Galley Kitchen Inspirations & Functional Considerations

I have a galley kitchen in my apartment and always dream of cooking in a larger space where two people wouldn't constantly be bumping into each other. However, after looking at many kitchens, the designs that stand out the most in my mind are galley kitchens. I mean, my kitchen surely doesn't look like any of the kitchens in the featured photos, but I am starting to appreciate my small kitchen.

Galley kitchens (especially really narrow kitchens) give a whole new meaning to the phrase "only one cook in the kitchen." After living with my kitchen design for several years I have noticed different solutions that would make it more functional. If you are going to design a galley kitchen, there are definitely a few functional aspects to consider that may not be a concern in a larger kitchen.

Because the walkway is so narrow in this type of kitchen, opening the refrigerator, dishwasher, or oven blocks off the passageway to the rest of the kitchen. In my kitchen, I always thought "if I could just move the refrigerator to the end of the kitchen, I could continue to make dinner while my boyfriend rummages through the refrigerator for a pre-dinner snack. If two people must prepare dinner in the kitchen at the same time, it is really helpful to have sufficient counter workspace on both sides of the kitchen. If generous storage space is a priority, then utilizing the vertical space is essential.

A safety tip for cooking in (all, but especially small) kitchens: turn the saucepan handles away from you. Otherwise, you run the risk of bumping into the saucepan handle and spilling hot food on himself. I take the same precautions when leaving sharp knives on the counter. You always have to be worried about knocking something over while trying to navigate the small space.

From left to right:
1. White Galley Kitchen with Arched Architectural Ceiling Elements: Peace - that was the other name for home.
2. Traditional Kitchen with Generous Natural Light: Bryn Alexandra
3. New York Galley Kitchen: La Dolce Vita
4. The Bee Cottage Small Kitchen Makeover: House Beautiful

Images: As credited above.

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Marcia is an interior, portrait, and travel photographer and has photographed over 50 homes of creatives. Her photographic style is capturing her subject in the most natural state and creating an emotional response.

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