Tips and Ideas for Decorating a Galley Kitchen (or Narrow Kitchen)
While the Galley Kitchen might not be the most desirable of kitchen layouts, it still has TONS of potential when it comes to Decorating, you just need to think outside of the box – or the tunnel in this case….
Galley Style generally refers to a kitchen that has 2 parallel sides that are laid out so that there are very few movements required between units (and it also refers to ‘U’ shaped kitchens) And while you might be bumping bums with others in this narrow space, you can at least make it ‘look’ bigger with these great tips and ideas!
Decorating Idea #1
Use Colour as a Link
The key to doing this the right way is to use the ‘decorative triangle’.
When you use a colour repetitively in a space, the eye will be drawn toward it as it looks around the room. This sets up visual links between spaces and connects them together in an overall palette.
Courtesy of Build Direct
While the tomatoes are only temporary (or really good fakes…) this is a perfect example of using the ‘decorative triangle’ to move the eyes around a space. Right away you pick up on the visual connection between the stove knobs, the stools and the tomatoes (and the rug is just a bonus – but not necessary)
(and I looove the yellow to counteract the red – LOVE it)
Courtesy of House and Home
You’ll see how they used not just 1, but 2 accent colours in this space to create flow and to make this Galley Style Kitchen look wider. You can easily see the orange accent repeated on the left, center and right – forming a lovely visual triangle. And while they used 3 teal things on the left hand side, don’t feel like you need to do a lot to get the same effect. By moving the one wee vase to the right side and eliminating the plate, it would have been just as effective – sometimes less is more!
Courtesy of HGTV Remodels
Both of these kitchens have green as their accent colour. The top photo is lovely in it’s simplicity and it’s flexibility as the colour palette could be easily changed with a few accessories.
The bottom kitchen is absolutely genius. Just notice how even when you’re looking directly at the background wall, your eye still picks up the green accents on the countertops to the left and right – now THAT’S how to decorate a Galley Kitchen!
Decorating Idea #2
Beadboard or Wainscoting
That end wall can look so barren and boring when all the action is happening on the sides. You can visually tie in your end wall with beadboard or wainscoting that is painted or stained the same colour as your kitchen cabinets.
This will make your kitchen feel wider and act as a bridge between both sides of your kitchen!
courtesy of Home Bunch
While I might not want to showcase my garbage can in all of it’s glory, everything else is super fab in this space! The white beadboard creates a visual bridge between both sides of the kitchen – making this space look more rounded out. I also love the striking artwork!
Courtesy of KleyPas
I love this kitchen because not only did they tie the end wall into the cabinets by painting the beadboard white, they actually coordinated it with the whole space by using it as a backsplash as well. What a great way to add flow and continuity to a Small Kitchen!
Even though the end wall is set back in this kitchen, the use of the wainscoting helps to make the space feel larger, so that it looks like the kitchen extends right to the back. If they’d chosen to do the entire wall green, the kitchen would have felt shorter and not as well-rounded.
Decorating Idea #3
Artwork plays an important part when it comes to time to jazz up your old Galley Style Kitchen.
A well chosen and well-placed piece of Artwork will help to round the space out and add interest to your bowling alley – I mean Galley Kitchen (and hey, I’ve had a Galley Kitchen so I can say these things – wink wink)
Courtesy of Naked Décor – how can this be bad? Yeehaw!
I love how this artwork follows the palette of this kitchen to a tee! Also, when you look at the wall space that is left between the 2 countertops, this pieces fits just perfect (following the 3/4 rule)
(For more on Artwork, click here…The Right Height to Hang Artwork in Any Room)
Courtesy of Bob Vila
Whether you have a country style small kitchen or modern style galley, a Chalkboard is always a great idea to add interest and function to a boring wall space!
(For more Chalkboard Paint Ideas, click here…Fun Ideas with Chalkboard Paint)
Courtesy of Oyhsis
This European style kitchen look casual and curated with artwork and hanging copper pots.
Courtesy of Decorating Small Space
Just because the wall space is small, doesn’t mean it’s not useable. Choose a piece of artwork that is proportional to the size of the wall it’s going on to add interest to a space and to stop the eyes from running out the door.
And because it may just be the only piece of artwork in the room, make sure it’s something that you absolutely love!
Decorating Idea #4
If you have an existing light fixture (or multiple) and it’s only in the middle of the room, consider installing under cabinet lighting on both sides of your kitchen. Having adequate lighting on the left, right and in the center will make your Galley or Narrow Kitchen look wider and brighter!
If you are doing a new lighting plan, try to light the center and the 2 sides in the form of 1 center light and 2 rows of pot lights (one row along each side). You can also add under cabinet lighting as well to add to the overall effect!
Courtesy of Pinterest
These central light aren’t ideal as they are quite focused – rather than spreading ‘general’ light, but the pot light over the sink and under cabinet lighting will help to make up for the difference. In the evening it’s possible that the upper portion of this kitchen falls into shadows.
This photo was used above as a great ‘artwork’ example and it’s also a great example of a great lighting plan. The general, central light fixture lights the ‘overall’ space and the under cabinet lighting lights the shadowed areas, making the space look bigger!
Courtesy of Decoist
These main light fixtures work great as ‘general lights’ as they spread the light all the way down this narrow kitchen. The under cabinet lighting helps to pull the eye left and right which makes the space look wider than it is!
Well that’s it that’s all my friends!
If you have any questions about your Galley or Narrow Kitchen and would like your own Interior Decorating or Design Consultation (starting from $30) please refer to my Online Consulting services or if you are in the Nanaimo area, In-Home Consultation services.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to learn more please consider Subscribing for ‘quasi-weekly’ FREE updates and you might enjoy these posts…
All images watermarked with Kylie M Interiors are the property of Kylie M Interiors (copyright). I’d be pleased if you’d like to use them, but please do so with express permission from myself and direct links to the posts from which the images are borrowed.
www.kylieminteriors.ca 250 618 4535 Interior Decorating, Design, Home Staging and Online Consultations. Nanaimo and Vancouver Island