If you are in the market for an apartment, especially in a highly competitive urban location, you must have seen a couple of listings for studio apartments.
Studio apartments can simply be defined as apartments where everything is in one room except the bathroom. They are considerably smaller than other apartment types so you might have a bit of a space problem.
Before you choose to live in a studio apartment, there are a couple of factors you need to think about. Read on to find out more about these units and some of the pros and cons of renting one out.
What is a studio apartment?
They are also called studio flats or self-contained apartments. This is a unit that has the living room, sleeping area, and eating area all in an open floor plan, meaning they are not separated by walls.
Studio apartments usually use a kitchen layout called the Pullman kitchen. All the cabinets and kitchen electronics are on one wall of the kitchen. You are also likely to find standard full-size kitchen appliances. This might leave room for a small island/worktop. In other studios, the kitchen takes an L shape at the corner of the house. This may offer additional storage and reduce the congestion of people in the kitchen, especially if you have people over.
Because of the U.S. housing laws, the bathroom is required to be in a separate room and have a door. In many parts of the country, the total square footage in a studio apartment usually ranges between 400 and 600 sq. ft.
You should be careful not to confuse studio apartments with one-bedroom apartments, efficiency apartments, or micro-apartments.
- One-bedroom apartments will have a separate room with a door for the sleeping area. Also, they are usually larger than studio apartments. They have an area of around 800 square feet. The kitchen will also likely be in an enclosed space.
- Micro-apartments have an almost similar layout to studio apartments. One of the main differences is the size of these units. Micro-apartments usually take up between 100 and 400 square feet. These are pretty small and you will have to be creative about how you arrange your furniture and belongings.
- Efficiency apartments are also easy to confuse with studios. The main difference between these two is the kitchen layout. Efficiency apartments usually have a kitchenette that is smaller than the one in a studio. Also, the kitchen appliances will be smaller. For example, a half fridge with an icebox instead of a full-size fridge. If you do not have much use for a kitchen, you might consider this option since they are usually more affordable than studio apartments.
Why should I rent a studio apartment?
Here are some of the pros that might convince you to sign the lease for a studio apartment:
1. An affordable option
Because of their small size, the rent of many studio apartments is calculated according to their area in square feet. So the smaller the apartment you want, the cheaper it will cost you. The money saved on rent can be used for other important causes.
You also save money on utilities and this is also thanks to the small space in the studio apartment. A small unit will not need a lot of power for air conditioning. Your electricity consumption will also be lower compared to a larger apartment.
2. You don’t need a lot of furnishing
It is easier to move into and out of a studio apartment since you won’t have a lot of bulky furniture to haul around. Since the apartment is already small, you only need a few functional pieces of furniture to make the house look homey and appealing without cramping it up.
This will also save you some money that you can use to get pieces that beautify your space without congesting it.
3. Save you time and energy
Thanks to the little square footage, you will not have to spend hours cleaning your apartment and end up exhausted. It is easier to clean one room and a bathroom compared to a house with multiple rooms.
Also, since the apartment is small, cleaning one part quickly leads to you tidying up the whole apartment, making it generally neater for a longer time.
4. Aesthetic appeal
Just like with normal apartments, studio apartments have different layouts depending on how the building was designed. Studio apartments usually have an unfinished aesthetic that many people tend to like.
For your studio apartment to fit all your things and still look good, you will have to put your thinking cap on and come up with a couple of stylish and functional storage methods. You will have to decide what you need to have in your house and what you can sell or keep in storage.
5. Convenient locations
Studio apartments are usually located in busy parts of the town. This puts them close to amenities that you will need such as a business center. If this is not the case, then you are likely to be in a convenient transit situation by access to good roads or a public transport system.
If you are lucky, your apartment building may even be a walking distance from your school campus or your workplace. This will save you some money from paying for transport while making your commute even easier.
6. You won’t have clutter
Living in a small space will require you to be more careful to conserve the space. This will make you more conscious when it comes to buying things. This will also help you to spend less on things you are not even likely to use.
Also, since small spaces fill up faster, the chances of you hoarding items is less likely since they will congest your house. This will leave you with a neat and spacious home.
7. You’ll go out more
When you live in a studio apartment, you do not have the luxury of relaxing in a separate room in the house for a change of scenery. This leaves you with no choice but to leave the house anytime you need a new environment.
By leaving the house, especially when you are still new to the environment, you will experience the local neighborhood and discover a couple of fun hangout spots, restaurants, and parks. You might also meet some of your neighbors from your building or adjacent ones.
However, as you do this, take care not to go over your budget and spend a lot on entertainment spots and eating out.
A studio apartment can be too small to share with a roommate. This is no matter since the rent is usually affordable enough for one person. Living alone can be very peaceful because, at any point, you are not invading anyone’s personal space.
You also do not have to follow anyone around because of shared expenses or for issues like cleaning up. You will be free to decorate your apartment as you please and not have to worry about getting in the way of your roommates’ guests.
What to consider when looking for a studio apartment
Once you are sure you want to get a studio apartment, here are a couple of things you should have in mind as you look at options:
- Price range. This will go hand in hand with the size of the unit. Look for an apartment that you can stay in comfort and save some money to use on other expenses.
- Location. In some cases, you have to weigh between size, price, and location. You might have to consider what you are willing to forfeit for a unit that is close to amenities, entertainment centers, and your workplace.
- Your lifestyle. Choose a studio apartment that goes with your style and one where you can comfortably go about your daily routine. If you work from home, you might want to get a larger studio to set up an office.
- The number of tenants. If you are living with a significant other, you will need to look for a larger unit to accommodate both of you without feeling cramped and congested.
How to organize a studio apartment
The biggest challenge that comes with studio apartments is the lack of space. Here are a few tips you can use when arranging your things in the apartment to ensure they all fit, they look nice, and you have some leftover space.
1. Make compartments
Create the concept of a bedroom by using a curtain or a room divider. This makes a more peaceful and private sleeping space. If your unit is too small, this might make it look even tighter.
If you cannot make this separation, here are a couple of things you can use to do the same:
- Make your bed when you wake up to make your space look neater.
- Put an area rug under your bed. It will not take up any space and it will show a boundary.
For your living room, you can use a rug and a coffee table to define the space and for the kitchen, you can use stools and shelving.
2. Pick out multipurpose furniture
Instead of buying lots of pieces that each do only one job, you should get one piece that has multiple functions. For example, you can buy a wall unit that can double down as a TV stand a bookshelf, and a chest of drawers.
Also, in place of a bed and a couch, you can get a Murphy bed that can do both jobs.
3. Do your chores
If you let your housework pile up, your apartment will become messy and congested before you know it. Laundry, for example, can quickly spread to the bed, the couch, and the floors. If you are diligent, your apartment remains neat and since you have clean clothes all the time, you won’t overspend on clothes.
Your kitchen is also a small space and it would not do well if it gets messy. Ensure that you wash your dishes as you use them and clean the surfaces you have used. If there are any leftovers you won’t eat or if there is some expired food, get rid of it immediately. This will also help your room remain fresh.
4. Be innovative
In some cases, the studio apartment will be too small to fit some items. You might need to get creative to find alternative solutions to your problems. The internet is a vast space filled with DIY projects that you can take up and solve your hurdles.
5. Use the illusion of height
Playing with the heights of furniture in your unit can make your space appear bigger. If you can, look for a studio apartment with high ceilings. Also, for your kitchen and dining area furniture, choose furniture that is around bar height.
You should also invest in longer curtains that make your windows seem longer and if you have a big mirror, it can capture people’s attention.
6. Do not get too much stuff
In your kitchen, you will probably have a couple of cabinets and a counter and in some cases, it may be a small room. This makes the little space you have more valuable, and you cannot afford to use it to store everything.
When shopping for utensils, do not buy things that you would only use every three or four months. You might also need to check your kitchen every couple of months to see what you no longer use as much and find a new place to store these items.
Also, since your kitchen will have a few cabinets, you do not want to have them full of food taking up space for utensils and other kitchen appliances. When you go grocery shopping, only buy what is enough for a couple of weeks. This will also help you to minimize wastage of food.
Living in a studio apartment is a good experience and it can help you save some money while enjoying a comfortable life. Although it can be a little difficult to get used to the confined space at first with creativity and organizational skills, you will eventually get the hang of it.