What is a Studio Apartment?

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Moving into your own space is exciting, and studios offer a great way to live on your own, especially if you’re on a budget. Understanding what a studio is (and what it isn’t) will help you find the perfect home.

What is a studio?

By definition, studios are individual dwellings in which the bedroom, kitchen and living room are all part of an open floor plan, with the bathroom being the only room that has walls and a door. While many believe that the size of a space determines whether it is considered a studio, it is actually the rooms (or, in the case of a studio, that room) that define an apartment.

Most studios are between 400 and 600 square feet in size, although you can find larger studios as well as studios with L-shaped floor plans. As for the cost, what you will pay for a studio apartment depends on where you live and the size of the overall space.

Smaller studios usually offer some of the cheapest options for renters looking to live solo, but not all studios are cheaper and smaller than other possibilities in your city. For example, you might find a large loft-style studio that costs more than a regular one-bedroom apartment. That’s why it’s always worth researching the average rental prices where you plan to live before signing your lease.

Benefits of studios

Studios offer many advantages. Some of the best benefits include:

  • Affordability: Relatively speaking, small studios are some of the more affordable choices for renters who want to live on their own. The rent will generally be less than what you would have to pay for other types of apartments. You will also get savings on your utility bills. Because you’ll use less gas and energy to light, heat, and cool your small space, those bills will be lower. Likewise, a smaller square footage translates to less furniture needed to fill your space, so you’ll spend less money on decorating and furnishing your unit.
  • Easy cleaning: You can make cleaning tasks a lot easier when you have a small house. You also can’t escape the clutter by moving into another room, so you might be more inspired to keep your studio tidy.
  • Neighborhood-oriented lifestyle: Since you can’t change your surroundings by going to another room, you’ll want to take advantage of downtime while exploring outside of your living space.

Disadvantages of studios

However, the small space associated with studios also has some drawbacks. This includes:

  • Not great for couples: If you live as a couple or in a shared apartment, you won’t have much privacy in a studio. Studios with an L-shaped floor plan may offer a more attractive option for couples looking for a studio.
  • Minimum storage space: If you move in with a lot of belongings, finding where to put everything can be a challenge in a studio.
  • Potential for loneliness: Solo apartment living is not ideal for anyone, and studios can create a secluded home life. If you’re drawn to studios because they fit your budget, but think this structure will make you feel lonely, you might consider opting for a multi-room apartment with roommates.

Studios vs other types of apartments

You may also come across efficient apartments and one bedroom apartments in your apartment search, so understanding the main differences between these options and studios will help you find the best apartment for your needs.

Studios generally differ from efficient apartments in these ways:

  • Cooked: Efficiency apartments can have a kitchenette instead of the full studio kitchen. A kitchenette may only include a stove with only one or two burners and a mini-fridge.
  • Cut: Efficient studios and apartments include a room with space for sleeping, lounging, and cooking, but efficient apartments are generally smaller than their studio counterparts.
  • Price: Because they have limited functionality and kitchen space overall, efficient apartments generally cost less than studios.

Studios generally differ from one bedroom apartments in these ways:

  • Rooms: Unlike a studio, a one bedroom apartment has a separate bedroom with a door. The sleeping area is therefore separated from the living room and the kitchen in a one bedroom apartment.
  • Size (and privacy): One bedroom apartments generally have more square footage than studios. You will also have more privacy if you have guests in a one bedroom apartment.
  • Price: While this can vary depending on location and size, in general, one-bedroom apartments are more expensive than studios.

How to maximize your space in a studio

You can get the most out of your studio by keeping a few decorating tips in mind:

  • Distinguish between spaces: Let furniture, rugs, or even privacy screens define different spaces in your home. For example, you can place a chest or bookcase between your sleeping and living spaces.
  • Obtain a double functionality of the furniture: Opt for a small ottoman or storage ottoman instead of splurging for a coffee table. Not only do these items take up less space while still providing a place to put your drink or feet, but they can also have storage compartments so you can store items to keep your space more organized.
  • Make hidden space your friend: Use the space under your bed by putting storage bins under the bed. Likewise, you can use space under your sofa (or, say, the back of your bathroom door) to store things.
  • Think vertically: If you have high ceilings, use this space by installing large shelves and bookcases. Put items you don’t use that much higher.

Living in a studio gives you the freedom to decorate exactly the way you want. In addition, these apartments often provide a great option for renters on a budget. With a little creativity, you can easily turn a smaller space into your dream home.

Ready to look for a studio? Discover thousands of apartments for rent on Zumper and find the one that’s right for you.

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