The Difference Between a Loft & a Studio

by Joanna Hatt
Lofts and studios are both great options for urban living.

Lofts and studios, while both typically apartments, can be distinguished by several factors. The floor plan and size are different, and there are many structural elements that differentiate the two. Because of these factors, the price of lofts and studios vary. Depending on your spatial needs, expense expectations, desired location and functional requirements, one option will likely suit you better than the other.

Size

Size is probably the most distinguishable factor between lofts and studio apartments. A studio apartment, sometimes referred to as a bachelor apartment, is usually no more than one or two rooms. Lofts, conversely, are much larger spaces that have been sanctioned into apartment-size units. As well, since they're usually adapted industrial spaces, they have specific features like high ceilings, open floor plans and large windows. Because studio apartments are small, they're often designed to make efficient use of small spaces. Loft apartments, on the other hand, are wide open spaces so are designed to look and feel cozier.

Function

Loft apartments, because of their distinct style and size, are designed to suit a specific type of person. Originally they appealed to artists looking for space to work and an inexpensive place to live as well. Other people looking for larger spaces in urban areas would function well in a loft. Lofts also are more appropriate than a studio apartment for people who do a lot of hosting and entertaining. Studio apartments, because of their small size, are better suited to a single person or couple. Even though lofts are large, because of their features and location they typically aren't ideal for families.

Price

Lofts are generally more expensive because you pay a premium price for a large space in an urban area. Also, because they're large, they generally have higher maintenance costs to heat or air condition. Because studio apartments are small, condensed spaces, they're the affordable option, far cheaper than a one-bedroom apartment. Their small size also makes them cheaper to heat and cool. If you want to be in a more expensive neighborhood, studios are an affordable alternative.

Location

Since lofts are adapted industrial structures, they're most often located in urban, industrial areas. They're usually in places where old commercial properties, such as factories and warehouses were once located. As cities urbanize and these structures become obsolete, developers turn them into living spaces instead of tearing them down. They often evolve into trendy neighborhoods with other amenities. Developers are also building new loft apartments and condominiums to replicate the charm of loft living. Studio apartments, however, can be found in residential areas as well as urban neighborhoods, sometimes as a mother-in-law unit over the garage of a single-family house, for example.

About the Author

Joanna Hatt works as a junior copywriter in the creative marketing services department at a national newspaper. She has significant communications experience, producing work in both creative and business-oriented styles. She is proficient at developing promotional materials, social media marketing, B2B writing and public relations content. Hatt holds a bachelor's degree in history and gender studies.

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