What are the benefits of a galley kitchen?

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Galley kitchens have fallen out of style in recent years, as L-shaped and open plan kitchens have become the norm. But sometimes the configuration of a home may just need a galley style kitchen and this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

For those who are wondering, a galley type kitchen is usually defined as two parallel lengths of bench space and kitchen units that face each other. This type of kitchen is separated by a path and often doubles as a corridor. It is also known as a parallel kitchen or a corridor kitchen. The downsides are that it can sometimes feel a little enclosed, boxy and the central corridor can create issues of cross traffic.

But today we will be exploring the many benefits of a galley kitchen and how you might make the most of them. There is a lot to explore so keep reading to learn more.

The parallel walls offer maximum storage

country Kitchen by Floors of Stone Ltd
Floors of Stone Ltd

The Hampton Court Kitchen

Floors of Stone Ltd

Other kitchen layouts have the benefit of opening up the kitchen and integrating it into the living areas. This is great for socialising, but the downside is that you lose a whole lot of storage space. Galley style kitchens on the other hand often have lots of very efficient wall storage. They are usually very compact and this is great news if you have a small home. There are no tricky corners so the storage is also easy to reach. This means they are easy to clean as well. Just look at the generous storage in this shaker style galley kitchen.

An easy working triangle

modern Kitchen by The Leicester Kitchen Co
The Leicester Kitchen Co

Handleless Kitchens Leicester

The Leicester Kitchen Co

This galley style kitchen has a kitchen island but it's still a good way to visualise the benefits of the classic working triangle in a galley kitchen. Note how easily a single person can move between the sink, oven and cooker. Everything is just a step away and all you need to do is pivot. This means no moving forwards and backwards along the one single bench. A step or two doesn't seem like much at first, but it quickly adds up when you're in the midst of culinary inspiration.

You can still use a kitchen island

modern Kitchen by Kitchen Co-Ordnation
Kitchen Co-Ordnation

White and Grey High Gloss with a Touch of Pink

Kitchen Co-Ordnation

Galley kitchens aren't just suited to small homes. Look at this large galley kitchen. There are two doors at the end of the kitchen so it also serves as a dual passageway. The kitchen designers Kitchen Co-ordination decided on a galley kitchen and maximised the space by building a kitchen island. As we can see in the foreground, one end of the kitchen island has been extended so it can be used as an informal eating area. This is great because it's often tricky to find space for an eating area in a galley kitchen.

It's super flexible and any length will do

Working out how to arrange your arrange your working triangle can get very complicated very quickly. But with a galley kitchen, you can work out your central appliances and then just adjust the bench length and size to suit. This means that a perfectly beautiful large kitchen you see in a brochure can often be very easily adapted to the smallest kitchen space.

A galley kitchen is private

Open plan living is so ubiquitous that you're quite likely to have some open plan areas in the rest of the house. Constantly engaging with others can get a little exhausting at times and sometimes all we want is a little privacy to cook in peace. A galley kitchen can easily get very crowded if there's more than one chef present, so it's really built for privacy. If you're a parent you'll find it easy to keep small children away from dangerous appliances as well. Just stick a baby gate on one end of the kitchen!

A galley kitchen works well with open shelving

modern Kitchen by Cristiane Locatelli Arquitetos & Associados
Cristiane Locatelli Arquitetos & Associados

Apartamento do Homem Moderno—Morar Mais por Menos Vitoria 2015

Cristiane Locatelli Arquitetos & Associados

Finally, we get to the fun part. A galley kitchen is usually closed off from the other living areas, so you don't need to worry about integrating the decor too closely with the rest of the home. This gives you a little more freedom to play with the decor and create something really distinctive. Open shelves are a good way to do this because they help avoid the boxy look that is sometimes a problem with this kind of kitchen. Consider using a super bright colour and some lovely under shelf lighting. You might even display your favourite crockery as well.

If you are interested in kitchen designs, you'll love this Ideabook Small kitchen? no problem!

Do you have a galley kitchen? We'd love to hear your ideas on the above, just let us know in the comments field below.
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