Let's talk about kitchens in Parisian apartments, because the size and state of the kitchen can be a huge deal-breaker for a lot of people.
When you rent furnished, the apartment will of course be equipped with cabinets and major appliances (a dishwasher might not be possible if it's a very small space; if there is only space to provide one type of washing machine, Parisians always go for the clothes washer, and then do the dishes by hand). You'll also be provided with dishes, flatware and cookware, though you may end up buying some odds and ends to suit your own cooking talents. So when you are renting a furnished space, you have little or nothing to worry about -- someone else has already done the hard work.
For those of us renting an empty apartment (or buying one), the kitchen will often be the biggest sticking point. I visited two stunningly beautiful classic apartments yesterday, both with not one, but THREE fireplaces with marble mantles and giant mirrors above. Both had been freshly repainted in white, with gorgeous moulures (moldings), and both had recently updated fixtures and tile in the shower rooms (no tubs in either) and separate toilet cabins (the "WC" as they are often known here). Both were off-street in quieter buildings at the back of their very attractive courtyard spaces, and both were in well-kept buildings. One was a 3rd-floor walkup and the other on the 4th floor with a tiny elevator that would hold only 2 adults, but still, it was an elevator! Neither one had much in the way of closets.
They also both came with a cave, a basement storage space that often is too small and damp to store anything that could get mildewed, but which can still be useful. But I never got to see either cave, because first I got a good look at the kitchen space.
And then I promptly thanked the agents for their time, and walked away.
Why? Because neither kitchen came with anything more than the kitchen sink, and I mean that literally: there was a sink and a cheap white pressboard supporting cabinet to hold it up, and that was it. Which would mean we'd have to pay to install an entire set of kitchen cabinets that we'd be stuck with if we ever moved to another place (where there might be a fully outfitted kitchen or where our cabinets might not even fit - kitchens and bathrooms in Paris are often crammed into oddly-shaped spaces with curved walls and more angles than you can imagine). And one of the kitchens I saw was so small that we would have had to buy a much narrower refrigerator than we currently have, plus a stove-top or a stove-oven combo. And we already forfeited a stove-oven combo in the last place we lived, so to have to buy another one? Not likely to happen.
Huge kitchen in an otherwise gorgeous huge apartment (not one of the ones I went to see) where the previous occupants took everything but the kitchen sink. Literally. The empty kitchens in the apartments I saw were a tiny fraction of the size of this room, but with the same "fixtures".
When you're looking at property listings in France, you want to find out if la cuisine comes amenagée (with some cabinets and storage space, but not necessarily any appliances) and/or fully or partially equipée. An "equipped" kitchen usually means there are some cabinets (perhaps not as many as you'd like but generally enough to make the kitchen space usable) and at minimum a stove top (une plaque), but can also include an oven (un four), and perhaps a fridge (we say un frigo for short) or even a dishwasher (une lave-vaiselle) if you're super-lucky. If you want to install both a dishwasher and a clothes washer (une lave-linge), make sure to inquire if there are hookups in the kitchen for both machines, or if not is there a hookup for the lave-linge in the bathroom - which is often the case.
(FYI: a front-loading clothes washer usually has dimensions of 60cm wide and 60cm deep which is the standard, and kitchen countertops are generally installed at the proper height to slide the machines underneath, although you might have to remove the protective top of the machine in order to do that. Many front-loading machines in France are designed where you have the option of removing the top, but double check when purchasing appliances. A top-loading clothes washer will be narrower and might be your best, or only, option depending on how much space is available in a spare corner of the kitchen or bathroom. TAKE MEASUREMENTS.)
Wow, this "generous" kitchen came "equipped" with a 2-burner electric cooktop and a half-fridge underneath. Sheer luxury. This was about the size of both kitchens I saw yesterday, and note the awkward angled walls? The angles make it almost impossible to use what little wall space there is, given that there is a giant window that opens inward.
Another thing to consider: do you want an open-plan kitchen where it's open to or combined with your general living space? If so, that's a cuisine ouverte but is often referred to as a "U.S." or "American" kitchen, whereas the more traditional French homes seem to favor une cuisine séparée, where the kitchen is in a separate room with a door (to prevent cooking odors from wafting through the entire apartment).
Here's an example of a kitchen that just might work, despite a few drawbacks. It is amenagée (cabinets), is not too outdated (those dark blue cabinets wouldn't be my first choice, but I'd be willing to live with them), and does include the gas (yay!) 4-burner cooktop - but no oven (at least there is space for a full oven, which is not always the case. It's a long, narrow galley kitchen (which we have in our current place) which is not ideal if you have two people trying to move around at the same time, and it's not clear from the photo if there are hookups for 1 or both washing machines, or where one might put a larger refrigerator. So, this would be something where you'd have to take measurements and look at it in person before you rule the apartment in or out of your search.
This kitchen looks rather nice, doesn't it? A bit eclectic, but roomy enough to fit a table for 4 (perhaps even one for 6 because there is also space for a highchair), loads of cabinet space and a tall fridge, and I spot a dishwasher so there's at least 1 hookup. And although you can't see it from this photo, it's open to the living room. However, all the photos of this apartment were shown with the current resident's furnishings still in place - so you'd have to ask the agent if the tenants will be completely gutting this kitchen when they leave, or would the cabinets and cook-top at least remain? (My guess is, they will take the fridge and the furniture not attached to the wall, and probably their dishwasher. If there is an oven under the cook-top, they'll probably take that too.)
Of course, I'm showing you examples from small to moderate-sized apartments (with the exception of the giant empty kitchen from an apartment of about 200m2, which by Parisian standards is a palace in terms of living space!) I've also seen beautifully done small kitchens where someone took the time to design an efficient plan and install attractive fixtures, so anything is possible if you have the resources to create your own kitchen space. What you will have to get past, if you're used to living in a very large home (especially in the U.S.) with tons of kitchen space, is the reality of smaller living spaces in Paris where space is just at a premium. You must adjust your expectations before you start shopping around, or you'll end up being sorely disappointed at what your money will buy you.
So there you have it - a Parisian Kitchen Primer. Don't say you weren't warned.