Building up your perfect kitchen is a big challenge, especially if you cope with the restrictions of the small spaces assigned to this part of the room in most of the old style Berlin apartments. Most probably people here were not used to have big families and do not cook at home that much, therefore no need to waste a big room for that.
Which means that, from the beginning, when it comes to setting up your kitchen, you need to take into consideration your needs, including your habits as a cook. For instance, if you have a family of 5, and you cook all the meals, you definitely need a big space and a lot of appliances for your kitchen. Somehow, I discovered that if you are smart enough, you can easily adapt to what you have too. Me, I started to cook when I already had the current home where the kitchen is quite narrow, but I did a better space management. When I have to cook a lot, especially for the holidays, I am using the big table from the living room and it served perfectly my purposes.
If you are kosher conscious family, you might need some additional restrictions, as you need a sink and a counter separate for meat and milk.
I am personally a minimalist, but I still need some special requirements: a fridge, a heater, a good light - very useful especially when I have to cook during the short days of autumn and long winters, a special space for the three sorts of garbage - plastic, paper and usual, a counter with the toaster, coffee machine, an area where I have my basic utensils, a big space for my cleaning tools and substances, some space for my cooking books. a counter for my basic ingredients and dried foods - at least three separate types of pasta. I also need a special space for my many spices and another one for the pans and other cooking vessels.
As I am still in the middle of the home redesign I still have a lot of things to set up in the kitchen, the floor covering is not yet decided, but for cleaning reasons, I prefer the vinyl, preferably a black - dark colour. Other possible options are wood or tiles. I will never ever have a carpet in the kitchen. Another element I need for my kitchen is a big window - at least one - as after a lot of cooking, you always need fresh air in the house. Especially if you are during the festival of Hanukkah, when you have to cook with a lot of oil. If you have a smoke detector in the kitchen - as I do - be aware that it might start sounding worry after the 3rd batch of latkes.
A lot of aestethic considerations are also important for creating a kitchen where you feel good and you can cook safely: the colour of the walls and how does it matches the furniture - for instance, light colours are creating the impression of a bigger space; the electricity settings that should always checked properly with a professional; creating a special counter for flowers and various fresh pots of basilicum or parsley among many others; a clock on the wall to count the time. I also added some nice photos on the wall, and some inspirational quotes, to make me feel good and entertain me intellectually during my kitchen chores.
A table with chairs for the kitchen is a luxury, but it can create a family ambiance during the week, and a nice family space for sharing the daily plans and the achievements of the day.
If you have little children you should take seriously into consideration various safety standards, including by avoiding to set up in accessible places items that might be harmful.
Generally speaking, setting up a kitchen is a serious, long-term and expensive adventure. But it can be a life-long investment and should be seriously considered, including by hiring the right specialists for the electric details, interior design and safety issues.
Photos made at the Poggen Pohl store at Stilwerk, Berlin, Germany