This is what people generally envision when thinking of what a kitchen might look like in their new apartment: cabinets, at least some counter space and somewhere to cook. To many, this might not be considered a 'luxury' kitchen, but to us renters in Germany, anything above and beyond an empty room is a luxury.
I'm not sure where the concept of the Einbauküche, or 'fitted kitchen', being entirely optional and downright rare for rented apartments came about, but it is the most ridiculous concept ever created (note: this is not the first, nor will it be the last time I rant about this subject). Renters are supposed to buy and install an entire kitchen - as in, cabinets, countertops, sink, appliances, the whole deal - each time they rent a new apartment. Because let's face it, how many kitchens are exactly the same layout and amount of space? Therefore, how likely is it that the kitchen you invest thousands of euros into is going to come along with you to your next place of residence? Exactly. For practical Germans, this is one of the few areas that they have left me completely stumped.
So as we delve into our Berlin apartment search, here's what we might expect to find in a 'kitchen'...
Door Sixteen did in her house in New York:
Uh, stunning, right? A far cry from the janky, 20-something's studio I envisioned those Ikea pieces belonging in. Not to mention those stools and that salvaged table she refinished and amazing tile walls she did BY HERSELF. Okay, I think her significant other probably helped, but still (I am not worthy!). Seriously though, she made pieces that many people might not even consider for their rented apartment, let alone their home, look seriously stylish. I am already leaning towards one of those empty rooms for a kitchen so I can create my own version of this hip space.
The real downside here is that we already had to buy a stove/cooktop and dishwasher when the ancient ones
It's almost enough just to raise the white flag and declare 'Einbauküche only'! We could luck out with something as decent as one of these:
And then that's one less thing to stress about for our move. Frankly, anything is better than the decades-old Ikea kitchen we have now, complete with grid design in the cabinet glass and mold growing rampant in the wood counter tops. I guess we shall see what apartments we find and which landlords deem us, and our sub-par German, worthy of renting a highly covetable Berlin apartment to...
All images, except the one from Anna of Door Sixteen, are from Berlin apartment listings on null-provision.de and immobilienscout24.de