How to Update A Galley Kitchen
Galley kitchens became popular during the early part of the 20th century. Modeled after the galley kitchen of a ship where the space is limited and made to be linear and as functional as possible, the galley kitchen follows the form of a linear space with the appliances and cabinets along the straight line.
When houses were smaller and kitchen work was preferably done “out-of-site”, the galley kitchen was ideal. Today, more people prefer an open style kitchen often being open to a great room or den where the food preparation isn’t separate but part of family life.
If you have a home that has an old-style galley kitchen there are several things that you can do to bring it up to today’s standards.
1st – Remove A Wall
By removing a wall the kitchen is instantly opened up to the rest of the home. Not only will the kitchen be more airy but the one preparing meals will feel more a part of what the rest of the household is doing.
2nd – Add Granite Countertops
Chances are if you have an old galley style kitchen then you have an old-style countertop such as Formica or ceramic tiles. Granite countertops will instantly make a galley style kitchen feel “new” and updated.
3rd – Add A Natural Stone Floor
Natural stone floors in a galley style kitchen will not only make the kitchen look more modern but is very beautiful and durable. Granite tiles are a beautiful choice for kitchen floors and look great with granite countertops.
Make the Most of a Galley Kitchen
The galley kitchen used to be perceived as humble and limited, with little space to do any real work. But these days, people are finding the opposite: the simple layout allows for maximum efficiency, while the two-way design gives you more room to perform complex tasks. A growing number of commercial establishments have picked up the galley layout for this same reason, and there’s no reason it can’t work for your home. If you’re looking for kitchen designs that effectively combine style and function, galley kitchens should definitely be on your list.
But first, what exactly is a galley kitchen? The galley design involves a single-corridor layout with counters on each side, and an optional counter connecting them on one end. It is one of the simplest kitchen floor plans, along with the single-line kitchen which only includes one countertop. Galley kitchens have found much use in both business and residential spaces, and with more people downsizing their homes, they’re fast coming back in style. Below are some ways you can make a galley kitchen work in your home.
Define Your Space
Galley kitchens were initially made for small spaces, but the best thing about them is that they’re extendable. The length of your kitchen—what experts commonly call the “work zone”—can be anywhere between five and twenty feet, usually depending on how big the room is, to begin with. If you have a long counter, however, you may need to define different work stations so that the work can flow smoothly. A kitchen planning guide can help you determine your space requirements and put the right divisions in place.
Width can be harder to work with, as the two counters need to be close enough for easy access. Ideally, there should be at least three feet in between countertops, although five feet is usually optimal. Any tighter and it’ll be hard to move around; any wider and it gets hard to coordinate your steps. Aim for a total width of seven to twelve feet, counter space included.
Create Your Work Triangle
The three most heavily used items in the kitchen are the stove, the fridge, and the sink. One of the first rules in kitchen design is that these three should be within easy access from each other, ideally forming an imaginary triangle in your kitchen. The galley design makes it easy to incorporate the kitchen work triangle into your space, with two elements on one side and the third positioned the other, roughly in between the other two.
A side-by-side refrigerator can work as the central element in your triangle. If you have a standard one-side fridge, place it alongside something else, such as the sink, with the hinge on the outside corner. That way, you don’t take up space in the work triangle whenever you open it. Try to keep the distance between each element equal, and put them no more than three steps apart from each other.
Keep the Design Basic
Galley kitchens leave a lot of room for decorating, but overdoing it can significantly slow you down. Start with basic elements such as countertops, cabinets, furniture, and lighting. If possible, shop for your countertop and sink at the same time. Some materials simply don’t go well as a pair, and you don’t want to invest in fixtures that turn out incompatible. Decide where you want to put your kitchen work stations, and plan out your counter and sink space to fit.
Try to keep the countertop lengths as equal as possible to maximize your work surface. Prioritize upper cabinets over the base ones—they take up less space and are usually easier to access. Save the under-counter space for appliances like dishwashers and trash compactors. If you already have cabinets installed under the counter, use them for heavy items such as pots, pans, and large appliances. Wall sconces make excellent ambient lighting, especially when used with smaller task lights for major work stations.
Manage Foot Traffic
The main problem with galley kitchens is that through traffic can be hard to control. Many galley kitchens connect one area of the home to another, such as the living room and the backyard. The constant stream of foot traffic can slow down your work and increase the risk of accidents. One way you can do this is to close off one of the entrances, either by installing a kitchen island or placing a work station on the far end. Arrange it so that the most commonly used items are close to the entrance. This way, people don’t have to go far into the corridor when they need something from the kitchen. The open end can hold the fridge, snack shelves and glasses, the middle range can be used for the sink and the microwave, and the far end can hold a rack for pots and pans.
Small Space Design Made Easy
So you’ve got a small flat or condo, and you’re not sure how to design it without making it too crowded. Don’t worry—there are lots of options for homeowners like you, especially these days. With more people settling in the city and moving into smaller spaces, the trend towards small space design is growing. Designers have come up with countless ideas for designing small homes, and the results are often quite impressive.
One of the first rules in small space design is that you have to keep things organized. Some clutter may be tolerable in a large home, but when you don’t have a lot of room, even a few books lying around can cut into your visual space. So start by planning your storage: determine how much stuff you have, and decide on the best way to store them. Make sure there’s a place for everything so that nothing’s out of place at any given time.
Colors and Patterns
Colors and patterns also play a big role in how your small space feels. The right color palette can make your home look much bigger than it really is. Likewise, if you choose the wrong colors, the whole place can look cramped and unwelcoming. Bright colors and pastels usually work best, as they have that “open” look that creates an illusion of space. Use patterns sparingly—start with solid colors and just add patterned pieces as accents.
Kitchens are often central to small spaces, as it’s where most of the work and entertainment gets done. One thing you can do is create a galley kitchen: a kitchen layout consisting of one corridor with counters on each side. This gives you a lot of workspace in a small area, which can greatly increase your efficiency. Put your main work stations in place first, then plan out the rest of the kitchen to suit your needs.
Keep the room as bright and well-lit as possible. Use natural light whenever you can—open up some windows, diffuse the light with sheer curtains, and use reflective surfaces to distribute light from a limited source. If you have to use artificial lighting, choose a warm-toned bulb instead of white daylight for a fuller, richer color.
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