16 Gorgeous Galley Kitchens

The galley kitchen gets its name from its resemblance to the kitchen aboard a vessel— called the “galley.” The biggest hallmark of galley kitchen design is its layout: cabinet units, counters, and appliances connect together in straight lines and face each other. It often includes ceiling hung cabinets, hanging pots and dish racks, utilizing vertical space with great efficiency. All of this maximizes storage, and requires little movement to accomplish tasks. Galley kitchens are popular in apartments and small homes, where space is at a premium. But they can work in larger spaces as well, where the nature of the design creates a streamlined look. So before you remodel and ditch your galley kitchen, consider giving it a makeover instead. There’s a lot to love about this classic design. Check out these gorgeous galley kitchen designs and get inspired.

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  1. Make a U-Turn


    This U-shaped galley kitchen takes full advantage of its ceiling height and the available light. The location of the sink provides views outdoors, while glass-front, white-painted cabinet doors help make the space feel open and generous.

    Related: I'm Dreaming of a White... Kitchen: 10 Bright Beauties to Behold


  2. White and Light


    High-gloss cabinets and walls in crisp white give this modern space its clean look. Large-scale floor tiles in a textured, organic gray make the space feel more expansive than a tiny mosaic tile would.

    Related: Kitchen Flooring: 8 Popular Choices


  3. Unexpected Touches


    With no window, this homeowner decided to layer oversized kitchen-theme art on a functional chalkboard wall, ideal for shopping lists and notes. An unexpected chandelier adds a glamorous touch.

    Related: 10 Reasons to Go Crazy for Chalkboard Paint


  4. All Aboard


    Industrial-style pendant lights give a nod to the galley kitchen’s seafaring roots. Stainless steel appliances extend the theme and provide a bit of sheen—perfect for a small space. Open shelves and a built-in bar allow maximum space efficiency.

    Related: Trending Now: Pendant Lighting

    Elle Decor

  5. Vintage Elements


    Ceiling-high cabinets topped with traditional stacked crown molding make the most of this kitchen’s vertical space. A retro stool, wall-mounted clock, and basic ceiling fan add character as well. 

    Related: Get Trim! 9 Ways to Dress Up a Room with Molding


  6. Take a Seat


    Adding a breakfast area to a galley kitchen can make the space more inviting to friends and family. By locating the cabinets near the room's entry point and placing a dining table in front of the windows, this kitchen becomes a cheery spot to work and host.

    Related: Bon Appétit: 10 Ways to Dine Without the Room


  7. Sky High


    Tall cabinets can be tough to reach, but a vintage library ladder makes the job easier, and looks great too! In this traditional galley kitchen, glass fronts help provide easy sight lines to the items inside the gorgeous cabinets.

    Related: Lost in a Library: 11 Epic Reading Rooms


  8. Extra Wide


    Some galley kitchens suffer from narrow aisles, but in this wider version, multiple cooks can work comfortably side by side. A commercial-style faucet and range add to this kitchen's unique design and utility.

    Related: New and Notable: 10 Must-Haves for the Luxury Kitchen


  9. An Elegant Mix


    Built within a traditional Brooklyn brownstone, modern cabinets render this kitchen fresh and unexpected. A mix of materials, including wood floors, solid surface cabinets, marble tiles and countertops, and stainless steel appliances, add interest to the long space.

    Related: Bob Vila’s Guide to Kitchen Cabinets


  10. Trick of the Eye


    A design element frequently employed by decorators, the mirrored backsplash in this kitchen makes a confined room feel more expansive by reflecting any natural light back into the narrow space.

    Related: 17 Backsplashes for a Unique Kitchen


  11. Make Over


    Turning a dark, cramped kitchen into a light and airy one is no easy feat. DIY by ADD accomplished this by lining one side of the galley kitchen with shelves, and by replacing the old wood exterior door with a new glass one.

    Related: 10 New Uses for Old Doors


  12. Modern & Open


    This modern galley kitchen has one side with only base cabinets, leaving it open to the living space. That makes it feel much larger and inviting. The openness of the staircase also help that effect. Sleek cabinet fronts with uniform drawer pulls keep the look simple and clean.

    Related: 10 Clever Uses for the Space Under the Stairs


  13. Painted


    A galley kitchen can feel long and monotonous. But not with a bright splash of color, like this kitchen, with blue painted cabinets. They pop off the white walls and floor, giving the small space a cheery feeling.

    Related: Going Bold: 10 Kitchens That Pop with Color


  14. Orange Crush


    This 11’ wide galley kitchen manages to incorporate a breakfast bar, with small, uncomplicated stools slipped under the stainless steel counter on one side. It also makes use of wall space under the high cabinets for open shelving. That orange accent wall and refrigerator are a great contrast for the white and stainless steel in the room.

    Related: 10 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities


  15. Height & Light


    This incredible greenhouse galley kitchen takes advantage of the copious windows for a room truly washed in sunlight. That, along with the high peaked ceiling, makes the room seem bigger than it is. It’s so airy, were it not grounded by the rich plank wood flooring, it feels like it might just blow away.

    Related: Build Your Own Greenhouse: 11 Easy-to-Assemble Kits


  16. Super Sleek


    Everything in this super sleek kitchen draws your eye to the dining area at the end of the galley. The wide plank flooring lay out is horizontal to the cabinetry, and the chandelier let’s your gaze land exactly where you are headed. Stainless steel appliances and frosted glass cabinet fronts blend in seamlessly for a straightforward look that is easy on the eyes.

    Related: 11 Eye-Popping Chandeliers Made from the Everyday


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