Whilst some may initially dismiss the idea of a galley kitchen due to perceived space constraints, it’s worth remembering that traditional homes of the early 1900s ingeniously made the most of their kitchen spaces to accommodate children, spouses, and extended family members. It was, and still is, an idyllic setting for loved ones to convene, exchange stories, and savour quality time together. Despite being a modest space, the galley kitchen remains a versatile and charming space.
With the expertise of skilled interior designers and an array of captivating kitchen layouts, there’s no need to underestimate the potential a galley kitchen has to offer. According to Newark kitchen specialists, KNB, there are many techniques you can use to create spaciousness within even the most compact kitchens. Through strategic placement of lighting fixtures, careful selection of paint palettes, and meticulous design choices, you can transform your space into a functional haven that effortlessly caters to your needs, whilst catering for your family.
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How can you make the most of the space?
Of course, you can knock down a few walls to create an open-plan look, but there is no fun, adventure and excitement in that, especially if you want to preserve your galley kitchen’s character. Instead, you can be far more creative with your space. Here’s how:
1. Bring the outside in
Homes and apartments that predated the war had a much different approach to the kitchen. In fact, some period properties had galley kitchens built on as an extension in the late 20th Century so they could function for more modern uses. After all, it was much cheaper to renovate and extend a property than completely redesign it.
As our needs evolved and expanded, many kitchens, which were once the heart of the home, found themselves relocated to extensions, affording residents more space. As a consequence, it’s not uncommon to encounter older properties adorned with slanted ceilings, particularly on a ground-floor extension. Introducing a skylight, alongside accompanying windows offers excellent light distribution, which naturally evokes a sense of spaciousness, as well as warmth.
Of course, newer builds with galley kitchen designs may not have the luxury of a skylight, but that shouldn’t stop you from allowing the sunshine into your home. The strategic placement of expansive windows along your exterior walls not only encourages a seamless influx of natural light but also minimises the shadow cast by the nearby frame and windowsill.
Additionally, if you opted for a panoramic-style window, you’d benefit from glorious views as well as a level of brightness that alludes to spaciousness.
2. Keep the design simple
It’s easy to get carried away with colours and textures when you work from a blank canvas. You’ll need logic when you work with a galley kitchen to ensure your existing space can boast functionality. Behind your kitchen cabinets and cupboards, you have options to give you the space you need.
Clean, white cupboards and cabinets are the easiest option when it comes to evoking simple design. Yet, you can pair it with a shiny marble countertop surface or a no-handle drawer design. In a galley kitchen, your cabinets shouldn’t restrict you, meaning you can play with angles and how your doors and drawers open. For example, to boost space you might consider overhead cabinets opening upwards instead of to the side.
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3. Select colours that reflect the light
White isn’t your only choice when it comes to reflective colour palettes; you can let your creativity run wild. Think pastel shades, like soothing turquoise or gentle pale yellow, that provide a delightful charm to your galley kitchen. These colours perfectly harmonise with the streaming sunlight. Your chosen colour palette should complement your personality, making you feel right at home.
What’s more, you can consider the magic of illuminated or light-reflective colours; they cast a warm and inviting spell over your galley kitchen throughout the day, working cohesively with candles or artificial lighting at night. Just remember to choose your palette wisely, as colours can evoke different moods. Choose shades that wrap you in a cosy, relaxed embrace every time you step into your kitchen sanctuary.
4. Make the most of your functional space
In even the cosiest of kitchens, there’s room to tweak designs and experiment. Galley kitchens, with their charmingly long and narrow layout, might not be the first choice for a sprawling kitchen island, but they certainly can function with one. At the kitchen’s tail end, you’ll often stumble upon a charming nook of possibility, ideal for reading, entertaining guests or helping your children with their homework.
You can transform this space into a bench-seating area, perfect for squeezing in some quality family time while you work your magic in the kitchen. Or, it could be your handy small kitchen island, providing extra countertop real estate for your baking adventures and gourmet feasts – because who doesn’t love a good cooking session with friends?
5. Consider the remaining wall space
If you’re turning your exterior walls into a stunning panoramic window, why not give some love to your interior walls too? In those nooks where traditional cabinets or overhead cupboards won’t fit, consider adding some handy shelving space. It’s like your own little storage oasis for all those everyday essentials.
To really make it pop, match the materials of these shelves with your countertop surfaces. It’s a design trick that shines, especially if you’ve gone for a bold contrast, like darker colours paired with bronze.
For passionate cooks, those hefty pots and pans are essential for your legendary beef stroganoff and street-famous lasagne, but they’re too bulky for your kitchen space. That’s where clever shelving and storage come to the rescue. Your shelves can house your trusty cookware or even some vibrant houseplants to sprinkle a little extra life into your kitchen haven.
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How can you start making changes to your galley kitchen?
Before you dive into a galley kitchen makeover, you’ll need a strategy. It’s all about having a plan in place. Look online for inspiration, flip through brochures, and have a chat with kitchen design experts. Building a clear vision of your dream kitchen will guide your decisions.
With a galley kitchen, it’s like a fun puzzle – embrace the space you’ve got and get creative with your décor choices. Done right, your galley kitchen can become the family’s go-to gathering spot, a place where memories are cooked up alongside those delicious meals.