Galley Kitchen Renovation Ideas

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

gallery Kitchen Renovations

Distinguishable by parallel countertops flanking a narrow corridor, galley kitchens are more versatile and desirable than you might think. Discover the design and functional elements of this kitchen layout and be inspired for your next renovation project.

What is a galley kitchen?

Named for the small kitchen onboard a boat, galley kitchens are characterised by a narrow passageway between two countertops or workspaces. But contrary to expectations, these kitchens are not always reserved for small spaces. In fact, the galley layout fits wonderfully into a larger kitchen area as well.

The galley kitchen is known for optimising storage and making efficient use of space between your appliances. The ‘working triangle’ as it’s called, is the workflow between your fridge, stove, and sink. Generally, these kitchen layouts have two main appliances on one side, and one on the other.

kitchen layouts

Things to consider before renovating your Galley Kitchen

Renovating a kitchen can feel like a daunting task with so much to consider. When you choose to work with Refresh, a local Renovation Consultant will be your guide from initial discussion to completion, acting as your single point of contact throughout and managing the team of contractors and suppliers working on your project.

After seeing your old kitchen and talking over ideas, your Renovation Consultant will provide you with working drawings and budget estimates for consideration and revision. Only when you’re happy with both the design and cost will your galley kitchen renovation get started.

Kitchen size and layout

As you plan your galley kitchen renovation, think about the size of your current space. This will serve as a guide to inform other decisions later on, like colour scheme, lighting, and more. There are two main galley kitchen layouts to choose from:

  • Single galley kitchen: A small one-sided galley kitchen layout works well for tiny spaces as it features one row of cabinets and appliances on one wall with free space on the opposite side.
  • Double galley kitchen: This layout complements larger spaces and includes lots of storage compared to the floor area. There are cabinets and appliances on both sides of the kitchen with space at either end.

Room to eat

While some homeowners prefer to separate kitchen and dining areas, others favour including a designated spot for sitting and eating. Despite its compact layout, a galley kitchen allows room for diners:

  • Breakfast bar: Consider designating a section of your worktop space for a diner-like breakfast bar. Pull up a couple of bar stools and you’ve got yourself a space to eat.
  • Dining table: Yes, it is possible to make space for mealtimes in your galley kitchen. You might add a narrow table along one wall or a dining table at the end of your double galley layout. Another solution is a foldable surface at the end of your countertop to use as a dining table.

Storage solutions

A galley kitchen does not sacrifice storage space, that all-important element of an efficient kitchen. Some storage ideas for a galley kitchen include:

  • Tall cabinets: Shaker style cabinetry is a popular choice for deep, functional cabinets and drawers. Store your everyday essentials in easy-to-reach cabinets and position lower-use items in the upper cupboards.
  • Open shelves: Floating open shelves contribute to the overall design of your kitchen, as you have space to display your glasses, dishware, and special mementoes.
  • Innovative storage solutions: Customise your storage space with thoughtful features such as pull-out cabinets and hanging bars to make full use of your available space.

Appliance placement

Appliances can quickly clutter your small kitchen. You might consider smaller versions of your essential appliances, or even built-in options to save space and create a cohesive look in your galley kitchen.


Galley kitchen lighting is an important consideration as effective use of light from natural and electrical sources creates your kitchen’s ambience. If you have room in your project scope to enhance natural light, you may consider constructing taller windows or a skylight.

Hanging pendant lights, recess lighting, and wall sconces are other great options. For a modern look, you might think about adding strips of LED lighting around toe kicks and under your cabinets to light up any dark corners of your kitchen.

Colour scheme and style

Shape the overall design of your kitchen with colours, materials, and decor.

  • Colour palette: Because of their smaller size, galley kitchens benefit from light or bright colours to create an open, airy feel. Darker colours absorb light and might make your kitchen feel cramped. White and grey are popular choices, as are other light neutral colours. To make your kitchen feel more expansive, you may consider painting your upper cabinets the same colour as your walls, and make your lower cabinets a different colour.
  • Materials: Just like your colour palette, the materials you pick for your galley kitchen contribute to the feeling of the space. Think about adding glossy or light-coloured materials to reflect light around the room. Natural textures like wood and stone are other great options in smaller spaces.
colour scheme of a gallery kitchen

Modern galley kitchen ideas

Modernise your galley kitchen by embracing a few key contemporary elements:

High-contrast colour scheme

You might go for the black-and-white look or a kitchen with pops of contrasting colour to incorporate a modern style.

Sculptural pendant lighting

Go bold with your hanging pendant lights by choosing a sculptural feature.

Flat panel cabinetry

Think about glossy kitchen cabinets with slim or no cabinet handles for a sleek look.

Small narrow galley kitchen ideas

Amplify storage space and create a functional flow with these narrow galley kitchen ideas:

Tall cabinets

When it comes to storage, think vertical or incorporate nifty solutions like pull-out cabinets and custom racks to store your kitchen accessories.

Built-in appliances

Ditch the look of clunky, countertop appliances and opt for built-in solutions to streamline your kitchen and make it seem more expansive.

Natural light

Plan your galley kitchen with a window at one end to flood your space with natural light. If the scope of your project allows, consider installing a skylight as well.

Trending Galley Kitchen Ideas in the UK

Get inspired by these small galley kitchen ideas in the UK:

Scandinavian influence

Create the sought after modern Scandinavian look with dark cabinetry, light-enhancing colours on the walls and countertops, and plenty of windows for natural light. If space permits, you might add a cosy breakfast nook at one end of your kitchen.

Get creative with rugs

A long kitchen runner is the perfect accent for the narrow corridor between your countertops.

Country farmhouse design

The rustic look of a country kitchen combines well with the galley layout with Shaker style cabinets, timber accents, and the addition of modern built-in appliances.

kitchen ideas for small galley kitchens

Galley Kitchen Renovation Cost in the UK

The cost of renovating a kitchen in the UK can be anywhere from $35,000 - $350,000+* depending on the size and scope of the project and the materials you pick.

Looking for small galley kitchen ideas on a budget? Your Renovation Consultant will be able to work with you to find the best solutions to suit your home and wallet.

*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations™ specialist. All Refresh Renovations™ franchises are independently owned and operated.

Add value to your home with a galley kitchen renovation by Refresh

Your kitchen sees lots of wear and tear over time. A kitchen renovation is a great way to freshen up the space for you to enjoy, as well as add value to your property if you choose to sell. Trust Refresh to help bring your galley kitchen renovation to fruition with our bespoke design-and-build process that begins with a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced local Renovation Consultants.

Your Renovation Consultant will act as your single point of contact for the duration of the project, and they will provide you with a trusted network of contractors and suppliers for your galley kitchen renovation. Your Renovation Consultant will make sure that your renovation stays on track and within budget. You can stay informed every step of the way via our intuitive online customer portal and regular check-ins with your Renovation Consultant.  

Renovations can be stressful enough as it is, so we know the value of having an expert by your side to guide you through the process for an outcome you’ll be proud of.

single side gallery kitchen

Refresh’s past galley kitchen projects

Galley kitchen renovation in Halland

  • Spacious Shaker style cabinetry
  • Built-in appliances
  • Breakfast bar

Challenge: Find a way to modernise a dark, cramped, and dated kitchen.

Solution: Enhance natural light, add built-in appliances and ample storage for a streamlined kitchen. In addition, the Renovation Consultants paid homage to this heritage home by keeping exposed oak beams in place.

narrow galley kitchen ideas
Light and Bright Kitchen Renovation in Halland, Lewes

Galley kitchen renovation in Brighton

  • Bespoke Shaker cabinetry
  • Glossy black worktops
  • Large window at one end for natural light

Challenge: This home is a Grade II listed building in the middle of a conservation area of special architectural and historic interest. Careful consideration had to be made when renovating the home.

Solution: The Refresh team worked with the LPA and utilised their strategic relationship with them to ensure that all parties were satisfied with the approaches being taken and the renovations being made.

Transformation of a Listed Property in Brighton

Hear from a few of our UK customers

“The whole experience from the initial consultation with Kelley through to the finished product was amazing. The team had good knowledge of what would be suitable for the kitchen and it was very convenient to see what was going on via the app. We were kept informed of the progress at every stage. The bonus for me personally was someone was there Project managing for me. The team was great, friendly, helpful and very efficient. We are extremely pleased with the finished product, a total transformation.”

Jane - Kitchen - Surrey & Hampshire

“Professional, organised, efficient, trustworthy (we just gave them a key and let them get on with it) and genuinely pleasant, helpful people to have do major work for you. They listen to you, work out solutions to turn your dream into reality (no matter how problematic) and provide excellent value for money.

First-rate project management - getting plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters, tilers and plasterers lined up to come in on time one after the other, they turned our worn-out, antiquated and quirky bathroom into something fit for a luxury hotel, more or less within the relatively short timescale quoted.”

Ian - Bathroom - Surrey & Hampshire

“Refresh has just completed a difficult upgrade to a 'utility room' in an old property; this needed some imagination and the coordination of planning, carpentry, plastering, electricals, plumbing and painting. We are very pleased with the quality of the result; all the team were most helpful and willing to be flexible when necessary. We are pleased to recommend their services."

Jonathan and Lynn - Conversion - Cambridgeshire

kitchen testimonials refresh renovations


Do I need council approval to renovate my galley kitchen?

Your Renovation Consultant is familiar with local regulations and will handle obtaining any permits required to ensure your galley kitchen is code compliant.

Are there any restrictions on the galley kitchen?

This particular kitchen layout is versatile and can complement a large or small space. In the UK we see a lot of heritage homes and the Refresh team is well-versed in working with local councils to make sure heritage elements are preserved.

Let’s chat!

Get in touch with us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to hearing your ideas and getting started with your galley kitchen renovation.

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All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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