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What Is A Convertible Apartment?

what is a convertible apartment

Did you know, the average rent price for an apartment in Chicago is $2,059? Even though the cost of rent differs depending on several factors, most residents feel it’s too high.

Apartment owners and renters are looking for solutions to meet the high cost of living.

A convertible apartment is basically a studio apartment that has some space specifically allocated as a bedroom. The separation of spaces can be a simple alcove for the bed, a separate room with a sliding door, etc. The majority of the market is turning to convertible apartments as a solution to high rent costs.

This post discusses everything you need to know about convertible apartments in Chicago.

How To Make a Convertible Apartment

The designs of a convertible floor plan can vary, but the standard layout involves portable dividers that separate the living area from the sleeping area.

In Chicago, a convertible floor plan should not have a conventional door.
Most of the layouts for a convertible apartment take an L-shaped design, commonly known as an alcove.

Here are some tips on how to make a convertible apartment, especially if you live in a studio apartment.

Use Curtains and Bespoke Room Dividers

Floor-to-ceiling and room divider curtains are a cheap way of making a convertible apartment. You can create a dedicated sleeping area by portioning the studio apartment with curtains.

Additionally, you could add character to your apartment using a bespoke room divider. It combines weathered wood with custom storage to create bedroom space.

Install Sliding Doors

You could turn a portion of your studio apartment into a private space by installing sliding doors. To create the illusion of space, doors should glide on a built-in track near the ceiling.

The best part is that you can install the sliding doors in a DIY project. The process is straightforward to follow, with some costing under $40 to build and install.

Build A Temporary Half Wall

To divide the square footage of your apartment, you can opt for a temporary half wall. The idea is excellent for a rental where the construction of permanent structures is prohibited.

You can decide to purchase the half walls, but it will cost you $700 to $2,000. The price differs depending on the finish and features you have selected.

Built-In Trundle Bed Room Divider

A trundle bed is a small, low bed that is designed to fit under the main bed. Furniture sliders or casters provide for smooth movement in and out.

A renovation by Julie Nabucet was able to pull off fixing a built-in trundle bed for an apartment that barely measures 129 square feet.

A custom raised platform doubled as a room divider and concealed a full-size trundle bed.


A couple featured on IKEA Hackers for their ingenious hack of concealing a mattress in their studio apartment.

The hack involves turning two PAX closet doors into a built-in room divider that can glide across a ceiling track. You can position the PAX to fit the bed alone, leaving a large living area and some for storing clothes.

Pros And Cons of a Convertible Apartment

The main benefits of a convertible apartment revolve around saving rental costs. You get more living space at reduced prices since it is an intermediate floor plan between a one-bedroom layout and a studio.

Here are some of the significant advantages and disadvantages of a convertible apartment.

Advantages of a Convertible Apartment

Convertible apartments offer some level of privacy when compared to studio apartments. Walls or room dividers create order in open spaces.

Convertible apartments provide privacy through defining living and sleeping spaces.

With convertible apartments, you get more productive. You don’t have to worry about juggling between two tasks in the same room. Convertible apartments allow the flexibility to use the dedicated separate space as you wish.

The apartments are cost-effective. They tend to be bigger than studio apartments and cheaper than a one-bedroom apartment. Additionally, convertible apartments are also small enough to make cleaning easier.

Even with the additional space available, you get to stay organized at all times.

Having a separate room for sleeping helps your mind transition into a resting mode after a long day psychologically. The independent space can allow you to rest better when compared to a studio apartment which often feels claustrophobic.

Another great advantage of living in a convertible apartment is that it helps to reduce clutter. Due to its limited square footage, you cannot collect a lot of items, or you will be forced to get rid of things you no longer need.

The limited space helps your home to look clean and presentable.

Disadvantages of a Convertible Apartment

The main disadvantage of convertible apartments is that it is more expensive than a studio apartment. For individuals operating on a tight budget, renting a convertible apartment could become problematic.

The same theory applies to those living in expensive cities. Another major disadvantage is that convertible spaces are still small. Limited space means less room for storage or guests.

Too much furniture could also potentially clutter or clamp the apartment.

What Counts as a Convertible Apartment?

The main distinguishing feature of a convertible apartment is that it has to be bigger than a studio apartment but smaller than a one-bedroom apartment.

Convertible apartment spaces often range between 540 and 680 square feet. However, it is essential to note that square footage is just a number. The separate room for sleeping has to be big enough to only fit a bed and possibly a tiny dresser.

Convertible apartments are to be characterized by a separate wall and has typically full-size appliances.

Understand What Is a Convertible Apartment Through RoomImpact

If you still don’t understand what is a convertible apartment, at RoomImpact, we offer you guides on the average cost of renting convertible apartments.

We also publish articles that help you make your convertible apartment even better. Whether you are renting or owning an apartment, there is always something to improve your home.

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