A galley kitchen may not be at the top of your kitchen wish list, but if you need an efficient layout for a small kitchen, it’s probably your best option. In this post, local home improvement company AllPoint Construction LLC takes an in-depth look at galley kitchens, its pros and cons, and whether it’s  suitable for your own space.

The Pros and Cons of Galley Kitchens 1

What Are Galley Kitchens?

A galley kitchen consists of two parallel runs of equipment separated by a corridor or aisle. Its name is derived from galleys, or the type of kitchen in ships, trains and aircraft. A typical galley kitchen has all the essential work areas such as the cooktop and the sink, but its layout may not have an island or banquette. Also, the principles of a work triangle — the often-used kitchen layout where work areas are placed within paces of each other — may be arranged in a zig-zag or parallel fashion.

Pros of Galley Kitchens

Galley kitchens are ideal for homeowners who need to have a full kitchen out of a limited floor area. It offers the following advantages:

  • Lower remodeling cost. Galley kitchens are smaller than standard-sized kitchens, therefore it won’t require as much materials, therefore a correspondingly low required budget.

  • Easy customization. Just because galley kitchens have a limited floor area doesn’t mean that you have a limited customization. In fact, the reverse is true — a smaller space will force you to become more creative with your design choices. Since all parts of the kitchen can be seen from one end, you can easily choose which colors, finishes and styles will work best.

  • Space efficiency. If your current kitchen feels too big, turning it into a galley kitchen will allow you to reallocate some of the floor area to other parts. You can use the extra floor space for the dining room or just add more flexibility to an open floor plan. Alternatively, you can increase your kitchen’s functionality by adding more work areas, perhaps a second cooktop or a bigger prep area.

Cons of Galley Kitchens

Some homeowners may find some potential drawbacks in galley kitchens. It’s important to note that these are not outright disadvantages, but they are nevertheless worth considering before you commit to it.

  • Limited space. A well-designed galley kitchen shouldn’t feel cramped. However, there can only be so much space that you can build a kitchen on. If you like to entertain guests frequently or want work areas with ample space, then a galley kitchen might not be the ideal choice.

  • Less storage. Every kitchen needs ample storage, which means pre-built cabinets and off-the-shelf storage solutions may not work. To make the most use out of your kitchen’s storage space, work with a remodeler that can build custom cabinetry.

Is a Galley Kitchen Right for You?

Your remodeler will likely discuss various options, including a galley kitchen layout, while planning for your kitchen remodel. As discussed above, the greatest strength of a galley kitchen is its simplicity and efficiency — if you have a limited floor area, it may be your best option. The following are some of the questions you should ask yourself during planning:


  • How do I move around the kitchen? How you use your kitchen is an important design consideration. Some people are most comfortable and efficient in an L-shaped layout, others in a more traditional triangle shape. A galley kitchen divides the work areas into two sides, which means you have to think about whether you’ll be comfortable with a layout that places the sink behind the cooktop, for example. If you have friends or family who already have a galley kitchen, ask them if you can visit and see for yourself if you’re comfortable moving in a corridor-shaped space.

  • Will there be foot traffic? If the galley kitchen is going to be along an actual corridor instead of just being corridor-shaped, then consider how foot traffic will figure into your daily kitchen tasks. You will want to avoid the risks of things like taking a pot of boiling water to a sink behind you when anyone could be passing through at any given time — in which case, you’ll have to consider a different kitchen layout.

  • How much square footage do I have available? The total kitchen square footage will inform your choices, from the size of the cooktop to whether you’ll get a tabletop or mounted microwave oven.

  • Should I relocate the kitchen sink? Relocating the kitchen sink will involve new plumbing, which will increase the cost of your remodeling project and add hours, maybe a day, to the timeline. Unless the original location had major flaws, or if the existing plumbing will be replaced or repaired anyway, try to keep the existing plumbing layout.

Work With a Design-Build Remodeler

A design-build remodeler has the skills and know-how to handle all stages of a remodeling project — from design to build and everything else in between. Whether you’re a hands-on homeowner or are having your home renovated for the first time, you’ll want a remodeler who knows every detail of the project because they helped design it. Design-build remodelers will also handle things like permits and other related paperwork, which can help save you a lot of footwork.

Before hiring a design-build remodeler, look for the following:

  • Valid licenses. Remodelers in Michigan are required to carry a Residential Builders License or a Maintenance and Alterations Contractor License if they are expected to work on projects valued at over $600. If your prospective remodeler will handle the electrical work (as opposed to hiring an electrician separately), then they must also have a Master Electrician License and Electrical Contractor License.

  • Insurance coverage. Prospective contractors must also have insurance coverage that includes General Liability Insurance (for accidental property damage) and Workers’ Compensation (for worksite injuries). Legitimate contractors should have no problem providing a copy of their insurance certificate.

  • References. You should be able to obtain references from prospective contractors without difficulty. Take the time to call these references and ask questions.

When you’re ready to renovate your kitchen, give our team at AllPoint Construction LLC at (734) 407-7110. You can also fill out our contact form for a free consultation.