Up-to-the-minute style

What's new in home furnishings? Gabberts designers Becky Lepley and Lauradeen Potretzke will report back from the most recent furniture market in High Point, N.C., offering an insider's perspective on the latest design trends.

They'll present their observations at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gabberts, 3501 Galleria, Edina. The event is free, but reservations are requested at 952-928-3123 or www.gabberts.com.

New vintage shopping resource

If you love decor with a past, here's a new way to find pieces: FleaQuest, billed as the first comprehensive online guide to the nation's best vintage shopping.

Launched by Ki Nassauer, the vintage maven behind Junk Bonanza and Flea Market Style magazine, FleaQuest allows users to search by date, keyword, state and type of sale or store to locate flea markets, vintage sales, antique shops, salvage centers and other junking events. The site is interactive; users can set up pages to track their favorite sales, offer reviews and contribute listings.

FleaQuest is free and accessible by smartphone and tablet. You can find it at www.fleaquest.com.

'Mod Mixer'

Some like it modern. And those who do can find like-minded fans of modern architecture and design at the fifth annual "Mod Mixer" this week, presented by Docomomo and held at findfurnish.

The mixer celebrates local modern architecture preservation and brings members of the community together for an evening of fun and entertainment in findfurnish's new showroom.

The event, which includes hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and a drawing for a prize from findfurnish, is free and open to the public. "Mod Mixer" will be held 6-8 p.m. Thursday at findfurnish, 13 NE. 5th St., Mpls. Check for updated information at www.docomomo-us-mn.org. RVSP at the Facebook event page, "mod mixer at findfurnish."

A peek at ponds

Thinking about adding a pond or other water feature to your landscape? The Twin Cities Pond and Landscape Tour will be held Saturday and next Sunday. This year's tour will feature 12 properties showcasing the work of eight contractors.

Tour hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, with a special nightscaping tour at select sites from 9-11 p.m., and noon-5 p.m. next Sunday.

Tickets are $15 for a weekend pass to visit all 12 sites. You can buy a weekend pass in advance, online or at any Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies store or at tour sites during tour hours.

This year, for the first time, you can purchase an individual site pass to a particular pond that intrigues you if you don't have time to take in the whole tour. Individual site passes, $5, are available at all sites during tour hours only. (Ages 16 and under admitted free.) All proceeds benefit Children's Cancer Research Fund. To buy tickets and view photos and other details, visit www.tcpondand­landscapetour.com.

Patio time

Fair weather has finally arrived. It's time to fix up the patio if you have one — or create one if you don't — to provide a comfortable spot for outdoor entertaining and relaxing.

If you don't already have a patio, delegate a space that will be designated "the patio." Separate it from the rest of the back yard with stone slabs, pavers, short bushes or greenery.

For hot, sunny days, some covering — an awning or big patio umbrella — will be welcome.

Outdoor lighting will be necessary for evening, and there are many options available, from lanterns to floor lamps. Or consider strings of lights — soft white for a romantic look, or colorful for a festive look. Tiki torches around the perimeter add a casual summer feel.

For furniture, bistro tables with chairs will work nicely for eating and entertaining, while chairs and loungers are a must for relaxing outdoors. Cushions are great, but remember to bring them indoors when there are heavy rains. Yes, outdoor furniture cushions are meant to withstand the elements, but they will get moldy if not taken care of.

Privacy is also important. To block your outdoor patio from neighbors' views, try tall plants or a trellis with flowering plants growing on it, to add privacy and color to your patio.

ROSEMARY SADEZ FRIEDMANN, interior designer and author of "Mystery of Color"