Wisconsin might be a beer drinking state by tradition and history, but wine is having its moment here and across the country. (The French and Italians are saying “Finally!”) In fact, I found a bag of wine corks at Goodwill for a couple of bucks. Someone probably had intentions of making something with them, but gave up. That person’s loss is my gain!
Goodwill Home Décor Expert - Merri Cvetan
I started my career as an interior designer when we finished remodeling our home that was built in the 1890s. I loved the space planning, choosing finishes and decorating every little inch. It was trial and error, and we made mistakes, but I learned a lot along the way. Along with being a learning process, working on our home was also a hands-on project. We did everything ourselves (actually, my husband Tom did all the building and heavy work, I did the fun stuff!). I’ve had the decorating bug ever since I was a little girl, but I wanted to know everything about design, so, as a result I returned to college (Mount Mary) for a second degree in Interior Design.
I’ve been collecting antiques and vintage furnishings forever. My favorite shopping places are flea markets, antique stores and of course, Goodwill. I love DIY projects and saving money by taking an object and re-purposing it into something beautiful and useful. I’m also an amateur photographer, love to travel and study French (J’adore tous ce qui est franҫais)!
Although I love to entertain, I’m not much of a cook. My party philosophy is "if the table looks fantastic, it doesn’t matter what you serve."
My weekly column for Amazing Goodwill and my design blog, Design Coach, are about all things design, living a stylish life and entertaining (like setting a great table). I share DIY projects, decorating and design tips, as well as ideas and secrets.
If you have a specific question for Merri, feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch Merri on Windy City Live! ... See more videos featuring Merri (and more) on our AmazingGoodwill YouTube channel!
Father’s Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate your dad than to make something special. If your father is the king of the grill, then a denim apron is the perfect gift. After all, he probably wears jeans all the time.
I love the challenge of repurposing or upcycling an object. This month I found something very unusual. Can you guess what it is? It’s a metal basket of sorts on a narrow stand with bent, hook-like prongs at the top. I love the graphic look of it and the shadows it creates. It’s a great conversation piece.
Don’t forget Spot and Fluffy this summer when you’re shopping at Goodwill! (Do people still give their pets traditional, old-fashioned names?)
This t-shirt pull toy is perfect for any active puppy or kitten. Since Goodwill is loaded with t-shirts; you can make one in every color of the rainbow. They’re machine washable and when they get too ratty, simply make a new one.
Memorial Day is more than a day off from work to enjoy a picnic with family and friends. It’s a day set aside to remember fallen soldiers and military personnel who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms. To help you observe this special day, I came up with a patriotic craft project that even the kids can do. A cutting board flag!
It’s almost summer vacation. If you’re like most moms and dads, you’ll be looking for simple DIY projects the kids can do. Garden sculptures are not only easy, but fun to create. What I love about ceramic art is they add color to the yard or wooded area.
One of the best things about Mother’s Day (besides spending time with the family) is opening home-made gifts. When my kids were little, we spent time making something special for their grandmas. Presents from the kiddos are right up there with sticky kisses. This crossword puzzle/Scrabble picture can be made by children of any age and describes mom or grandma perfectly.
One of the most fun parties to plan is a baby shower. Celebrating the mother-to-be is a happy event for family, friends and the new parents. Shower themes are certainly diverse and can be based on animals, stories or the gender of the baby. In fact, hosting a gender reveal party is the latest trend in announcing to the world the gender of the baby. I decided to go “old-school” and decorate a shower table with nostalgic, vintage toys.
When the grass starts to turn green and buds appear on trees and bushes, you know spring is here! Even if the temperatures aren’t hot yet, you can’t help smiling when the sun shines. To welcome the new season, I like to hang a pretty wreath on my front door. Instead of the traditional round grapevine wreath, I decided on a different look this year.
Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, especially at holiday time. I love to gather family and friends for a leisurely brunch on an important day, like Easter. Afterwards, everyone has plenty of time to head to the next party. This table setting is perfect for Easter, but works for any spring weekend.
Does the Easter bunny hide baskets at your house every year? Or does he leave it out in plain sight full of candy and goodies? No matter your traditions, there is always room for a new one. These little Bunny Buckets are so easy, the kids can make their own or one for every classmate.