How to Make a Galley Kitchen Bigger

A spacious kitchen is just around the corner

This type of kitchen layout is all about maximizing the available square footage, but when you’ve taken advantage of 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 to start from scratch is not always a realistic option. Instead, we would like to introduce you to the concept of “kitchen stretching”—that is, extending your existing layout into nearby spaces while keeping major structural changes to a minimum. What does that mean? Check out the theory in action with these six renovations below, and click on the links with each project to see the kitchen before the stretch.

how to make a galley kitchen bigger
Deva and Sam’s Jackson Heights kitchen

The narrow strip of kitchen in Deva and Sam’s apartment had no power outlets and minimal prep space. The couple decided to maintain the original footprint—where the sink and appliances were located—to save money and absorb the nearby hallway. Installing cabinets down the hall and extending the floor tile and backsplash allowed the kitchen to expand without the need to remove any walls.

how to make a galley kitchen bigger
Melissa and Blake’s Gramercy kitchen

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.

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Joel and Eric’s Prospect Heights kitchen

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

how to make a galley kitchen bigger
Heather and Eric’s Gramercy kitchen

The layout of Heather and Eric’s newly purchased apartment included a classic galley kitchen. The couple’s Sweeten contractor cut through the wall shared with the main living area to join both spaces and built additional counter space with bar seating. For more storage, a third row of upper cabinets wraps around into the dining and living room.

how to make a galley kitchen bigger
Lisa and Chris’ Kew Gardens kitchen

Moving the dining area outside of the kitchen allowed Lisa and Chris to extend the line of 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.

how to make a galley kitchen bigger
Kate and Graham’s Clinton Hill kitchen

The galley kitchen in Kate and Graham’s brownstone was tucked into a corner of their home. To get to it, they had to walk through a tiny room that was too small to serve as a dining room. Demolishing the wall between both rooms opened things up and allowed them to create a custom island with the additional square footage. Keeping the original placement of the cabinets, the couple installed a built-in on the back wall to hide the fridge and microwave.

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

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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.