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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 Nov 3, 2016 1:39:51 PM

Hearth Warming

If you were tuning in last month, you might recall that I decorated my mantle in a Halloween theme and promised to show you how to quickly change it for Thanksgiving. 

Thinking ahead when I created my Halloween-themed mantle, I made two paper pennant banners in one by gluing paper together, back-to-back. So, the first step was to turn over the banner. Instead of orange and black, I have soft fall colors in shades of brown and green.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Sep 28, 2016 4:44:44 PM

Little Shop of Horrors


One of my favorite decorating spots in my house is the fireplace mantle. It’s in our family room, so we look at it every day. A mantle display is also easy to change. I don’t redo it every month, but certainly each season. Since fall is such a busy time I decided to come up with an arrangement for Halloween that can be quickly transformed for Thanksgiving.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Sep 21, 2016 11:57:25 AM

Fall Flourish

As the days get shorter, I find myself spending more time indoors. Of course the cooler temperatures have something to do with that, too. Fall also seems like the perfect time to bring out the candles. Don’t you love sitting around by candle light? It’s so cozy and romantic.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Sep 14, 2016 1:39:29 PM

Welcome Fall

As much as I hate to say goodbye to summer, fall really is a lovely time of the year. It means some of my favorite things—cooler temperatures, wool sweaters, evenings by the fireplace and football. It’s also time to make decorating changes. One of the easiest ways to welcome fall is with a front door wreath. This year, instead of the typical circular grapevine wreath with silk flowers, I wanted something unique. This happened to be an old decorative clock in a key frame.

Posted by Merri Cvetan on Sep 8, 2016 12:21:04 PM

Transitioning Décor for Fall


Often the easiest way to redecorate is to swap out one for accessory for another. The changing seasons is the one of the best times to spruce up your home. Summer living is much more casual during than the rest of the year. We spend time outdoors and on vacation. But come fall when the temperatures drop, we move indoors. I hate to see the end of warm weather, but I do like to snuggle up on the sofa before a roaring fire and watch football on TV.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Sep 11, 2015 12:40:23 PM

Fall Leaf Bowl

The transition from summer to fall happens so fast. School starts, vacations are over and autumn arrives. Wardrobes change, calendars fill up and decorating colors go from cool tones to warm ones. If you’re not ready to think Halloween yet, try a leaf bowl for your sideboard or coffee table. The best part, you can make it yourself.