December is not only my favorite time of year but also the busiest time of year. There is always so much to do in so little time: shopping, decorating, wrapping and entertaining. If it’s your turn to host Christmas dinner, start planning your table setting early to make the day less stressful. Here’s a time saving tip: set the table several days early so you can spend your time with family.
Goodwill Home Décor 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch Merri on Windy City Live! ... See more videos featuring Merri (and more) on our AmazingGoodwill YouTube channel!
Just when you think you’ve filled every nook and cranny with snowmen, santas and angels, you realize the china cabinet hasn’t been decorated! Pack away whatever has been on display all year long and create a pretty, vintage winter display.
My scarf/shawl collection triples my number of handbags. What can I say? I love accessories. (Just wait until I get to jewelry!) Scarves and shawls not only add color and pizazz to an outfit, but they also keep you warm when the temperature drops. I never go anywhere without one during fall, winter and spring, and I’ve been known to throw one in my car during the summer in case the air conditioning is too cold.
Some women collect shoes, but since I have weird feet I collect handbags. I have many colors in similar styles, and since I carry only the basics with me, I prefer rather flat purses. They’re the perfect accessory for changing your outfit and adding a punch of color. The dilemma is how to store, and keep them out of sight when not in use. Well, I found the perfect solution at the hardware store (of all places)!
Since we’re still in the back-to-school mode, I came up with another dorm room necessity—the laundry bag. If you had trouble getting your teens to pick their dirty clothes up off the floor at home, offer them a little help while they’re away at school.
Dorm life can be expensive! Fortunately for you, Goodwill if full of amazing deals and one-of-a-kind decorating accessories.
One of the best parts of summer is sitting on the back porch and listening to the birds chirp while enjoying a cup of coffee. It doesn’t happen very often, but I cherish those quiet early mornings before the hustle of the day begins. As a tribute to my feathered friends, I decided to decorate the porch with pretty birdhouses.
Do you know a wine enthusiast who would love this idea? It only takes a few minutes to create this simple DIY cork trivet. Goodwill Home Decor Expert Merri Cvetan demonstrates how to cut a cork base, and then add wine corks with a hot glue gun. And before you know it, voila...your wine cork trivet is finished!
Baseball season is in full swing. Whether you’re a fan of the pros, or cheer on a Little League team, there is always a celebration. Take your tailgate party to the next level with personalized dishes!
Watch as Goodwill Home Décor Expert Merri Cvetan explains how to utilize a 3-D look to enhance your shelf displays.
Wisconsin might be a beer drinking state by tradition and history, but wine is having its moment here and across the country. (The French and Italians are saying “Finally!”) In fact, I found a bag of wine corks at Goodwill for a couple of bucks. Someone probably had intentions of making something with them, but gave up. That person’s loss is my gain!