What is a galley or corridor kitchen? The name galley refers to the kitchen aboard a sailing vessel. The design makes the most of a limited space with counters lining opposite walls of a corridor, or galley. Residential galley kitchens are typically found in apartments, condos or lofts where space is at a premium.
In most cases, a galley kitchen will have the sink on one side and the cooking units on the other side, giving the chef easy access to everything during food prep. Because the space is small, it is important to find elements that make a galley appear bigger—this could mean using reflective appliances, open shelving, light flooring and backsplash materials.
The owners here love to cook and find this type of kitchen configuration offers them an efficient work triangle. The natural wood counters and open shelving break up the expanse of metallic-hued cabinets and integrated panel fridge in this U-shaped galley. The bright white floor tile set in a diagonal pattern adds movement and a sense of space to this modern condo kitchen.
While this kitchen doesn’t have counters on both sides, the shape qualifies it as a corridor kitchen. A solid wall of storage complete with a wall-mounted oven allow for freer movement within the space. Hard lines and dark cabinetry are visually softened with a beige backsplash and fabric Roman shade on the window. Toe kick lighting also adds to the feeling of spaciousness in this little galley.
This industrial loft features towering concrete walls, giant windows and exposed ductwork. The designer tucked the kitchen area behind a wall partition creating a galley, or corridor that connects the open living space to the bath and bedrooms. Zinc countertops add to the industrial vibe and white cabinets give the kitchen a clean and professional feel.
Here’s the original kitchen footprint in a vintage, suburban ranch-style house. Galley kitchens were quite popular at the time the house was built. They were designed to use the space efficiently and this current design keeps everything in its original place. Modern appliances, granite counters and refinished cabinets and flooring take it effortlessly into the 21st century.
Our featured galley kitchen takes advantage of its narrow footprint, providing tons of storage and organization. A dining room and casual seating area lie just beyond the pocket door. White cabinets, composite quartz counters and a window above the sink brighten the room. The coffered ceiling detail creates an contemporary focal point.
This is a textbook galley kitchen in every sense of the word. Two parallel lines define the space, with upper and lower cabinetry to maximize storage. The hand-oiled butcher block countertops warm up the white cabinets, backsplash and floor. Taking the cabinets to the ceiling adds to the height of the room.
The burnished cognac cabinets and door could tend to weigh down this narrow kitchen. But a creative designer solved that issue by drawing the eye upward to the unusual cutout detail in the ceiling and cleverly repeated it in the floor’s tile design.
An unusually long galley kitchen gives these homeowners additional space options. An inset in the wall (formerly a pantry closet) makes room for a full size washer and dryer. In the foreground, a narrow desk unit gives them a multi-functional spot quick cuppa, recipe gathering, coupon clipping or bill paying.
This is one of more spacious galleys we’ve seen in a long time. The layout is still the same, but this kitchen easily allows more than one person to function comfortably within the space. There’s a counter unit open to the living space that can serve as a place to grab an afternoon snack—plus there’s a roomy eat-in space at the end of the corridor.
The small pass-through window makes this minimal galley kitchen seem more commercial rather than residential. No problem, because the house is a converted auto repair garage. This space is much smaller than it appears here because of the ingenious use of white surfaces—white walls, counter, floors, cabinets and ceiling. The espresso cabinet bases help ground the space.
Even a European villa can have a galley kitchen. This rustic kitchen retains some of the original features such as the carved stone walls, rough-hewn beams and wood ceilings. The owners replaced the upper cabinets and base units with custom reproductions. Stained concrete counters coordinate beautifully with the natural stone.
Gorgeous natural wood flooring is the first thing you see when you step into this slender kitchen. Stainless steel counters and white cabinetry create the perfect juxtaposition for the warm wood tones. Here’s a designer trick: use vertical brushed nickel cabinet handles to draw the eye up in a narrow space. The horizontal handles guide the eye around a space. Use a combination of both to create balance.
What makes this kitchen seem wider than it actually is? The wood flooring running on the diagonal and the refrigerator positioned on the angled wall. Modern white custom cabinetry literally pops off the walls thanks to the inky black backsplash and solid surface counters.
Here is a galley kitchen with room to spare. This one prove not all corridor kitchens are super skinny.
Beautifully crafted cabinets with rubbed bronze pulls grace this tasteful space and look particularly handsome when set against creamy tile flooring, countertops and stainless appliances.
This galley is a true gourmet affair. Commercial-grade cabinets, range and exhaust hood complete with a stainless backsplash, let you know this galley means business. The gray on the far wall and divided skylight dress up what could have been a lackluster design. Don’t forget to mix up cabinet styles. Open shelving, solid, and glass fronts create interest.
Do you notice any repetition in this corridor kitchen? The nickel drawer pulls on our dark brown cabinetry line up like soldiers marching in unison! Sure they emphasize the horizontal lines of the room, but they provide visual stimulation and movement. Besides, the towering walls painted in natural linen give the space the height it deserves.
Eclectic is the best way to describe this mixture of textures, materials and colors in this half view of a galley. This kitchen defies trends by pairing white countertops and dark, matte finish lower cabinets. Boxy uppers, set against a cork tile backsplash rock our world. A wood paneled soffit and copper concrete floors finish this kitchen with a bang!
This kitchen will definitely make your mouth water. Anyone who appreciates traditional design would love to cook in this galley kitchen. Let’s start with the commercial range with griddle, mocha and cream granite with an ogee edge detail, a mix of light and dark base cabinets, and a generous farmhouse sink. If that’s not enough to inspire, how about the reclaimed wood flooring and view straight through to the television in the great room? Sheer perfection.
The builders are nearing completion of the custom home. They’re almost ready to install the appliances in this distinctive galley kitchen. It lacks confining upper walls on one side making the space feel much wider. Raised panel cabinetry (in two different finishes, no less) is topped with crown molding and paired with sumptuous Montana red granite.
The homeowners just renovated this 80s galley kitchen. The only thing they didn’t like about the layout was the position of the sink. They swapped it with the dishwasher so they keep an eye on the kids in the backyard pool. The cabinet boxes were in good shape. They were refinished in a java brown stain and capped with crown molding. The worn out tile counters were replaced with shiny quartz composite.
Here is a modern take on a galley kitchen. The wood island runs the length of the space and intersects with the focal wall. Comfortable counter seating on one side backs up to a bumped out wall housing double convection ovens. The sink and induction cooktop are on the opposite side along with ample counter space and storage.
Off-white cabinetry and blond maple flooring create the foundation of this alley-like kitchen. Economical use of space is of the utmost importance in this type of kitchen design. It features plenty of drawers for pots and pans. The glass front uppers with lighted interiors make the room feel lighter and provide a pleasing focal point (as long as you keep them neat and tidy!)
A combination of light tile and jewel-toned paint give this galley a sense of depth. The oversized pass-through into the adjacent living area not only opens up the space, it creates an additional eating area in the form of a built-in breakfast bar on the other side. Or you can choose the more formal dining area in the alcove.
Variegated wood flooring picks up the tones of the cherry, Shaker-style cabinetry adding color and contrast to this narrow kitchen. Recessed fixtures and pendants located over the counter bar supply task lighting while the window above the sink lets in abundant natural ambient light.
The eye-catching commercial-style range in glossy white would tend to make everything else in this corridor kitchen pale in comparison. Luckily, the savvy designer realized that and went to work sourcing warm wood cabinetry and a combination of mosaic and ceramic tiles that reminds us of a colorful country quilt.
One brave homeowner took a big design chance and it worked! The safe rule of thumb for galley kitchens is to use a light paint color on the walls to give the illusion of more space. In this case, he gambled by covering the walls with a hodgepodge of colorful square tiles. Don’t ask us how, but everything works and the kitchen retains a sense of space despite the convergence of so many colors.
A basement apartment kitchen gains light from an egress window over the sink and the series of square recessed fixtures running along the length of the low ceiling. While the cabinetry and white appliances might be dated, room’s flow is decent and the space is efficient—the two most important tenets of corridor kitchen design.
If it requires removing a wall or adding a window to bring more light into a galley kitchen, it will be well worth the effort. That’s exactly what these homeowners did to augment the existing single fluorescent ceiling fixture. Now the narrow space is brighter—so much so, that they had to install blinds over the openings to block the intense afternoon sun.
Matching cabinet and countertop color exaggerates the streamlined effect and makes a galley kitchen look clean and uncluttered. The hardware-less cabinet fronts are not the familiar high gloss, but rather a satin enamel finish. The work surface and backsplash are done in honed alpine white quartz composite. Matte finished hardwood flooring mirrors the other unassuming surfaces.
While not exactly an open plan, this 25-year-old has some good design qualities in spite of her age. The good news is, the layout gives this kitchen a connection to the rest of the house. The best corridor kitchens never leave the cook isolated from the rest of the crew.
This corridor kitchen borrows from the philosophy of yin and yang—bringing opposing sides together to create a whole. The black industrial steel storage unit with integrated cooktop is the complete design opposite of the sleek modern side, featuring organic wood base cabinets, stainless uppers, and a reflective white glass backsplash and counter surface. Yet they manage to coexist and act as one.
Here’s a very simple approach to an extremely narrow galley kitchen. You have a sink, cooktop, oven, microwave with an integrated fridge and dishwasher. All you really notice are the white lacquer surfaces and redwood plank flooring. This is a one-cook kitchen with no seating and we don’t even care. The straightforward design carries the space.