What is an Alcove Studio?

The PropertyClub Team
May 11th 2020
Our guide to alcove studios will help you better understand what they are and what makes them so desirable in NYC.

What is an alcove studio?

An alcove studio is a studio apartment that has an alcove or nook space which can be used as a sleeping area or office. Many alcove studios will be L shaped, with the alcove located off of the main living area. This makes alcove studios highly desirable as the alcove can feel like a separate room. For even more privacy, it can also be separated from the living room either with a divider or by putting up a flex wall.

How much do alcove studios cost in NYC?

Whether you’re renting or buying, you can expect an alcove studio to cost more than a regular studio as you’re getting more space. That being said, if you were to rent an alcove studio that’s the same size as a one-bedroom apartment (let’s say they’re both 650 Square feet), you’d pay less. In NYC, the discount can often be 10% or more, which is significant, considering you have the same amount of living space. This savings makes alcove studios extremely popular, especially amongst renters. It is getting increasingly difficult to find alcove studios for rent in NYC though, as many landlords are simply converting them to one-bedroom apartments so that they can charge a higher rent.

Another potential perk is that alcove studios often have a more open and spacious feel compared to a smaller one-bedroom apartment. You might find that having an open sleeping nook is more desirable than a cramped, walled-off 80-square foot bedroom, which can feel claustrophobic.

Can you put up a wall in a NYC alcove studio?

If you’re new to NYC, you might assume that you can put up a wall- it’s your apartment after all, and who’s to stop you from doing what you’d like in within your four walls. But there are various regulations about putting up temporary walls in NYC. As a general rule, you’ll need permission from your building or management company if you plan on putting up a flex wall. While this can be annoying and a wall can cost over $1,000 to put up, it would still represent a saving over a one-bedroom in most cases. If you don’t want the headache of putting up a full wall you can, however, put up a divider without having to ask permission. This can be either a curtain, a screen, or a furniture-divider like a bookshelf. Remember, bookshelf walls are considered furniture as long as they don’t reach the ceiling and won’t require any type of permission.

What is the difference between an alcove studio and a loft?

At times you might come across an alcove studio that’s marketed as a loft. This is generally more of a marketing ploy as lofts tend to be large, open spaces that are greater than 1,000 square feet while most alcove studios will be in the 500-650 square foot range. That being said, it’s possible to find T or L shaped alcove studios that have loft-like features, including high ceilings and industrial finishes, but they’re not truly lofts. Then again, most lofts will cost you at least double what you’d pay to rent or purchase an alcove studio, so if you want a lofty apartment but can’t afford it, this might be a good option to consider. These types of residences are most common in neighborhoods like Tribeca and Williamsburg, where lofts are always in high demand and short supply.

Are alcove studios the same as Junior one bedrooms?

While a junior 1 bedroom will have a similar layout to an alcove studio, the extra space in a junior 1 is generally going to be a separate room. This is why it’s more common to see a junior 1 bedroom apartment that is advertised as a studio + home office. This separate room can serve as a bedroom, but cannot legally be called a bedroom as it might not have a closet or window. This means a junior 1 can be more or less desirable than an alcove studio. Some might prefer the privacy of this additional room, but an ideal alcove studio might have a windowed alcove that can be converted into a better bedroom than what you’d find in most junior 1s.