How to Choose Appliances for a Small Galley Kitchen

Steve Sheinkopf  |  December 14, 2022  |  6 Min. Read

How to Buy Appliances  |  Design Inspiration

I remember walking into one of Boston's newest luxury high rises.

It had everything - a concierge, fitness center, movie rooms, library, restaurant, and plenty of lounge areas to read a book or have a conversation.

I was amazed when I finally saw the condominiums. They were small spaces with a tiny galley kitchen. Thus began the lifestyle buildings in Boston.

small-kitchen-featuring-small-counter-depth-refrigeratorsSmall Kitchen Appliance Ideas at Yale Appliance in Boston

 

In a small space, you will have to make compromises. This article will teach you how to make the most of your small kitchen space without sacrificing functionality.

Let's get started.

The Galley Kitchen

Photo-Courtesy-of-Houzz-galley-kitchen

First, let's go over what a galley kitchen is and what type of appliances belong in a galley kitchen.

A galley kitchen, also known as a corridor kitchen, is a small room separate from your dining room and consists of two parallel sides with a corridor space in between.

It was popular in the 1960s and 70s. Then the popular "great room" design of opening the kitchen to the dining room was created.

The great room layout is still popular, but the galley has returned over the last few years, especially for new condo buildings.

For appliances a galley kitchen consists of one row of appliances. Smaller spaces require smaller appliances. Unfortunately, smaller appliances tend to have fewer features and functionality.

So, I will show you how to include a dishwasher, stove, microwave, and refrigerator in your galley kitchen and which to consider in smaller sizes so you have more usable space.

Let's start with dishwashers.

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How to Choose Appliances for a Small Galley Kitchen

Dishwashers

GE-Profile-18-inch-dishwasher18-Inch Dishwasher

 

You do not lose much capacity when stepping down from a standard 24-inch dishwasher to an 18-inch dishwasher. It's deceptive.

More importantly, you still have an excellent selection of 18-inch dishwashers from brands like Miele, Bosch, Beko, GE, Frigidaire, and Monogram.

With these brands come some of the same features you would find in their larger 24-inch dishwashers, such as:

  • Under 44 dB silence ratings
  • 3rd racks for silverware
  • Adjustable top racks
  • Three levels of wash action

If you were to downsize the dishwasher, let's compare two of your best options for a small kitchen: an 18-inch panel-ready Beko dishwasher to a 24-inch Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer.

Beko-18-inch-dishwasher-vs-Fisher-and-Paykel-DishDrawer

  Beko DIS25842 Fisher & Paykel DD24SI9 N
Size 18 inches 24 inches
Panel Ready Yes Yes
Silence Rating in Decibels (dB) 48 dB 44 dB
Racks and Design 8 place settings, folding tines, height adjustable middle rack  7 place settings, folding tines and flexible racking 
Cycles 5 cycles including Express and NSF-Certified Sanitize 15 cycles including Express, Extra dry and NSF-Certified Sanitize, Knock to Pause feature 
Warranty 2-Year Warranty 2-Year Warranty
Price $899 $899

The chart above shows that you are only compromising a few features by buying a smaller dishwasher.

The price between these two is the same, and the Fisher & Paykel is quieter, more flexible on the inside, and easier to load/unload.

You can still install a normal cabinet drawer underneath it for additional storage space.

However, smaller capacities can be tricky to fit very large items. The Beko is a bare-bones dishwasher; you will hear it somewhat at 48 dBA.

If you prefer a Bosch or Miele dishwasher, both manufacture a quiet 18-inch dishwasher with good features.

Throughout the pandemic, both have been unavailable. Let's hope that changes. Unfortunately, you won't be so lucky in your next choices.

Refrigerators

French-door-counter-depth-refrigerators-at-yale-appliance-in-hanoverCounter-Depth Refrigerators

 

The standard-size refrigerator in a medium to large kitchen is about 36 inches wide. You have the best selection and the most competitive price at 36 inches.

Refrigerators, like all appliances, are designed to fit cabinets. Your smaller sizes have 33-,30-, 28-, 27-, and 24-inch widths.

Capacity decreases along with size. A small refrigerator is not a problem if you eat out a lot.

Keep in mind your choices diminish after 30 inches in width. Many popular brands need to market refrigerators under 30 inches.

Below are some refrigerator ideas to incorporate into your kitchen, with comparisons between larger and smaller refrigerators.

Beko-top-mount-refrigerator-vs-Fisher-and-Paykel-refrigerator

  Beko BFTF2716SSIME Fisher & Paykel RF172GDUX1
Size and Capacity 28” wide, 13.5 Cu. Ft. total capacity 32” wide, 16.8 Cu. Ft. total capacity
Counter-Depth Yes Yes
Water Dispenser No Yes
Ice Maker Yes Yes
Humidity Control Dual evaporators for separate humidity ActiveSmart for precise humidity monitoring
Produce Features EverFresh+ - Extends the life of produce by up to 30 days.  Separate freezer drawer for better organization 
Warranty 2-Year Warranty 2-Year Warranty
Price $949 $3,199

Having a refrigerator with a smaller capacity can be tricky to fit very large items.

You cannot convert extra drawers on the Fisher & Paykel, so we stuck with it as a freezer. The cost of the Fisher & Paykel is much higher.

The Beko is much less expensive but has a different layout and build quality than the Fisher & Paykel refrigerator.

The RF172GDUX1 is nicer looking for a premium refrigerator, has a water dispenser, and may be better quality, but it is significantly more money than the Beko.

Overall, your decision comes down to your budget and space needs.

Beko-vs-Fisher-and-Paykel-integrated-column-refrigerators

  Beko BBBF2410IM Fisher & Paykel RS2484WRU1 
Size and Capacity 22” wide, 8.4 Cu. Ft. total capacity 24” wide, 8 Cu. Ft. Total capacity
Counter-Depth Yes  Yes
Design Panel-Ready, Field Reversible Door Panel-Ready, Needs to be ordered hinge specific 
Water Dispenser No Yes
Ice Maker Yes Yes
Humidity Control Dual evaporators for separate humidity ActiveSmart for precise humidity monitoring
Produce Features EverFresh+ - Extends the life of produce by up to 30 days  Separate freezer drawer for better organization
Warranty 2-Year Warranty 2-Year Warranty
Price $2,599 $7,599

The Fisher & Paykel is 84" tall and could be a problem for lower ceilings. The cost of the Fisher & Paykel is much higher.

Like the refrigerators featured above, the Beko BBBF2410IM is much less expensive but has a different layout and build quality than the Fisher & Paykel fridge.

The RS2484WRU1 is stylish and has a water dispenser. This is going to come down to budget and space needs as well.

Premium Refrigerators

sub-zero-CL3650UID-refrigerator-installed

Sub-Zero Refrigerator

 

Sub-Zero has been the leader with the best seal, magnetic crispers, and air scrubbing to keep food fresher for a longer period.

Sub-Zero's 30-inch, panel-ready refrigerator, the DET3050CIID, is an excellent model to consider for premium refrigeration.

Thermador has a brand-new refrigerator, the T30BB925SS, with stainless on the inside to absorb cold faster, along with gallon storage on the door.

Ranges, Hoods, and Microwaves

electric-freestanding-ranges-at-yale-appliance-in-hanoverFreestanding Ranges and Over-the-Range Microwaves

 

The most popular range size is 30 inches. However, you can buy smaller ranges at 24 and 20 inches.

But first, a word of caution: You lose selection and functionality by reducing sizes in ranges, unlike dishwashers and, to a certain extent, refrigerators.

In addition, your only choices are electric or gas ranges because induction is not available at 24 inches. Let's look at your two best options for a small kitchen, both 24 inches.

Beko-vs-Fisher-and-Paykel-Ranges

  Beko SLGR24410SS  Fisher & Paykel OR24SDMBGX2_N 
Size 24 Inches` 24 Inches
Stovetop 4 Sealed Burners 4 Sealed Burners with one upgrade to include a wok burner
Burner Safety Automatic Burner Safety Shutoff if burner blows out  Automatic Burner Safety Shutoff if burner blows out 
Oven Capacity 2.51 Cu. Ft. Capacity 2.5 Cu. Ft. Capacity
Oven System Non-Convection Convection Oven
Storage Drawer No Yes
Warranty 2-Year Warranty 2-Year Warranty
Price $1,099 $1,899

 

Both ovens are non-self-cleaning and have smaller oven capacities than a standard 30-inch range. Both ovens are pretty basic, with no electronic display or cooking modes.

If you had to choose one, the Fisher & Paykel is more expensive but adds a storage drawer, has a better output for high-heat cooking and simmering, and has convection.

It also has the option of a wok burner.

Of course, you can buy a professional range with 25,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) burners like this BlueStar range shown below.

BlueStar-BSP244B

BlueStar BSP244BC 24-Inch Pro Range

 

Your other option is a cooktop over a smaller 24-inch oven.

It's good-looking because you keep the countertops and toe kicks intact. However, this combination is far more expensive than a range with comparable features.

After the range, finding a hood is tough for a 24-inch cooktop or range. Most don't exhaust that well.

Your best options may be to buy a 24-inch over-the-range microwave, build a blower insert into a wood hood, or buy a chimney hood.

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How to Choose Appliances for a Small Galley Kitchen: Key Takeaways

If you have to cut the sizes, look at the dishwasher first.

Your refrigerator should be based on how much cubic footage you need.

Lastly, keep your range at 30 inches if you can.

Decreasing the size will cost more with less usability.

Additional Resources

Have questions on appliances? Read the Yale Appliance Buying Guide with the 10 most frequently asked questions, the best time to buy appliances as well as detailed profiles of all the brands. Well over 1 million people have read a Yale Guide.

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

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Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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