6 Brilliant Space-Making Solutions for Galley Kitchens

updated Jun 9, 2019
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

For a long time, galley kitchens have gotten a bad rap as the most undesirable layout. And while they tend to be more on the snug side compared to other designs, they’re not all that bad. For one, they make it easy to hide your mess (you can’t say the same for covetable open-concept kitchens!). They also hold the potential for lots of smart storage.

If you happen to be the proud (or not-so-proud?) home cook in a galley kitchen, you might be able to put some of these brilliant ideas to good use.

(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

1. Use windowsills as shelves.

Ideally, your galley kitchen has at least one window. It’s great for letting light into the room (obviously), but it also creates a makeshift bookshelf. Line up your cookbooks on the windowsill and that’ll free up some counter or cabinet space.

Tour the space: A Designer’s “Antique Modern” NYC Studio at Apartment Therapy

2. Add a breakfast bar.

When you’re trying to cook up a storm in a small kitchen, furniture can become a big obstacle. The solution? Turn a shelf into a breakfast bar. It’s narrow so it won’t protrude too much. You can also consider a fold-out table that can be packed away when not in use.

Tour the rest of the space: Kathryn & Perry’s “Have Less Do More” Apartment at Apartment Therapy

(Image credit: sfgirlbybay)

3. Take advantage of the tops of your cabinets.

If your cabinets are full, look to the tops of them. This kitchen, which was featured on SF Girl by Bay, barely takes advantage, but you get the idea. Keep your large serving platters up there and anything you don’t use all that often.

See more: Unexpected Guests: Janet Berggren at SF Girl by Bay

(Image credit: Ben Pentreath)

4. Put storage racks wherever possible.

This room by Ben Pentreath has plenty of stuff in it — without feeling cluttered. There’s tons of shelving, plus those wine racks in the corners of the counters create even more storage.

See more: Smart Design Solutions for Narrow Galley Kitchens at Apartment Therapy

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

5. Use whatever wall space you have.

A magnetic knife rack might not make a ton of sense next to a window, but if that’s the only space you have to hang it, do it. Use walls for knife racks, small shelves, spice racks, etc.

See more: Kate Davison’s San Francisco Home Tour at The Everygirl

6. Don’t forget the space over your window, too.

Remember that window we were talking about? Steal this idea from Carley Summers and hang a shelf that goes across the window. Then, stack it high with pretty dishes.