The Ultimate Guide to a Beautiful Galley Kitchen Remodel

If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen in an incredibly practical way- the galley kitchen is your top choice! The galley kitchen is a timeless kitchen layout. Not only does it remain a staple kitchen style choice, but it continues to prove itself to have a highly intuitive and functional design. 

A galley kitchen, by definition, is a long and narrow kitchen layout with amenities on one or both sides. This type of kitchen can have one aisle leading to a dead-end or it can be a passthrough kitchen. Regardless of the style that’s chosen, it’s no question that a galley kitchen carries several incredible benefits, such as; 

  • Easy access to all appliances 
  • Easy to clean
  • Easily divided working areas 
  • Ample storage space
  • Great for big and small spaces. 

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to have a successful galley kitchen remodel.

Planning a Galley Kitchen Remodel 

The first step to your new galley kitchen is effective planning and budgeting. A galley kitchen remodel can cost anywhere from $17,000 to $21,000. How much you spend largely depends on how big you want the kitchen to be and its features. If you’d like all modern finishes and updated appliances, you’re likely going to fall on the deeper end of that spectrum. 

But, you don’t have to break the bank to create a galley kitchen you love. Because a galley kitchen is usually smaller than most, it’s possible to achieve a modern-looking kitchen with gorgeous finishes and appliances for $17,000. 

After anticipating your budget, you can then begin to consider key features like countertops, flooring, and lighting that can add certain qualities to your galley kitchen space. For example, it’s important to consider how much sunlight you want in your kitchen. More light gives the space a brighter and fresher atmosphere. Anticipating where the windows will be in your galley kitchen or even what windows to install will give you light in the places you’ll likely need it the most.

Secondly, you’ll want to consider how to maximize space in your galley kitchen, including where your appliances will fit amongst space for storage. For example, some homeowners prefer to consolidate space by placing a cooktop with a wall oven directly into the cabinetry. Some homeowners place all tall storage in one area (like replacing upper cabinets with open shelving along one wall and placing the refrigerator, pantry, and remaining cabinets on the other). 

Finally, it’s important to decide on the finishes and materials used in your kitchen. One popular recommendation is to use light, bright cabinetry and countertops. This is great for opening up the space and creating the illusion of more light, especially for those that don’t have access to a lot of natural light.

Galley Kitchen Layout Options 

When most people think of a galley kitchen, they think of a small, cramped apartment with barely any space to cook. There are several different layout options, however, for this highly efficient kitchen design. A few popular layout options are the single-wall layout, the double-wall layout, and the L-shaped layout. 

The Single-Wall Layout 

An immediately noticeable benefit of the single-wall galley kitchen layout is that it’s known to be less costly than other types of kitchen layouts. If you’d like to allocate your budget to upgrades or other areas of your home, this is an option that will afford you that flexibility. 

Another benefit of a single-walled layout is that it helps to create a good workflow. With everything being within reach and easy to access, it makes cooking and cleaning an easier process.

Single-wall layouts are also a great option for those that want to conserve space. Usually, this kind of layout is paired with a bigger dining room or living room area. The downsides to having a single-wall layout would be limited storage space (since everything is on only one wall), the easy potential to have a crowded kitchen, and that these kinds of kitchens tend to have a lower value.

The Double-Wall Layout 

A double-wall layout is a perfect option for those that are working with a small space or prefer the kitchen to be a small space. Appliances are easily accessible and organized, and there are designated workstation spaces. 

The only cons to the double-wall layout are that they’re narrow spaces that make it difficult to allow multiple people to work in the kitchen at once, and there’s limited storage space.

The L-Shaped Layout 

The L-shaped kitchen layout provides an open-concept experience. They tend to feel more spacious and are more friendly towards entertaining and hosting. Another huge perk to this kitchen layout is that because of its open-concept design, it can increase home value. 

Because the appliances are usually more spread out in the L-shaped layout, it can be a little frustrating for single cooks. It’s also more work to clean since the appliances are spread out as that also means that the mess is more spread out. Another pain-point with L-shaped kitchens tends to be the corner storage. If carousel corner storage isn’t installed, cabinets have the potential to knock into each other. 

Storage Space for Galley Kitchens 

Galley kitchens are typically characterized by their narrow and compact design, which can make storage space a challenge. However, with careful planning and creative solutions, it is possible to maximize storage space in a galley kitchen.

One of the most effective ways to increase storage space in a galley kitchen is to utilize vertical space. This can be achieved by installing tall cabinets or shelving units that extend from floor to ceiling. This not only provides more storage space but also draws the eye upwards, making the kitchen appear larger and more spacious.

Another effective method is to install custom cabinets. Custom cabinets can be an excellent way to optimize storage space in a kitchen since they are designed and built specifically for the space they will occupy. Homeowners can choose the height, style, storage type, and size to fit their exact needs and preferences. 

One customization option that can make a big difference in a small kitchen is pullout drawers. Pullout drawers are essentially shallow drawers that are mounted on slides or runners, allowing them to be pulled out from the cabinet and accessed easily. Pullout drawers can help to improve storage space in kitchens by providing easy accessibility and more space for organization without taking up more space. 

These features allow for easy access to items and make it easier to keep the kitchen organized and tidy. When planning storage space in a galley kitchen, it is important to prioritize functionality over aesthetics. While it may be tempting to choose cabinets or shelves that are visually appealing, it is more important to choose options that are practical and efficient for storage. This may mean sacrificing some visual appeal for increased functionality, but it will ultimately make the kitchen more functional and easier to use.

Lighting and Color in Galley Kitchens

Galley kitchens can easily feel cramped and dark. By using the right lighting and color, however, you can make the kitchen feel brighter, more open, and more welcoming.

Good lighting is essential in galley kitchens because it can help to create a more functional workspace. Task lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting or pendant lights over the work area, can make it easier to see what you're doing while cooking or preparing food. Additionally, good lighting can help to make the kitchen feel brighter and more open, which can make it a more pleasant place to spend time.

Color can also play an important role in galley kitchen design. Lighter colors, such as white or pale gray, can help to reflect light and make the space feel brighter and more open. Additionally, using a consistent color scheme throughout the kitchen can help to create a cohesive and visually appealing look. This can be achieved by using a similar color for the walls, cabinets, and countertops.

With features like task lighting, consistent color schemes, contrasting colors, and natural lighting, you can create a more functional, visually appealing, and welcoming space. The right design elements can make a galley kitchen transform from a cramped and dark space to a bright and inviting workspace.

Galley Kitchen Remodeling Cost

As mentioned earlier, a galley kitchen remodel can cost anywhere from $17,000-$21,000. Even though galley kitchens can be expensive, there are a few ways to make sure your spending falls on the lower end of that spectrum. Here are some tips to help you save money without causing additional damages to your galley kitchen remodel:

Keep the layout

One of the most effective ways to save money on a galley kitchen remodel is to keep the existing layout. Moving plumbing and electrical lines can be expensive, so if possible, try to work with the current layout. This can help to reduce the cost of the remodel significantly.

Don’t reface cabinets 

Rather than replacing the cabinets entirely, some people reface them instead. Refacing involves replacing the doors and drawer fronts and applying a new veneer to the cabinet boxes. It’s promoted as a way to give your cabinets a fresh new look without the cost of a complete replacement. The problem is, refacing doesn’t address a poor kitchen layout. It also risks mismatching materials, colors, and styles or even creating layout or structural problems. Therefore, this method isn’t advised.  

Don’t Paint instead of replace 

If the cabinets are in good condition but a homeowner just wants a new look, a popular go-to solution is to paint the cabinets instead of replacing them. Painting is a cost-effective way to update the look of your cabinets without the expense of new ones, but it results in harder upkeep and additional problems. Cleaning the cabinets will require a different and more detailed cleaning method since you won’t be working with the factory coat of paint of the original cabinets. You’ll also have to do touch-ups periodically, meaning you’ll be doing twice the work and spending twice the amount of time on upkeep as you ordinarily would on a new set of cabinets. This is yet another option that isn't recommended. 

Use stock materials 

Custom cabinets and countertops can be expensive, so consider using stock materials instead. Stock cabinets and countertops come in standard sizes and can be less expensive than custom options.

Consider open shelving

Open shelving is a popular trend in kitchen design and can be a cost-effective way to add storage space to your galley kitchen. Open shelving is typically less expensive than cabinets and can be installed easily.

Choose affordable finishes 

There are many affordable finishes available for kitchen remodels, such as laminate countertops and vinyl flooring. These materials can be less expensive than their higher-end counterparts, but still look great and be durable.

Remember, Better Quality Is Always Worth It 

Higher quality wood, superior hardware, longer warranty, and durability (some materials can last 30 years or longer) are just a few of the reasons why opting for higher quality is the ultimate money saver in the end. Some materials or finishes sustain more weight or have more customizability -- all great reasons to invest now and save in repair or replacement costs in the future.

While it may be tempting to tackle a galley kitchen remodel yourself, hiring a professional is essential to achieving the best results. Not only does a professional carry the expertise needed to get the job done well, but a professional can give you access to resources you wouldn’t ordinarily have access to. A professional can also get you cost savings, time savings, and higher quality options. Most importantly, they offer irreplaceable quality workmanship to ensure your kitchen is built to the highest standards. 


In conclusion, a galley kitchen can offer many benefits, including efficiency, functionality, and style. By maximizing the use of a narrow space, a galley kitchen can provide ample storage, counter space, and easy access to appliances and work areas. This layout can also promote a streamlined workflow and facilitate socializing while cooking. It’s the perfect choice when it comes to practically remodeling your kitchen. 

While you can attempt to DIY your galley kitchen remodel, it’s always best to hire a professional like the ones we have here at Reico. If you’re looking to get your galley kitchen remodel started but have a few questions about what might be best for your space, contact us today




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