What Is An Alcove Studio Apartment? | Apartment ABC (2023)

What Is An Alcove Studio Apartment? | Apartment ABC (1)

As you might have guessed, there are a lot of options tochoose 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 choiceheavily relies on the price range, your living situation (boyfriend/girlfriend,roommate), your neighborhood, and the real estate market in general. One of theapartment types you may want to consider is an alcove studio apartment, butbefore 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.

What Is An Alcove Studio Apartment? | Apartment ABC (2)

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 popularitysince they allow tenants to create the illusion of a bedroom for a cheaperprice than a one bedroom apartment. Here is what to expect when renting analcove studio.

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Table of Contents

A. The basics of an alcove studio unit

Unlike in a studio apartment, you have the option of keepingyour sleeping area somewhat separate from the living. An alcove can generallyaccommodate your bed, and in some cases, a nightstand and even a dresser ortwo. The alcove does not necessarily have to be the sleeping area- it can be anoffice, 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 Lshape, with most of the apartment being rectangular in shape and the alcoveextending out on one end. In most buildings, the alcove will be situated on oneend 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 associatedwith industrial buildings and converted offices. However, over time, developershave come to see the benefits of integrating alcoves in the design of regularstudio apartments since it allows them to charge more rent to tenants eventhough there isn’t an actual bedroom in the unit.

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Today, alcove studio apartments are generally more expensiveto rent than standard studio apartments, but they are still cheaper than onebedroom units. Alcove studios have allowed renters who want a bigger space butcan’t afford to make a direct switch to one bedroom units yet. You could easilygo from a one bedroom unit in an old building that lacks some of the essentialamenities to an alcove studio in a new apartment complex that has everythingfrom a doorman to modern amenities and there won’t be a huge difference in therent.

The size of an alcove in a studio apartment varies from oneunit to another depending on the general square footage of the apartment andthe area where the apartment is situated. It is typically smaller than astandard bedroom, but it is just large enough to make studio living mucheasier.

B. Benefits of living in an alcove studio apartment

There are many upsides to living in a studio unit that comeswith an alcove:

1. They are bigger than normal studio units

Alcove studio apartments are generally bigger in size thanstandard studios. As a result, you have some extra space that allows you tolive in a small apartment without feeling too confined. The size of studioapartments in the USA has considerably reduced over the years due to theincreasing demand for rental units. The average studio went from being 573square feet in 2008 to 514 square feet in 2018, so you can imagine thedifference 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 alcovestudio apartment, it is quite easy to create the perception of one withouthaving to pay the price that comes with living in a unit that has a bedroom. Ifyou want more space than what a studio apartment offers without breaking thebank, go for an alcove studio.

3. The utilities are more affordable as well

In addition to the rent being manageable, the utilities inalcove studio apartments are cheaper as compared to those of one bedroom units.Since alcove studios are smaller, it is generally cheaper to heat (in thewinter) and cool (in the summer) these spaces, and with fewer bulbs andelectrical appliances, your electric bill will be cheaper than that of a tenantin a one bedroom with the same level of consumption.

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4. More privacy than in a standard studio

Unlike a standard studio apartment, an alcove unit comeswith extra space that is somewhat separated from the living room. It is mucheasier to enhance your privacy in such a space by using structures such as roomdividers or even bookshelves.

5. Convenient location

Alcove studio apartments are more likely to be situatedwithin the center of metropolitan hubs like New York and Chicago rather than inthe outskirts. Consequently, you won’t have to commute long distances to get toyour 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 apartmentthat incorporates exposed brick walls into the design, giving your apartmentthat coveted industrial look. The red color of brick generally makes the spacewarm 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 islimited space. As a result, you don’t want to have too much furniture in yourspace since it will only make it look cluttered. To solve this problem, mosttenants usually store some of their belongings in storage units. However, thesestorage services come at a fee, and you end up spending cash that could havebeen put to better use. Although an alcove studio apartment is just a step upfrom a conventional studio, it certainly comes with more space. Depending onwhere 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 payon a monthly basis is going to be higher than that of a standard studioapartment, so make sure you adjust your budget accordingly before you make thetransition.

2. They are still small in size

Despite having more space than studio apartments, an alcovestudio is still considerably small. This is especially true if you compare themto one bedroom apartments. If you are keen on having an extra room in yourapartment, then go for a one bedroom rather than an alcove.

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3. You’ll probably miss out on a closet

Many alcove studio rental units do not come with closetspace 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 apartmentsmay 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 studioapartment, go for space saving furniture. You can either set up a loft bed inthe alcove or a Murphy bed in your living room. In both instances, you willstill have plenty of space in the alcove, which you can use as a working spaceor a den.

2. Long curtains

Hanging long sheer curtains at the entrance of the alcovewill keep it from feeling claustrophobic. Depending on the length of thecurtains, the ceiling will also seem higher, consequently making your unit feellarger

3. Room dividers

When used inappropriately, dividers can make your alcovestudio seem cluttered and claustrophobic. Go for room dividers that allow lightthrough or ones that are not too high. This way, the unit does not feel tooclosed off.

4. A multi-purpose shed

Instead of a shelving unit, why not go for a multi-purposeshed? If you don’t want to close off the alcove entirely, you can use amulti-purpose shed to separate this space from the living room. You can storeand hang some of your belongings on the shed as well.

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Related Questions

  • 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.


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