29 Galley Kitchens That’ll Inspire You to Make the Most of a Small Space

updated Nov 3, 2023
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When you think of a galley kitchen, the first words to come to mind are likely “cramped,” “tight,” and “narrow.” But if your home includes this type of small kitchen, don’t fret; there are quite a few surprising ways to configure it to make it just as spectacular as any other dreamy cooking space.

Below, 29 galley kitchens that prove these small layouts are far more workable than you might think.

Quick Overview

What is a galley kitchen?

If you’re unfamiliar, the layout of a galley kitchen typically looks more like a hallway. Unlike a one-wall kitchen, most traditional galley kitchens consist of two walls lining a narrow walkway that flow into a separate room on both sides; some have dead ends and others have doors leading to pantries or even breakfast nooks.

While basic galley kitchens are a staple of apartments and houses with smaller footprints, they can be taken to another level with everything from eye-catching backsplashes and patterned floors to statement lighting and clever storage ideas.

1. Black and White Galley Kitchen

“My galley kitchen is small and the white made it feel smaller,” Guerin Piercy says of her North Carolina galley kitchen, which she made into a black and white masterpiece. “The shadows made the white feel cold. I didn’t particularly enjoy being in my kitchen, so I needed to make it a true reflection of my personality.”

Credit: Erin Hermsen

2. Marble Countertops

Marble-inspired countertops make this small galley kitchen in this modern home feel expensive (even though they were installed on a budget).

3. Bold Colors and Patterns

You can pack a lot of personality into a small space. Need proof? Just take a cue from the bright blue, patterned galley kitchen in this London home.

4. Peel-and-stick Tile.

You’d never know the eye-catching flooring in this historic home’s galley kitchen is budget-friendly, but the gorgeous pattern is actually peel-and-stick!

Credit: Claire Koller-Smith

5. Galley Kitchen with Greenery.

The black and white galley kitchen in this London apartment is anything but boring, thanks to the windowsill that also serves as an indoor garden.

Credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom

6. Colorful Kitchen

The perky green paint color in the kitchen from this Seattle home is so eye-catching, you’ll never even realize it’s a galley kitchen with tight quarters. 

7. Pretty in Pink

Here’s another case where a quirky color takes center stage in a galley kitchen. The pretty pink kitchen in this Los Angeles home works perfectly alongside butcher block countertops for a fun Mediterranean vibe.  

8. Galley Kitchen with a Fun Rug

No matter how tight your galley kitchen is, adding a long, narrow rug to the middle always pulls things together. We love how the burgundy tones pair perfectly with the sage green painted cabinets in the kitchen from this Oregon home.

9. Modern Galley

This stunning black and white kitchen has cement tiles and brass hardware that give it a French bistro feel.

Credit: Sweeten

10. Light and Bright

This galley kitchen has light counters and cabinets to open up the space, but isn’t short on character, thanks to a stainless steel backsplash and select cabinets with glass doors.

11. Accent Tile Galley Kitchen

One of the coolest parts of this New York City kitchen is how the flooring reflects the Moravian star pendant lamp that hangs right at the end of the aisle. The choice of white cabinetry also helps open up a kitchen style that traditionally lacks space.

12. Galley Kitchen with Bursts of Color

A small, white galley kitchen can easily look boring — or even dismal — with the wrong lighting and decor. This Oakland apartment shows how lacing bright colors throughout the space can give it a fun, light-hearted appeal.

Credit: Liz Calka

13. Tiny Galley Kitchen

While traditional galley kitchens have openings on both sides, there are many that have a dead end, but still contain the same characteristics of this particular style. The mix of additional storage units in the same color palette on the left side of this Los Angeles kitchen gives it quirky character, while still looking unified.

14. Pop of Color

The light blue cabinet paint adds some personality to this Pasadena, California kitchen without making it seem small. Paired with open shelving and lots of natural light, the whole space feels breezy.

Credit: Submitted by Erin

15. All-White Galley

This teeny galley kitchen truly is teeny, so going with white cabinetry, a white backsplash, and marble counters was a good move.

Credit: Lula Poggi

16. Utilitarian-Meets-Boho Kitchen

Metal appliances and drawers meet patterned floors and wooden accents in this unique Barcelona home. The blend of styles gives plenty of visual interest and widens the space, thanks to the white walls and shelves and the reflective stainless steel.

17. Wooden Galley Kitchen

Wooden panels and a 70s color palette make this quirky kitchen fun to look at and cook in. It also shows how different accessories can instantly transform a space. Colorful kitchen gadgets and collectibles give this space a very different feel compared to if this were a more minimalist space with all wood and neutral accents.

18. Small Tile Galley Kitchen

Sure, this New York City kitchen is small, but it hides it well. The white walls, stainless steel cabinets, bright window, and mirror all contribute to the illusion of more space. The small touches — like the decorative plates and books — make it feel more cozy and homey, rather than cramped.

19. Turquoise Galley Kitchen

Bright, horizontal backsplash tiles in a California bungalow’s kitchen draw the eye down the length of the room, visually elongating it.

Credit: Chloe Berk

20. White Galley Kitchen

Herringbone wooden floors and white tile give this Brooklyn galley kitchen a look that’s certainly Scandi-inspired. The windows and door provide plenty of light to maintain this kitchen’s bright and airy feel.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

21. Minimal Galley Kitchen

The shape and layout of the white slab cabinets in this Scandi-inspired kitchen in Toronto toe the line between modern and vintage. The black pulls and minimal artwork are the perfect personal touches to spice it up a bit. 

22. Mid-Century Modern Galley

Funky tiles and hints of orange throughout the kitchen of this Ojai, California mid-century home give it a slight 60s tinge that still works. Windows and cream-colored walls and cabinets let in and reflect plenty of light to make the space feel warm and homey.

23. Galley Kitchen with a Dining Nook

A floral dining nook is situated at one end of this Los Angeles galley kitchen, making it an unbearably adorable secret hideaway. The floral wallpaper and light color palette is super whimsical. 

24. Light Gray Galley

Dark gray tile and light gray marble countertops beautifully frame this Brooklyn galley kitchen. It feels spacious and bright without needing to follow an all white color palette.

25. Modern Galley Kitchen

Dark cabinets — like the ones in this Portland home — can still work in a galley kitchen just as long as there’s plenty of natural lighting and everything else is kept light and airy. 

Credit: Jill Slater

26. Glass Cabinet Galley Kitchen

While many galley kitchens aim to hide appliances, food, and other kitchen items, this Upper West Side home uses glass paneled cabinets to show off stunning sets of cups, plates, and utensils that double as décor.

27. Retro Galley Kitchen

A California Hollywood Regency-style home proves that design rules are meant to be broken. The mix of black and mint are dramatic and make for an unforgettable cooking space that doesn’t feel small — no white walls necessary.

Credit: Liz Calka

28. Sleek Galley Kitchen

Flat-faced cabinets provide ample storage in this Washington DC home, which spares precious counter space. Although it’s on the smaller side, light colors keep it from feeling closed in.

29. Vintage Galley Kitchen.

This East Bay, California home is a mid-century dream. Wooden cabinets and trim keep the style at front and center, but a few touches like the art, wine holder, and cutting board collection bring it up to speed with current times.