Whether it is called a galley or a corridor, kitchens with two parallel rows of cabinetry are considered highly efficient. That’s because their configuration makes them a natural for a perfect work triangle. Appliances are easily arranged to offset each other in the room.
Galley kitchens allow appliances to be nicely offset from each other making a perfect work triangle. The challenge is that many times traffic flows right though the work area...so the cook is battling everything from kids to family pets running through the middle of the room while a meal is being prepared.
Usually from seven and a half to nine feet in width, galley kitchens are historically small and have a traffic pattern that goes right through the middle. There is often an exterior door at one end and the other end leads to the rest of the house.
Some galley kitchens are larger and can accommodate a cooktop and separate wall ovens. Note the stacked wall cabinetry that maximizes storage space.
Perfect work triangle or not, whenever traffic interferes with the work area, it makes a difficult place to function. And because these kitchens are small, they are hardly the place for a crowd to hang out. Still, many homes in America have this type of kitchen.
Most galley kitchens have an eating area at one end and a door at the other.
The question is, what can you do with a galley kitchen? Changing the configuration of a galley kitchen without building an addition is a real challenge. Taking out a wall to open the space to another room can be a tough decision too. By removing a wall, all the storage provided by the wall cabinets is lost and since these are typically small rooms, it is almost impossible to make up that lost space. The best bet for a galley kitchen is to maximize what you have:
- Take wall cabinets up to the ceiling if you can. Even if you have to use a step stool to reach items on the upper shelves, at least the space is there for seldom used items.
- Consider using a range rather than a separate cooktop and wall oven and you will save on valuable counter space.
- Fill cabinets with interior organizing accessories so that every inch is used to the fullest.
- Make the space as beautiful as possible: it’s all in the choice of cabinets, hardware and surface finishes. The good news is that because the space is usually small, upscale choices are more affordable.
A contemporary galley kitchen designed as an open plan from the very beginning. Here 42" high wall cabinets are installed as base cabinets back up to the sink cabinets. They help obscure kitchen clutter and make up for the loss of the overhead wall cabinets.
Every kitchen can be made better by good design and thoughtful details. Galley kitchens can be a challenge and I hope these ideas and photos have helpful. And special thanks to one of my readers for suggesting this topic…this one is for you Suzie!
If you have topics that you would like covered in Connie’s Corner, contact me through email by clicking here.