Galley kitchens are defined as being where there is a run of furniture down both sides of a room, but no return on the adjacent walls. The basic shape of the room presents some challenges when designing the kitchen to ensure that the space doesn't feel enclosed and also to ensure there is sufficient worksurface area. When Contemporary Kitchens are designing galley kitchens we are normally working in a rectangular room, often with limited space, but not necessarily so. The balancing act is trying to fit all of the appliances and storage space you need, as well as enabling a useful amount of work surface space but without creating a 'corridor feeling'. This may be achieved by using combination appliances such as a combination microwave/conventional oven, possibly above a compact dishwasher in a midi-height housing to maximise the space advantage a unit can offer you. This type of creative thinking is critical to achieving a balanced design for galley kitchen.
Galley Kitchen Aesthetics
A key challenge as described above is to prevent the space feeling enclosed and lighter colours really do help here. Reflective surfaces also help enhance the feeling of space and high gloss white kitchens are often favoured as a result. We also recommend good, bright lighting for the same reason. When tall units are being used to maximise storage space, you may want them to be to ceiling height; if so try to keep them to one end of the kitchen, preferably away from a window. Long, slender furniture items such as double-width shelves can increase the perception of length in a room, and if made in glass, add no ' visual weight' to the design.
Galley Kitchen Ergonomics
Well-designed galley kitchens can offer you an enjoyable user experience, if the ergonomics are well considered in the selected layout. As there are no corner units, and a reduced worktop space, storage and preparation area will be at a premium- but these issues are almost always surmountable with clever design. For instance Contemporary Kitchens can install a tap that retracts in to the work surface that, when used in conjunction with a purpose supplied sink cover, can increase the preparation area by a full cupboard width. We can also supply a small step stool that fits under the plinth, allowing easy access to tall units where occasional use items can be stored. Attention to detail makes the difference here.