What Exactly Is an Alcove Studio in NYC?

An alcove studio is a studio apartment with a separate sleeping area on either side, at the far end of the main room. This nook or “alcove” is typically left open to the main room, and is typically only large enough to fit a modestly sized bed.

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What Is an Alcove Studio Apartment?

An alcove studio apartment is a studio apartment that has an additional sleeping area, or “alcove,” that juts out from one end of the the main room.
As a result, alcove studios are typically L shaped. A classic alcove studio will have a long living room, with an additional nook that opens into the living room. This nook or alcove will typically be just big enough to fit a modestly sized bed (i.e. Queen size or under) and perhaps a nightstand or two.

Take a look at the following sample floor plan for an alcove studio apartment in a classic co-op building in Manhattan.

Sample floorplan of an alcove studio apartment in NYC.

As you can see, the sleeping alcove is off to the left, and not as visible to someone coming in from the front door. This helps create a sense of separation between the sleeping area and the living room in an otherwise single room studio apartment.

In this example, you can just barely see the sleeping alcove at the far end of the living space on the left. This creates an illusion of separation between the living room and the sleeping area.

What an alcove studio looks like from the entrance. You can just make out the sleeping alcove on the left at the far end of the living room.

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Is the Sleeping Area Walled Off?

It’s important to point out that while most alcove studios will not have any sort of divider between the alcove sleeping area and the main room, it is possible to have some sort of a divider while still being classified as an alcove studio.

Classic examples include bookshelves, screens, curtains or other room dividers to create a sense of privacy for the sleeping area. However, most alcove studio owners choose to keep the alcove sleeping area completely open to the rest of the apartment to create a sense of greater space.

After all, there’s typically only a single person or a couple sharing the same bed in an alcove studio apartment.

This is an example of the sleeping area of a classic alcove studio, which you can see is typically left completely open to the rest of the apartment.

An example of the sleeping area of an alcove studio apartment.

It’s important to note that putting up real walls to seal off the sleeping area of an alcove apartment might turn it into a 1 bedroom apartment.

However, this is often not done because the sleeping area of an alcove studio is typically too small to meet the requirements for a legal bedroom in NYC.

As a result, it typically doesn’t make sense for alcove studio owners to renovate and put up walls when the resulting “bedroom” won’t be legal per NYC codes and regulations.

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Do Alcove Studios Cost More?

Yes, alcove studios typically command a higher price than regular studios without a separate sleeping area, though not as much as a full-sized 1 bedroom apartment.

Alcove studios are a great option for those looking to buy a starter apartment who can’t afford a full-sized 1 bedroom unit.

As an interesting side note, alcove studios were originally an accident. They were the result of leftover, odd-shaped space in new developments.

However, now developers typically include alcove studios on purpose as a new price point between classic studios and full-sized 1 bedrooms.

Here’s an example of a classic, rectangular studio apartment that has been configured into an alcove studio with a separate sleeping nook.

Classic example of an alcove studio apartment floorplan in NYC.

How Big Is an Alcove Studio Sleeping Area?

The sleeping area of an alcove studio apartment is typically under 64 square feet, because alcove sleeping areas are generally too small to be divided up as a separate, legal bedroom which must be 8 feet by 8 feet in dimensions at a minimum.

However, even if an alcove was only 5 feet by 8 feet in dimensions, that’s still 40 square feet of additional living space in a studio!

Disclosure: Hauseit® and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. No representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind is made regarding the completeness or accuracy of information provided. Hauseit LLC is a Licensed Real Estate Broker, licensed to do business in New York under license number 10991232340. Principal Office: 148 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013.

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