This expert countertop trick is the space-saving solution you need for a small galley kitchen

Looking to create a dining space in a galley kitchen? This small space tip is the solution that experts love

Small kitchen painted blue
(Image credit: deVOL)

Working with a galley kitchen can be challenging at times – but with the right advice, you can enjoy the same benefits of a large space in a compact setting. 

The inevitable feature at the top of many wishlists? A breakfast bar. But how is it possible to recreate a breakfast bar-style space in a narrow setting? With galley kitchen ideas from a figure at the top of the industry. 

The appeal behind a breakfast bar is unsurprising. This statement feature is a place for cooking, dining, and socializing – so it's only natural that you'll want to introduce a similar set-up in your kitchen ideas, no matter the size. And you can. The secret, according to deVOL, is in how you use your countertops. 

How to create a breakfast bar in a galley kitchen – according to an expert

Countertop in a galley kitchen

(Image credit: deVOL)

'Small kitchens can be challenging but fun to design; you have to make use of every little spot and be clever with depths and heights,' says deVOL's Creative Director,  Helen Parker. 

'Staggering the depth of your countertops is a good option as it allows you to create small shallow areas for seating or slim cupboards; you need depth for sink and appliances,' she explains. 'And if your kitchen is long and thin, a staggered countertop is the perfect solution for a little breakfast bar, as galley kitchens rarely have enough width for a kitchen table.' 

For example, in the apartment pictured (above and below), the designers made a 'breakfast bar' from the countertop by the window. This creates a sitting area in the heart of the compact kitchen. 

Countertop in a galley kitchen

(Image credit: deVOL)

If you're experimenting with kitchen countertop ideas in a galley kitchen, Helen also recommends pairing your 'breakfast bar' with clever storage solutions to make your small space feel larger. 

'Slim shelves can give you such good storage for glass wear and tall shallow objects and also create a nice visual where wall space and spots for ornamentation are in short supply,' she says. This will look particularly stylish above your breakfast bar, but it has practical reasons, too. 

'A small indent in a wall is a perfect place to fit some slim shelves, and when [they are] painted the same color as the walls, [they] almost disappear,' Helen adds. 'And if the ceilings are high, use this space too and create high storage with tall wall cupboards, they may be harder to reach, but the space can be invaluable.'

Countertop in a galley kitchen

(Image credit: deVOL)

And Helen isn't alone in her admiration for these small kitchen ideas. H&G's editor in chief Lucy Searle similarly urges you to flirt with the concept of a self-made breakfast bar in your kitchen – whether you're playing with a galley kitchen or any space that is too compact for a conventional-sized table or bar. 

'This trick is practical, social, and good-looking. Whether you're looking for a moment of calm to sit during breakfast or you're hosting guests, your countertop has the potential to become a pillar of your kitchen – and your entire home.'

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.