A galley kitchen is a very common element in kitchens in the Philadelphia area and consists of a work corridor bounded by cabinets and appliance on either side. Galley kitchen layouts work well for most kitchen styles and they are also preferred by many professional chefs because it facilitates efficiency and safety in the prep and cooking process. They style is named after the compact kitchens on ships and galley designs optimize space by combined the kitchen work and storage areas, making them ideal for small kitchens. If you’re considering a galley kitchen layout for your home or if you will be overhauling one that you already have, the following are some tips:
1) Know your kitchen space: Although galley kitchens often work the best in small spaces, they can also be good for medium-sized kitchens, such as the one pictured here. However, be aware that if the opposing runs are too far apart, the kitchen will lose its efficiency. (This kitchen gets it right.)
Also know that a galley layout, while ideal on a professional level, is usually an enclosed space without a dining area. That means that if there’s no possibility of opening up the space, it’s potentially not the most sociable of arrangements. On the other hand, a galley layout in an open-plan space can offer the best of both worlds. (Read on for details about galley kitchens with islands.)
2) Galley Kitchen Looks – Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical: In terms of galley kitchens, there are two general layouts. The first is symmetrical (or basically symmetrical). What this means is that the length of the runs and the arrangement of cabinets and appliance on each side of the rub mirror each other to a greater or lesser degree.
Alternatively, some homeowners decide on an asymmetrical layout instead, using a range of approaches. One involves focusing tall cabinets or a bank of appliances on one side of the room, with base and wall units on the other. Or you can go with a mix of tall and wall units along one side, with a single run of base units on the other if, for example, you have an open-plan space, as pictured here.
3) Maybe break up the run? You might prefer an asymmetrical layout with tall and base units along the same wall. For instance, if a wall is just over 12 feet long, it’s likely to have three tall cabinets at one end and three base units at the other. Typically, there would be wall units, floating shelving or a window above the base units. Along the opposite side you could have wall units, shelving, a window or even a clear wall.
This arrangement works really well if the kitchen is quite narrow, since without a tall bank of units as you enter the kitchen, the space will feel more open.
4) Work with a galley corridor:. Depending on the layout of your home, galley kitchens may or may not be closed off at one end. If the far end leads to another room or out of the house it will experience heavier traffic due to its becoming a thru-way.
Depending on the size of your household, this may or may not be a problem. However, if you have pets or small children, you need to be concerned that they don’t run through the kitchen while you’re holding a sharp knife or a pan of boiling water.
You can enhance the safety of your layout — particularly where the corridor is very narrow — by planning your kitchen with the sink and cooktop on the same run. Though less efficient than having those features opposite each other, this arrangement focuses your appliances in one area, so you won’t have to turn to the opposing run with potentially dangerous items in your hands.
5) Enhance a closed-off kitchen wall: A galley kitchen closed off at one end can be a safer layout, because there’s only one entrance, giving the cook greater awareness of others coming and going. But how to make good use of this wall space? It might be there’s a window here, in which case it’s important not to block your kitchen’s natural light.
6) Create a galley with an island: For many homeowners, the inclusion of an island can be an important feature that adds more usable space and creates a welcoming environment for family and friends. It can also create additional options for the placement of cabinets.
7) Make your galley sociable:. Some homeowners want to add an island to a galley layout yet intend to keep the additional work surface clear. This is often the case with bakers, who like to use the space for rolling out pastry.
8) Add seating: Sometimes there’s space for a small peninsula or breakfast bar in a galley kitchen, providing additional storage as well as dining space. Here, the peninsula at the far end of the kitchen is fully clear of the cooking zone and has seating on the far side. (It also doubles as a butcher block.)
If there’s space to add a table between the opposing runs of your galley kitchen, this can sometimes work. However, you need to be careful when planning the space, because if it pushes your work surfaces too far apart, they’ll be much less efficient.
9) Enhance a sense of space: When considering a galley layout, kitchen designers and clients alike should avoid the corridor effect, which can make the kitchen feel small and enclosed. Even in small spaces, there are ways to avoid this. One thing that can help is to incorporate wall units or shelving rather than tall cabinets in order to create more space.
10) Don’t forget the lighting! As in any kitchen, Well-placed lighting will soften the kitchen’s look and create the impression of more space.