Alcove Studio Guide

Sep 10th 2023
An alcove studio is a type of studio that has an alcove or nook space that 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.

hash-markTable of Contents

Alcove Studios Advantages
Alcove Studios Disadvantages
How Much Do Alcove Studios Cost?
Can You Put Up a Wall In a NYC Alcove Studio?
Alcove Studio vs. Loft
Are Alcove Studios the Same as Junior One Bedrooms?
Sample Alcove Studio Floor Plans
Alcove Studio Bottom Line

hash-markAlcove Studios Advantages

  1. More Space Than Traditional Studios
  2. Attractive Pricing
  3. Flexible Living Spaces

1. More Space Than Traditional Studios

One of the best things about alcove studios is that they are typically larger than traditional studios. Often, the alcove space in an alcove studio will provide an extra 100-200 square feet of living space. With this extra space, many alcove studios are actually as large as one-bedroom apartments. They also feel more like one-bedrooms due to the alcove creating the feel of a more private, partially separated space. 

2. Attractive Pricing 

Another advantage of alcove studios is their attractive prices. Even though an alcove studio might be as large as a one-bedroom apartment, it can rent for a 10-20% discount. Being able to get a very similar space for a lower price is a huge perk. Even if you need the added privacy and functionality of a one-bedroom and decide to invest in creating a partition in your alcove studio, you'll be saving a lot on the monthly rent.

3. Flexible Living Spaces

Alcove studios are great as they offer highly functional living spaces for a good price. Most alcove studios will have the same compartmentalized living and sleeping spaces as one-bedroom apartments, but the rent will be more affordable. 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.

hash-markAlcove Studios Disadvantages

  1. Less Privacy Than One Bedroom Apartments
  2. Alcove Studios Are Hard To Come By

Less Privacy Than One Bedroom Apartments

One of the few disadvantages of alcove studios is that they offer less privacy compared to one-bedroom apartments. Even if an alcove studio may have a similar layout to a one-bedroom, it won't offer the same separation between your living space and a private bedroom. Although you can create a partition in an alcove studio or consider putting up a flex wall, you may lose some natural light if you do so. 

Alcove Studios Are Hard To Come By

Although not a direct disadvantage of living in an alcove studio, one drawback of renting one is their scarcity. Besides being rarer than traditional studios, alcove studios are highly coveted and often rent very quickly, so finding one can be challenging. If you are specifically searching for an alcove studio you should be prepared to have a limited number of options and to act quickly if you find one you like. 

hash-markHow Much Do Alcove Studios Cost?

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. These savings make alcove studios extremely popular, especially among 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.

hash-markCan You Put Up a Wall In a NYC Alcove Studio?

You can put up a partial wall in an alcove studio, but you need to follow the 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.

hash-markAlcove Studio vs. 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.

hash-markAre 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.

hash-markSample Alcove Studio Floor Plans

hash-markAlcove Studio Bottom Line

An alcove studio can be a great option for renters that need more space, but are on a tight budget. Since alcove studios are larger than traditional studios, you can get a little creative and make an alcove studio feel like a one bedroom apartment. Of course, this flexibility creates a lot of demand for alcove studios, so prices are higher in comparison to studios, but they are still more affordable than one bedroom apartments.