7 Modern Galley Kitchen Remodel Ideas

modern galley kitchen remodel ideas

A galley kitchen is a long, narrow kitchen with upper and lower cabinets on both sides of the room parallel to each other. Also known as the corridor kitchen, these layouts were especially popular in the early 1900s and originally designed to be efficient and functional for small spaces. Today, corridor kitchens are often outdated, cramped, and not very functional. But if you can’t change the size of the space or the layout, how do you modernize your galley kitchen? Consider these galley kitchen remodel ideas to bring your kitchen into this decade and make it not only more beautiful but functional, too.

Galley Kitchen Remodel Ideas to Modernize Your Kitchen

1) Light-Colored Wood-Look Flooring

Whether you choose real hardwood, luxury vinyl planks, or laminate flooring, go with a lighter shade of wood. When it comes to modern flooring, dark laminate is out and lighter tones are in. We’re seeing growing popularity with wood-look laminates such as:

  • Whitewash
  • Light wood
  • Gray

Using light-colored flooring is also a great way to make the kitchen feel bigger, more open, and brighter. We love the idea of using light-colored laminate planks to stay trendy while keeping the kitchen airy and bright.

2) Remove Soffits

Considering the time that galley kitchens were most popular, many of them were built with soffits above the cabinets. Depending on what’s inside of it, most soffits can be removed, providing more room to build up with taller cabinets.

Depending on how they fit in the kitchen layout, work with your designer to choose cabinets that are wider and deeper than the standard cabinet. For example, instead of 36 inches, you can go with a taller cabinet that’s 42 inches. Think of all the extra storage space you’ll have in your galley kitchen!

3) Install Sleek Cabinets

If your galley kitchen was installed decades ago, it probably has outdated cabinetry. One way to modernize your corridor kitchen is to replace those cabinets with new, sleek ones.

For color, white cabinets will always be in style — they’re classic. But modern kitchens are bravely venturing into other colors like blacks, grays, and even deep blues.

In terms of cabinet style, opt for sleek, completely flat-front cabinets. Also called slab doors, these cabinet styles have no panels or framing. For an even more contemporary look, don’t add knobs and pulls. This creates a completely smooth, flat surface on the front of cabinets.

4) Upgrade the Appliances

Sometimes all a kitchen needs for a more modern look is new appliances. Kitchen appliance upgrades are a quick way to make your galley kitchen look more up-to-date. Stainless steel appliances are always a win if you’re going for a sleek look. Black appliances are another option if they match the rest of your kitchen’s color scheme. Whatever you choose, make sure all of the appliances match.

5) Try a Modern Backsplash/Countertop Combo

Give your corridor kitchen a trendy upgrade with fresh countertops and backsplash. Go with:

  • Matte, flat finishes
  • Timeless colors like black and white
  • Sleek, smooth materials like stainless steel or concrete
  • Unique shapes, like square or hexagon backsplash tiles

Get more inspiration in our blog about Modern Kitchen Countertop and Backsplash Combinations.

6) Add a Window

If your current galley kitchen is dark and closed off from the rest of the house, adding a window can do wonders for the space. Not only does it allow more natural light to pour in, but it can also make the cramped space feel a little larger. If you don’t have a proper wall to add a window to the exterior, consider adding one that looks into an adjacent room, like we did in our Clearview Ave. kitchen remodel. It had a small kitchen with a big window overlooking another area of the home. Another option is to add a skylight above the kitchen.

7) Go Big By Removing Walls

If budget and your home allow, consider transforming the galley kitchen to a more open layout. This will likely require tearing down walls to open up the space and allow for a new kitchen layout.

For example, we transformed one Upper Arlington, Ohio home that had a small, dark, cut-up floor plan with a galley kitchen. Our team removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room, as well as several hallway walls and a powder room, to create an open kitchen with an island and wet bar. Go big or go home, right?

Galley kitchens are common, but they’re not always functional. These tight spaces can’t always be optimized with a bigger layout, so do what you can with what you have. Use the above galley kitchen remodel ideas to modernize your corridor kitchen and make it the best it can be.

Discover More Galley Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Every home deserves a kitchen that’s beautiful, welcoming, and functional — designed for the way you live. Established by two long-time central Ohio homebuilders and craftsmen, The Creative Kitchen Co. offers customized kitchen remodeling and refacing solutions. Get in touch to learn more!