How do you make a long, narrow kitchen with limited space on both sides bigger? This is a common question for homeowners with a galley kitchen in Lafayette. This distinctive kitchen layout has a definite charm that makes it widely popular. However, it can sometimes feel restrictive, functionally and in its appearance, especially as our kitchen habits have changed in recent decades.
So how to expand a gallery kitchen or make it seem more spacious?
How to Expand a Gallery Kitchen or Make It Seem Bigger
What Exactly Is a Galley Kitchen?
A galley kitchen features cabinets and countertops on either side of a corridor-like space. The name comes from the traditional galleys found on ships where food is cooked and prepared. These designs made the best use of often tight spaces, and similarly, a residential galley kitchen also suits smaller kitchen areas.
In a standard home galley kitchen, there’s a floor area stretching between two parallel walls or runs of cabinetry. Typically, you’ll find two or more workstations facing one another. A primary benefit of such a setup is that it’s easier to quickly access core areas of the kitchen without too much movement. This makes it a favorite design arrangement among many chefs.
Pros and Cons of a Galley Kitchen
Like with all kitchen layout types, there are several benefits and drawbacks to the galley kitchen.
The pros include:
• Easy and fast access to the essential cooking appliances
• Close proximity of different food preparation surfaces to one another
• Smaller and narrower shape suitable for some home layouts
• Quicker and easier to clean compared to more spacious kitchens
The cons include:
• A lack of a central social focal point such as a kitchen island
• Narrower layout makes it harder for multiple people to cook simultaneously
• Reduced scope for larger custom appliances to fit into the kitchen
• Can impact the resale value for homes with smaller galley kitchens
• Potentially less storage space depending on the design
Galley kitchens can also suffer from reduced daylight, leaving them looking darker than larger and more open-plan kitchen interiors.
So how can you make your existing galley kitchen bigger and more advantageous than it currently is?
1. Remove a Wall (or Partial Wall)
If possible, remove a wall – or part of a wall – between your galley kitchen and another room. Doing so will increase the amount of perceived space both vertically and horizontally and allow for easier communication when people are in different areas.
The increase in space will likely also bring more natural daylight into the kitchen and the adjoining interior. More light makes a smaller kitchen feel larger, lighter, and cheerier.
It’s essential to check whether the wall or section of the wall you want to demolish is not load-bearing. Your professional design-build team will know how to help you figure this out if you are in doubt.
2. Rework the layout by Borrowing Square Footage from a Nearby Space
A different way to increase the area of your galley kitchen is to borrow space from a nearby enclosed storage area or another unnecessary structural feature. For example, a small closet outside the kitchen can be knocked through and turned into a wider access route or a wine serving area.
Before and during the design process, it’s important to figure out how you want to use your kitchen and dining area in relation to your general lifestyle. For example, if you host regular dinner parties, creating extra counter space between the galley kitchen and dining room can be beneficial for serving food and drink to guests.
3. Join the Kitchen and Dining Room with a Countertop Extension
A countertop extension can significantly open up an otherwise restricting galley kitchen if you regularly entertain and like to gather together as a family. By placing a countertop between the kitchen and the dining room, you create the perfect entertainment space that provides increased service and storage options.
Such an extension is perfect for pouring drinks, serving food, and simply chatting together over brunch – with the addition of barstools. The extra storage also reduces clutter and allows you to access specific items faster and more effectively. It also provides a pleasant backdrop to the rest of the wider space.
4. Move the Dining Area Outside the Kitchen
Some galley kitchens feature an in-built dining area. This links to previous points where an adjacent storage cupboard or wall can be knocked through and either a countertop or dining nook installed. It might be possible to move the dining area outside the kitchen altogether in such scenarios.
Doing so may require you to reconfigure your storage units and large appliances to increase both the function and the amount of available space in your galley kitchen. For example, when knocking through part of a wall to add an eat-in peninsula, you’d need to move the refrigerator and cabinets to the opposite wall.
5. More Ways to Make Your Galley Kitchen Look Bigger
You can effectively maximize storage in your galley kitchen by adding floor-to-ceiling cabinets. These come in various designs to suit different kitchen styles, including incorporating large appliances and little niches for display and preparation purposes.
You can even hide appliances such as fridges and dishwashers behind panels identical to the surrounding cabinets.
Conversely, if your kitchen already has plenty of storage, you can opt to reduce the number of upper cabinets you might have and install open shelving instead. This change will lead to a more spacious ambiance.
Color is another crucial factor in the perceived size of an interior. Lighter colors make a space appear bigger and airier, while darker colors can make it heavier. Working with a designer can help you balance color, light, texture, and pattern in harmony that feels in balance with the surroundings.
Finally, increasing the amount of natural light in your kitchen is always a good idea. Our mental, physical, and emotional well-being is directly tied to how much natural daylight we receive. Where possible, increase the size of existing windows or add new ones. Skylights in the ceiling can also be an excellent option.
Your trusted design-build remodeling team will be able to advise you on these design options. And this is where we at Riverside Construction can help you.
Work With a Qualified Design-Build Firm
Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned respect and confidence of discerning homeowners in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas.
With an award-winning team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in various fields, we excel at listening to client ideas and translating those dreams into reality. We can help you decide on a direction, provide guidance, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream kitchen is achieved.
Whether you’re transforming a kitchen or any other area of your home, let us guide your decision-making and partner with you to achieve your envisioned results.
Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.