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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 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.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Dec 19, 2013 3:49:00 PM

Very Merry Mantle

Decorating the mantle is a very important Christmas tradition. After all, it’s the first thing Santa sees when he comes down the chimney.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Dec 13, 2013 1:13:00 PM

Hang Your Stockings

I loved designing Crazy Sweaters from Christmas sweaters I bought at Goodwill. But, there are lots of other things you can do with sweaters besides wearing them. I made stockings to hang on the chimney and little mitten ornaments for the tree. 

Look for a sweater with an allover design or pattern. For the back side, shop in the clothing department. Look for fabric that won’t stretch. I found a red bathrobe (lots of fabric!).

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Dec 6, 2013 12:03:00 PM

Homespun Holiday

Every year I change my Christmas decorating “theme.” This year, I decided on a homespun, rustic, country tree. All the ornaments are simple to make, inexpensive and easy for kids to do, too.  

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Dec 20, 2012 1:13:00 PM

Dish Up Holiday Cheer

I host several dinners and parties every December, some casual, some formal and some just “family comfortable.” I use a set of Christmas dishes (found at Goodwill for a bargain) every time but with a different twist.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Dec 6, 2012 10:07:00 AM

Christmas Under Glass

A few months ago I showed you some display ideas using glass “anniversary” clocks. You can use them all year long; but they’re perfect for creating Christmas scenes.

I like lots of glitter, snow and sparkle. Under glass it stays in place so there is no mess!

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Nov 30, 2012 12:00:00 PM

Putting on the Glitz

A round evergreen wreath is the traditional Christmas door decoration. This year, I decided to try something different. Not only is the shape unique, there’s not a bit of green.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Nov 19, 2012 1:08:00 PM

Oh Christmas Tree

I love unusual Christmas decorations, especially the hand-made kind. Every year, I try to come up with new color combinations and make something unique.