New Year, New Apartment – Do You Know Your Options?

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Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to change your living situation? You might know how many bedrooms you want and what part of town you want to be in, but are you aware of all of the nuances to the different apartment types? Let us break it down for you.

Micro Apartment

This is somewhat of a new space type that has recently come into fashion as city populations rise, attracting those with limited budgets or who are more transient. There is usually less than 350 square feet simultaneously functioning as a sleeping, sitting and dining area with a very small bathroom and abbreviated kitchen.


(Picture: Pinterest)


“Studio” describes an apartment with an open floor plan with the sleeping area occupying the same space as the living room and kitchen (and an enclosed bathroom).


An alcove apartment will still technically be one space, but offers a little more privacy than a studio with an extra nook off of the living area where a bed can be placed.

Convertible Studios and Apartments

A convertible studio refers to a larger studio apartment that has enough square footage to allow for a wall to be installed to create a closed-in bedroom if the tenant so desires. A convertible apartment, therefore, refers to a large 1- or 2-bedroom space that also could accommodate a wall to create another bedroom.

(Picture: Apartment Therapy)


A loft apartment can really be any size, but is so named for having one large room without any dividing walls. The aesthetic is also often industrial as these tend to be converted spaces from manufacturing or industrial buildings. Expect high ceilings, large windows, concrete or brick walls, exposed beams and ductwork.

Garden Apartment

So-named because of their proximity to the ground-level (where gardens can be found), these are either located on the ground floor or basement of a building.


As the name suggests, there is no elevator, only stairs. This can often mean rent is more affordable.


This refers to a traditional home that includes two similar units, usually one on top of the other. This is often the result of a single-family home that has been converted, but not always.

Triplex and Six-plex

These are small apartment buildings with either three or six apartments, usually with two to a floor and built solely for this purpose.

Low- Mid- and High-Rise Apartment Buildings

A low-rise has one to four apartments, usually one per floor and sometimes with an elevator, sometimes without. A mid-rise is the next-size up with five to eleven stories. These typically have one elevator. A high-rise has 12 or more stories, multiple apartments per floor and more than one elevator.

(Picture: Apartment Therapy)

Railroad or Shotgun Apartment

This refers to the layout of the apartment – individual rooms are connected via a doorway instead of a hallway, requiring you to advance through all to reach the furthest one.


This offers house-like living, often with multiple floors. The units are like apartments as they share walls with neighbors.


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