Olivia Rodrigo uses this color technique to cleverly make her galley kitchen look bigger

With her seamless storage and contrasting color choices, designers say the singer has mastered narrow-space design

Olivia Rodrigo
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The question of how best to create the illusion of space is one asked in rooms of all sizes, but nowhere is it quite as key as in a galley kitchen – and Olivia Rodrigo has the answer. 

The 20-year-old singer, who recently released her new album GUTS, just shared a glimpse inside her LA home, and it's an unexpected trove of small space design inspiration – starting with her galley kitchen.

The space, seen below, showcases a primarily white palette, from the painted cabinets to the marble backsplash – all of which create a stark contrast against her dark wooden floor. This monochromatic juxtaposition hasn't gone unnoticed by designers, who say Olivia's kitchen color decisions allow this narrow space to appear visibly more spacious. 


new GUTS merch out now!!!!

♬ original sound - VeronicaShavie

'A monochromatic color palette in the kitchen helps reduce visual clutter and makes a small kitchen appear larger and more stylish,' begins Eternity Modern's founder Stacy Lewis. 

In spaces like Olivia's, Stacy recommends playing with 'high-contrast color combinations' that 'differentiate varying elements' while creating an airy, size-enhancing glow. 

'Neutrals and muted colors can also make a small kitchen look bigger because they're better at reflecting light and illuminating narrow spaces,' she adds.

However, monochromatic tones aside, designers say we should take note of Olivia's kitchen storage, too. 

As kitchen designer Tom Howley explains, we need to be strategic with space in galley kitchens – and this begins by investing in tall, vertical storage that uses every single area. Olivia's kitchen cabinets stretch up to the roof, ensuring every inch is as practical as possible.

'Galley kitchens work best when using the full height of the kitchen, so long, slim pantries that allow you to store less-used items on the higher shelves are a great idea,' Tom says.

Tom Howley

Tom Howley is a designer and owner of his eponymous kitchen studio. He specializes in the design, manufacture, and installation of luxury fitted kitchens. The kitchen design studio prides itself on designing kitchens around the lifestyles of its clients to create spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful. 

Plus, mastering the best layout for a galley kitchen is equally key to a seamless space. 

'In narrower kitchen spaces, everything can be within arms-length, making it easy for a designer to plot an efficient 'golden triangle' of cooker, fridge and sink,' Tom adds. 'Creating a run of cupboards or a bank of appliances is easy in parallel kitchens. This layout is appealing because it's intimate, functional, easy to work in, and can look stunning with beautiful floor-to-ceiling cabinetry.'

For more kitchen design (that will impress in spaces of every size), we're looking to this guide, available via Amazon below.

The Perfect Kitchen, Barbara Sallick | From $21.87 at Amazon

The Perfect Kitchen, Barbara Sallick | From $21.87 at Amazon
Learn more about the perfect kitchen design in this highly-rated book by Barbara Sallick. Inside you will find beautiful images and practical advice for your own kitchen remodel.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.