Here’s How to Make a Galley Kitchen Bigger

A bigger galley kitchen is just around the corner, thanks to “kitchen stretching”

The key to making a galley kitchen layout work is all about maximizing the available square footage. But when you’ve optimized every inch and still need more space, the question becomes: how do you make a galley kitchen bigger?

Demolishing the entire kitchen and its surrounding walls is not always a realistic option. Bringing down walls partially provides some openness while not eliminating all walls which are important for storage. Another way to expand a galley kitchen layout is by allowing the kitchen to extend into nearby living spaces. See how the five Sweeten renovations below snuck in a little more outside their two walls.

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Bring out the best in high ceilings

galley kitchen

To lessen the overlap of paying rent and a mortgage at the same time, Martha aimed to renovate her new co-op as quickly as possible. Her first decision was to open up the 700-square-foot apartment that she’d share with her daughter. Bringing down a wall—even partially—between the galley kitchen and the living room highlighted the 10-foot ceilings in the rest of the apartment. The now-open kitchen had enough space to straddle a small dining area between the two rooms. 

A patio comes inside

bay window

Laura and Tim were ready to trade in their “old and grungy” kitchen in their 1929 brick townhouse.  They remodeled their galley kitchen and kept the layout—with one major change. They enclosed an outdoor patio at the back of the kitchen that had a drafty door which was poorly located as well. The new plan was to envelop the patio into the cook space and the adjacent dining area. What started as a kitchen remodel turned into a full-blown extension project. A skylight in the new enclosure brought in a stream of natural light.

Swapping a closet for counter space

how to make a galley kitchen bigger

Shifting the location of a nearby closet allowed Melissa and Blake to continue the kitchen area into the living room, extending cabinets and counter space. They also removed a smaller closet that once sat outside the kitchen and built a bar counter with seating in its place, uniting the galley kitchen with the combined living and dining room.

A countertop extension perfect for parties


Instead of taking down walls to open things up, Joel and Eric worked with their designers to build a unified countertop to join the kitchen and nearby dining room. The counter extension is perfect for hosting parties: it provides a spot for pouring drinks, mixing cocktails, and serving buffet-style dinners. As a bonus, the wraparound storage helps mitigate the build-up of clutter in the kitchen.

Separating the dining area from the kitchen

how to make a galley kitchen bigger
Moving the dining area outside of the kitchen allowed Lisa and Chris to extend their cabinets along the back wall. They also relocated the fridge to what was once the cramped dining nook, while keeping the original location of the sink and continuing counter space on the opposite wall. In addition to extra counter and storage space, a nearby wall was demolished to create a large, eat-in peninsula.

Got a small space? Read our blog post on how to make the most of your galley kitchen.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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