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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 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.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jan 30, 2014 1:57:00 PM

Straight From the Heart

Like most holidays, if you plan to entertain or celebrate, the sooner you get organized the easier the day will be. The same holds true with Valentine’s Day. It might me a couple of weeks away, but now is the time to make Valentine’s Day cards for the special people in your life.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jan 23, 2014 2:46:00 PM

Shades of Pale

Wedding season might be months away, but January is a great time to start making the DIY table decorations, party favors, programs, etc. for your special day. Start your shopping at Goodwill now, especially if you need dozens of similar items. 

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jan 15, 2014 2:56:00 PM

Basket Case

It’s going to be a long, cold winter. I like to have some new home projects to work on when we’re snowed in or when it’s just too cold to go out.

I decided to add a burst of color to my living room by covering some wicker baskets I bought at Goodwill for less than $2.00 each.

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Jan 10, 2014 10:33:00 AM

Winter Whimsy

My house is always festive with all my Christmas decorations on display. But once they’re put away, the house seems so dark. To avoid the winter “blahs”, I like to transition the change of seasons. This year, my Christmas mantle turns into a winter, snowy mantle.