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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 Jul 9, 2014 9:50:00 AM

15 Ways to Reuse an Old Rake!

If you’ve been working in the garden this summer and had to invest in new tools, DON’T throw away the old. I’ve come up with 15 ways to reuse that worn-out rake.  

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on May 30, 2014 11:47:00 AM

Lamp Table Transformation

Sometimes an item I find has seen better days or, in the case of this lamp table, is simply outdated. I’m not a fan of this style of floor lamp. I love lamps and tables, just not an all-in-one style. But, it only took two cans of spray paint to create a charming side table. 

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on May 8, 2014 1:00:00 PM

Hot Seat

One of the hottest trends in interior design is the pouf. It’s a modern interpretation of the basic footstool. They are generally round, or rounded in some way, and always colorful. You can use them to rest your feet or as a table (with a tray on top). It can be tucked out of the way under a console table and pulled out when extra seating is needed. They come in a variety of colors and patterns and cost anywhere from $75 up to $250 (or more). But why spend that much money when you can make your own?

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Apr 24, 2014 9:40:00 AM

DIY Message Board

I’ve been working on staging dorm rooms this month. I like to do a couple of fast and easy DIY projects than anyone can do. This magnetic message board is not only perfect for the college student, but would be a great Mother’s Day gift, too. After all, everyone needs to stay organized and on top of things.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Mar 26, 2014 1:55:00 PM

A Promise of Spring

Like everyone else, I’m tired of waiting for spring weather! So I decided to bring the garden indoors. If nothing else, green plants remind us that warm weather is just around the corner.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Mar 19, 2014 2:28:00 PM

Picture This

Collecting art work can be a lifelong pursuit. Some people don’t mind waiting for the perfect painting, but sometimes you need instant art, especially if you’re redecorating a kid’s room, or a dorm room.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Mar 14, 2014 12:31:00 PM

Lucky Shamrock

Time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and welcome spring with a festive Irish wreath. (Maybe the snow will be melted by then!)

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 28, 2014 11:21:00 AM

Set for Spring

Spring can’t get here fast enough (and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way!). If it doesn’t warm up soon, you can at least start planning a colorful Easter table setting! 

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 26, 2014 2:04:00 PM

Frame Up

I don’t know about you, but this long and cold winter has kept me at home and indoors more than usual. The good news is I’ve gotten lots of little projects done. Winter is a good time to clean out closets, drawers and cupboards and donate gently-used items to Goodwill. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

I love jewelry and I have quite a collection of earrings, so weeding out the old was on my to-do list. Since I wear them every day, I like to have them easy-to-see and be able to grab a pair quickly.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 20, 2014 1:28:00 PM

Child's Play

If you have a baby shower coming up, why not surprise the mother-to-be with a made-from-the- heart gift she will appreciate for years to come.

Lighting is important in every decorating project even the nursery. When baby wakes up in the middle of the night, low wattage lamp light is necessary.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 13, 2014 1:11:00 PM

Sweet Tooth

Forget the usual flowers and box of candy for Valentine’s Day, this year serve up a romantic dinner for two.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Feb 5, 2014 3:24:00 PM

Put Your Feet Up

One of the biggest trends in home fashions has been the ottoman-turned-coffee-table. It’s a brilliant idea, two pieces of furniture in one! Add a tray and you have a solid surface for glasses, food and candles. Remove the tray and you have a comfy place to put your feet up.

I started with an old upholstered ottoman or footstool. It was in good shape, just a little outdated. Then I found a vintage table cloth in the perfect size. But you can use any fabric; drape it on the ottoman, cut off excess and sew a hem around the edge.