When Lauren Iannolo graduated from Georgetown University a few years ago, she knew she wanted to live in a new DC neighborhood. She settled on the Mount Vernon Triangle area, where she’s lived for four years.

“I wanted a change of scenery and to feel like I was starting a new chapter,” she says. “I loved the affordability of where I wound up, as well as the close proximity to downtown.” And she’s enjoyed watching the neighborhood blossom, too, with its bevy of new construction (she’s especially excited about the new Equinox).

The 26-year-old data and analytics specialist now lives by herself in a studio filled with DIY projects and bright jewel tones. “Pick colors that make you happy,” says Iannolo of her design approach. “For me, that is having a lot of spots of bright color, but also deeper, rich tones.”

Who lives there: Lauren Iannolo, 26
Approximate square-footage: 557 square-feet
Number of beds: None (studio)
Number of baths: One
Favorite piece of furniture: The forest-green couch with tufted details, which Iannolo got on sale at West Elm. “I love the richness of the color, but also how versatile it is,” she says. “The tone acts as a neutral in a way, too, and can be incorporated into many color schemes.”
Favorite home interior stores: Home Goods and Target for steals, the site Society6 for work by up-and-coming designers and artists, and Michael’s for DIY projects.
Favorite DIY: Iannolo sewed the purple throw pillow on her bed when she was recovering from wisdom teeth surgery and made the paper fans above her bed by-hand. Also, all the art on the walls is either by her or her sister. She also loves plants, and hung faux vines around a wooden mirror she purchased on clearance and painted gold.
Splurge: The golden-orange West Elm throw. “I thought the color went perfectly with my couch and pillows, so I had to have it.”
Steal: The hanging planters on the wall, which are from Target.
Design advice: “Wait for sales to make big, impactful purchases like furniture, instead of filling your space as soon as you move in,” she says. “The time in the new space without big pieces will also help you realize exactly what you want to buy when the time comes.”