small kitchen ideas and galley kitchen remodel inspiration
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These small kitchen ideas have major impact and are perfect inspiration if you’re looking for ways to remodel or just freshen up a galley kitchen.

Galley kitchens are small but efficient. They are named for a similar compartment of a ship, train, or aircraft where food is prepared. They are long and narrow with base cabinets, wall cabinets, counters, or other services located on one or both sides of a central walkway. The best part of a galley style kitchen is that it allows you to reach all areas of the kitchen with minimal walking distance. But they can feel cramped, cluttered, and dark if they’re not carefully thought out.

If you have a galley or other small kitchen and are looking for inspiration to change it up, check our these fabulous galley kitchen remodels and smaller DIY project ideas.

Open Up


Adding height always makes a space feel larger. The homeowner decided to forgo the upper cabinets in her galley remodel. Instead, open shelves were used to make the kitchen feel bigger and well as allow for more natural light to filter in. Although the kitchen is predominantly white, it has warm wood accents on the counter, floor, and natural textures in the runner and accessories. The combination gives the kitchen a clean, natural aesthetic.

Related Reading: How to Install DIY Kitchen Shelves in Any Configuration

Go Two-Toned


Color blocking is a popular trend in interior design, especially in kitchens. Most people opt to paint cabinets in contrasting colors, but if you are not ready to make a commitment like that, color block the walls instead. This technique works especially well if you do not have upper cabinets. Choose a bold color and balance it out with its contrast for a strong visual impact.

Embrace Bright and Light


The more natural light you have, the brighter and lighter the space. If you are blessed with a large window in your galley kitchen, don’t cover it up! If you absolutely need shades for privacy at night, go for natural color shades or even sheer. This will give you privacy but still let in filtered light.

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Think Futuristic


Sleek, hi-gloss laminate cabinetry will make your kitchen look out of this world. Everything about this kitchen is streamlined. The recessed lights and handleless doors and draws make the space look so futuristic. The hot pink accents give the kitchen a pop of color but do not overpower the clean, white palette.

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Make a U-Turn


If your galley kitchen borders a wall, use it! Often, these areas are left bare, creating dead space. It’s a good spot to put your stove. This makes it the centerpiece in your kitchen. This kitchen also has plenty of lighting, which is essential for small kitchens without windows. Add pendant lights, under-cabinet task lights, and light fixtures over the sink to ensure plenty of illumination in your kitchen.

Do Be Blue


Blue is a good color to try if you are tired of white or wood cabinets, but don’t want to go too bold. The shade is calming and can act as an unexpected neutral. Blues look good with both warm and cool hues. It’s subtle enough to fade into the background and adds just enough color to make your kitchen look sophisticated.

Keep It Tidy


Small spaces do not have to sacrifice style or storage space. Dress up cabinetry with new hardware, and add a colorful runner for texture and color. Get creative with storage—the worst thing you can do is clutter your counter space in a small kitchen. Use magnetic knife holders to store knives, use towel bars to hold utensils or cutting boards, and try open shelving to store everyday items.

Related Reading: The Best Way to Store Pots and Pans

Learn Geometry


In an extremely narrow space,  it can be hard to add an interesting element to the room. In this case, the homeowner decided to add a subtle geometric pattern to an otherwise “wasted space.” This kitchen was too small to have cabinetry on both sides, so the homeowner opted to use it for decorative purposes. The result is a unique accent wall that compliments the space, without taking up valuable real estate.

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If you like the idea but don't want to DIY.
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Get Hip to Herringbone


In a galley kitchen, every element contributes to the overall aesthetics of the space. The herringbone wood floors in this kitchen make this space seem longer and draws your attention to the quaint seating area on the other side. The floor adds to the overall beauty of the kitchen’s design, without overpowering the other elements.

Go Dark and Dramatic


If you’re feeling bold, skip the light and bright, and go dark and dramatic. Dark cabinetry is making a comeback. However, in order to pull off dark cabinetry in a small kitchen, you need plenty of light. If the kitchen lacks natural light, there’s still hope. LED recessed lighting will illuminate the space with clean light that casts a glow similar to the light from the sun.

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Header image courtesy of Aliyev Alexei Sergeevich / Cultura / Getty Images

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