Galley kitchen ideas: how to design a narrow kitchen
Galley kitchens can be a challenge but with a little careful planning and the right layout and design, you can have a stylish, practical workspace in no time
Long and narrow, galley kitchens are often dismissed as tricky to work in and even more difficult to plan. Yet by choosing the right appliances and using some clever interior design tricks, you can easily make the space more accessible, as well as lighter and brighter, too.
Read on to discover the best way to lay out a narrow kitchen, plus our favourite galley kitchen ideas!
What are the advantages of a galley kitchen?
Although galley kitchens are often small, they do have many advantages. The main upside of having a galley kitchen is that because base cabinets run along either one wall or two in parallel – think ship’s galleys – there is less space to walk around, and therefore everything will remain within easy reach.
Galley kitchens are also particularly handy for those who lead a busy lifestyle because they take minimal time to clean and organise, without awkward corners or islands to collect clutter.
Best galley kitchen ideas
Install a curved breakfast bar
Try to slot in a curved breakfast bar when there’s no space for a kitchen table. Simply pop a couple of bar stools underneath for an instant dining space that adds extra shape and character to a linear space.
Choose clever kitchen storage
Incorporate clever storage solutions beneath bench seating and surrounding areas, making sure to keep an open feeling by limiting the number of wall units within the space. Wall-hung storage saves on valuable floor space.
Hang feature blinds
Draw the eye to a window at one end of the room with a vibrant blind, as this will help to elongate the space. It can also add a splash of colour or an on-trend pattern or print, which will be quick and easy to swap when you fancy a change.
Choose task lighting
Angled, adjustable or task lights lights work well over worktops and preparation space.
Create a feature wall
Inject some colour and personality into a dark, narrow kitchen with a feature wall. Add a couple of floating shelves and display your favourite cookbooks, ceramics or potted plants.
Choose handleless cabinets
Handleless cabinets are great for galley kitchens, as they offer a seamless finish that helps enhance a sense of increased space.
Sleek slab doors without handles will give the kitchen a fuss-free look that is also easier to keep clean.
Add bar stools
Pop a couple of bar stools under a worktop overhang for an instant breakfast bar. Choose comfy weathered oak for a rustic farmhouse feel.
Opt for light cabinets
Choose light-coloured cabinets to enhance a feeling of space then add depth by using a darker finish for worktops, splashbacks and side panels.
Create a seating nook
Building a small seating nook into surrounding units can really maximise the area and positioning a small table in front can create a versatile and functional feature.
Choose slimline appliances
Slimline appliances will make the most of every inch. A single zone undercounter wine cabinet like this one is only 145mm wide but has room for eight bottles as well as LED lighting, wooden racks, LED display and reversible door.
Add quirky accessories
Just because you're working with a small space doesn't mean it should be boring. Bring your personality into the kitchen with quirky tea towels and prints. Use retro-style tins and pots to store cutlery and utensils.
Try built in appliances
Built-in appliances are the ideal solution for galley kitchens, as they create a sleek and streamlined environment while freeing up plenty of space to enjoy family meals and entertaining. Installing ovens at eye level is not only kinder on the back but also prevents anyone from walking into the oven door when open.
Opt for a space saving radiator
Vertical radiators save valuable wall space while an unusual design adds interest and helps add personality to the room.
Choose pale flooring
Pale toned flooring will give the room an open feel and draw in the natural sunlight from outside – you’d be surprised what a difference flooring laying patterns make.
Use open shelves instead of wall units, which can make a galley kitchen feel cramped and closed-in. Raw oak shelves have an industrial feel and could be used for spices, jars and cherished ceramics. For a more modern feel, opt for high gloss white or metallic shelves.