1. Assess your space. Though galley kitchens work best in small spaces, they can also be good for medium-sized kitchens, such as the one pictured here. However, be aware that if the opposing runs are too far apart, the kitchen will lose its efficiency.
Also know that a galley layout, while ideal on a professional level, is usually an enclosed space without a dining area. That means that if there’s no possibility of opening up the space, it’s potentially not the most sociable of arrangements. On the other hand, a galley layout in an open-plan space can offer the best of both worlds.
2. Choose your galley look: Symmetrical … When it comes to galley kitchens, there are two layout preferences. The first is relatively symmetrical, as seen here. This usually means the length of the runs and the arrangement of units on each side mirror each other as much as possible — or as much as you want.
… or asymmetrical. You can opt for an asymmetrical layout instead, using various approaches. One involves focusing tall cabinets or a bank of appliances on one side of the room, with base and wall units on the other. Or you can go with a mix of tall and wall units along one side, with a single run of base units on the other if, for example, you have an open-plan space, as pictured here.
3. Put tall cabinets on one wall. If you’re designing a galley kitchen as described above, it’s preferable to go for a wall length of at least 12 feet so the sink and cooktop can be placed far enough away from each other. For safety, these should be at least a foot apart, but since that wouldn’t leave any work space, we always try to site them more than 3 feet apart. In this arrangement, a run of 12 feet allows for sufficient sink capacity, with cabinets or drawers beneath the range — occasionally adaptation is required for top drawers in this scenario — and it ensures that all the major appliances fit.
Finally, 12 feet allows space for the units on the opposite run — the fridge, oven housing and pantry storage, for example. This arrangement provides ample storage space, helping keep the kitchen tidy and the countertops free of clutter.
4. Or break up the run. You might prefer an asymmetrical layout with tall and base units along the same wall. For example, if a wall is just over 12 feet long, it’s likely to have three tall housings at one end and three base units at the other. Typically, there would be wall units, floating shelving or a window above the base units. Along the opposite side you could have wall units, shelving, a window or even a clear wall.
This arrangement works really well if the kitchen is quite narrow, since without a tall bank of units as you enter the kitchen, the space will feel more open.
5. Work with a galley corridor. Depending on the layout of your home, galley kitchens may or may not be closed off at one end. If the far end leads to another room or the garden, it will see heavy traffic because it will become a thoroughfare.
Depending on the number of people in your household, this may not be a problem, but if you have small children or pets, you won’t want them charging through the kitchen while you’re holding a sharp knife or a pan of boiling water.
You can enhance the safety of your layout — particularly where the corridor is very narrow — by planning your kitchen with the sink and cooktop on the same run. Though less efficient than having those features opposite each other, this arrangement focuses your appliances in one area, so you won’t have to turn to the opposing run with potentially dangerous items in your hands.