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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 Mar 22, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Set for Spring

This year I decided on an (almost) monochromatic color scheme for my Easter table. Maybe because winter is so long, gray and dreary I’m in the mood for fresh, clean colors. So, white and buttery-yellow are perfect for the transition of winter-into-spring. 

For the napkin ring, I twisted a 24-inch thick chenille stem around a folded napkin. Bend the ends so it resembles bunny ears. Since this is a traditional table setting, lay the napkin next to the fork on the right side of the plate.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Apr 15, 2014 12:38:00 PM

A Playful Easter Basket

Try something different this year. Make Easter baskets from berry boxes and old fashion pipe cleaners (chenille stems). 

Twist colored pipe cleaners together to make a handle. Or form bunny ears at the top. Cut a small hole on two sides of the basket to attach the handle.

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 Apr 9, 2012 4:29:00 PM

Easter Bunny Brunch

After the Easter egg hunt, treat the family to a yummy and festive Easter Bunny Brunch.