LA-based interior and furniture designer Jason Martin recently launched an e-decorating service called DIY+, for those "who want help with a design project but wish to complete the project on their own and in their own time." If you're willing to make the purchases on your own and put your new furnishings in place, with just a few emails and phone calls, you can essentially get the look of a full-service redesign.
I was intrigued by the concept and decided to check out Martin's work, and stumbled upon quite a few drastic makeovers. This Highland living room was one of my favorite makeovers. The purple sofas (with red pillows — eek!), to begin with, were an eyesore, and poorly arranged. Really, it just looks jumbled (see curtains), dreary, and there's no cohesive design scheme. To see how Martin changed that, read more.
Martin's redesign is simply comfortable, literally and visually. He chose a neutral palette with a few pops of color to give the room a relaxed vibe — as living rooms should be. From the tripod floor lamp to the straight-armed, curved-bottom sofa, each furnishing has a great form. One sofa and two chairs versus two sofas opens up the space immediately, relieving the cramped feeling. And having the seats face each other magically creates a more social atmosphere. A low coffee table and floor pillows make the room even more comfortable, and offer spare seating. He also replaced the rigid, lonesome dining chair in the corner with two comfortable arm chairs and a small table by the window, creating an additional seating area altogether. I love it! It's not overly decorated, but it has a wonderful flow and it's cozy. What do you think?