So much has changed in the way we design and use our kitchens over the last decade, but there’s something reassuring in how the galley layout has adapted to the new-found sense of space, and thrived. The galley kitchen layout works well for most styles, including country kitchen ideas.
Named after a ship’s kitchen, galleys were originally designed to be both compact, ergonomic and ultra-efficient, maximising every inch of space for both storage and preparation. Professional kitchens also follow a similar linear plan with rows of cookers or hobs divided into specific stations for prepping different types of dishes.
Where there’s room for a parallel run of units – a double galley – you can introduce the classic work triangle, arranging the key task zones of fridge, cooker and sink in this pattern to cut down on the legwork.
This is not only successful in narrow rooms that have enough width to take two rows of units, however. It’s exactly the format that’s so popular in open-plan spaces, with a long island providing the second leg, often creating a sociable casual seating area and a natural boundary for the kitchen zone at the same time.
If ultra modern isn’t for you, this fresh Steamer Bay design is ideal for a galley. Complete with tongue-and-groove panelling, a Butler-style sink and wooden worktops, it will make your room feel warm and homely. John Lewis of Hungerford kitchens start from £17,000.
Several design tricks have been used here. As well as simple clean lines of ivory cabinetry, an oven housing has been positioned near the door to stop it blocking light. Glazed wall units prevent a ‘corridor effect’ and allow for internal lighting, while integrated appliances keep the design sleek and uncluttered. This Keats scheme from Wren Kitchens costs from £1,167.
Extending a worksurface to create a breakfast bar at the end of a run of units is a clever solution when you have limited space in a galley. This Rimini kitchen in Natural Oak also has glass-fronted cupboards that reflect light, and wall units hung just below the ceiling also help to keep the room feeling open and airy. John Lewis kitchens start from £10,000, cabinetry only.
Leaving a wall free of cabinetry has made space for a small dining area in this Fjellen painted ash design. Appliances and the sink are housed within a single unit supported on legs, making the room feel spacious and uncluttered. Complete designs by Sola Kitchens start at £26,000.
The trusty linear layout has been adapted to suit today’s large, open-plan schemes. But the basic design principal of two parallel runs of units remains the most practical and popular option.
The variety of lighting solutions ? from oversized low-level pendants to integrated appliance lighting ? is both functional and eye-catching in this bold, industrial design.
The main kitchen components are contained along one wall with a simple table in front for food prep, dining and socialising. Bench seating is a good option for compact spaces as it can be tucked under the table out of the way.
Pale cabinetry, flooring and tops, plus cupboard-free walls prevent this classic galley layout from feeling too closed in
Dark slate worktops and vibrant aqua cabinetry take centre stage in this functional, Shaker-style galley kitchen. To preserve space, open shelving next to a shallow wall cupboard provides extra storage and an attractive display area for crockery and glassware.
The Bristol Kitchen Company
While white is a great choice for making a small space feel larger, don’t feel you have to stick to it rigidly. This kitchen combines stainless-steel worktops with inlaid marble sections and matt white lacquered doors. All the cooking appliances have been fitted along one side with the sink area opposite for a clutter-free working triangle.
Here, shelving is used in place of base units for a more open feel while adding variety. Slim Titanium granite worktops and a veined splashback provide texture and contrast with the glossy white units.
Round-edged worktops open up the space, creating a welcoming entrance into this galley design. Riven slate flooring mimics the patio area for an uninterrupted and unified feel.
This bespoke design vanishes behind closed doors when not in use, yet it still contains everything needed for food preparation and cooking, including an oven, induction hob, microwave and sink. The dramatic red cabinetry can then be disguised by hand-painted white doors that match the surrounding decor.
Mowlem & Co
In this classic oak galley kitchen scheme, break-fronting around the range cooker allows the appliance to shine and provides additional work surface either side for hot pans. Curved corner cupboards, a simple tiled splashback and mood lighting complement the kitchen’s warm and cosy look.
Galley kitchens need not be constricting. Here, this country kitchen uses neutral tones and furnishings to create a light-filled, sociable space. The right lighting is also important in a narrow room, as it can be prone to shadows. Under-cabinet LEDs brighten up the space and help create mood and ambience.
Mark Wilkinson Furniture
Avoid a visually overbearing scheme by employing large base cabinets with linear wall units above. In this layout, the wall cupboards are interrupted on one side by an extractor, which helps prevent the overall look from being too enclosed.
Breaking a galley up with a seating or dining area at one end is a great way to use up extra space. This white gloss lacquer Schiffini Soviore kitchen also incorporates a reflective black glass splashback and grey composite worktops, which contrasts well with the pale cabinetry. Veined stone flooring adds texture to the design. Schiffini kitchens start at £25,000 from DesignSpaceLondon.