For many professional chefs it’s the preferred style of kitchen layout, optimally laid out for efficient movement between workstations. Despite this they are loathed by many owners of flats and smaller houses, where they are so common in the UK.
Galley kitchens are the ones with the layout where you have two parallel rows of counters running down a long room with a narrow central floorspace, essentially creating a corridor that leads to nowhere. While these rooms are incredibly functional, making best use of limited space, many property owners feel there’s not much they can do with the room, especially if extending is not an option. This means it becomes a purely utilitarian area with little thought about aesthetics, as the room is only ventured into to whip up supper. It need not be like this, however. Here’s our top tricks to transform your galley kitchen.
Go for shelving instead of cabinets
In a narrow space cupboard units can cause the ‘corridor effect’ where the room feels overly narrow and claustrophobic. This can be avoided by going for open-shelving on at least one of the walls. As you make the space more visually open it seems more spacious. Plus, it makes it much easier to grab pots, pans and plates whenever you need them. If you have high enough ceilings then an overhanging rack is a stylish feature which allows you to free up the walls entirely.
Add some seating
The kitchen maybe the heart of the home, but with a galley kitchen its rare to find the space being the social hub of the property. With such cramped confines as here’s no sprawling island for guests to sit and sip wine over while you prep some hors d’oeuvres. However, it may be possible to squeeze in a petite bistro set with a couple of chairs towards the far wall. This gives you a place to eat when in a rush, to sit and write shopping lists, and a spot to seat the kids if you want to keep an eye on them while you cook. If you still can’t draw them in and you’re getting lonely then consider installing a wall-mounted television or decent set of speakers for entertainment, while the rest of the house relaxes elsewhere.
If going open plan is an option for you, then you should consider it. If you don’t want the kitchen to encroach into the living area, then keep the dimensions of the galley kitchen the same, but still remove the wall. This way the living area is kept the same size, but both spaces will feel more airy and bright. The kitchen peninsula created by removing the wall can then also double up on the other side as a breakfast bar.
Embrace commercial-spec equipment
Professional chefs love the galley style as it makes for a super efficient means to move about the kitchen from area to area — you can grab some ingredients from the fridge, chop them up and throw them into a pan on the hob without having to dillydally around the room.
So, why not embrace this in your kitchen and kit it out like a pro? Go for a good quality range cooker and install a mighty kitchen hose with deep sink to wash up glasses and plates in a matter of seconds. Just don’t expect you’re other half to regimentally respond “Yes, chef!” every time you bark at them to pass the salt.
Make a feature of the far wall
The far wall, which in most galley kitchens will be a dead end, is perhaps the most important decor aspect of the room to pay attention to. After all when anyone walks into the room it the first part of the room they will look to so it makes sense to turn this area into a decorative feature adding some artwork or even a chalkboard is a great way to add character to the room. If this space contains a window, then obviously don’t do anything to obscure it, but you could turn into a feature wall still by painting it an accent colour or even going for some quirky wallpaper.