A galley kitchen needn't be limiting - if you follow our planning advice, you should have plenty of space and a stylish finish.
By Caroline Rodrigues
What Is A Galley Kitchen?
A galley kitchen can work exceptionally well if carefully planned. This compact arrangement usually consists of two rows of units divided by a corridor, though you can plan a single row of units in a similar way.
How Can You Get A Sleek Look?
For a clean, uncluttered look, go for streamlined units, handle-free doors and high gloss finishes. Units off the floor on legs may give the impression of more space but a plinth with drawers incorporated is more practical. To conceal worktop clutter, look out for tambour shutters that roll down, or doors that lift up from the worktop to reveal storage.
Look out too for innovations such as height-adjustable wall units which raise or lower electronically, and Alno's 'table and chairs' which are sturdy shelves that pull out from units and yes, you actually can sit on them.
The first galley essential is a corridor that's wide enough and 1.4m is considered the minimum. If you think you can manage with less, remember that you need space for unit and appliance doors to open. When you're planning the room, think about who will use it? Will two people be squeezing past each other to cook at the same time?
Mapping out a work triangle, an imaginary triangle formed between the sink, cooker and fridge, will help you check that all three are easy to reach while allowing elbow room between them. Don't place the cooker, hob or sink within 40cm of a corner or behind a doorway. You'll also need worktop space next to the hob for food preparation. Grouping tall units at the end of a run of units will keep the main preparation area clear.
Work In Storage Solutions
Plan in plenty of clever kitchen storage - it might look better to have a kitchen without wall units, but tall floor units or extra tall wall units will maximise the storage options. Ikea's kitchen brochure has squared paper at the back with press-out mini units so you can plan your own kitchen, or download their kitchen planner.
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