Sorry for the delay, but we have been desperately trying to unpack before putting too many photos on, and then there was the situation with the kitchen.
Kitchens in Europe are generally not included when you rent an apartment, one of the reasons IKEA has done so well here. Sometimes you are fortunate, as we were in Paris, and the owners have realized the expense of purchasing a new kitchen every time you move, and so they buy a kitchen, and raise the rent accordingly. You just have to provide all of the appliances.
When I finally saw the apartment in December, the tenants at the time asked if we would like to purchase the cabinets, counter tops, and sink they had installed - at a discount of course. And after going to various kitchen supply companies (and an afternoon at IKEA) we decided it really would be easier to walk in & only have to purchase our appliances, and not kit out the entire room (sometimes waiting up to 3 months for the ordering & installation).
Unfortunately, our 60 min in the apartment, with all of their things still in it, didn't really give us a great look at what was going on. The bottom cabinets are fine, but the countertop was actually breaking apart in one place, and white plastic cabinet doors with white plastic counter tops with a stainless steel tiny sink didn't really do it for us. So we rushed to IKEA, and purchased an island, prefabricated upper cabinets, new counter tops, and a white porcelin sink. In one week we have gone from this:
Not bad huh? The hole on the far right is for the dishwasher (on backorder). It should come at some point this week...