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Maximizing space and work flow through the use of subtle symmetry is the key to a successful galley kitchen
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A legend/floorplan of the house

Lack of space can throw up all kinds of problems in the plan and execution of a kitchen. However, for every challenge, there is a solution. In the case of the home featured on these pages a galley-style kitchen was the perfect choice for a narrow building platform.

Architect James Hess, of Stainback-Hess Studio, says the kitchen was an addition to a traditional Craftsman bungalow sited on a narrow lot that needed to maintain driveway access to the garage situated under the screened porch.

"The addition is a narrow two-story slice into a deep rear yard. The choice of a galley kitchen was perfect, as no island or perpendicular cabinetry interrupts the view to the rear garden. Best of all, the owner loves the efficiency of the galley style kitchen and how the view from the sink engages the side yard. This adds perceived width to her relatively narrow lot."

Built in the 1920s, the home is typical of the Craftsman style punched windows and traditional millwork to frame the exterior view. In contrast, the kitchen is a complete removal from this style in plan and elevation. Walls of glass, linear planning and tall spaces were used with the purpose of bringing the outside in.

Hess says the biggest challenge in integrating the kitchen into its present position was creating a cohesive and smooth transition from the traditional bungalow style to the modern.


A view of this remodelled kitchen featuring cherry cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, gray
A view of this remodelled kitchen featuring cherry wood cabnetry, granite countertop, brazilian cherry wood flooring, Stainless steel kitchen appliances

"This was done practically, by editing the spatial flow of the old house and the new house. The resulting overlapping design allows foot traffic to move through the space more easily, so that there is more than one way in and out of the kitchen."

Herein lies the true worth of the galley kitchen. Essentially a thoroughfare for the family between indoor and outdoor living spaces, the kitchen has to be at once a practical space and a means of egress.

No other design can efficiently accomplish these dual roles, which the owner says is the reason why her previous three kitchens have all been in the galley style.

"This is exactly the way I operate, I can stand in the middle of the kitchen and everything is within reach. For example, I can completely unload the dishwasher in under five minutes because nothing is more than two steps away from where I am."

While galley kitchens have a reputation for being eminently workable, the very problem they were designed to eliminate lack of space has typically meant that either storage space or appliances were kept to a minimum. When the owners approached the architect they were well aware of this storage space versus appliances problem, so a list of upgrades, including supplementary cabinetry and new appliances, were the only changes needed to the kitchen area itself.

A view of this remodelled kitchen featuring cherry cabinetry, countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, gray
A view of this remodelled kitchen featuring cherry wood cabnetry, granite countertop, brazilian cherry wood flooring, Stainless steel kitchen appliances

"The inclusion of an adjacent casual meals area and pantry space resolved both of these issues. The auxiliary cabinetry in the pantry and eating area allowed for overflow storage, so the galley's work triangle could focus on the appliances, tools, and ingredients associated with the art of cooking," says Hess.

The dining area also serves to anchor and define what would be an otherwise lineal space formed by the parallel passages the first through the kitchen itself, the second being the staircase down to the games room and garage on either side of the kitchen counter. Coupled with the screened porch, the meals area is both a physical and visual resting place, extending the functionality of the kitchen and adding balance to the overall design.

"If you've never done a kitchen before, I can't stress strongly enough the benefits of a galley kitchen, in terms of efficiency of design and overall day-to-day practicality," says the owner.

Apr 06, 2007

Credit list

Builder
Gilcraft Construction
Kitchen designer
Cabinetry
Cherry wood, stainless steel, frosted glass
Flooring
Brazilian cherry
Dining furniture
Duktus table, bench and chairs in glass, steel, maple and leather from Bulthaup Corporation
Backsplash
Stainless steel
Oven
Bosch
Ventilation
Vent-A-Hood
Dishwasher
KitchenAid
Interior decorator
Kitchen manufacturer
Countertop
Granite
Doors and windows
Lighting
Tech Lighting
Kitchen sink
Kohler
Cooktop
DCS
Refrigeration
LG
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