updated minimalist white galley kitchen
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Small Galley Kitchen Update

Small Galley Kitchen Update

It happened! It finally happened!

I finished(ish) my small galley kitchen update!

It took way longer than I expected, but it’s finally to the point that I can stop for now.

I can safely say that I absolutely love it.

Every time I walk into the kitchen, I do a little happy dance in my mind.

(And sometimes in actuality…but only when I’m home alone.)

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.

Plain flat cabinets, black hardware that stuck out like a sore thumb (why did I think that was a good idea in the first place?) and not a lot of personality happening.

And while this was a huge step up from what it was when we moved in, it wasn’t exactly us.

It was a very budget-friendly update that we knew would only be temporary.

Galley kitchen update on a budget

But now…say hello to Mr. Personality!

We started by framing out our flat cabinet doors to DIY a shaker style.

The flat cabinets seemed so plain. So boring. So blah.

I saved thousands of dollars by DIYing this project myself instead of actually refacing them, and honestly, no one can tell they were handmade.

They look exactly like store-bought shaker cabinets.

So I’ll mark that down as a win in the Lela Project Book.

Honeycomb Tile in the Kitchen

Win number two definitely goes to the backsplash.

The previous backsplash we had were SmartTiles and we loved how easy they were to install.

After tossing around the option of real tiles and the failed attempt of a modern glass sheet, we went back to the peel and stick.

This time we went with a brand called Tic Tac Tile.

The SmartTile brand was great, but they didn’t have the honeycomb style we wanted, so we took a chance on another brand.

I’m so happy we did because these worked out even better than the others.

peel and stick hexagon honeycomb tile in kitchen

The tile was really easy to install and it looks great.

I like that it can be wiped down when it gets dirty and it can withstand grease splatters like real tile.

But the real benefit was the price.

We were able to tile the whole kitchen backsplash area for under $200.

magnetic backsplash for spice jars

In addition to the hexagon tile, I also added a piece of magnetic sheet metal behind the stove.

It’s perfect for keeping spice containers within easy reach and it breaks up the all-white party happening between the cabinets and tile.

I ordered the sheet metal from a shop on Etsy (source at bottom of this post) and they cut it down to my dimensions at no extra cost.

Magnetic spice jars over stove

kitchen wood cutting board and knife block

Handwritten recipe framed in kitchen

We removed some of the cabinet doors and painted the inside to create open shelving for our most-used dishes.

The contrasting color was perfect for making our white dishes and clear Mason jars (our go-to drinking glass) pop.

I also had a special recipe written by my husband’s grandmother blown up into poster size and framed.

Staples enlarged it to 24×36 size for $3.65. Everywhere else quoted $30+. Huge score!

It adds such a personal touch to the kitchen and it covers up the phone jack we’ll never use.

Speaking of phone jacks, does anyone have a home phone anymore?

I’m pretty sure kids today have no idea what a landline is.

Framed recipe in kitchen and open shelving

galley kitchen and dining room

small galley kitchen organization

We added some great rugs to add texture and cover up these awful floors that I hate so much.

We’ll replace them one day, but for now, the rugs take all the attention and you don’t even notice the faded, stained linoleum.

The best part about these rugs was the price tag.

I found them at TJ Maxx. The big one was $19 and the smaller one near the laundry closet was $12.

I’ve decided TJ Maxx is the only place to ever buy rugs again.

coffee bar and pet food cubbies

The coffee bar, pet food cubbies, rolling island, and open shelving pantry stayed in place.

I didn’t change much about them, other than adding cookbooks to the cubbies.

Anakin still loves to sit on top of them to look out the window, and he attempts to fit his big fat hiney in his old kitten basket bed.

I leave it there because he loves it, even though he has beyond outgrown it.

The canvas basket between the cat’s bowls holds all their treats and medicines, and the drawer in the coffee bar holds filters and tea accessories.

Open shelving pantry ikea hack

We’re still loving our open shelving pantry (which was a super easy Ikea hack).

I was a little worried about dust, but after almost a year of having it, I realized the dust isn’t a big deal.

I use most of the items often so they’re constantly getting moved around, and I give them a quick dusting with the Swiffer every couple of weeks.

When my son is in need of picking up extra chores to earn money, I let him clear all the shelves and wipe everything down.

It’s a win-win.

kitchen command center

small kitchen update


Backsplash Tile: Tic Tac Tiles in Hexa Mono White

Metal Backsplash Magnetic Piece: Muley Metals on Etsy

Magnetic Spice Jars: Amazon (similar)

Wall Paint: Bungalow White by Valspar   Cabinet and Door Paint: Corduroy Black by Valspar

Recipe Print Enlargement: Staples

Recipe Frame: Michaels Craft Store

Rugs: TJ Maxx

Pantry and Coffee Bar Shelving: IKEA Ivar

Rolling Island: Baxton Studio Island at Bed Bath and Beyond

Cutting Boards: Large from Kohls  Small from Target

Metal Envelopes in Command Center: Target

Cube Cubbies For Pet Food and Cookbooks: Target

Metal Letter Wine Cork Holder: Amazon

Unique Soda Bottles: World Market

To see more on how we updated our kitchen, check out the projects that got us to this reveal.

DIY Shaker Cabinets

How To Paint Cabinets and Install Hardware

Create Open Shelving With Existing Cabinets

Open Shelving Pantry Ikea Hack


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  1. Small Gallery for kitchen is a clever idea. I love the concept on how it was presented. Things in the kitchen is way much easy to access. And you can now sort what things are to placed within reach and what are those for beyond reach. Kitchen will be more organized, neat and will be very pleasing to ones eye.. Thank you for sharing

  2. Sandy gandy

    the kitchen is beautiful. I love everything about it.

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