Buying a Kitchen in Germany

One of the interesting things about renting an apartment in Germany is that most places come as a shell. And, when we say “shell”, that’s what we mean.  The only thing that usually comes with the place is the toilet, bathroom sink and shower/bath.  Nothing else.  Not even a toilet paper holder.  Not a kitchen, no light fixtures, no closets, no drapes, nothing, nada, zippo, zilch.  When tenants vacate their apartment, they take everything with them, including tearing out their kitchen and presumably installing it in their next home.  Sometimes they’re able to sell their kitchen, light fixtures, etc. to the next tenant. Closets are not typically built in so places like IKEA do a booming business in selling stand-alone wardrobes, like we have done.

We were fortunate that in our current apartment, the kitchen was already in place, so we didn’t have the expense of putting in a new one.  However, in a few weeks we’re moving to another apartment on the other side of town and this one is in a shell condition.  Here’s what the kitchen looks like right now.

So, it was off to the home improvement store to buy a kitchen.  While not necessarily cheap, the kitchen buying process here is completed with typical German efficiency. You go to the store, where there are several sample kitchens on display in various price ranges.  You sit down with a designer and within two hours you have designed your kitchen, selected appliances and scheduled your installation date.  A few days later, a technician comes out with a high-tech laser system to precision-measure the exact location of outlets and plumbing so any design adjustments can be made. About six weeks later, voila!

Our new kitchen is scheduled to be installed in mid-July, about a month after we actually move in so we’ll post the final result.  Stay tuned.

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