninsula,” Cho reports. 

From: Anjie Cho

Photo By: Anjie Cho

Before: Stuck in the '60s

A 1960-era home featured a dark, claustrophobic kitchen. The sight lines to the family room were severely limited by the kitchen’s upper cabinets.

  1. kitchens

Photo By: Jennifer Allison

After: Bright and Contemporary

Designer Jennifer Allison shortened the height of the upper cabinets to improve sight lines, extended the peninsula and infused the kitchen with much lighter colors. Thermador appliances, Silestone counters, Houzer sink and Delta Touch-free faucet added to the modern flair.

Photo By: Jaime Solano Photography; Design By: Jennifer Allison

Before: Inefficient Layout

The original kitchen was long and narrow, with a short L that wasn’t utilized. The kitchen suffered from minimal lighting, poor ventilation and inadequate storage.

Photo By: Jeannine Williams Design

After: Added Square Footage

Commandeering four square feet of floor space from an adjacent room created a larger, more squarely-shaped space. Jeannine Williams Design installed new ductwork to improve ventilation and rewired the space to increase lighting and services. Doubled storage space includes a new island.

Photo By: SBM Photography, New York; Design By: Jeannine Williams Design

Before: Lacking Personality

The kitchen suffered from virtually every shortcoming imaginable, from cramped quarters to tight counter space, odd configuration and lack of light. The most important quality missing, though, was personality.

Photo By: Gayler Construction

After: A Whole New Layout

Useless walls enclosing tight spaces were removed to provide welcome openness. Gayler Construction added custom millwork to lend sparkle and distinctiveness. The result is a cohesive, light, airy and far more functional space.

Photo By: Gayler Construction

Keep Reading

Next Up

Our Top 15 Instagram Hashtags for Design Inspo

Source your design inspiration from people all over the world.

Don't Forget the Fifth Wall! Ceiling Design Ideas to Inspire

Every room has one, so why not dress it up?

How to Get in on the Urban Boho Trend

 It's just like boho...but more sophisticated.

5 Reasons You Need to Print Your Photos Again

Don't let those precious memories get lost in your phone's camera roll.

40+ Ways to Turn Any Space Into a Dream Craft Room

Learn how to turn any room into an inspirational crafting studio.

5 Trends We Can't Wait to Say Goodbye to In 2017

See which design trends our editors are ready to see phased out in the new year.

8 Home Office Design Hacks You Need to Try

Check out this round-up of some of our favorite home office design hacks to help you take your space from “meh” to “wow!”

Death to Mason Jars! Lili and Meg Call It Quits on This Long-Lasting Trend

In the latest episode of your favorite new web series, Design Goals, Meg and Lili stir up a little controversy and share a DIY fail.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts