What is a galley kitchen?
The galley kitchen layout takes its name from a ship’s galley, which is configured to run lengthways as a corridoor through the ship. Galley kitchens are configured as a long, narrow corridor between two parallell benches. Galley kitchens can be as long as you want them to be, however because they're confined to a small area more or less by definition, it's important that you're critically aware of the space constraints.
When is a galley kitchen the best choice?
Galley kitchens offer very little in terms of width, but they do work very well in cramped areas. Galley-style kitchens are very popular in commercial kitchens and in busy restaurants, because of how efficiently they make use of the avaialble space.
The galley kitchen is practical for small spaces, which makes it a popular design choice in flats or units.
Galley kitchens leave very little room for anything other than cooking or cleaning up, meaning that there's normally no room for a dining area or even any basic social activity - most galley kitchens will comfortably accommodate one person, or uncomfortably accommodate two.
Tips for galley kitchens
Because galley kitchens are quite narrow, lighting is extremely important. Open ends will allow more light to filter through, but if this isn't an option, it's worth considering installing lights in pantries, under cabinets and if possible, installing a skylight. Large windows and openings in walls can also help both to bring light in and to improve the view, making the whole kitchen feel a bit less claustrophobic.
It's always a good idea to install appliances together in a galley kitchen so as to keep the cooking area in one space, and clean-up area in another. Not only will this help to better accommodate your kitchen work triangle, it'll also allow two people to do two different things in the kitchen at the same time.