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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!


Posted by Merri Cvetan on Dec 21, 2016 3:18:45 PM

Colorful Christmas Stockings!

There is always so much to do the last few days before Christmas. Finish your shopping, finish baking cookies; finish the decorating then trying to squeak out some time for yourself! If you’re still in the “finish decorating” mode, I have a fast and easy stocking project for you. You should have figured out by now that I traded traditional red and green for turquoise, pink and purple this year. The challenge was to find stockings in coordinating colors. Since I didn’t have any luck, I headed to Goodwill to buy sweaters and shirts in those colors. (I loved the turquoise and aqua so much, I stopped there!) 

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Dec 15, 2016 10:22:09 AM

DIY Christmas Table Décor


I love easy DIY projects that look like a million bucks when you’re finished. Throughout the year, I collect small wooden boxes and metal sleighs knowing that when December rolls around I can transform them into original Christmas gifts. 

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Dec 1, 2016 3:02:17 PM

Mannequin Christmas Tree

A friend told me about a dress form Christmas tree idea last December and knew I would be all over it. She was right! I couldn’t wait to make my own mannequin tree this year. Since it’s so unique and feminine, I decided all my Christmas decorations should be a little different. Instead of the usual red and green or gold and white, I’m loving the combination of turquoise, purple, pink and silver. They’re so fresh and pretty.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Dec 16, 2015 4:26:55 PM

Santa Belt Christmas Ornaments!

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m the Christmas Queen. I love everything about Christmas, (except baking cookies)! Instead of baking, I prefer to make ornaments for my tree and as gifts. This year it’s Santa belts with a dash of glitter.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Dec 3, 2015 4:33:14 PM

Twinkle Ornament Tree

The Christmas tree is the focal point of any holiday decorating. It doesn’t matter if you have a 12-foot blue spruce, or an artificial table top tree; how you decorate it says a lot about your personality and style. I personally think you can never have too many trees, but that’s just me. But, if you need a small scale tree, or if you just want an extra one, this twinkle ornament tree is so easy, and the kids can help!

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Dec 23, 2013 12:22:00 PM

Home for the Holidays

This month I’ve shared with you some country decorating ideas (the rustic tree, stockings from sweaters and Swedish mantle). So, instead of a formal table, I decided on a casual, informal setting to continue the theme through to Christmas dinner.