Form AND Function in a Galley Kitchen



What do you think of when you hear the words “galley kitchen?” For me, I picture a literal galley kitchen – a small hole of a hallway on a boat. This may have been true years ago, as the original galley kitchens, but many of today’s galley kitchens bear no resemblance to a pinched little cooking corner. They are still a functional hallway layout, but they are so much more than that. Today’s galley kitchen is often stylish and spacious and a chef’s heaven.

Below are some examples of galley kitchens today that seamlessly merge the functionality of a galley layout with the aesthetic form of art. Check them out:


In this contemporary galley kitchen, clean, straight lines abound. Chunky yet minimalistic open shelving draws the eye seamlessly down through the length of the space. It is on this visual journey that we begin to notice the interesting architecture – planked ceiling over half of the kitchen and open airspace over the other half. Walls and flooring is a charcoal color, which, paired with a light neutral color palette of the cabinetry seems to expand the space overall.


In this monochromatic space, upper cabinets reach almost (but not quite) to the ceiling, which creates depth and lessens a “boxy” feel. Long vertical cupboard handles add height and make the space feel taller and larger. Neutral-hued natural wood brings the entire space together, and the transom paired with the glass doors provide, literally, a “light at the end of a tunnel.” (Albeit a wonderfully bright, clean, and modern-earthy tunnel.)


This is a pretty narrow kitchen, as far as galley kitchens go, and yet the function is maximized fully. The “work triangle” layout (including the sink, range, and fridge) allows for easy food prep, including a small counter space between the sink and fridge to set items. Bottom cabinetry extends further into the space than uppers, which gives the entire kitchen space an airier feel than it would otherwise have if the cabinets aligned. White cabinetry and countertops look clean and crisp with the warm wood floors, and a penny tile backsplash is a chic component that doesn’t overwhelm the space.


Cupboards, cupboards, and more stylish cupboards! This kitchen is actually quite large for a galley kitchen. Vaulted ceilings help to add significance to the space, while a long running countertop on one side provides ample workspace. Open-glass cupboards on one side reflect the light from beautiful, bright industrial pendants, while the opposing wall serves as a flat, no-nonsense functional space. The light oak used makes the space seem spacious, airy, and fresh.


With a huge picture window facing a beautifully manicured yard, who even needs a kitchen? I could sit and eat up the views all day. To maintain the feeling, open shelving continues on the window wall toward a stylishly gooseneck-fauceted sink with equally fantastic views. The opposing wall contains sleek appliances and contemporary cupboards, whose brightness and clean lines serve to maximize the view. Although the “work triangle” here is spread out, with the fridge being placed a little out of the way, the enormous countertop available for food prep and serving seems to make up for any inconvenience.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.


Published by in Kitchen, on February 22nd, 2013

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