Sorry for the title, I couldn’t help it. 😛 Short for tidbits…
A great safety feature for German homes, the doorknobs on exterior doors do not turn. The only way to open a door with a knob is with a key. You use the key to release the latch (what would happen if you turned the doorknob), then use the knob to push or pull the door open. All our interior doors have handles you turn down to open, not doorknobs.
Windows do not open vertically against gravity (usually requiring a jamb of sorts to make sure it doesn’t fall). Instead, two primary options are available for opening windows: turning a handle or pulling down a lever. Turning a handle, the window opens like a door would or inward/outward on a hinge at the top or bottom. No sliding action. The most frequently used is the turning of a handle. We have a lever type for a door, however. The lever, when pulled and locked down, lifts the door out of its secure notch, so the only way to open it initially is from the inside.
Most German beds consist of two mattresses (unless you’re single); pretty much only one mattress size is available and you have to buy two to get a bigger bed. The mattress has a fitted sheet, then you throw a duvet style comforter over it. This is very similar to the Japanese method, making obsolete the flat (unfitted) sheet. The standard pillow is 80×80 cm. Take a standard American pillow, add another inch to an end, then make it square. That’s the standard German pillow. Of course, a rectangular version is available that fits fairly well in an American pillow case.
Rugs are less expensive here because hardwood floors are very common. In fact, heated floors are fairly common. We do not have heated floors, but my workplace does.