Goodwill Home Interior Expert - Merri Cvetan

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

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9 Valentine’s Day Gift to Make from Sweaters: Part 1

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jan 31, 2013 3:43:00 PM

sweatersWith Valentine’s Day only a few weeks away, I challenged myself to see how many gifts I could make from a couple of sweaters.

I picked up two from Goodwill, a red one and a pink one with leopard spots.

1. The easiest idea is wine bottle covers. Just cut off a sleeve to fit and embellish.

2. I wrapped a bracelet around the top of the red one along with a necklace and vintage key.  You can personalize your gift with any little charms or pieces of jewelry.

3. The pink wine cozie sports a traditional VD greeting. I’m always on the look-out for old Scrabble games and found one for $2.99. Glue the tiles to a sturdy ribbon and tie to pearl bracelets ($1.99 each). No need for a card this year.

4. If you’re having a romantic dinner for two, get the candles in the right mood. The bands are made from the button placket on the front of the sweater. I cut off the buttons and added rhinestone pins. Much more glamorous!

5. Don’t forget mom on Valentine’s Day.  Every woman likes flowers. Present your bouquet in a custom designed vase. Using the front of the pink sweater, I wrapped it around a rectangle shape jar (the perfect style for tulips). Hem the raw edges so it doesn’t ravel. If you don’t sew, use glue.

6. If your mom is anything like me, my coffee gets cold before I finish a cup. Keep her coffee warm with mug sweater made from the sleeve cuff. Make sure you use the finished edge at the top. Then sew up the bottom with a running stitch and cut a slit on the side for the handle. I embroidered a simple heart, but you could add more charms or pins. Something just for mom.

Next week I will have even more sweater gift ideas.

valentines day gifts

Topics: Home interior, Valentine's Day, DIY, Upcycling, Merri Cvetan