- Renters Guide
- For Owners
What is a One Bedroom Apartment?
A one bedroom apartment for rent or for sale in New York City should include a bedroom with a closet and a door that closes, a separate living room area, at least one separate bathroom (many luxury one-bedroom apartment floor plans include an additional half-bath, usually off the living room or front hall or foyer), and, often, a separate kitchen. As is the case in many studio apartments, and Junior apartments, the kitchen in a one-bedroom apartment for rent can be a Pullman kitchen, with the appliances and sink running along one wall, sometimes behind folding doors.
One-bedroom apartments for rent are the most common apartment layout in New York City--recently, in fact, the New York Times had an article on the "Glut of One-Bedroom Apartments"--and can be found in sizes from intimate and cozy to expansive and luxurious. All types of New York City buildings house one-bedroom apartments, including brownstones, walk-ups, tenements, garden apartment complexes, pre-war residential buildings, and contemporary high rises.
The advantages in terms of the one bedroom apartment layout versus a studio apartment floor plan are clear: even with the same square footage, the one-bedroom apartment automatically offers you more privacy, and more clearly delineates the space, making decorating a one-bedroom apartment, even one that, at first glance, appears tiny, a far simpler task. Also, if you work from home, either as a full-time job or even just occasionally at night and on weekends, it helps psychologically to have your office space--your computer and printer and files and supplies--in a separate environment from your sleeping space.
Most couples and singles prefer a one-bedroom apartment over a studio apartment, especially for entertaining guests, who won't have to sit on your bed (even if said bed is a fold-up couch or futon) in order to hang out. If you cook a lot at home, it's also nice to have the kitchen area separate from your sleeping area, so that food odors don't settle on your duvet cover.
That said, many people who own or rent NYC one-bedroom apartments use the living room as a second bedroom. Roommates sharing a one-bedroom apartment is a fairly common occurrence situation, with one person getting the bedroom; the other the living area. Many couples with older children and, especially, single or divorced parents, also make full use of both rooms for sleeping, often with the kids getting the "official" bedroom, and the grown-up(s) making do with a futon, a pull-out couch, or a pull-down Murphy bed.
One-bedroom apartments can be quite cozy, in which case you'll need to put to use the many time-tested small-space decorating ideas, including adding moldings around doors for visual interest, so your eye moves through the space; or painting the walls in rich, contrasting colors to give separation; or hanging a large mirror on a primary wall to add "optical square footage". Living in a small space requires that you be a vigilant, ruthless editor of your stuff, both when you first move in--nothing makes a small space look even smaller than clutter and/or too many pieces of furniture--and as time goes on. When you bring one thing into the home, something else has to leave.