The galley kitchen is perhaps the most efficient of all kitchens when it comes to the original and primary use of the kitchen: cooking. After all, this layout takes its name from the galley, or kitchen, of a ship or airplane. By nature and necessity, these kitchens make use of small, cramped spaces to feed tens or even hundreds of people. Many restaurant and other commercial kitchens are designed in similar fashion, with cooks working in a long, narrow space between appliances and counter space.
"From a functionality perspective, most kitchens in restaurants are galley kitchens," says Duncan Firth, chef de cuisine at Barona Resort & Casino in San Diego. "For a chef, it works great. Everybody's lined up close together. Plates are on one side, pans on the other."
But what works in a commercial kitchen has some drawbacks in a home. The galley layout doesn't have room for a dining area, and it limits interaction with guests and with family, which can make a home cook feel like "you're trotting out the plate like you're catering," says Firth.
A galley kitchen that is open on both sides as shown, rather than just on one end, helps to bring in more light and create a feeling of connection to the rest of the home. A decorative range hood and glass-front upper cabinets also prevent the kitchen from feeling closed in, while having the cooktop and sink located on the same wall keeps the messiest part of the kitchen close to the cleanup area.
Alternatively, you could turn one of the walls of cabinetry and appliances into an island for a more entertaining friendly update on the galley kitchen.