I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m the Christmas Queen. I love everything about Christmas, (except baking cookies)! Instead of baking, I prefer to make ornaments for my tree and as gifts. This year it’s Santa belts with a dash of glitter.
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!
My favorite meal of the year is almost ready to eat. I don’t know which part I like best. It’s a tie between mashed potatoes with home-made gravy and left-over turkey sandwiches on fresh baked rolls. But before we sit down to eat; we must set a proper table. When setting a holiday table, I learned where to place the knife and fork when I was a kid. I hope parents are still teaching their children the correct way!
Have you heard of or tried chalk paint yet? It’s become increasingly popular over the past few years. I recently discovered it and love the results! It’s particularly effective on items that have grooves, texture and curly-ques.
We’re in full vacation mode this month. If you’re like most people, you take tons of pictures; buy postcards and a few souvenirs. When you return home you download the photos to your computer (but never print out a copy), shove the postcards in a drawer and stick the souvenirs on a shelf until they get so dusty, they go in box. Such a shame, it’s the memories that keep us going until next summer.
The Fourth of July is the big kick-off for summer celebrating with parades, parties and fireworks. I generally host brunch for family and friends before we head out to celebrate Independence Day. This week I’m overbooked, so I need a table setting I can whip up at the last minute. Just because I won’t have lots of time, doesn’t mean the table won’t look fabulous!
This must be the year of babies! I know at least six couples who have had or are going to have a baby in 2015. If your find yourself invited to several baby showers this summer, consider giving a personal gift for the nursery. This little lamp is so easy you can make one for every newborn.
I have a screened-in porch that we use all summer. It’s my favorite place to be when the weather is warm. We eat, relax and entertain on our porch. Over the years, I’ve collected an assortment of wicker chairs, white and brown, old and even-older! (I personally like the patina of old, chipped paint).
I love easy DIY projects that make great gifts. This bread board iPad stand is one of them. It not only holds your iPad, or even a cook book while preparing dinner, but it looks great on the kitchen counter when not in use.
Every bride-to-be is looking for creative ways to save a few dollars when planning her big day. One way to save money is to make your own props and accessories. These DIY reception table number ideas are quick and easy!
Every grandma loves to get a gift made by the grandkids. Finding a DIY project that they can do isn’t always easy. This simple, no-sew pin cushion is sure to capture every grandma’s heart.