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 example of gorgeous galley kitchen design and get inspired.

  1. Make a U-Turn

    U shaped kitchen 1

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    This U-shaped galley kitchen design 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. Trick of the Eye



    Some of the best galley kitchen ideas borrow from timeless hallmarks of interior design. Here, taking a page from the playbook of decorators past and present, the mirrored backsplash reflects natural light to make the narrow space appear more expansive.

    Related: 17 Backsplashes for a Unique Kitchen

  3. 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 galley kitchen design seem a lot more generously sized than would tiny mosaic tile.

    Related: Kitchen Flooring: 8 Popular Choices

  4. Painted



    With long, unbroken runs of cabinetry on either side, even a small galley kitchen can look and feel monotonous. Introducing a splash of color changes the dynamic. Here, blue-painted cabinets pop off the white walls and light-color flooring, lending no small amount of cheery interest.

    Related: Going Bold: 10 Kitchens That Pop with Color

  5. Height & Light



    Perhaps inspired by a greenhouse, this incredible galley kitchen design takes full advantage of abundant glazing to achieve a truly unwashed space that, in part thanks to its cathedral ceiling, looks much, much bigger than it really is. It’s so airy, were it not grounded by the rich plank wood flooring, the kitchen looks as though it would float away.

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

  6. Sky High



    Tall cabinets can be tough to reach. That's what makes a library ladder among the very best galley kitchen ideas. Besides providing practical value, a ladder can look great too, especially if it's a vintage find. 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

  7. Take a Seat



    Incorporating a breakfast area into your galley kitchen design 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

  8. All Aboard


    Elle Decor

    Industrial-style pendant lights give a nod to the seafaring roots of gallery kitchens. Meanwhile, stainless steel appliances extend the theme and provide a bit of sheen—perfect for a small space. Open shelves and a built-in bar complete the room and promote maximum space efficiency.

    Related: Trending Now: Pendant Lighting

  9. Make Over



    Turning a dark, cramped cooking area into a light, airy kitchen is no easy feat. DIY by ADD accomplished this with a galley kitchen design that entirely replaces the upper cabinets on one side of the room with open shelving—and by swapping a glass door in for the old wood exterior door.

    Related: 10 New Uses for Old Doors

  10. An Elegant Mix



    Built within a traditional Brooklyn brownstone, modern cabinets render this galley 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

  11. Super Sleek



    From the layout of the flooring to the placement of the chandelier, everything in this super-sleek galley kitchen design seems to draw your eye to the dining area. At the same time, in the kitchen area itself, stainless steel appliances and frosted-glass cabinet fronts trick the eye into seeing depth and movement in a space that might otherwise appear compact and cloistered. 

    Related:  11 Eye-Popping Chandeliers Made from the Everyday

  12. Orange Crush



    At 11 feet wide, this galley kitchen manages to incorporate a breakfast bar, complete with small, uncomplicated stools slipped under the stainless steel counter. The design also makes efficient use of wall space under the upper cabinets for open shelving. Finally, that retro orange accent wall and refrigerator supply a wonderful contrast to all the white and stainless steel surfaces in the room. 

    Related: 10 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities

  13. Extra Wide



    Some galley kitchens suffer from narrow aisles, but in this relatively spacious example, 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

  14. Unexpected Touches



    This homeowner decided to layer oversized kitchen-theme art over a chalkboard wall—perfect for shopping lists and daily reminders. Even while providing a note of glamour, the ceiling-hung chandelier also offers the reminder that many of the best galley kitchen ideas challenge knee-jerk assumptions about what belongs (and doesn't) in a confined, primarily utilitarian space.

    Related: 10 Reasons to Go Crazy for Chalkboard Paint

  15. 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 corroborates 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

  16. Vintage Elements



    Ceiling-high cabinets topped with traditional, stacked crown molding make the most of the vertical space in this small galley kitchen. 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

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    These innovative and beautiful kitchens may inspire your next renovation or redecorating project. Take a look to see the latest images and inspiration.