What is a Junior 4 Apartment?

A Junior 4 apartment (a term used primarily in NYC) for rent or for sale is not, as you might think from the definition of a Junior 1 apartment, a space that can be used as a four-bedroom apartment. Rather, a Junior Four is a unit in which there are four distinct rooms, usually a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, and a formal dining room (bathrooms are not counted in this instance). The fourth room of a Junior 4 apartment is usually located off of the living area, or as an alcove set back from unit's main hallway, between the kitchen and the rest of the apartment. Whether by deliberate design in contemporary buildings, or by architectural accident, the result of some long-ago subdivision within a building, both of these Junior Four apartment layouts encourage the use of the fourth room as a dining area. Of course, many residents of Junior 4 apartments use that fourth room for something other than dining. The fourth room tends to be small, without a door that can close and latch, and the absence of a window in the room makes it illegal to advertise, rent or sell the unit as two-bedroom apartment. That said, one of the most common alternate usages for the space is a second bedroom. With the proper layout, these apartments can be a terrific, less expensive alternative to the two-bedroom apartment, especially for families with a small child, or for a roommate situation in which one person agrees to take the less desirable space for his or her bedroom in return for paying a smaller percentage of the monthly rent. As is common in Junior One Bedroom Apartments, when this fourth room is used as a second bedroom, a removable screen or drawable curtain is often placed or installed to offer a measure of privacy to the occupant of the room. Whenever possible, a regular door or pocket door is installed. For residents, either a single person or a couple who are without children or roommate, the options for the fourth room increase greatly. Many such residents do, in fact, turn the fourth room into a formal dining area, especially if entertaining and throwing dinner parties are a big part of their lives. A home office is an obvious alternative to a dining room or sleeping area, and because the fourth room tends to be larger than the often alcove-ish space in a Junior 1, a fairly extensive workplace set-up can be put in place, complete with desk, computer, printer and room for file cabinets, bulletin boards, and shelves. A small library, or library combined with home office is another popular choice. Other uses include as a small art studio, or a project room, or sewing room, for craftspeople, hobbyists, designers and DIYers of all persuasions. Some couples who live in Junior 4 apartments simply turn the space into a storage room for rarely used items--a never-ending challenge in New York City is where to put all of your stuff--or transfer it into a sporting equipment room, or exercise space, or handy bicycle storage area, or a walk-in closet of sorts, with shelving units and space for hanging garments.
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