We think the kitchen is the heart of any home.
It’s where you eat, entertain and spend some of your most precious hours of the day.
Some of us have plentiful kitchen space to work with, but, as is the case in so many British homes (like in 1930s houses such as ours), we often find galley kitchens tucked away in a teeny rear or side extension.
What is a galley kitchen?
You’ll spot whether you own a galley kitchen if the layout has a narrow walkway in the middle, with units/worktops running parallel. Galley kitchens can tend to mean limited space in such a narrow shape which isn’t ideal.
Lots of house renovators we talk to in our community tell us they can’t find the budget to do big kitchen extensions and often refrain from splashing on structural work, making smaller spaces work for them. We think is awesome. You really don’t need huge budgets to create a space that works for you.
Why do galley kitchens get a bad rap?
Galley kitchens sometimes get a bad rap in the shadow of more expansive designs, but when budgets are tight there are so many ideas you can implement to make them work. From clever ideas to maximise light, to carefully curated finishing touches, these superb spaces can be the powerhouse of a cosy home.
So, in the spirit of celebrating the potential of galley kitchens, we’ve put together our top 11 favourites at the moment. Each one is packed with inspiration and design ideas so read on to go green with kitchen envy.
Galley kitchen idea #1: Draw the eye with bold colours and a gallery wall
We’re huge fans of Agi’s Hampshire-based home. She exhibits bold bursts of dark tones contrasted with uplifting pastels throughout her space, especially so in her kitchen. She’s chosen to focus on cool furnishings, splashes of lively plants and gallery-style feature prints to maintain a modern vibe. The kitchen itself is a classic choice of a Belfast sink and simple fresh, white cabinetry to keep the space light and welcoming.
Galley kitchen idea #2: Go simple and scandi
Classic simplicity with a Scandi feel sums up the Bobbins’ home nicely. In this kitchen, dark cabinetry anchors the otherwise pale kitchen colour choices. Light is welcomed in through two external windows and a sky light, finished in light-enhancing soft grey and white shades. The key touch here is how they’ve turned the end of a long space into a cosy eating area, somewhere to entertain and also a fantastic source of light for a small area.
Galley kitchen idea #3: Mix bold colour and heritage flooring
Don’t be afraid to go for a bold contrast when it comes to choosing your kitchen colours. This interiors company have created a striking space with functional elegance. They’ve made the colour scheme work in a smaller galley space by tying it together with heritage flooring for character and depth. Note the exposed appliances which makes a refreshing change with the silver accessories.
Galley kitchen idea #4: Ditch the wall cabinets for an airy feel
Grace has a fantastic eye for making the most of the character-filled details in her Lewes house. She’s worked the rustic feature flooring into industrial shelving and brought elegance to the space with white walls and dove grey cabinetry. We love how she’s forgone wall cabinets to make the most of a smaller space with considered decoration.
Galley kitchen idea #5: Make a statement with eye-catching floor tiles
Ella’s home goes to show that you don’t need a big space to make a great galley kitchen. She’s made some small key changes to the room which have totally transformed the feel. Changing your floor tiles to something more eye-grabbing allows for a simpler wall colour and an altogether more peaceful room. If you’re on a budget, there’s so much you can do with what you’ve got. Even spraying cabinets could make the change you’re after.
Galley kitchen idea #6: Use every wall you’ve got
Cari is working wonders with her Cardiff home. In typical galley style, she’s made the most of the space she has to work with by going for carefully placed cabinets on every wall, leaving the window as a feature in the room. She’s also chosen statement floor tiling in a striking monochrome print to jazz up the classic cottage feel. Bonus points for the Belfast sink! We’re suckers for a belfast sink!
Galley kitchen idea #7: Go with floor to ceiling cabinets
Over in Dorset, Katie’s really made the most of storage space in her galley kitchen with floor to ceiling cabinets. Again, she’s used a petrol blue feature wall to set aside the breakfast bar eating space. Not only does this add an on-trend dose of the industrial feel but it injects so much energy into the space and allows for more timeless choices around the rest of her kitchen.
Gally kitchen idea #8: Emphasise lines with a runner rug and long handles
Erin knows a thing or two about trends and it really shows in her galley kitchen makeover. Leading into a cosy lounge, she’s opted for gold cabinet and lighting hardware paired with bold blue tones. The finishing touch comes with the rug which makes her space feel all the more homely. Erin has also gone with ceiling-high splash back tiles which reflect light back into her kitchen, diminishing any feelings of limited space.
Galley kitchen idea #9: Repurpose crates and add a stone floor to bring charm
Lucy’s eye for interiors carries through into somewhat larger-than-galley kitchen. She’s working with an interesting space, keeping parallel cabinets and maximise storage space on the solid wall. The farmhouse feel is reflected in bare wood countertops, a classic choice of cabinet design and a homely runner to add warmth to the space. We love the repurposed wooden crates which we really add character to her room.
Galley kitchen idea #10: Pull the outside in with bi-folding doors
The lucky ones among us, like with this gorgeous terraced property, have the opportunity to play with a little more room and wall space. These homeowners have used bifold doors to maximum effect, pulling in light transforming the galley kitchen into something social and relaxed. Again, the choice of timeless paint shades and minimal wall clutter make the space feel practical.
Galley kitchen idea #11: Go plant mad!
What a way to embrace natural light in a space! Kat’s cosy galley kitchen feels anything but small, filled with welcome window space and luscious house plants. She’s chosen clean lines and minimal cabinet fronts paired with a rustic touch of bare brickwork. Clean white walls keep the space feeling fresh and up-to-date. Here’s another top design tip to take from her, cabinets with a shine do a super job of reflecting light around a space to open it up, too.
While we’re celebrating galley kitchen big and small, we’d love to see yours! Or perhaps you’ve got grand plans you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear them. Let’s share the galley love and inspire each other!
Head on over to our renovation page to see our full home renovation, and take a look at the resources we’re sharing in our shop if you’re about to take on a project like this.
Thanks for reading!
Fifi and Neil xoxo