Kitchen Layouts Pros and Cons: Galley Kitchen

We’re back once again with another episode to the QN Designs’ series where we tell you all how your life can be made both easier or harder from the different ways you shape your kitchen. We’ve thus far explored two different arrangements for your cabinetry in the kitchen and if you haven’t yet updated yourself with the enthralling discussions that we had there, you’d best check them out before you read on any further here.

In our first article, we looked at the L-shaped kitchen where two walls are lined with cabinetry which can be base or wall cupboards. We talked about how it really benefits a home design that flaunts the open living style as well as how the layout supports work productivity, particularly for solo cookers. To see what other things we had to say about the L-shaped kitchen, check this link here.

On the other hand, our next instalment to this series had us observing the U-shaped kitchen. This can either take the form of three adjacent walls lined with cabinetry or two walls plus an extension of the benchtop to form the third side of the U-shape. We talked about how this layout can give you the luxury of space to work with which in turn provides the ability for multiple people to comfortably work together. If you’re curious about what else we discussed, jump on over to this link here.

This time round, we’re taking a peek at the simple yet reliable galley kitchen style. Galley kitchens, also known as corridor kitchens or parallel kitchens, consists of two parallel lines of cabinetry with a walkway in between. This can take the form of a narrow corridor with the appliances and cabinets built along the two opposite walls or you have the option of having the configuration based on one wall with a long island bench as the second line of cabinetry. Read on to see what makes the galley kitchen layout so functional as well as where it can be beneficial or disadvantageous.

Pro: Small Rooms Are No Problem

Floor space may be limited if you live in a modest flat or apartment. Or maybe you prefer to have more space dedicated to the other features of your home such as the dining room or lounge room. Either way, galley kitchens are adaptable to the tiniest of rooms and are the best solutions to ensure the space is being effectively used without making the place feel like a closed-off warehouse for storage. There’s a reason why the galley is nicknamed the corridor kitchen; it’s a layout that is observed prominently when there’s a narrow hallway-like room.

Sure, you can implement an L-shape, but you’d be lacking in storage and workspace quite significantly. On the other hand, you can find yourself putting in a U-shaped kitchen, but you’ll find that the place feels terribly cramped and closed off. A galley kitchen helps to overcome all these challenges by making sure that each of the long sides of the room are appropriately utilised for increased storage capacity and bench space to work with. However, the remaining two sides can act as entry ways to make the place feel more open, accessible and functional.

Pro: Efficiency at Its Finest


With two entry ways on both sides of the kitchen, the accessibility of the layout increases efficiency when you’re constantly in and out throughout the day. In addition, the shape of the kitchen means that there will certainly be an optimal work triangle. The concept of the golden triangle rule is one that we’ve explored several times in previous blogs. It’s a rule of thumb that seeks to improve a person’s experience in the kitchen and provide smooth performance by situating the three main stations of the kitchen in locations that are accessible and convenient. These three stations are the fridge, stovetop and sink. The hypothetical triangle is formed with these three stations as the vertices.

With a galley kitchen, there will always be two of these stations on one side and the remaining station on the other side, forming a very close-knit triangle. A smaller triangle means increased efficiency and productivity as one can travel less distance between each. It means that one can grab an egg from the fridge, crack it into a pan and turn right around to clean the pan in a very swift manner.

Pro: Cost-effective Kitchen

You may be thinking “of course a galley kitchen would be cheaper. It’s for smaller rooms and smaller kitchens!” However, if we were to compare a medium sized kitchen of a galley with a U-shaped kitchen of the same size for an example, you’d still be saving quite a bit because the galley kitchen compromises additional costs associated with corner cabinetry and benchtops.

We’ve spoken before about how if we really wanted to make functional use of a corner cabinet then investing in mechanical storage options is a must as it saves the time of having to get on your knees to reach inside. These storage options can thin out your budget quite easily so avoiding corner cabinets in general can avoid both the monetary strain and hassle of using it. Cost-effectiveness can also be achieved from the benchtop as with other layouts, the cost of extra cuts and joins are present. With galley kitchens, the benchtop is merely two square pieces which reduces labour costs.

Con: More May Not Be Merrier

Cooking is a great activity that you can do together. It helps you develop some skills, brings you a great reward in the end and gives you great opportunity to chat with the other person that you’re with. It can even be romantic if you’re together with your loved one and scooting by each other to get to the fridge giving them a kiss on the cheek along the way. You can imagine this is something that can definitely happen in a galley kitchen with a metre-wide walkway in between the two parallel lines of cabinetry.

However, when the mood isn’t so dreamy this can quickly go from a bonding session to a fighting session. Constantly having to bump into each other as you move from one side of the kitchen to the other can be disturbing and detract from efficiency. With two people, this situation can be somewhat manageable, but once you start having any more than that it becomes close to impossible to have any proper mobility in the room. If you’re in a household where the whole family likes to engage in a team cooking night, it may be preferable to see other options such as the U-shaped kitchen.

Con: Lack of Light

Typically, you’d find that the sink in the kitchen is positioned in front of a window which also bathes the room in a gleam of natural light. However, galley kitchens typically are built along walls that don’t usually have windows and hence a lot of artificial light must be used to compensate. Even if there is a window in the room it may be coming from one of the ends of the corridor which results in more shadows than in your usual kitchen. Having hanging lighting fixtures or LED lights to illuminate the workspace of your benchtop is therefore more necessary in a galley kitchen.

Contact Us Today

If you’re sold on the idea of having a galley kitchen in your home or you have any inquiries about areas we didn’t quite touch upon in this article, please feel free to contact us. Visit us firsthand at our Malaga showroom at 1914 Beach Road or our Morley head office at 1/18 Boag Place. On the other hand, call our showroom at 9249 9492 or our head office at 9275 8253 to speak to one of our professional design consultants. Our experts are always happy to chat and provide you with ways that we can help you bring your kitchen renovation dreams to life.

By Jacky Lu, QN Designs