Galley kitchens are aptly named for the small kitchens found on ships. Basically a hallway lined with cabinets and appliances, galley kitchens can come off as dark and uninviting, making you want to order in rather than spend any time cooking your meal. But if your galley kitchen is the dreariest space in your house, you’re probably doing it wrong. There are lots of ways that you can bring life and personality into such a small kitchen that will make it a happier place to be. Take a look at these 15 ways to bring personality into your galley kitchen and get ready to spend all your down time cooking.

As with so many rooms in our homes, a simple way to add some vivacity to the space is to lay a brightly colored rug. Choose a patterned runner to lay in your galley kitchen and it will immediately make the kitchen a happier space. (via Domino)

All kitchens have a fridge and a stove, even the galley kitchens. Plus, you’ve probably added a toaster and a microwave and possibly a blender. Replace these essential appliances with pretty colored versions in a decor move that won’t take up any more space than already necessary.

Chalkboard can be so useful in many ways, especially when it comes to kitchen lists. Paint an empty wall space with chalkboard paint and you’ve given yourself permission to be creative and artsy even while you’re making mac n’ cheese.

When a space is lined with cabinets, it’s only natural that you would think about how to personalize them. Consider painting the top set a nice light color and the bottom set a darker hue. The transformation of your galley kitchen will take you by surprise. (via Cutlerdc)

Designers tell us that small rooms like the laundry room or the powder room are some of the best places for patterned wallpaper. Well guess what? If you have a galley kitchen, you have the perfect small room to wallpaper it up! (via Chinoiseriechic)

Yes, open shelves are still a big decorating thing, which you should be happy to hear! In a galley kitchen, replacing the top set of cabinets with open shelves will make your space seem bigger and airier without that solid wall of boxes. And you’ll have all that space for decorating.

Paint paint paint! When you have a color that you adore, splash your galley kitchen with it wherever you can. Cabinets, walls, floor, appliances, make it all boast your favorite color and suddenly your galley kitchen will be your favorite space ever. (via House Beautiful)

While big windows in a kitchen are always a coveted feature, sometimes you have to make do with artificial lighting. Don’t resign yourself to a dark galley kitchen though. Hang some pretty chandeliers or pendants that will help brighten up the space.

Bad linoleum is enough to make anyone ugly cry as they chop veggies for dinner. Instead of letting your galley kitchen floor get you down, tear it up and replace it with a happy patterned tile that will have you dancing in your kitchen come dinnertime. (via Emily Henderson)

Black is so chic and timeless, no matter what room it’s in. By painting your galley kitchen cabinets black, you infuse the space with an old English vibe that beckons you to mix yourself a cocktail and lean against the counter to enjoy while you wait for the roast to finish. (via Massucco Warner Miller)

Ah backsplash. With all the cabinetry in a galley kitchen, you get some serious colorful backsplash opportunity. Opt for something with some pattern and color that will make you smile every time you have to chop up your salad.

Even the tiniest galley kitchen can have available storage space hiding in plain sight. Let your cabinetry extend all the way to the ceiling to give you more floor space for other kitchen necessities.

One unfortunate hazard of a galley kitchen is the probability of bumping into someone while you have more than one cook in the kitchen. Replace some cabinets with a booth so you can encourage your family to keep you company while you stir and toss without getting in your way.

Looking for a way to improve your galley kitchen on a budget? The answer is plant life. Whether you choose a plant with lovely bright flowers or grow your own herbs, the greenery will add some much needed life to your small kitchen.

Maybe after all these tips, you still hate the way your galley kitchen makes you feel separated from the rest of your family come meal times. Sacrifice some cabinet space and open up the top wall so your kitchen flows into your other living areas instead of cutting you off. (image from Jacqui Way)

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