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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 Sep 26, 2013 10:52:00 AM


If you’re not quite ready to decorate for Halloween, try a scarecrow, the perfect “transitional” decoration for fall. You can make one in less than a couple of hours! 

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 12, 2012 12:18:00 PM

Christmas Tree for the Cook

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already decorated more than one Christmas tree in your home. As much as I love trees, they take up a lot of space. A simple solution is a small tabletop tree. This one is perfect for the kitchen.

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 Oct 18, 2012 11:23:00 AM

Create a Halloween tree with Goodwill!

Decorated trees aren’t just for Christmas anymore! Add one to your Halloween décor and reuse it every year.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Oct 12, 2012 9:42:00 AM

Mirror - Mirror

Really scare the socks off your friends with a spooky mirror. When checking themselves out, all they’ll see is someone else!

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Sep 27, 2012 2:55:00 PM

Halloween Bling

I’ve never shied away from adding a little bling to my fashion or home accessories. However, little goes a long way in home interiors. But anything goes when it comes to holiday decorating!

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Sep 12, 2012 2:04:00 PM

Fall for Autumn

It’s been such a hot summer that cool autumn temperatures will be welcome this month! Decorating for Halloween is very popular (second only to Christmas), but before you carve the jack-o-lanterns, be sure to decorate for fall. It will be so much easier and faster to transition to a spooky and scary look in time for trick-or-treaters.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jul 3, 2012 2:39:00 PM

Born on the Fourth of July

We host a brunch every Fourth of July for friends before we head out to the local parade and festivities. My challenge is to come up with a new table setting and menu every year.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jun 13, 2012 2:49:00 PM

Let There Be Candlelight

Wedding season is upon us. Every bride wants her day to be special and unique.The more you can do ahead of time to prepare for your wedding, the less stress you will have on the big day.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jun 7, 2012 3:00:00 PM

Father's Day Frame-Up

Get crafty this Father’s Day. Even the littlest kids can get involved in this simple frame project for dad.