As you might have guessed, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to renting in a big city such as New York. Similarly, you have an array of choices when it comes to rental units even though your choice heavily relies on the price range, your living situation (boyfriend/girlfriend, roommate), your neighborhood, and the real estate market in general. One of the apartment types you may want to consider is an alcove studio apartment, but before you do, it is important to understand what it is.
What is an alcove studio apartment? An alcove studio apartment is a rental unit that has the same features as standard studio rental. The only major difference being the L-shaped partition in the living room that successfully creates the perception of more space in the unit.
Alcove Studio Apartment Layout
Most people use the alcove as a sleeping area, although there are a number of creative ways you can put this extra space into use. Unlike a convertible studio, an alcove studio apartment may not big enough to set up a temporary wall to completely separate the sleeping area from the living space.
Alcove studio apartments have steadily gained popularity since they allow tenants to create the illusion of a bedroom for a cheaper price than a one bedroom apartment. Here is what to expect when renting an alcove studio.
A. The basics of an alcove studio unit
Unlike in a studio apartment, you have the option of keeping your sleeping area somewhat separate from the living. An alcove can generally accommodate your bed, and in some cases, a nightstand and even a dresser or two. The alcove does not necessarily have to be the sleeping area- it can be an office, your dining room, an open space-it really is up to you and your needs.
Alcove studio apartments mostly come in the form of an L shape, with most of the apartment being rectangular in shape and the alcove extending out on one end. In most buildings, the alcove will be situated on one end or another depending on the general layout of the unit.
Before studio apartments were as popular as they are today, they were simply the consequence of unusual floor plans that were associated with industrial buildings and converted offices. However, over time, developers have come to see the benefits of integrating alcoves in the design of regular studio apartments since it allows them to charge more rent to tenants even though there isn’t an actual bedroom in the unit.
Today, alcove studio apartments are generally more expensive to rent than standard studio apartments, but they are still cheaper than one bedroom units. Alcove studios have allowed renters who want a bigger space but can’t afford to make a direct switch to one bedroom units yet. You could easily go from a one bedroom unit in an old building that lacks some of the essential amenities to an alcove studio in a new apartment complex that has everything from a doorman to modern amenities and there won’t be a huge difference in the rent.
The size of an alcove in a studio apartment varies from one unit to another depending on the general square footage of the apartment and the area where the apartment is situated. It is typically smaller than a standard bedroom, but it is just large enough to make studio living much easier.
B. Benefits of living in an alcove studio apartment
There are many upsides to living in a studio unit that comes with an alcove:
1. They are bigger than normal studio units
Alcove studio apartments are generally bigger in size than standard studios. As a result, you have some extra space that allows you to live in a small apartment without feeling too confined. The size of studio apartments in the USA has considerably reduced over the years due to the increasing demand for rental units. The average studio went from being 573 square feet in 2008 to 514 square feet in 2018, so you can imagine the difference that living in a studio which has an alcove makes in terms of space.
2. The rent is cheaper than that of a one bedroom unit
While you might not get an actual bedroom in an alcove studio apartment, it is quite easy to create the perception of one without having to pay the price that comes with living in a unit that has a bedroom. If you want more space than what a studio apartment offers without breaking the bank, go for an alcove studio.
3. The utilities are more affordable as well
In addition to the rent being manageable, the utilities in alcove studio apartments are cheaper as compared to those of one bedroom units. Since alcove studios are smaller, it is generally cheaper to heat (in the winter) and cool (in the summer) these spaces, and with fewer bulbs and electrical appliances, your electric bill will be cheaper than that of a tenant in a one bedroom with the same level of consumption.
4. More privacy than in a standard studio
Unlike a standard studio apartment, an alcove unit comes with extra space that is somewhat separated from the living room. It is much easier to enhance your privacy in such a space by using structures such as room dividers or even bookshelves.
5. Convenient location
Alcove studio apartments are more likely to be situated within the center of metropolitan hubs like New York and Chicago rather than in the outskirts. Consequently, you won’t have to commute long distances to get to your place of work especially if you have a job in the city.
6. Unique features
If you are lucky, you may find an alcove studio apartment that incorporates exposed brick walls into the design, giving your apartment that coveted industrial look. The red color of brick generally makes the space warm and cozy, generally making your living space homier.
7. Furniture isn’t as cluttered, reducing the need for storage
One of the main issues of living in studio apartments is limited space. As a result, you don’t want to have too much furniture in your space since it will only make it look cluttered. To solve this problem, most tenants usually store some of their belongings in storage units. However, these storage services come at a fee, and you end up spending cash that could have been put to better use. Although an alcove studio apartment is just a step up from a conventional studio, it certainly comes with more space. Depending on where you live, you could even fit two dressers in your alcove.
C. The downsides
1. They are more expensive than studios
The alcove in these units come at a price. The rent you pay on a monthly basis is going to be higher than that of a standard studio apartment, so make sure you adjust your budget accordingly before you make the transition.
2. They are still small in size
Despite having more space than studio apartments, an alcove studio is still considerably small. This is especially true if you compare them to one bedroom apartments. If you are keen on having an extra room in your apartment, then go for a one bedroom rather than an alcove.
3. You’ll probably miss out on a closet
Many alcove studio rental units do not come with closet space so you will have to come up with other ways of storing your belongings.
4. Still not large enough to entertain guests
Due to their limited square footage, alcove studio apartments may still feel confined especially when it comes to a sizeable group of people.
D. Tips on how you can decorate your alcove studio apartment
1. Space saving and double duty furniture
In order to make the most out of the alcove in your studio apartment, go for space saving furniture. You can either set up a loft bed in the alcove or a Murphy bed in your living room. In both instances, you will still have plenty of space in the alcove, which you can use as a working space or a den.
2. Long curtains
Hanging long sheer curtains at the entrance of the alcove will keep it from feeling claustrophobic. Depending on the length of the curtains, the ceiling will also seem higher, consequently making your unit feel larger
3. Room dividers
When used inappropriately, dividers can make your alcove studio seem cluttered and claustrophobic. Go for room dividers that allow light through or ones that are not too high. This way, the unit does not feel too closed off.
4. A multi-purpose shed
Instead of a shelving unit, why not go for a multi-purpose shed? If you don’t want to close off the alcove entirely, you can use a multi-purpose shed to separate this space from the living room. You can store and hang some of your belongings on the shed as well.
- What is a garden apartment? As you might have probably guessed from the name, a garden apartment offers you access to the back garden of the building. As a result, garden apartments are typically on the ground floor of the building, consequently giving you easy access to common areas of the apartment as well. Keep in mind that you will have to deal with insects and other animals when you live in a garden apartment, and the security on the ground floor is also questionable.
- What is a loft apartment? A unit is categorized as a loft if it has a large open floor plan and was converted from industrial to residential. They have distinct aesthetic and architectural features such as high ceilings and windows, and if you are lucky, you might find one with exposed brick walls and exposed beams.