Galley Kitchen Designs

Nadia Hursky on July 20, 2012

Galley kitchens provide a practical and easy floor plan layout. They are often the product of the existing architecture,  with an open corridor running between two parallel work surfaces. Galley kitchens can be modern, minimal or traditional. They are often found in small apartments, but are equally effective as a practical design in larger spaces too. See some inspiring galley kitchens below and learn how to optimise your galley kitchen. 

Modern Galley Kitchens

Below are some striking examples of modern galley kitchens. The emphasis here is on clean, elongated lines and open space.

Although the kitchen is in a small space, it feels airy, spacious and clean with the presence of light. The elongated lines, seen in the continuous sets of drawers add to the feeling of harmony and continuity.

kitchen symmetry

This kitchen flows in-between the  dining area and the living spaces. It is streamlined, stretched and elegant. The horizontal lines of the drawers are mimicked in the overhead cabinets adding to the feeling of length and symmetry.

Galley Kitchen Designs

Traditional Galley Kitchens

Traditional galley kitchens essentially have similar layouts to their modern counterparts. The difference is in the mood created by the choice of materials and textures.

The kitchen above is flooded with natural light giving the space a warm ambience. A shaker style door, detailed handles and a granite bench-top is used to give this space a classic country kitchen appeal.

traditional galley kitchen

Warm colours, natural materials, and potted plants breathe timeless classic sensibility into this kitchen space.

galley kitchen shaker

Small Galley Kitchens

Galley kitchens are often found in smaller units and apartments where space is a premium. These kitchens need to be considered carefully to gain the maximum benefit out of a tighter space.

Small on space, yet big on style, this little galley kitchen has it all. From the lighting, to the artwork and the floor, this small kitchen is one big statement.

small galley kitchen

The timber veneer used in the kitchen continues throughout the flooring, wall paneling and ceiling space surrounding it. The kitchen appears to flow as an extension of the overall space, bringing unity and simplicity.

small kitchen- galley


How to Optimise Your Galley Kitchen

To optimise your galley kitchen make sure that there is ample room between your appliances. The kitchen triangle can work superbly in this kitchen layout. Place your sink opposite your cooktop for the best usability. Your fridge should be placed on the far edge closest to the wall. Remember, traffic through the kitchen is often going to lead to the fridge, so place your fridge in a minimum traffic area.

Galley kitchens are often preferred by chefs because of the easy access between work surfaces, appliances and storage. When designed properly, galley kitchens are functional, provide maximum bench space and avoid tricky corner units. Be ware of the traffic through the corridor, and plan your kitchen with this in mind.


  • Two opposite bench tops are highly functional
  • Great for smaller kitchens
  • Efficient work triangle
  • No tricky corner units


  • Feeling of being closed in if there is no light
  • Traffic may problematic
  • Not great for more than one chef

Galley kitchens offer a simple and economic layout that is highly efficient as a kitchen workspace. They are not, however, the best option if there are many cooks in the kitchen. Galley kitchens can be modern or traditional, the common thread is the open corridor of space that runs between the two bench tops. Keep your galley kitchen light, bright and open and you will feel the benefits of this kitchen layout.



  1. After seeing these articles on kitchen designs, I now have plenty of ideas for my kitchen renovation. For those having difficulties in improving their kitchen because of the spacial issues, check out these posts 🙂

    1. nadiah says:

      Thanks Carolyn!

  2. Kathy says:

    Lovely kitchens! I especially like the little kitchen with the big fork hanging on the wall. It reminds me of an updated version of the big wooden fork and spoon decorations that were so popular when I was a child. The chalkboard wall is brilliant. So cute and practical, too. The all white kitchen is pretty, but I’d be afraid to cook in that one. Too formal for my tastes.

    1. nadiah says:

      Thanks for your feedback Kathy, even a small space can take a lot of personality, glad you liked the kitchens )

  3. Sally says:

    Beautiful galley kitchen designs

  4. Rosemary says:

    I am renovating my kitchen and I loved the white galley kitchen with benches opposite each other, I think I will do something similar only on the opposite wall I will have it open and not up to the ceiling. Good ideas within the space of the area too which I need to keep in my mind when I design it. Thanks.

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Rosemary

      Yes, it’s not only the kitchen design that you need to consider, but the whole space around it too. Good luck- if you want any tips just reach out.

  5. Mark says:

    I love the first one. How did they achieve that white brick finish for the walls / splash back?

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Mark, I am not too sure how they created the effect on the white bricks, it looks great though doesn’t it? I am wondering if there has been a few photo touch ups though in the image…