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Galley Kitchen – Pros, Cons and 4 Layouts

Galley Kitchen – Pros, Cons and 4 Layouts
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A pantry is characterized by two parallel walls of kitchen cabinets and countertops that run along a narrow space and have an exit at both ends. A pantry is sometimes referred to as a hallway kitchen because it creates the feel of a hallway, with the remaining available floor space like a long and narrow hallway.

Galley kitchens are a style of kitchen named after the cooking area on a ship. These kitchens came to be known as “galleys” and were designed to provide the ultimate in functionality and efficiency in a limited space. Here we examine the pros and cons of pantry-style kitchens in residential homes and look at examples of galley kitchen layouts.

In this article

Advantages of pantry kitchens

Fits in small spaces

Fits in small spaces

This type of division is most useful for small or long and narrow kitchens. It allows the installation of many kitchen cabinets and long countertop lengths that would not be achievable in small kitchens with more complex floor plans.

Functional and efficient

The division of a galley kitchen is very practical because all the equipment you need to prepare or cook meals is in the immediate vicinity. This makes for a very functional and efficient work area that allows for a streamlined experience that prevents inconvenience and wasted time.


When it comes to buying and installing a pantry, they usually offer an affordable alternative to more complex kitchen designs. A galley kitchen has two rows of standard kitchen cabinets that are less expensive to purchase than the corner cabinets you would need in other types of floor plans.

A galley kitchen also requires two lengths of worktop that does not have to cross corners and therefore does not require any connections. It is the joints in countertops that require time and skill to install, which increases installation costs and also leads to waste; Remnants of the countertop that you have to pay for and not use.

Good countertop space

Good countertop space

Good countertop space

Pantry kitchens benefit from a good work surface with long work surfaces. The lack of corners in the countertops means they are more usable as no space is lost in areas that you cannot easily reach.

Generous storage

If you need a lot of storage space in your kitchen, a galley arrangement can meet this requirement. Kitchen base units and kitchen wall units can be installed along either wall section for maximum storage space.

Disadvantages of pantry kitchens

Small footprint

One disadvantage of a pantry is the lack of floor space, especially if the space is particularly tight.

This means that despite the large work surface on which several people can cook together, the small footprint means that everyone gets in each other’s way, so that cooking in the group becomes inedible. This can be problematic if you enjoy cooking together as a couple or if your children enjoy helping with meal preparation.

The small footprint can also make it difficult to open several cabinet doors or devices at the same time.

For example, if you have a dishwasher door open on one side of the kitchen while you are unloading the clean dishes, you may not be able to open the cabinet doors on the opposite side without them snapping together. This can lead to an annoying and cumbersome setup in some scenarios.

Lack of natural light

Pantry kitchens often suffer from a lack of natural light due to their size and shape. The window in a room this size can be very small, or in some cases pantry kitchens do not have walls that are on the outside of the house and therefore have no windows at all. If you’d like to peek out into the back yard while working at the kitchen sink, you may not be able to do that in a pantry.

Galley kitchen layouts

These floor plans for pantry kitchens illustrate how the pantry kitchen style can be implemented in a variety of ways. You can experiment with the positioning of the devices in different places in the room to see how they affect your movement in the room.

This is a traditional kitchen layout with two parallel walls of kitchen cabinets running along the longest walls. The room benefits from a generous width so that several people can cook in the kitchen at the same time, but this division would also work well in narrower rooms.

The window in the room is at one end of the kitchen, which is common for this type of floor plan. A small breakfast area has been integrated into the room, which offers an area to sit and eat and enjoy the natural light. The access door for this room is centrally located on one of the narrow walls, which is common in pantry kitchens and which contributes to the symmetry of the floor plan.

This galley kitchen takes up a small space that is almost square because the dimensions are similar for each wall. Kitchen cabinets have been installed on the two longest walls, a door is on one of the free walls and a window on the other.

This space could have benefited from a U-shaped layout by installing cabinets along the wall that the window is in, but this would have significantly increased the cost of the kitchen and might not be required for storage and work space.

This floor plan has L-shaped kitchen cabinets and a small kitchen island that create the narrow, galley ambience. This is not what a classic pantry looks like, but the arrangement of the cabinets gives you the feel and functionality of a pantry in an unconventional way.

This floor plan was planned in a spacious room, which means that the island offers enough space to be used as a breakfast bar. This creates seating in the kitchen and an additional dining area in the house. It also makes the pantry more of a social kitchen, which is rare for this type of floor plan. The hob has been positioned in front of a window so that the user can enjoy the view and there is plenty of space on the worktop for food preparation.


This galley kitchen has been transformed into a multifunctional space that includes both a kitchen and dining room in an open-plan style.

This would work well in a home that doesn’t have a separate dining area, or in a kitchen where you want to encourage a more social aspect. The kitchen area of ​​this room forms a long wall of cabinets and worktop, which houses the sink, the fridge and freezer and the stove.

This is a great floor plan for creating an open plan eat-in kitchen in a small room, but it does mean you are sacrificing storage and countertop space. There is a double bowl under the window, but it can be swapped out for a single bowl if you want to maximize your empty counter space for food prep.

You can also look at other kitchen layouts – U-shaped kitchen layouts, G-shaped kitchen layouts.

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