Curious how to get the kitchen of your dreams within a narrow space? Here’s the skinny: some careful planning, judicious use of storage and small renovations can give a galley kitchen quite a pop.

The long and narrow galley kitchen traces back to tiny spaces set aside for a single cook to feed the onboard crews of waterborne vessels, both small and large. This style was then passed on to long-distance trains of the early 20th century, where a galley arrangement maximized customer seating while retaining a tight and efficient space for food prep—as long as kitchen workers were few and coordinated. 

In a residential home, the galley kitchen often serves as a space saver. Kitchens were often isolated, out-of-the-way functional places prior to the Great Depression. The galley kitchens of the day were dark with limited amenities and could be rooms away from the dining area. 

 Galley Kitchen Design IdeasPhoto by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Today, galley kitchens may be inherited or they may be designed as a preference by serious foodies, seeking a single-function dedicated meal preparation destination. In either case, how you use your kitchen for storage, workflow, and convenience makes the difference between improvised and optimized. Here are some key points to consider to make the most of your galley space.

Galley Kitchen

Plan the flow

Design builds around the kitchen triangle, an aesthetic form and practical function arising from placement of three key kitchen workplaces: the fridge (storage), sink (preparation), and stove (cooking). 

Key to the concept is these three elements are close (but not too close) with countertop space between each workplace. The parallel counters of a double-walled galley split the trio between them. The sink might be centralized on one side with the fridge and stove at either end of the other. Another layout may put the stove on its own. 

The work triangle forms logical divisions of labour in any kitchen. As you optimize a galley kitchen, keep the triangle in mind to help meet your needs and priorities. 

Build around your style

A baker needs room to work and roll out dough before popping things in the oven. Flour, yeast, sugar, measuring cups, and bakeware all make sense near this counter for easy access.

When entrees are top of the menu, roasting pans and spices may be more practical at hand, while baking supplies are relegated to the pantry. Optimize space by putting the most-used items, consumables or tools, near their most-used places. The less you must move to perform the most common tasks, the bigger your galley kitchen feels. 

Consider both workflow and your cooking style before you plan a makeover for your galley, whether you do the renovation yourself or hire a contractor.

Tips and tricks for a galley kitchen

Tips and tricks for a galley kitchen

Using workflow and cooking style as your framework, you can start with the practical elements of optimizing the kitchen. 

Treat your counter space as sacred

Think through the reasons for all items that take up permanent residence on your countertop. Relocate everything possible to another location. Your last cleaning step after every kitchen session should return the counter to its pristine and barren condition, inviting your next meal prep. 

Organizing Kitchen spacePhoto by Photoholgic on Unsplash

Use the walls

Even salt and pepper shakers can steal counter space, but they’re no further away in a rack on the wall above your counter. Shelves, spice racks, and utensil holders keep your regular tools at hand while still being out of the way of the pizza dough you’re rolling. 

Compartments with storage in the kitchen

Compartments within storage

Think of this as an expansion of the cutlery organizer or spice rack idea. Use baskets, bins, and organizers in every drawer and cupboard to create dedicated spaces. Oils and vinegars, baking powders and sodas, sugars and sweeteners—there are endless groupings that can help you define clear locations for virtually anything. 

Compact Kitchen appliance

Compact appliances

While it’s nice to own and work with full-size mixers and food processors, be honest about your needs. If you have a compact kitchen, a mega appliance steals proportionately more of your countertop. For instance, immersion blenders are drawer-friendly and even more versatile than countertop versions. 

 Built-in Kitchen appliances

Build it in

If it’s possible in your space, recess appliances like microwaves, convection ovens, and coffee makers into the wall. Even shallow shelves sunken between wall studs can dramatically increase your at-hand capacities. 

Modern Kitchen Lighting

Add light

You won’t want to work in dark corners, so eliminate them. There have never been more options for versatile task lighting. Add LED lights that fit your needs (and budget) to brighten under-used spaces. You can add passive light, too, by choosing light colours for walls, cabinets, and flooring. However, don’t be afraid to add splashes of darker hues. They can give a sense of depth that expands your perceived space. 

Remember, there’s no reason your galley kitchen needs to represent compromise. Using these tips can help make the space you have into the type of kitchen you’ve always wanted. 

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Welcome to 5959 Pineglade, a popular Empire model townhome in the family oriented Chapel Hill South. This CARPET-FREE 3 beds/2.5 baths home is perfect for families. The freshly painted living/dining rooms feature HARDWOOD floors, wood FP & large window & patio door. The large kitchen offers plenty of counter space & SS appl. The 15' long primary bedr will easily fit your king-sized bed & includes a 4 pc ensuite, updated vanity & walk-in closet. 2 other spacious bdrms located at the front & main bathroom with an updated vanity, complete the upper level. The lower level family room features big windows bringing in lots of light, a small den space, and a laundry/utility space. You can easily create a THIRD Full bathroom with the existing installed shower. The fenced backyard has a large 2 tier deck with a BBQ natural gas hook-up ready for your family BBQ. IMPORTANT UPGRADES: Roofing 2021, Furnace/AC 2018, windows 2017. Steps to LongLeaf park. Some pictures are virtually staged. (id:2493)


When preparing your home for the market, it’s great to know there are some relatively inexpensive improvements that can make a big impact with buyers.

5_thrifty_fix-ups_to_sell_your_homeA few well-placed pieces of décor and a clutter-free home are simple things you can do on a budget to bump up interest in your home. Once the fundamentals of a well-maintained home are taken care of, these easy initiatives can seal the deal.

  1. Declutter your kitchen. Counter space is extremely important for buyers. Be sure to store kitchen items off the counters. Purchase storage baskets in several different sizes to help you clear the decks in a hurry and minimise clutter.

  2. Brighten up storage spaces. Closets and cupboard space are important selling features. You can make the most of what you have by purging unused items and painting a light colour inside cupboards and closets. Adding battery-operated lighting is also an inexpensive way to brighten a dark closet.

  3. Update lighting around the house  While buyers will usually focus on the amount of natural light flooding into your property during a viewing, they’ll also be looking at how your electric lighting is used and how it affects the ambiance of your home.
    Focus on ceiling lights that can be updated with inexpensive newer bright light fixtures. Updating your bathroom vanity light  is also a real winner. Consider replacing any blown bulbs with energy efficient ones. Add lamps or corner lights to rooms that lack natural light

  4. Change your front door. First impressions definitely count with buyers and as the front of your property is the first thing they’ll see, a new front door can really create the wow factor. As well as making a good impression as a design statement, a new front door can also appeal to buyers who are eco-conscious and want a home that is energy efficient. Modern doors are extremely energy efficient, as well as looking great, but even if your budget can’t stretch to a new one, you could add a splash of colour to your existing door if it’s wooden.

  5. Replace interior room doors Quickly and inexpensively brighten hallways and rooms by replacing interior doors and hardware. New white panelled doors and hardware can quickly freshen the home. Look for sales at your local building centre.

  6. Check your flooring. You may be pleasantly surprised by what’s underneath. Even if you don’t like what you see, replacing carpets is one of the most economical improvements you can make when you consider the overall return on your dollar.

  7. Paint. Even high-end interior paints are a bargain when you look at what can be achieved with a fresh new finish. Opt for neutral colours in matte or eggshell finishes to camouflage flaws in walls. Read up on the current trends, too, and use colours that are of the moment, so your property really appeals to design-savvy buyers. Baseboard and door frames will get new life witha white shade of satin, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. 

  8. Tidy up your bathrooms.Along with the kitchen, buyers will place a large amount of their focus on your bathrooms when looking at your property.And while a new bathroom suite might be out of reach both financially and from a time point of view, there are still plenty of DIY tasks you can take on to present your bathrooms in the best possible way.


  1. Replacing any cracked or broken tiles

  2. Refreshing the grouting that has become stained or discoloured

  3. Replacing taps and shower fittings

  4. Adding a storage unit if you have space

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