What is a Junior One Bedroom Apartment?
A Junior One apartment (or junior 1 bedroom), is essentially a studio apartment (defined as an apartment with only one room, functioning as both your bedroom and your living area), that features an additional small room, or even a large a walk-in closet.
This additional room can't legally be called a bedroom because it doesn't have a window, and is usually tiny--with space for only one or, at most, two pieces of furniture--and sometimes has no door that can be latched. But given its physical, architectural separation from the rest of the room, this additional room is often used by residents of junior one apartments as their sleeping area.
These should not be confused with an alcove studio, which is very similar, and yet not the same. The junior one actually has a small bonus room (even if it lacks a door) while the alcove merely has... an alcove (what else?).
The layout of a junior one bedroom apartment varies wildly from building to building, neighborhood to neighborhood—and they can often be very different within the same building, depending on the line—so each such listing should be viewed without expectation regarding the additional room's size and positioning within the space. Obviously, the most prized junior 1 apartments are those in which the room is large enough to fit a double, or even queen-sized, bed, with maybe room for a nightstand or small dresser. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.
Floor plans with the additional room to the back of the space are also coveted, because such layouts afford a measure of privacy and sense of separation from the rest of the action. In older buildings with high ceilings, some residents install a loft bed in the room, either a twin or a double, and use the space below for dressers and such.
No matter what, if a door does not exist for this small room, most residents of junior one bedroom apartments devise some sort of foldable screen, or hang a curtain, to close off the sleeping area from the rest of the home, especially when guests are over.
Turning your additional room into a sleeping area is the most common use of the junior one bedroom's "bonus" room. Some residents, however, use the extra space for an office, especially if it's more of walk-in area, or if its located right at the entranceway of the apartment. A small desk with computer, printer and file cabinet can often fit into these spaces--there is usually no outlet, however, so extension chords are needed--though with the increasing ubiquity of wireless connections, laptops, and iPads, more people than ever are doing their work from anywhere in the apartment except at a desk.
Using the extra room as something other than a sleeping area is particularly common when a couple occupies the apartment, especially when the space can only accommodate, at most a double bed. Many couples opt to install a queen-sized futon or pull-out coach or Murphy bed in the living room, and turn the bonus room into a walk-in closet, with shelving and racks for hanging clothing and outerwear.
In fact, closet and storage space is often at such a premium in some cities such as New York City, that even singles will layout their home in this fashion.
Although space is usually fairly tight in a junior one bedroom, another not-unusual usage of the layout, especially for students and young people just starting out in their careers, is to share the apartment with a roommate, with one person sleeping in the bonus room, and the other in the living area. This is usually not the best long-term living arrangement, but it certainly can be done, and, in fact, is being done right now, in thousands and thousands of such apartments all over the country.
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