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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 May 2, 2013 2:42:00 PM

Mason Jars

My friend Pam Boelk is a big Goodwill shopper and DIY crafter. This month she’s cashing in on the Mason jar craze with some creative drinking glasses and candle ideas.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Apr 26, 2013 11:16:00 AM

Boxing Ring

Oversized cocktail rings are big fashion accessories. The bigger and bling-ier the better. (Is bling-ier a word? It should be!). Like all your jewelry, keeping it organized and at hand makes getting ready in the morning a breeze.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Apr 19, 2013 1:24:00 PM

Fork Lift

There’s more than one way to dress up your dinner table. Color coordinate your forks and knives with the table setting. 

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Apr 12, 2013 9:22:00 AM


Since April is Earth Month, I wanted to come up with a simple “upcycle” idea using an item readily available at Goodwill. I tend to create more girly things than masculine ones, so I decided to make something for men.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Mar 28, 2013 10:24:00 AM

Easter Table

Easter Sunday, another occasion to gather your family around the table. I know the day gets hectic, so I always set the table the day before any party. It’s one last thing to worry about when guests descend on your house.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Mar 21, 2013 11:49:00 AM

Coloring Easter Eggs

I have two egg coloring ideas for Easter this year. One for the kids and another for an elegant table. 

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Mar 14, 2013 12:40:00 PM

Easter Egg Display

This year forget the typical Easter basket. Get creative and display eggs in something different. Goodwill is a great place to start!

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Mar 6, 2013 6:00:00 AM

The Luck Of the Irish

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! Even if you aren’t, celebrate anyway with hand-made cards. I hung mine up on a ribbon, but you could sign the back and send them as Lucky Irish wishes to all your friends.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 27, 2013 1:39:00 PM

Dished Up

I love it when a project crosses over from craft to art. Especially when it involves repurposing a found object, like these bowls for example.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 22, 2013 9:03:00 AM

Light Up Your Wedding (the Green Way!)

Bridal couples spend an average of $25,000 on their wedding! Of course there are many ways to save money, especially if you’re a DIY’er and shop at Goodwill. One of the concerns I hear from brides is not being able to find dozens, or hundreds of the same item. My answer? Everything does not have to match. In fact, designs are much more interesting if they don’t. Think coordination and don’t worry about matching; you’ll save so much money.

You can always count on finding hundreds of glasses at Goodwill. Dozens of styles and sizes in prices ranging from $.49 to $2.99. Wouldn’t it be more festive to offer a champagne toast with “real” glassware instead of plastic flutes? Your guests can take theirs home or donate them back to Goodwill. Either way, they won’t end up in a landfill!
Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 14, 2013 1:32:00 PM

Celebrate Chinese New Year

There are so many holidays this week that you can have a party practically every day! Chinese New Year began on February 10 and is celebrated for 15 days. 2013 is the year of the snake.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 7, 2013 3:23:00 PM

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

There is no end to the gifts you can make for the girls in your life from sweaters.