Jourdan Lawlor bought her tiny apartment on West 12th Street, in a quaint former dormitory for Hudson River dockworkers, in 2011—three weeks before she met Tobin Ludwig. The director of sales development at The Daily Meal, she was tired of renting and decided to buy, scouring the city for a downtown apartment under $300,000 before settling on this prewar option, a high-ceilinged ground-floor studio that clocks in at a diminutive 242 square feet. That includes closets, cabinets, and a 29-square-foot storage nook above the bathroom door.
Of the 425-square-foot Upper West Side apartment Curbed toured earlier this year, Lawlor said, “That’s huge!”
Having eyed a snazzy Murphy bed from Resource Furniture for about five years, she said, “buying the bed was almost an excuse to buy the apartment.” Lawlor and Ludwig, who heads up a bitters purveyor called Hella Bitter, had been dating nine months before they decided to move in together. “We agreed to renovate and maximize the space,” Lawlor said. “If one if us said the safe word, I would put the apartment on the market the next day. But no one said it. We forget what the word was.” Added Ludwig: “I had not envisioned living here with Jourdan. I thought it would ruin my relationship with her.” (Spoiler alert: it did not.)