Small Galley Kitchen Design

Get inspiration for a small galley kitchen design, and prepare to add an efficient and attractive design to your kitchen space.
White Galley Kitchen

White Galley Kitchen

A narrow kitchen with yellow laminate flooring has grey built-in wall cabinets and matching cabinets under white countertops. A single ceiling light illuminates the room.

A narrow kitchen with yellow laminate flooring has grey built-in wall cabinets and matching cabinets under white countertops. A single ceiling light illuminates the room.

By: Sean McEvoy

Many of today's homes feature large kitchens that serve as spaces for cooking, cleaning and gathering. If your home is a cozier affair with a more efficient kitchen, you may want to consider options for small galley kitchen design.

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By following a few simple guidelines, you should be able to make a smaller galley kitchen space seem larger and function more efficiently.

Galley kitchen design features a few common components, and chief among them is the traditional layout for a galley kitchen—these kitchen designs generally feature a narrow passage situated between two parallel walls. Normally, one wall features cooking components including the stove and any other smaller ovens, as well as storage elements. The opposite wall is usually home to the sink and any other cleaning fixtures, plus more storage. Smaller galley kitchens generally cut out the otherwise occasionally featured island between the two walls, as this can be an impediment to movement within a particularly small space.

A Guide to Kitchen Layouts

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If you're designing a small galley kitchen or looking to remodel an existing one, it's likely that job one for you will be to maximize the space you have to work with. Kitchen lore states that the ideal width of a galley kitchen aisle is approximately 4 to 6 feet—but whether your small galley kitchen is dead on with that measurement or even smaller, you can create a more efficient space and also add design features that can expand the area visually.

There are plenty of tricks that can help you expand the appearance of depth, height and width in your kitchen, and the best way to start is at the bottom. Firstly, make sure that floor boards run lengthwise, to create the illusion of a longer kitchen space. If you plan to feature a backsplash or other wall design, consider arranging the tiles in opposition to the floorboards' orientation—this will help to create the illusion of depth in the space. Finally, consider raising cabinets or appliances off the floor—if they're flush, the entire space will seem shorter, but raising them slightly will give the appearance of a space with more height.

You can also consider hiding appliances entirely, behind cabinets or with paneling that mimics the look of your cabinet design. Clean lines give the impression of a larger space, whereas multiple appliances arrayed throughout the space can make it seem cluttered. The note about clean lines can apply to cabinets as well—you'll want to keep these as simple and unadorned as possible, since any intricate designs may serve to crowd the space.

When it comes to color schemes for your small galley kitchen, light and bright is a great idea—lighter colors tend to open up spaces, whereas darker ones create a cozy feel but can make a small space feel claustrophobic.

Finally, consider adding efficient storage options like lazy Susans, cabinet door organizers and tall pantry storage to your small galley kitchen. This will help ensure that everything you have to store is close at hand but organized efficiently behind closed doors.

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