Galley Kitchen | New Design Ideas

Galley Kitchens | A New Take on an Old Favorite


galley kitchen featurewd

Ah- they galley kitchen. A staple design in US homes since the 1920’s. There is good reason this highly efficient layout has withstood the test of time, despite the ever-changing tastes and trends which have defined American society. Today we will learn a little about this classic kitchen layout and discover why this “old faithful” is re-emerging throughout homes across the nation. We will also look at some new design ideas that are redefining this classic style

What is a Galley Kitchen?

The term Galley kitchen is used to refer to the design of household kitchen wherein the units are fitted into a continuous array with no kitchen table, having the cabinets facing each other in a direct path. This type of layout utilizes vertical storage, such as dish racks, hanging pots etc. in order to have the most efficient use of space. More recently, the term has also been used to describe kitchens in a “U” layout.

The first mass-produced galley kitchen design was known as the Frankfurt kitchen, designed by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, working under the direction of Ernst May in 1926 for a Frankfurt housing estate. 10,000 units were installed in Frankfurt, and it was the most successful and influential kitchen of the period.

Design Principle

The galley kitchen was originally designed as part of a vessel; namely- ships. These kitchens had to provide food for a large number of people while using minimal space, so they had to be extremely efficient. This is a large part of the reason hat galley kitchens are the “go-to” layout for chefs.  The design allows for the easiest access to everything in the kitchen with the least amount of distance.  Everything in a galley kitchen is designed around a triangular work flow, or work space. It’s easier to understand with a visual.

 galley kitchen skillet rack

When working in a kitchen, having quick access to the major appliances is crucial, and makes for a much less taxing experience. In the example above you can see various layout styles of kitchens, and   a red triangle which represents the basic “work flow” area. In the bottom left corner, we see the galley kitchen layout. As you can see, this style  has an equilateral triangle representing the work area. This means that everything is roughly equal distance, and as such, working in this space is easy, smooth, and efficient.

Design Elements

The main design elements of a galley kitchen are centered on vertical storage, short distance between appliances, and easy access to anything in the kitchen. Galley kitchens generally share the following qualities:

1. Floor to ceiling Cabinets:

galley kitchen vertical space

Floor To Ceiling Cabinets Are a Staple of Galley Kitchens

This goes hand in hand with saving space. A galley kitchen will almost always have floor to ceiling cabinets separated by a counter top in order to create the most storage space possible. 2. Countertops
Galley kitchens feature counter tops with are on opposing sides of the wall, facing each other. Using both sides of the space to have cabinets allows for there to be more counter top space than other kitchen design styles.

3. Racks

galley kitchen skillet rack

galley kitchen skillet rack

Generally speaking, in a galley kitchen you will find elements such as magnetic utensil racks, dish racks, pot hangers, spice racks and anything else that creates a vertical, easy to reach storage space

4. Work triangle

galley kitchen principle

Work Triangle in a typical galley kitchen

The shape of the traditional kitchen work triangle is an equilateral triangle. The work triangle should have one of the elements placed roughly centrally between the two elements on the opposite wall. You can use a side by side refrigerator as the central element.

Galley Kitchen Design Ideas:

The great thing about these efficient little kitchens is that the design possibilities are endless. Many people feel confined to a traditional style when considering décor for a galley kitchen, however; there are many ways to style a galley kitchen to make it look amazing. We put together this little slideshow to display some galley kitchens we have designed as well as some other examples of beautiful kitchen spaces we hope will inspire your design.

  • Traditional galley kitchen
    A beautiful galley kitchen with dark wood floors as contrast and all white contemporary feel is a great example of the versatile style
  • galley kitchen vertical space
    Open faced, floor to ceiling cabinets are typical of galley kitchens. All white kitchens are still all the rage in kitchen design
  • No space is too small for a galley kitchen. This has some elements of a modular kitchen, but is a galley kitchen through and through
  • A Typical galley kitchen remodel we did with grey and royal blue accents
  • Another view of the galley kitchen we designed
  • One of out own! We designed this fabulous galley style kitchen with an open floor feel and tons od drawer and cabinet space
  • contemporary galley kitchen
    Modern Galley Kitchen Design
  • Modern Galley Kitchen Design with a festive green backsplash
  • Contemporary Galley Kitchen with charcoal grey tones
  • galley kitchen 2
    Traditional Galley Kitchen Design using warm wood tones
  • country galley kitchen
    Country Style Galley Kitchen. Emphasized by plants, and the bright yellow ceiling
  • modern galley kitchen 2
    Contemporary Galley kitchen with stainless steel everything

In Closing:

Americans are obsessed with efficiency, and for good reason. We all have incredibly demanding schedules, and often times the kitchen can seem like a huge burden after a long day of work. Additionally, space is it a premium, so every sq. foot matters. Galley kitchens allow for kitchens to be a much smaller portion of the home than other layouts would dictate, and as such, home and apartment builders world wide tend to gravitate towards this layout. In this way, galley kitchens are the perfect fit for those who are serious about the kitchen, and those who are seeking to contain a kitchen in a smaller space to allow more room for other rooms in a home.  Galley kitchens are a staple that show no sign of going away any time soon. They utilize vertical storage space, and an even work triangle in order to be the most efficient space possible. They are the go to option for homebuilders, chefs, and more. They are versatile, easy to decorate, and over all, provide for a great kitchen experience

Kitchen Remodeler