Top 3 Things That Will Make Your Galley Kitchen Look Bigger

If you have a galley kitchen, you know that it’s fantastic for making your cooking experiences smoother. But because this kitchen style is also a true space-saver, it tends to look and feel cramped to the outside world. Fortunately, there are ways to help make your galley kitchen look bigger and feel more open.

The top three things that will make your galley kitchen look bigger include adding light, installing open shelving, and adding color and patterns to the walls and floor. Mint green, cool gray, light taupe, and soft blonde can all create that size illusion while still looking inviting!

Join us as we discuss the three tricks that are both easy and fun! Your galley kitchen doesn’t have to look like you’re trying to save space, even when you are. 

1) Remove Cupboard Doors to Reveal Open Shelving

One of the quickest ways to create an illusion of a bigger kitchen is by opening up your shelving. Plus, it looks really chic, so your galley kitchen will be a source of envy for many.

side by side photo comparison of the same small kitchen from two different angles

Galley kitchens can often feel like they’re nothing more than a hallway with cabinets and kitchen appliances. If you remove cupboards or doors, the area will look a lot more open and spacious.

If you can’t do that and have a free wall in your kitchen, add some shelving there instead.

You can also consider hooks, metal racks, and pegboards – they’re all great for storage without making the space look small.

A simple white kitchen with open shelves to make it seem larger

There are many great shelving possibilities you can install that will create a sense of space and add beauty to your kitchen. Check out our Resources section for our top floating shelves for small spaces (e.g. small bathrooms or small kitchens).

Once you’ve got your open shelving, make sure that you place beautiful items on them that won’t look cluttered or messy, like aesthetic china or potted plants! Decorate the shelving with your favorite knick-knacks to add a touch of personality to your galley kitchen. 

2) Add Brightness (White Cabinets, Fresh Paint)

Adding light to your galley kitchen is a fantastic way to brighten it up and make it feel more spacious. You can add light by installing new light fixtures or painting the walls or cupboards white. Few colors can give a room an airy feel the way white can because it creates the illusion of a bigger space.

Small galley kitchen newly renovated to look bigger looking towards the front door

If you can’t paint your cupboards, why not use contact paper instead? You can find it in many different shades of white and lovely designs that will brighten your kitchen in no time.

Consider adding bright lighting under your cabinets, too; this will create a friendly, open atmosphere for an elegant shine. You can buy lights from any hardware or home improvement store or have them custom-designed for your home’s cabinets.

White lights are the best options because they’re the brightest and will create the best size effect. Another way to light up your galley kitchen is to make the most of your windows. Remove any heavy curtains you may have and instead opt for something like roman shade.

Alternatively, if you have enough privacy, you can leave your windows uncovered to allow for natural lighting

3) Dress Up the Floor and Walls

Our third suggestion to make your galley kitchen look bigger is to add patterns to your walls and floor.

You can paint your walls in the color of your choice, but you’re better off sticking with a bright, light color in most cases. You can also go with wallpaper that has a nice design to add something special to your kitchen.

Also, consider adding small paintings and decorations, but keep it simple. If you add too many embellishments to your walls, the kitchen will start to look smaller and more cluttered rather than bigger. 

A photo capturing the long end of a small kitchen wooden countertop and white cabinet

Make your kitchen floors look shiny and create a roomier environment with beautiful tiles or vinyl flooring. You can also be a bit bold with the colors you add to your floor as long as you make sure it matches the rest of your kitchen’s design.

If you want, you can also add a nice, patterned rug to your kitchen area. It will make the space look more sophisticated and classier, especially if the carpet has a fancy pattern. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to clean the rug often, so we recommend going with a washable option. 

Which Colors Can Make a Galley Kitchen Look Bigger?

If you want to paint your kitchen walls for a spacious feel or even earth tone, there are a handful of colors you can consider that will do the job pretty well. You should combine the colors with decor that will make it feel like you have a consistent theme. Doing so will bring your kitchen together and give you the results you want.

Here are the best color options:

  • Light Taupe. If you don’t want to go completely white with your walls, you can still use a neutral paint color such as light taupe. It will create a roomy and elegant vibe, and the rich tone adds a sprinkle of extravagance. For best results, use this color on your walls and make your furniture and appliances white. That way, you’ll have a light and airy feel in your kitchen.
  • Soft Blonde. This golden color adds warmth to small spaces, and if you pair it with natural décor, you’ll have a very comfortable but spacious-feeling kitchen. Keep the cupboards a light color but add a bright, bold color somewhere in the kitchen in the form of art or sculpture.
  • Blush Pink. Blush pink can brighten up your galley kitchen and make it feel light and cheerful. Plus, the color looks fantastic when the setting sun shines on it. Use this shade if your kitchen has a lot of natural light and keep your décor neutral with colors such as beige and ivory. If you’re feeling daring, paint your ceiling the same pink, and you’ll have a welcoming and enveloping kitchen.
  • Mint Green. If you like the idea of a galley kitchen that reminds you of the beach, this mint green color is perfect. Pair it with creamy décor, and you’ll have a unique, open-feeling kitchen that invites guests in. When you have a contrast in colors (the creamy-white and mint green), your small space will feel more dynamic.
  • Sage. Sage is a brilliant color choice for kitchens with large windows that let natural light seep in. It creates a natural feel and makes one think of the outdoors, which is excellent for creating a sense of open space and airiness.
  • Cool Gray. Gray may not seem like the best color for a kitchen, but if you keep the shade light or luminous (pearl gray), your kitchen will feel spacious, bright, and fresh. It’s a cool color that will also create a calming feeling that many like to associate with kitchens.

What’s the Best Approach for Your Galley Kitchen?

There’s no reason a galley kitchen has to make you feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. It saves space and streamlines the cooking experience with more efficiency, so having this type of kitchen is always a good idea.

These tips will help your kitchen feel less constricted and narrow while making it more open and welcoming.

You can use all of them for a combined strategy or use just one of the tips and make the most of it. As long as you plan your redecoration well, you’ll have a kitchen you can be proud of without the regret that sometimes comes with changing up a room. 

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