Inspiring homes

Whether you're dreaming of building a home — or reinventing one you own — here's a chance to gain insights from the experts. Architects and homeowners will share winning strategies at "Your Home, Your Way," an evening of architecture and design presented by AIA Minnesota and the Star Tribune.

Panelists representing this year's Home of the Month selections will offer an inside look at their projects, as well as answer your questions. If you'd like a one-on-one conversation with an expert, sign up for a 30-minute consultation ($20) with a residential design professional.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. (cocktail hour), followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. on April 18 at the American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Av. S., Mpls. Admission is $20 in advance ($25 at the door), which includes a buffet of hors d'oeuvres (cash bar). Register at

Mistake-proof remodeling

Considering a bath or kitchen makeover? Crystal Kitchen + Bath is offering a free remodeling seminar, "How to Avoid the Biggest Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Mistakes." Topics will include the kitchen triangle, cabinets that maximize storage, budgeting, design trends and how to identify quality materials and service. The seminar will be held twice, at 9 a.m. and noon on April 8. Crystal Kitchen + Bath is located at 3620 Winnetka Av. N., Crystal. For details, visit

Pollinator habitat

Want to make your yard more pollinator-friendly? Learn how at "Restoring Native Pollinator Habitat," a free meeting of Wild Ones Prairie Edge Chapter. Cheryl Culbreth, a specialist in restoring and protecting native woodland habitats, will present information about making your property more appealing to pollinators and wildlife, and potentially even increasing your home's resale value. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 12 at the Eden Prairie Community Center, 16700 Valley View Rd. For more information, visit

Bird-friendly plants

Spring arrived ahead of schedule this year, and bird migration is currently underway. Migrating birds are looking for nourishment, and adding native plants to your yard, balcony, container garden or rooftop can help you attract more birds and also give them the best chance of survival in the face of climate change and urban development. For ideas on what to plant, check out the National Audubon Society's public online database, Plants for Birds, Just type in your ZIP code, and you'll get a list of native plants for your area, along with which bird species they support. If you plant it, birds will come.

Touring the city

Get to know the architecture and history of the city. The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota has developed a new series of transit-focused tours, cultural and social explorations of major train or bus routes — the Blue Line, A Line and Green Line — and their immediate surroundings. Tours will focus on the development along each corridor, and will be led by Kristin Anderson, art and architecture professor at Augsburg College. The series begins with a Blue Line tour from 9 a.m. to noon on April 22, featuring a tour of Target Field, $25. Register at


All things remodeling

You can get everything from a professional design consultation to home-selling tips at the Minneapolis Remodeling Expo, April 7-9 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S. The home show features the latest innovations and design trends in cabinetry, countertops, flooring, additions, decking, basement finishing, smart home automation, energy-efficient products and landscaping presented by remodeling and building pros. Home and garden seminars on edible, rain and fairy gardening, backyard composting, designing in 3-D, solar energy and other topics are offered throughout the weekend. Admission is $4; ages 17 and under admitted free. For details, go to

Hort society how-to

Get a jump start on your lawn and garden at two classes offered by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Don Engebretson, author and expert on landscaping and garden design, will explain his "Design Secrets to a Beautiful Yard & Garden," 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 6, Lakewood Cemetery's Mausoleum and Reception Center, 3600 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. Appetizers will be served. Cost is $20; $15 for MSHS members.

"Low-Maintenance and Environmentally Friendly Lawns" gives tips on how to be a good steward of the environment while having a thriving lawn. Topics include turf-grass species selection, soil types and preparation, fertility and watering practices and pest management, 9:30 a.m. to noon April 8, 1970 Folwell Av., Alderman Hall, Room 405, University of Minnesota, St. Paul. Cost is $35; $30 for MSHS members. To register, go to