How to work with a galley kitchen design

3 February 2020 - 5 min read

There are many different ways people choose to express style in their homes. Some use art, while others may opt for a bold colour scheme or a collection of statement furniture pieces. However, creating a beautiful interior isn’t just about what you adorn your walls with. Layout has become a true leader, as more and more people connect functionality and style, recognising the role of a well-considered floorplan in the overall experience of a space.

If you’re looking to kick off the new year in a home that satisfies all of the above, a fantastic place to draw inspiration is from galley kitchen designs. One of those ‘always-on’ trends, a galley kitchen is a simple and effective way to let function lead — without having to compromise on style.

The infamous galley kitchen design was spawned from decades of ergonomic research and, if you’ve never been exposed to this concept before,  it basically consists of two parallel units (often sporting built-in cabinetry and a durable benchtop), that form a central corridor space in your kitchen. While the term ‘galley’ may invoke visions of a cramped, sweaty sailboat, the modern feature is anything but — often being utilised to zone a large, open plan area.

Fancy yourself a food connoisseur? Get your Pinterest boards at the ready, because we’ve put together our top seven tips for developing an ultra-stylish galley kitchen design that’s going to take your new home’s interior game to the next level!

Know what you’re working with

Assess the space available within your chosen kitchen design to ensure your making optimal use of the area. Galley kitchens often work the best in small to medium sized spaces, as they provide a multipurpose storage and work area, so they’re fantastic in terms of functionality. 

If your kitchen is particularly large, try to keep your galley no more than hallway width apart, otherwise you begin to lose the efficiency a narrow galley kitchen design offers. An option to consider is creating a galley with an island bench. This not only helps you zone a large, open-plan space, but allows the kitchen to be a place of socialisation for your family. 

Play with placement

First things first, thoroughly assess your chosen home design to decide where you’ll position all your appliances. The sink, stove and fridge are the core of your kitchen and it’s important to think about how you’ll create easy access to all of these features. With convenience top of mind, your stove should be no more than 3 feet from your sink and, in turn, your fridge should be within easy reach of the sink. This allows for seamless prepping, cooking and serving.

Decide your style

The next step in personalising your kitchen design is to decide whether an open or enclosed galley works in your space. An open galley will often feature one side of appliances and cabinetry against a wall, and the other as an open benchtop. 

To create an enclosed galley you’ll need walls running adjacent to each other, on which you can run cabinetry down both sides to form a corridor-like room. A consideration to make within this style is if you’ll incorporate a door into your galley design. While it does section this space off from the rest of your home, it’s a good idea to provide insulation from the smells of cooking or cleaning.

As mentioned earlier, another option is a galley kitchen with an island. Instead of having two parallel benches, you can develop one into a ‘half’ bench, also known as an island bench — convenient for socialising with your guests.

When it comes to personalising this look, there’s also the opportunity to go symmetrical or asymmetrical within your galley kitchen design. For the former, make sure your units are the same length and width, and play around with mirrored cabinetry. If opting for the latter, a mix of shorter and taller cabinetry proves quite effective and you can even consider floor-to-ceiling or overhead cabinetry on your wall side.

Maximise storage

When you only have two walls to work with, planning out sufficient storage can be a tricky feat. A great way to ensure you have enough in your home is going vertical with your cabinetry, storing your less used items way up high. Also consider filling your units with smarter storage options, such as pull out racks or drawers.

Make it easy to entertain

Think about your friends and family when they come over. Do you often congregate around the kitchen? If so, take this into account during the initial stages of planning but also when furnishing. An island bench is great for catering to a large number of people in terms of access, and you can also hide bench seating away under one side need be.

Don’t overcrowd your space

A kitchen is always busy with a lot going on, so there is no need to crowd it with extra decor. A stylish splashback can serve a double purpose and create an interesting feature, while a few strategically placed utensils create a sense of homeliness.

Think a galley kitchen is right for you? Browse our new home designs to get a feel for how we’ve executed this element across our ranges.

Need some more inspiration? Check out our Kitchen inspiration page here!