In our personal opinion, studio apartments that are essentially white square boxes tend to feel smaller and more claustrophobic than those with a little bit of charm. That's why we were particularly taken with this $2,495-a-month East Village studio co-op, complete with two decorative brick fireplaces, built-in bookshelves, and outdoor space.
This garden-level (yes, that means ground floor) renovated alcove studio is located in a no-frills East Village townhouse (photo below) that also happens to be a co-op. That means you'll likely need to pass the co-op board and might only be able to stay for two years, but a time limit on a studio apartment doesn't seem that bad to us.
The apartment is currently set up with a home office area and a dining alcove. The windowed kitchen includes a dishwasher. The sleeping alcove is directly across from a renovated bathroom (but sits in a high-traffic area since it's between the kitchen and the living room, so you might want to relocate your bed).
The backyard is divided in half with a large area designated for this apartment. There's also a free washer and dryer—yes, free!—right down the hall from this apartment.