Sometimes all it takes to “redecorate” is to add something unexpected to your home.
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 email@example.com.
Watch Merri on Windy City Live! ... See more videos featuring Merri (and more) on our AmazingGoodwill YouTube channel!
I found a vintage Heirloom wooden walnut nut/candy dish made by the Lebanon Supply Company. It has a gold metal handle and is in perfect condition–no chips, no dings. I spent $.99 and it’s going for $15 on ebay! Don’t you love a bargain?
It’s almost spring and that means it’s time to freshen up the house and do some redecorating. Although I would love to open up the windows to let the fresh air in, I have to be content with staging a bookshelf and while watching the last of the snow melt away.
I designed the basic same shelf display in 3 different color-ways. The constant in each is a picture and books. Framed artwork looks just as good standing on a shelf as it does hanging on the wall.
Manners are big in my house. Early on my kids learned to say “please and thank-you;” to hold the door for others and proper table manners. Besides having a command of the English language, knowing appropriate etiquette and how to behave in any situation can go a long way when becoming a successful person. (Okay, I’ll get off my high horse!). Seriously, everyone should know which fork to use, not to talk with your mouth full and to place their napkin on their lap while eating.
Mardi Gras means fat Tuesday in French. It’s the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. Although many cultures (mainly those with large Catholic populations) celebrate the day, New Orleans is famous for their public festivities. If you can’t get to the city with the famous French Quarter this month, plan a party at home.
Lighting is such an important part of decorating a room. Not only do lamps illuminate a space and allow you to work and read, but think of them as room accessories. Lamps and shades come in all sorts of sizes, colors, finishes and options. They don’t have to be expensive if you know where to shop and can see potential in bland or boring styles.
Everyone loves February 14. The challenge is to come up with someone unique and personal for the special person in your life. Cards put your thoughts into words, and who doesn’t like a box of chocolate? But this year, I wanted to design something different, so I decided to spell out my feelings!
Trays are such useful accessories that designers are putting them in every room. They provide a place for items you need at hand in the bedroom and bathroom, as well as the dining room or living room—they make a design statement. Trays come in every size, material and color imaginable. The one you choose to decorate your coffee table says a lot about your style and personality. They can also be very expensive. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for creative DIY alternatives.
Getting and staying organized is a challenge for most of us. It’s particularly challenging if you have a small bathroom or share a bath with others. I like to keep the items I use every day handy and at hand. As I walked the aisles at Goodwill one day, I found an old wood remote control caddy on a turntable.
I love houses with lots of windows. Windows with a view are the best, but windows facing a brick wall will also do as long as they let in light. If you happen to have a room with a not-so-pretty view, create your own with a window frame!
January is the perfect time of year to start new projects. Since it’s cold outside we hunker down until spring. This photo bracelet has been on my to-do list for quite a while. It turned out so cute, I think I’ll get a head start on Mother’s Day and birthday gifts.
Not many people wear watches anymore. I know I seldom put one on. My cell phone is just too convenient. That’s probably why Goodwill’s jewelry department has lots to choose from. I like this one, because of its bead bracelet band.
Christmas decorations are festive and pretty. For a few weeks your home is cheerful and bright. Then January rolls around and ornaments and garlands are packed away until next year. It seems as though winter lasts until May with short days and long nights! Now the house seems empty, dark and not so cheerful. So what can you do? Here are a few decorating tips to make your home comfy and cozy again until the spring thaw.