What is a Parallel or Galley Kitchen Layout? A Brief Guide-2023

The galley kitchen layout or corridor kitchen layout is a popular choice for kitchens that are narrow in size. It is also known as a Parallel kitchen layout. It is one of the kitchen layouts which has been designed based on years of research to make the most efficient use of space.

Imagine a kitchen that is like a long hallway. That’s what a galley kitchen is like. It gets its name from the kitchens in train dining cars, which were also long and narrow. In homes, the galley kitchen layout has become a classic choice because it’s versatile, durable, and easy to use.

If you’re someone who likes passageways and corridors, you might find galley kitchens interesting. They are designed to make cooking and moving around the kitchen as easy as possible. So if you have a passage-like space and want an efficient and practical kitchen, the galley layout is definitely worth considering.

Galley or Parallel Kitchen Layout

What is a Galley Kitchen?

A galley kitchen is a type of kitchen that is long and narrow in shape. It has two parallel kitchen base cabinets evenly divided by an aisle. It usually has cabinets, countertops, and other kitchen services on one or both sides of a central walkway. Sometimes, the galley kitchen has a dead-end at one end, which means there’s no opening there or, it may have openings on both ends, like a passageway.

Galley Kitchen Layout Dimensions

A galley kitchen is usually about 8 to 10 feet wide and has a straight length of 6 to 12 feet. The aisle or the passageway between the two parallel cabinets should minimum of 4ft wide for better accessibility and traffic flow. But don’t worry, these measurements can be changed to fit the space you have and your personal needs. So if you want a wider or longer galley kitchen, it can be customized just for you.

The galley kitchen plan with standard dimensions by using the AutoCAD program

Source: ResearchGate

Basic Things To Design a Galley Kitchen

When planning your galley kitchen design, it’s essential to remember some key considerations. While there are countless design ideas to inspire you, it’s important not to overlook these basic factors. Neglecting them could lead to a chaotic and less functional kitchen space.

1-Consider the Space

Before creating a galley kitchen, it’s important to look at the space you have. Is it an open area or a closed room? Take note of how wide the space is for your kitchen. Also, think about whether the space is like a long hallway or corridor.

These things will affect how you design and set up your galley kitchen. By considering the space and its layout, you can make sure to use the available area well and create a kitchen that works well for cooking

2-Assess Your Needs

When designing a galley kitchen, it’s important to think about your own needs and cooking habits so that you can arrange various things accordingly.

Are you someone who frequently bakes? Or do you prefer cooking quick and easy meals?

How many cooking zones do you need?

Do you enjoy having social gatherings in your kitchen?

Understanding all these will help you decide the design, appliances, and storage you need in your kitchen.

3-Maintain The Walkway Width

In a galley kitchen, it’s crucial to ensure that the aisle or walkway maintains an adequate width. This allows for easy movement and accessibility to both parallel doors or drawers.

Even in a small kitchen, it’s recommended to have a minimum width of 4 feet. Ideally, a width of 5 feet or more is even better, as it provides ample space for comfortable navigation and efficient use of the kitchen.

4-Make One side an Island

In a galley kitchen, you have the option to transform one side into an island or peninsula. While this is a common choice in open kitchens, it’s also possible to create an island in a closed area if you prefer not to add another island due to space limitations or design constraints.

By turning one side into an island or peninsula, you can get a unique stylish look, increase your workspace, and even have a cozy dining area.

5-Stick To The Basics

In a galley kitchen, you should definitely follow the basic kitchen work triangle principle. You can position the work triangle anywhere along the existing dimension according to your convenience. The ideal arrangement is, with two elements on one side and the third centered between them on the opposite side.

Also, when designing or renovating a galley kitchen, focus on essential elements like upper and lower cabinets, countertops, refrigerator, sink, stove/oven, dishwasher, and other items on your list.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Galley Kitchen Layouts


Efficient and Functional: Galley kitchens are designed to be efficient, making it easy to move between workstations like the sink, stove, and refrigerator. Everything is within reach, allowing for smooth workflow and convenience while cooking.

Fit to any Space: It has been told that Galley kitchens are suitable for small spaces. However, it’s a myth.
It is not just limited to small spaces; they are actually a great fit for any size of the kitchen. Whether you have a small or large space, a galley kitchen can be designed to suit your needs. In larger spaces, you have the flexibility to extend the length of the kitchen as much as you want. This linear layout allows you to maximize the available space and utilize every inch effectively.

Abundant Work Space: Despite their compact size, galley kitchens offer plenty of workspace. With cabinets and countertops on both sides, you have ample room to prep ingredients, cook, and store kitchen essentials. With plenty of storage options and ample countertop space, galley kitchens provide a practical and efficient solution for all kitchen sizes.

No Extra Island Needed: Unlike other kitchen layouts, galley kitchens typically don’t require an extra island for additional counter space. You have the option to use its one side as an island. The compact design already provides enough workspace, reducing the need for extra furniture.

Adjustable Length: Galley kitchens can be adjusted to fit different lengths. Whether you have a short or long space, the layout can be customized accordingly, ensuring a functional and well-proportioned kitchen.

Multiple Work Sites: Galley kitchens are versatile and allow for easy division into multiple work sites. This means that more than one person can work in the kitchen simultaneously, making it convenient for collaborative cooking or meal preparation.

No Corner Areas: One of the major advantages of galley kitchens is the absence of corner areas, which are often difficult to access or use efficiently. The straightforward layout of galley kitchens ensures that every space in the kitchen is easily accessible and usable. You won’t have to worry about struggling with awkward corners or wasted storage space. This makes it easier to organize your kitchen and have everything within reach.


Limited Natural Light: Galley kitchens without windows or openings may not receive much natural light. This can make the kitchen feel darker and rely more on artificial lighting.

Not Suitable for Multiple Cooks: Galley kitchens are not ideal for more than two people cooking simultaneously. The narrow layout can make it challenging for multiple cooks to move around and work comfortably.

Compact Space: Although galley kitchens are great for small areas, they can feel quite compact. This may create a crowded environment and limit the amount of available free space.

Poor Traffic Flow in Dead-End Layouts: Some galley kitchens have a dead-end layout, which can lead to poor traffic flow. It can be difficult to navigate through the kitchen, especially when someone is blocking the way.

Difficulty Accessing Lower Cabinets in Small Spaces: In compact galley kitchens, reaching and accessing items stored in the lower cabinets can be challenging. The limited space may require bending or reaching deep into the cabinets to retrieve items.


Are galley kitchens only suitable for small spaces?

The layout of a kitchen is determined by the space available and your specific needs to ensure it functions well. Contrary to popular belief, galley kitchens are not limited to small spaces only. They can be adapted to both smaller and larger areas, providing efficient functionality regardless of size.

Is the parallel kitchen and Galley kitchen the same?

Absolutely! The parallel kitchen and galley kitchen are essentially the same thing. Some people also call it the corridor kitchen. The names may differ depending on where you are or what someone prefers to call it. But in the end, they all describe a kitchen layout with a straight design, where the counters or cabinets run parallel to each other. It’s like having two long rows of workspace and storage in your kitchen.

Can I add an island or peninsula in a galley kitchen?

In some cases, it can be a viable option to incorporate an island or peninsula into the layout, providing additional workspace or seating area. It ultimately depends on the dimensions and design constraints of your kitchen space. However, you can use one side of it as an island or peninsula.


In my opinion, the galley or parallel kitchen layout is a unique and beautiful design choice, provided you have the perfect space.

But when designing a galley kitchen, it’s important to consider the available space and your specific requirements. While galley kitchens are known for their efficiency and functionality, they may have some limitations, such as limited natural light, restricted space for multiple cooks, and potential difficulties in accessing lower cabinets.

However, with careful planning and creative solutions, these drawbacks can be minimized and can turn into a practical and enjoyable area for your family.

We hope this article has provided you with helpful insights. If you have any further questions or need clarification, please feel free to reach out to us in the comment section below. We’re happy to assist you!

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