Galley kitchens are a long, narrow aisle with countertops, cabinets, and appliances along each side and without a kitchen table. Originating at sea, the term galley refers to the place on a boat for cooking food, not dining. Galleys optimise a boat or ship’s limited space using counter-to-ceiling cabinets above the cooking and food preparation areas.
Kitchens in homes come in a wide variety of designs, shapes, and sizes, and larger kitchens are known to add value to a home when on the market. Though spacious kitchens are especially attractive to families, smaller, more space-efficient galleys offer many benefits. For many, a small kitchen heightens their enjoyment of the cooking experience.
Control the flow
The galley format controls traffic flow—both going in and coming out. This control reduces the number of potential cooks, as in the idiom “too many cooks in the kitchen.” It can amplify the enjoyment of cooking alone or with the help of just one other and discourage lots of helping hands.
The kitchen triangle is an invisible line drawn between the sink, stove, and refrigerator to achieve optimum efficiency. A well-planned galley using the kitchen triangle is the ideal workspace for professional and amateur cooks alike.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of the sleek design is how it promoted cleaning throughout the cooking process. In most cases, cabinets above and below are organised and have a place for all cooking implements. By cleaning and putting away these items during the cooking process, the cook gains maximum use of the food preparation surfaces and appliances.
Most galley kitchen owners use baskets and bins for storing pots, pans, tools, and even food. Without excess storage space, collecting unnecessary small appliances or dishware is discouraged. It’s much easier to fix meals in a less-cluttered kitchen.
Storage and shelving
Without the options of more floor space, storage in galleys goes up, not out. This vertical design usually requires thoughtful planning and design. A lot of galleys have open shelving for storage containers and baskets, as well as cabinets for hiding less decorative items.
When designing a galley, don’t forget about the ceiling. The top of the room is a great place to hang a pot rack or other hooks and save cabinetry for different items. Depending upon the design, a pot rack can add to the beauty and intentional design of the space.
When designing new or remodelling a current kitchen, choose white or very light colours to brighten the small space. Recent design trends lean toward white walls and cabinets with colourful accents or accessories. Small appliances now come in a wide variety of colours, sure to light up any room.
Light-coloured walls and surfaces allow natural light to illuminate the area, which can be dark due to the tiny size of the space. Mirrored surfaces such as stainless-steel appliances or backsplash tiles reflect light sources and brighten dark corners making them more usable. Under-cabinet lighting makes every inch of workspace usable.
While boat galleys do not include a table, that’s not to say one should not consider seating in a home galley. The simple aisle design of the space leaves no room for a table but consider leaving out a cabinet or two to allow stools to be tucked under the counter when not in use as a breakfast nook. It can also be a place for visitors to sit and visit while the cook is performing culinary magic.
Bringing it home
Galley kitchens are beautifully tidy, simply designed spaces many cooks love. If well-designed, it can add to the home’s value, especially if it frees up floor space for other uses, such as the now all-important home office.
Galleys optimise vertical space rather than horizontal space. Pot racks and other hooks mounted to the ceiling are a great way to store items while using the limited counter and cabinet space for other cooking accessories or decoration. Cooks around the world love the minimalist design because it promotes a tidy environment in which every tool is just an arm stretch away.
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