Advantages of a Parallel Kitchen

Christina Ash

At first sight, parallel kitchens appear to present more challenges than advantages, Also known as galley kitchens, these cooking spaces allow you to engage your creativity to pare your cooking lifestyle to the basics. In doing so, you simplify your kitchen and save money in the process.

Increase your storage space in a galley kitchen by hanging utensils from rails.


A parallel kitchen, also known as a galley kitchen, is a narrow kitchen that has counters on either side of a central walkway. The counters can be interspersed with appliances, sink, cabinetry and other functional items. These kitchens are generally thought of as being small, but they can be quite long although narrow. Whatever its size, a home with a parallel kitchen involves living with less.

Small and Effective

The most useful parallel kitchens are small and effective, leaving more space in the apartment or house for other rooms. If designed from scratch, these kitchens are usually ergonomically effective, as everything has to fit into the space. This may involve paring down the appliances, pantry goods, and cooking, serving and eating dishes to a bare minimum of basics. With floor space at a premium, many parallel kitchens make full use of the vertical space, with cupboards reaching up to the ceiling, and even with shelves across the top of the door.

Cost Saving

The small size of parallel kitchens means that there are fewer items to purchase. Generally, these kitchens have fewer cupboards than larger kitchens, and so won't store as many items. The kitchen counter is usually the most expensive part of a kitchen, and in a parallel kitchen, you'll need less of it and so can save money. Alternatively, you may now be able to afford a countertop made of a more expensive material. If your parallel kitchen is really small, you'll need to purchase apartment-sized appliances, such as the stove and refrigerator, which are generally less expensive than their full-size counterparts.


Having a parallel kitchen engages your creativity in several different ways. You'll need to find and use any nooks and unexpected areas as storage spaces. Creative storage solutions include lazy Susans in corner cupboards and spice racks hanging under the upper cupboards. Don’t forget that the ceiling can also be a storage space with a butcher's rack hanging from it. Decorating a small space also calls for a creative view of color to keep the space light and airy at the same time as injecting pops of color for pizzazz. Cooking in such a small space is also a challenge and may call for creative cooking processes, such as one-pot cooking, as well as a more informal approach to entertaining.