Goodwill Home Décor Expert - Merri Cvetan

Goodwill Home Decor 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 askmerri@goodwillsew.com.

Follow Merri on Twitter and Pinterest!

Watch Merri on Windy City Live! ... See more videos featuring Merri (and more) on our AmazingGoodwill YouTube channel!


Posted by Merri Cvetan on Aug 15, 2017 12:02:56 PM

Confessions of a Collector: Part 1 - The Handbag

Some women collect shoes, but since I have weird feet I collect handbags. I have many colors in similar styles, and since I carry only the basics with me, I prefer rather flat purses. They’re the perfect accessory for changing your outfit and adding a punch of color. The dilemma is how to store, and keep them out of sight when not in use. Well, I found the perfect solution at the hardware store (of all places)!

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Aug 8, 2017 4:10:48 PM

Dorm Room Necessity - The Laundry Bag

Since we’re still in the back-to-school mode, I came up with another dorm room necessity—the laundry bag. If you had trouble getting your teens to pick their dirty clothes up off the floor at home, offer them a little help while they’re away at school.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Aug 2, 2017 3:53:41 PM

The Ultimate Dorm Room on a Budget

Summer goes by so fast and before you know it, it’s time to get ready for back to school. If you or your teen is heading to college, you know how expensive dorm life can be. Fortunately for you, Goodwill if full of amazing deals and one-of-a-kind decorating accessories.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Jul 25, 2017 3:18:58 PM

The Early Bird ~ DIY Birdhouse Décor

One of the best parts of summer is sitting on the back porch and listening to the birds chirp while enjoying a cup of coffee. It doesn’t happen very often, but I cherish those quiet early mornings before the hustle of the day begins. As a tribute to my feathered friends, I decided to decorate the porch with pretty birdhouses.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Jul 19, 2017 4:19:09 PM

DIY Cork Trivet - Video Version

Do you know a wine enthusiast who would love this idea? It only takes a few minutes to create this simple DIY cork trivet. Goodwill Home Decor Expert Merri Cvetan demonstrates how to cut a cork base, and then add wine corks with a hot glue gun. And before you know it, voila...your wine cork trivet is finished! 

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Jul 13, 2017 4:28:49 PM

Batter Up!

Baseball season is in full swing. Whether you’re a fan of the pros, or cheer on a Little League team, there is always a celebration. Take your tailgate party to the next level with personalized dishes!

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Jul 7, 2017 2:14:22 PM

Interior Design Tips - Decorating A Shelf

Watch as Goodwill Home Décor Expert Merri Cvetan explains how to utilize a 3-D look to enhance your shelf displays.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Jun 28, 2017 6:56:04 PM

Celebrating the 4th!

What three words describe the 4th of July? Fireworks, parades and picnics! It’s a holiday worth celebrating with a bang. For me the day starts with morning brunch for family and friends. One of the best things about setting a patriotic table is the fact that you can reuse red dishes from Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Jun 20, 2017 12:00:00 AM

DIY Cork Trivet

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!

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Jun 15, 2017 4:02:52 PM

Father’s Day Gift for the Grill Master

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.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Jun 7, 2017 1:02:03 PM

Upcycling a What is it?

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.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on May 30, 2017 10:07:33 AM

DIY Pet Toy

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.