Happy houseplants

Colorful indoor plants can lift your spirits during the winter months. Gertens is holding two free houseplant care workshops on Jan. 25. At noon, learn about the wide range of houseplant varieties, plus tips on repotting, soil and fertilizers. At 2 p.m., learn about choosing and caring for tropical orchids. Gertens is located at 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights. Call 651-450-1501.

DIY casting call

Are you comfortable yakking in front of a camera? Do you have an ugly, dysfunctional kitchen? You could be the perfect candidate to appear on the next season of "I Hate My Kitchen." The DIY Network series is filmed around the Twin Cities and focuses on creative, budget-friendly kitchen renovations. The best part is that the show covers the majority of the costs of a kitchen makeover.

"I Hate My Kitchen" is hosted by contractor James Young and is produced locally by Magnetic Productions. To participate, your home must be within 25 miles of downtown Minneapolis. For submission information, go to www.magneticproductions.com/casting.

New year decor

After the holiday trimmings are packed away, rooms often look bland and boring. Gabberts design pros can help you infuse energy, color and variety into your home with a seminar, "New Year, New Look," at 1 p.m. Saturday. The program is free, but registration is required at www.gabberts.com or call 952-928-3123. Gabberts is located in the Galleria, 69th St. and France Av. S., Edina.


Country Living ideas

Fans of Country Living magazine will love "The Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas" (Hearst Books, $24.95). The book is a compilation of photos from the magazine, representing its best tips and decorating advice. They include practically instantaneous transformations, such as clipping artwork to an old-fashioned drying rack or drawing chalk lines on a deck to create an outdoor chessboard, as well as bigger undertakings, such as hiding a TV above a fireplace or transforming a dresser with wallpaper. Garden ideas are included, too. Instructions are provided for some of the projects.

Kitchen redesigns

Some kitchens are beautiful. Some kitchens are functional. The best kitchens are both. Those are the kitchens Jamie Gold highlights in "New Kitchen Ideas That Work" (Taunton Press, $21.95). Gold, a kitchen and bath designer, shares a wealth of ideas and information for creating the best kitchen for the money. She helps readers determine the strengths and weaknesses of their current kitchens, make style and design choices, develop a budget and hire help. Gold also offers suggestions for layouts and schools her readers on elements such as cabinets, lighting and appliances.

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