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What style apartment is right for you?

If you're in the market for an apartment, you may find yourself surprised at all of the different styles that are available. There are options for almost every preference and budget, so you must simply decide which factors are most important to you. Here's a breakdown of the most common apartment styles.

Types of Apartment Styles


A studio apartment is typically understood to be one open space that includes a bedroom and living room. The kitchen can be somewhat separated from the main room or not, but a studio does provide full kitchen amenities. The only additional room you can expect is a bathroom. A common misconception is that a studio immediately translates to mean a smaller space. While this is frequently true, it's not always the case.

Alcove Studio

True to its name, the alcove studio provides some additional privacy to the traditional studio. Its floor plan usually includes an L-shape configuration which not only provides a private area for sleeping but also gives the illusion of more space.


A convertible studio has the same layout as a regular studio but includes more space. It also has an area that has been partitioned off (or that can be) to be used as the bedroom.


Micro apartments are a play on studio apartments, except smaller. They are a one-room space between 200–400 square feet (SF) which trades floor space for high ceilings and large windows. Micros can usually be found in metro areas and can boast a high price tag.

choosing an apartment


Efficiencies and studios are often confused, and rightfully so as they both have many of the same features. The key difference is that efficiencies are always small and include one space for the living/sleeping area along with a separate bathroom. While it does include a "kitchen" there is usually a mini version of most appliances and the space is generally set up for reheating or light preparation versus the cooking of a full meal.


If you're looking for space and an open floor plan, then a loft apartment is right for you. Lofts often sport an industrial feel as these spaces are usually converted from old commercial buildings such as factories or warehouses. Because of this, common features include few to no walls (aside from the bathroom), large windows and exposed ceiling beams and joists.


A duplex (also called a multifamily dwelling) is one building or home that contains two separate entrances and living spaces. They may be side-by-side sharing the main wall or stacked on top of one another.

Tri-plex / Quad-plex

Similar to a duplex, a tri-plex contains three separate living spaces and a quad-plex has four separate living spaces instead of two.

Junior One

A junior one is basically a studio apartment with one small "bonus" room. The room, which can literally be the size of a walk-in closet, doesn't have a window, which excludes it from being marketed as a two-bedroom apartment. The extra room may not even have a door but is often used as a bedroom or an office simply because of the added privacy compared to the rest of the space.

apartments styles to choose from

One Bedroom/Single

Although the specifics can vary slightly, a one bedroom or single apartment is understood to include a bedroom with a closet, separate bathroom, kitchen and living area. The square footage of this style apartment can greatly differ.

Junior Four

A junior four is understood as a one-bedroom apartment that has four distinct rooms. Usually defined as a bedroom, kitchen, living room and dining room. Often this style apartment is shared by two people by partitioning off the bedroom into two spaces — although the apartment isn't technically two bedrooms.


The exact meaning of a garden apartment can fluctuate depending on whether it's in a suburban or rural area. However, the general idea for a garden apartment is that you are on the floor level of a building, house or townhome. What makes it unique is that it has direct access to a "garden-like" area such as a real garden, backyard or patio. Garden apartments usually have one bedroom but in some cases can have more bedrooms.


Rest easy as no, a railroad apartment doesn't mean you are living directly by or near a railroad. It simply refers to the railroad car layout of the space. The apartment is usually long and skinny with the main hallway running from the front of the apartment to the back. The rooms of the apartment (including the kitchen, living room and bathrooms) are all located on one side of the hallway and are accessed directly from the hallway.


Similar to the layout of the railroad, a shotgun apartment has the same floor plan except there is no main hallway and each room leads to the next. This style of apartment is often found in metro areas where land is sparse and buildings are built to not waste space (i.e. hallways). Keep in mind that a two or more bedroom shotgun apartment means that at least one person ends up with a lot of foot traffic through their room — maybe at all hours.

Whether you're searching for a small space just big enough to lay your head at night between busy days, or a much bigger space that can be made to feel like a home, there's an apartment option for everyone. So until you're ready to consider a house of your own, happy apartment hunting!

Not sure if you should rent or buy? Here's what you should know about Renting vs. Owning.

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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