That's not a mirage. Those actually are pieces of garden furniture on the floor at Restoration Hardware. The home store has launched its first collection for the garden, with 13 groupings of furniture as well as items ranging from fountains, lanterns and textiles to fire pits, lighting, tools, planters, plants and architectural elements. The aesthetic is European and artisanal (think patina, zinc, reclaimed wood, weathered teak), with prices that range from $15 for a hand-thrown piece of Guy Wolff pottery to $7,975 for a Provence Beam dining table and eight armchairs. Although all Minnesota stores will carry different quantities of the line, the complete portfolio can be perused at www.restorationhardware.com.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis-based Room & Board has introduced the Brisbane Collection of outdoor furniture. Eleven slipcovered pieces -- including sofas, chairs (there's a swivel model), sectionals, chaises, ottoman and furniture covers -- come with seven fabric choices such as spa and orange, pictured. Each is made from Sunbrella or Outdura weather-resistant fabric designed to not mold or mildew. Furniture pieces, constructed of marine-grade laminated birch, start at $699 for the ottoman and range to $4,200 for an L-shaped sectional. Room & Board, 7010 France Av. S., Edina, 952-927-8835; www.roomandboard.com.
... and when it does Two spring dates for crafters and repurposers: "Bloom," a spring workshop May 21-22, features classes in fabric flowers, fabric ruching, and making several kinds of necklaces from ribbon and fabric at Rose Mille in Stillwater. In addition to RM's Michelle Jorgensen, classes will be taught by Kaari Meng of the French General in Los Angeles and Candace Kling, author of "The Artful Ribbon." Meng will also sign copies of her new book, "Treasured Notions." Classes can be purchased singly or in a package; see details at www.bloominmay.com
Junkmarket Style entrepreneur Sue Whitney has teamed with Jim Schmitt of Art & Architecture with plans for "Artfully Now, Stylishly Green," an event May 5-9 in Minneapolis. Whitney said plans are to sell redesigned furniture, accessories and art. Attendees can also purchase elements for repurposing on their own, and Whitney said a series of classes -- not yet finalized -- will aim to provide "the know-how, the tools and confidence" to help. Weather-permitting, Whitney said, there will be outdoor shopping in addition to the 5,500-square-foot loft space at 3338 University Av. SE. The event, which includes Mother's Day weekend, kicks off May 5 with early buying, live auction, a demonstration by food expert Beth Dooley, appetizers, beverages and music; tickets cost $50 for entrance at 5 p.m. or $25 at 7 p.m., with net proceeds to charity. Sale tickets for the next four days cost $5 per day, classes $25, though package deals will be available for both. Mother's Day festivities include a brunch by Cupcake at the restaurant and at the sale and a free fashion show on site; details and tickets at www.aajms.com.