Real estate listings can be very confusing, with terminology that requires a bit of translation. “Cozy” translates to small, “adjacent to” means within a mile or two and “transitional neighborhood” is a neighborhood that only a few years ago was one to avoid. Another set of terms that can cause confusion is “studio apartment” and “efficiency apartment.” The fact that many agents and landlords use them interchangeably does not help. However, some concrete features differentiate the two.
Both studios and efficiencies are typically small apartments meant for occupancy by a single person. They are designed to be basic and inexpensive. For many renters and buyers, these apartments are an affordable way to get into a convenient or upscale location.
Efficiency apartments, also called bachelor apartments, are always small and feature a combined living and sleeping space. Most efficiency apartments are one room with a separate bathroom. Efficiencies have a kitchenette area attached to the living area. A wall of appliances and counter space is a common setup. The appliances are often smaller than usual, such as a half fridge, a one or two burner stove and a small sink with a small counter area and are more for heating food than cooking full meals.
Studio apartments are not always small, but are always one room that combines the living and sleeping spaces. Some studios may have an alcove area for sleeping or a loft area that is open to the main room. They feature a separate bath and kitchen with full size appliances.
Another type of studio is the loft studio. This type of studio is a single room with high ceilings and often features industrial elements such as exposed beams or ductwork and large windows. These studios can be quite large, especially in converted spaces. They may have a distinct kitchen area with full size appliances that are incorporated into the single open space and an enclosed or separate bathroom. There may be an open, raised loft area over the kitchen and bath that can be used as a sleeping area.
Both apartment styles are highly functional and require some specialized furniture placement and decoration in order to achieve delineated spaces. Storage is usually at a premium in these units and furniture items often have to perform multiple functions to accommodate storage needs. Privacy can be an issue if there are guests.