Galley Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Get inspired with our galley kitchen ideas in the USA. Optimize your space with a sleek and functional galley kitchen design from our expert team.

renovated gallery kitchen

Maximize space and functionality in your kitchen and streamline food prep. A galley kitchen layout is a great way to welcome efficiency, ample storage space, and style into your kitchen.

What is a galley kitchen?

Named for the small kitchen on a ship, galley kitchens are recognized for their parallel counters split by a narrow passageway. With the right layout and design in mind, these kitchens can be highly efficient and attractive.

different styles of kitchen layouts

Why is the galley kitchen the best option in 2023?

These versatile kitchen designs can be seen in homes of all sizes because of their functional elements. In fact, galley kitchens can even incorporate eat-in counters and kitchen islands despite their narrow layouts.

A standard galley kitchen can cost less to renovate than a large-scale kitchen because of the size and scope of the remodel. Another advantage is that galley kitchens are easy to clean because of their smaller size. Food preparation can become more efficient with the use of the galley kitchen’s ‘working triangle,’ the compact space between the kitchen sink, refrigerator, and oven.

gallery style kitchen

Things to consider before renovating your galley kitchen

Kitchen size

Consider the size of your current space and how a galley layout might look and feel in your kitchen. There are two key layout options within the galley kitchen category:

Single galley kitchen: This layout has workspaces and appliances on just one side of the kitchen.

Double galley kitchen: This layout has workspaces and appliances on both sides of the kitchen.  

When you choose to work with Refresh, your dedicated Renovation Consultant will provide working drawings and go over the options to reveal the best possible layout for your kitchen’s specifications - and your budget.

Fridge location

Another piece of the galley kitchen layout is deciding where to place your appliances. Easy access to your fridge is paramount when you think about preparing meals. Your Renovation Consultant will often refer to the ‘working triangle’ for your galley kitchen as a way to map out the best spot for the core elements of your kitchen: the fridge, oven, and sink.

Color scheme

The color palette of your kitchen is personal and depends on the style of your home. Often with smaller spaces, including galley kitchens, lighter colors are favored for their reflective, clean qualities. Darker colors tend to absorb light, making spaces feel more cramped.


Match your materials to the style of kitchen you’d like to create. For a contemporary space, industrial materials like concrete and metal make a bold statement, while a rustic, farmhouse galley kitchen might favor warm woods and stone. Think about the materials you have around the rest of your home to inform your choices for your kitchen.


Cabinet handles: Depending on the look, your cabinets may have subtle, understated hardware or something more traditional and ornate.

Kitchen taps: Let your overall kitchen design inform this choice, too. Modern tapware tends to be sleek and simple, while traditional tapware features more embellishment.

Lighting: Whether or not your kitchen is drenched in natural light, consider illuminating your space with several layers of lighting. Hanging pendant lights, countertop lamps, and under-cabinet LED light strips are ways to vary the light source for a glowing kitchen.

Storage ideas

The size of your kitchen doesn’t need to compromise its capacity for effective storage. You can get creative with deep, vertical cabinets, thoughtfully placed drawers, and floating open shelves.

Prioritize cabinetry

Galley kitchen cabinets should deliver function with style. Symmetrical Shaker cabinets, for example, provide ample storage with dedicated space for cutting boards, cookie sheets, and any other custom storage you need. Mix and match the colors of your cabinets (dark base cabinets and lighter wall cabinets, for instance) to break up the space and add depth to your kitchen.


Modern galley kitchen ideas

Bring a sleek, refined look to your space with a contemporary galley kitchen.

Interesting lighting

Combine strategically-placed LED downlighting with sculptural feature lighting for impact and utility.

Color contrast

Modern interiors favor high-contrasting colors. For instance, white, flat-panel cabinets could pair nicely with dark tile countertops and flooring. For a pop of playful patterns, you might consider a mosaic tiled backsplash.

Clutter-free counters

A trademark of the modern kitchen is a space that’s free of clutter and chaos. Choose creative ways to store your countertop appliances with deep drawers or an appliance garage.

Small galley kitchen ideas

Tight on space? That’s no problem. We have some solutions to maximize the square footage you already have for a successful small galley kitchen renovation:

Go vertical

If you have the height, tall vertical cabinetry could be a great solution for your storage needs.

Wheel in a workspace

If you don’t have the room for a kitchen island, you might consider a butchers’ block on wheels for that extra bit of countertop space when you need it.

Think light and bright

White or light neutrals look gorgeous in any kitchen, but can be especially useful to reflect light around your small galley kitchen. Resourceful lighting solutions like LED strip lights can help to light up even the darkest nooks of your kitchen.

small galley kitchen remodel

Trending galley kitchen ideas in the USA

We have worked with a number of homeowners across the country to bring their dream kitchens to fruition. Our Renovation Consultants act as local experts who are there to support you every step of the way and to oversee all construction and installation. Check out these recent Refresh projects for more galley kitchen remodel ideas:

A bright, bold kitchen renovation in Houston
  • Luminous pendant lighting
  • Bi-colored cabinetry
  • Upgraded kitchen layout
A serene, modern kitchen renovation in Portland
  • Spacious Shaker style cabinetry
  • A distinctive, textured backsplash
  • Central island with seating
modern gallery kitchen renovation in Portland
Modern kitchen renovation in Portland

Upgrade Your Galley Kitchen with Fresh Design Options

Not all galley kitchens follow the same layout. Your Renovation Consultant can help you explore fresh design choices to elevate your kitchen.

Breakfast bars

Sneak a breakfast bar on one corner of your central island or turn one side of the island into a small eating area with barstools.

Dining tables

Place a dining table at one end of your kitchen for a cozy eating nook. Or consider positioning a long, narrow dining table on the opposite side of your single galley kitchen.

Appliance placement

When it comes to small appliances, there’s room to get creative in a galley kitchen! Keep your countertops clear with a custom microwave shelf or consider an appliance garage to conceal a coffee maker or toaster.

What is the average cost of a galley kitchen renovation in the USA?

The cost to remodel your kitchen depends on several factors, including the size and scope of the project, the hours of labor required, and the kinds of materials you choose. At your first consultation, your Renovation Consultant will be able to outline the elements affecting your specific galley kitchen renovation costs.

How a galley kitchen renovation adds value to your house

The kitchen is a room that sees a lot of wear and tear. A thoughtfully designed and newly renovated kitchen can enhance your everyday life at home, and could be an exceptional selling point if you choose to move.

Hear from some satisfied Refresh customers

“I just had the first consultation with Hermann, Aliusha and the Refresh team for a complete kitchen remodel. They were very professional, the materials used for their presentation were unbelievable, they even have their own magazine! Looking forward to the next stages of the process.”

Graciela - Houston

galley kitchen remodel ideas
“Chris was fabulous to work with. He communicates very well and keeps the customer informed every step of the way. He was always there to meet the subcontractors to make sure there were no glitches. He went the extra mile and did little things to make sure the job was perfect. Would definitely hire him again.”

Beth - Lake Oswego


Do I need council approval to renovate my galley kitchen?

Your Renovation Consultant is responsible for obtaining any necessary permits or documentation for your project to move forward. They will ensure your galley kitchen is compliant with all local building codes.

Are there any restrictions on the galley kitchen?

Galley kitchens can be sized to fit into large and small spaces. While they’re generally seen in small kitchens, galley kitchens also look stunning in an area with lots of space. Your Renovation Consultant will be able to inform you of any restrictions for your specific renovation.

Ready to renovate?

Get in touch with us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our local Renovation Consultants. They are ready and eager to chat with you about your galley kitchen remodel!

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