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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 Nov 13, 2013 3:49:00 PM

Homage to Duck Dynasty!

The popularity of Duck Dynasty prompted me to create a fall display for hunting and TV fans.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Aug 28, 2013 1:48:00 PM

Hang Ups

Interior decorating isn’t complete until artwork is hung. Art and photos are the finishing touches, the bits of personality that represent your style and personality. It’s also the part of decorating that most people struggle with, but there are a few guidelines to consider before you put a hole in the wall.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Aug 15, 2013 1:33:00 PM

Back-To-School Organizing Tips

School is almost here and you know what that means. Tons of papers and notes and permission slips and all sorts of things that you need to keep track of. Instead of getting buried under a mountain of notes, set up a system to stay organized.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Aug 9, 2013 10:46:00 AM

Shade Brigade

It’s that time of year, kids going back to school and college students moving into the dorm. Goodwill is a great place to shop for items to furnish a dorm room. Most rooms are rather small, but that’s no reason they can’t represent the person who lives there. You just have to be creative and think outside the proverbial box!

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jul 31, 2013 1:40:00 PM

Around the World

Because we can find everything on the internet, globes have gone the way of the dinosaur. But, they still make interesting decorative items, especially vintage ones.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jul 25, 2013 3:17:00 PM

Secret Garden - Chairs

It’s mid-summer and hopefully, your garden is in full bloom. If you’re between plantings, but still want to work in the garden (besides weeding), try adding accessories. I particularly like to place old chairs among my flowers. They add interest and give height to potted plants.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jul 17, 2013 3:00:00 PM

How to Dye Doilies!

Remember doilies? Maybe your grandmother crocheted these decorative circles for her coffee table with off-white cotton string. They became popular again when country was the big decorating style in the 1970s.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jul 12, 2013 10:29:00 AM

DIY - Wedding Bouquets

Flowers are a big part of a wedding. Bouquets add color, texture and contrast to a bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses. They’re also a very expensive part of the décor. One way to save a little money is to make the bouquets yourself. Although silk flowers have improved in recent years, they’re still fake. Why not make your own flowers from recycled clothes found at Goodwill.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jul 3, 2013 11:20:00 AM

A Shore Thing

When you’re entertaining this summer, don’t think you have to stick with traditional red, white and blue. Try a beach theme, even if you don’t live near water.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jun 27, 2013 1:09:00 PM

A Touch of Glass

I love old mercury glass. But antique vases are really expensive and hard to find. Or if you prefer something a little more contemporary, try painting vases and jars in colors to match your interior décor. 

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jun 21, 2013 9:10:00 AM

Toast the Bride and Groom

Wedding season is here! Congratulations to all brides and grooms! I know how expensive weddings can be, and I often get asked for clever ideas to make the reception personal but not cost an arm and a leg. 

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jun 12, 2013 1:43:00 PM

Gifts for Dad

I don’t know a Dad who doesn’t like a hand-made gift from his children. I have a couple of easy DIY projects kids can tackle (with a little help from Mom).