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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!

Blue Christmas - Festive Holiday Table Setting

Dorm-Ready Checklist

Red, White and Blue BBQ!

Vintage Charm

Re-Think Your Halloween Color Palette

Easy Decorating with Pillows

Confessions of a Collector Part 2 - The Scarf

Confessions of a Collector: Part 1 - The Handbag

Dorm Room Necessity - The Laundry Bag

The Ultimate Dorm Room on a Budget

The Early Bird ~ DIY Birdhouse Décor

DIY Cork Trivet - Video Version

Batter Up!

Interior Design Tips - Decorating A Shelf

Celebrating the 4th!

DIY Cork Trivet

Father’s Day Gift for the Grill Master

Upcycling a What is it?

DIY Pet Toy

Patriotic Craft for Memorial Day

DIY Ceramic Garden Art

2 Down: Mother’s Day

Celebrating the Mother-to-be: Nostalgic Baby Shower

Color(s) of the Year ~ 2017

Happy Spring!

Bunny Brunch

Hippity-Hoppity Easter’s on its Way

Reading and Writing

Keeping it Green for St. Paddy’s Day

Bookshelf Refresh

Mind Your Manners!

Celebrate Mardi Gras

Made in the Shade

Valentine's Day Love Story

Artful Arrangement

Kiss & Make-Up

Window of Possibilities

How Time Flies!

After the Holidays ...

New Year’s Eve Party

Colorful Christmas Stockings!

DIY Christmas Table Décor

Kitchen Christmas Wreath

Mannequin Christmas Tree

Thanksgiving Day Kid Kraft

Thanksgiving Harvest Party

Dining at the Chalet

Hearth Warming

Bewitching Hour Halloween Party

Scaring Up Some Fun

Billboard Breakdown

Frightfully Delightful

Little Shop of Horrors

Fall Flourish

Welcome Fall

Transitioning Décor for Fall

Bling it On!

Dorm Life

Welcome to Our Wedding - DIY Wedding Signage

Back to College – Dorm Room Table

DIY Denim Book Bag

Wanderlust - Travel Map

DIY Floral Frames

Feed the Birds

Have a Seat

"She Sells Seashells ..."

Fourth of July Welcome

Wrap It Up!

Homemade Shaving Cream for Dad

Teachers Rule!

Denim Braids - DIY Placemat

Leather and Lace Wedding Table Numbers

Guiding Light

Mother’s Day Pin-Up

Frame Message Boards

Book Smarts

Play Ball!

Easy Closet Organization

Travel Table - Upcycled Suitcases

Set for Spring

Lucky Shamrock

Vanity Fair

In Bloom: DIY Decoupage Bowl


It’s a Table! It’s a Seat!

Love Chain

Chinese New Year ~ 2016 Year of the Monkey

Shades of Light

Decorating a Winter Mantle

Decorating for Winter

New Year’s (Decorating) Resolutions

New Year’s Eve Centerpiece Glam!

Christmas Mason Jars ~ DIY Gift Idea

Santa Belt Christmas Ornaments!

Dining In Style ~ Holiday Touches

Twinkle Ornament Tree

The Kiddie Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Dinner Table Setting

Family Ties

Autumn Welcome

Spooky Night

Dracula’s Feast ~ Halloween Table Setting

Happy Howl-o-ween ~ Dog Costume

Pumpkins Galore

Cast an Eerie Glow

Easy Dorm Room Decorating Tricks

Back to School Fashion Trends

Fall Leaf Bowl

Summer Memory Book

DIY Denim Book Covers

Mirror, Mirror

Cocktails Anyone?

To Market, To Market

Whooo’s There?


Please Be Seated!

Summer at the Beach!

Celebrating the Fourth!

DIY Nursery Lamp

A Heart for Dad

The Dynamics of Denim for Seat Covers

Bread Board iPad Stand

DIY Graduation Card Box

Rock n Roll! DIY Record Bowls

Creative DIY Wedding Reception Table Numbers

To Grandma With Love

DIY Fairy Garden

Upcycle: Unique Paper Towel Stand

Seaside Dining

Spring Cleaning and Organizing Tips

Hop To It! Easter Dinner!

Celebrating Women - Women’s History Month

March Madness

Lucky Shamrock

Interior Design Trends - Spring 2015

Tie One On - (Scarf That Is!)

Star Gazing

Love Notes

Celebrate At Home This Year!

Six Secrets to Styling a Shelf

Raise a Glass

Modern Chic Wedding Reception

Party Fun with Children

12 Tips for Getting Orangized in 2015!

Ready, Set, Celebrate!

Tree Treasure

Winter Wonderland

Twist On Tradition

Christmas Countdown

Words of Thanks

Harvest Bounty

Harvest Table

Pumpkin Parade

Welcome to My Labor-a-tory!

Happy Haunting!

Eat, Drink & Be Scary!

Hand Over the Candy!

Spooktacular Halloween Party

Rustic Fall Wedding

Picture Perfect

Pillow Power

Making Dorm "Storage" Usable

Something Bold, Something Blue

Book It!

Souvenir Shop

Lawn Chair

Christmas in July

Silver & White - The Perfect Union

15 Ways to Reuse an Old Rake!

Show Your Stripes!

And Baby Makes Three

Beachside Wedding

DIY Father’s Day Gifts

It's For the Birds!

Lamp Table Transformation

Teacher’s Pet

Oh La La - French Themed Bridal Shower

Hot Seat

Country Style Table Setting

DIY Message Board

A Playful Easter Basket

6 Easy Ideas to Display Easter Eggs

Book Club Luncheon

A Promise of Spring

Picture This

Lucky Shamrock

Set for Spring

Frame Up

Child's Play

Sweet Tooth

Put Your Feet Up

Straight From the Heart

Shades of Pale

Basket Case

Winter Whimsy

15 Organizing Tips to Reduce Clutter

Home for the Holidays

Very Merry Mantle

Hang Your Stockings

Homespun Holiday

Countdown to Christmas

Set for Thanks

Homage to Duck Dynasty!

Dressed for the Holidays!

Give Thanks

Witch’s Brew

Come and Sit For a Spell

Smashing Pumpkins

Somebody’s Watching You!


Not Your Grandma’s Apron Strings

Creative Storage Solution for Back-To-School

Moving Out - Moving In

Hang Ups

Book Club

Back-To-School Organizing Tips

Shade Brigade

Around the World

Secret Garden - Chairs

How to Dye Doilies!

DIY - Wedding Bouquets

A Shore Thing

A Touch of Glass

Toast the Bride and Groom

Gifts for Dad

Color Block Party

Paint Your Art Out

Wrap It Up

Creative Cell Phone Stand

Brunch and All That Jazz

Mason Jars

Boxing Ring

Fork Lift


Vintage Vinyl

Easter Table

Coloring Easter Eggs

Easter Egg Display

The Luck Of the Irish

Dished Up

Light Up Your Wedding (the Green Way!)

Celebrate Chinese New Year

9 Valentine’s Day Gift to Make from Sweaters: Part 2

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

Meaningful Mantle

Creative Ways to Organize Your Jewelry

Wedding or Bridal Shower Centerpieces

Get Organized in 2013

Ring in the New Year

Dish Up Holiday Cheer

Christmas Tree for the Cook

Christmas Under Glass

Putting on the Glitz

Oh Christmas Tree

Holiday Countdown

Set for Thanks

Ghostly Graveyard

Harvest Table

Spell Binding

Mirror - Mirror

By Pumpkin Light

Halloween Bling

Pumpkin Patch

Fall for Autumn

Back-To-School ~ Mom’s Celebration

Displaying Your Collections Under Glass

Personalized Coasters

Back-To-School - Organization Station

Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer

Christmas in July

Tailgate Picnic

Born on the Fourth of July

Cleaning Tips from Merri

Floral Frog Stands

Let There Be Candlelight

Father's Day Frame-Up

Tool Caddy

Summer Flower Power

Take the Party Outside

Letter Perfect

Tickle Your Mom Pink

Festive Flowers for Cinco de Mayo

By the Lamplight

Make Your Own Reusable Tote Bag for Earth Month!

Declutter Your Desk Top

Hoppy Easter Baskets

Easter Bunny Brunch

Nesting Instinct - Easter Baskets!

St. Patrick's Day Pot 'O Gold Treats

Green With Envy!

Let Them Eat Cupcakes!

Share The Love - Have A Seat

Share The Love - Please Be Seated

Eat Your Heart Out!

Safari Valentine's Day Dinner

Boxed In

Unclutter Your Home

Upcycling: Transforming Old Frames Into Fashionable Trays

Storage Solutions for Holiday Decor

Ring in the New Year in Style