The 5 Things I’ll Miss About Cooking in a Galley Kitchen

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

When I left home to go to college, little did I know that I was also leaving behind a bigger kitchen and trading it in for galley kitchens. Five moves and five galley kitchens later, I’m finally moving into a larger kitchen with a more open floor plan. While I’m stoked for all the extra storage and counter space that will come with the new kitchen, there’s a part of me that will miss a few things about the classic galley kitchen.

The move will be bittersweet. You’ll never find me complaining about more kitchen space, but I really learned how to cook in small galley kitchens. I’ll miss these great aspects of this classic design!

(Image credit: Colin Price Photography/The Everygirl)

1. The galley “triangle.”

Efficiently laid-out kitchens, no matter the shape or size, usually have a great work “triangle.” This triangle refers to the lines that can be drawn between the stove, sink, and refrigerator. A galley kitchen usually has the best triangle because the three areas are equidistant.

In all the galley kitchens I’ve lived with, I’ve never been more than a step or two away from everything; I usually just have to pivot or turn to grab something from the refrigerator or stir something on the stove. When you cook a lot at home, the savings in number of steps really adds up!

2. Limited storage keeps me from hoarding.

Storage space has always been a premium in my galley kitchens, and it’s forced me to be much pickier about the cookware, tools, and gadgets I keep. Unitaskers rarely make the cut, and even my pantry is limited to certain staples because I don’t have the space to keep a wide variety of, say, pastas or vinegars. Only the things that get used often get to take up the prime real estate.

3. Countertops need to stay neat and tidy.

Countertop space is always at a premium in any kitchen, and galley kitchens are no exception. This means I’ve learned to keep things on the countertop to a minimum; the only things that make the cut have to be used almost daily.

4. The fact that there’s only one entrance.

The kitchen isn’t the safest place for my curious and active toddler when I have the oven on or am scrambling to get dinner onto the table. Our galley kitchen has only one entrance, and I didn’t realize just how well that worked out until we put up a baby gate there. The gate keeps my daughter safely outside the kitchen, something we won’t be able to do in our new kitchen, which has two entrances and a freestanding island.

5. I cook in peace.

I’m a cooking introvert and am happiest when I’m in the kitchen by myself. I don’t mind chatting with friends or family, but the narrow kitchen layout means there just isn’t room for a crowd. Instead, I have people stand on the other side of the island that makes up one side of our galley kitchen, which works out great since they can chat and still see what’s going on.

A galley kitchen also makes it easier to duck inside for a bit of a mental break from entertaining since I can say, “Oh, why don’t I take care of that since there isn’t a lot of room in the kitchen.” With my new kitchen, it’ll be a little harder to get a moment or two of peace since there’s plenty of room for helpers to tag along. Guess I’ll have to figure out another spot in the house to catch my breath!

What do you like about galley kitchens?