Latest Posts

Scream-Inducing Home DIY Horror Stories

 

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While we love a good DIY project, we’ve also seen what happens when things go south. In honor of Halloween, we’ve rounded up some home improvement horror stories that remind us that sometimes it’s better if we don’t do it ourselves. These might have you covering your eyes faster than you can say “haunted house.” 

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“When we moved into our house, it had wood paneling on the walls in the den. After 15 years of living with them, we decided we would replace them and put up textured walls. Well, we successfully took them down about two years ago. Still waiting for the motivation and money to put up those textured walls. For now, we have to live with our cardboard cave.”

— Pamela M.

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“My roommates and I tried to upgrade our couch, but in order to do so, we needed to get it out of our apartment first. Unfortunately, we never made it past our living room. The couch was too big to fit through our doorframe, and we couldn’t for the life of us figure out how to get it into pieces without destroying it AND a few of the tools along the way.”

— Casey C.

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“When my husband and I moved to our new apartment last year, the hanging light fixture in the living room was so ugly and made the room feel so small that I wanted to replace it immediately. We found a new one online and ordered it with full intentions of doing the replacement ourselves. For some reason, we decided that Friday night after a particularly long week of work was a great time to attempt this project. Taking down the current fixture was super easy, and we were pumped to get the new one up within the hour and then order dinner and relax the rest of the night.

“Three hours later, we were sweating, starving, and not speaking to each other — having completely failed at installing the new fixture. There was crumbled paint from the ceiling all over the floor where we had tried to secure it to no avail, and live wires hanging dubiously above our heads. We cleaned up the mess but weren’t able to get an electrician to come help us with the installation until Monday, so we had no light in the room the rest off the weekend while we prayed that the wires wouldn’t spontaneously spark and burn our apartment down.”

— Victoria H.

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  • More stressful than having a baby
  • Couch through window frame don’t ask
  • Horrible no fun very bad day
  • UHaul backing up oh there’s garage.
  • Shoved box spring up switchback stairs.
  • One weekend  two trips storage locked.
  • Day prior vandals removed all the doorknobs!
  • sheer disaster caused by DIY overconfidence
  • Real life “Friends” moment – Pivot! Pivot!
  • Reducing 2 bedroom to converted van.

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“I was making a paper flower wreath and the flowers were white and yellow so I thought it would be nice to spray them with some golden paint just to have a small effect of golden paint over the flowers. The result was I RUINED IT because while the top of the spray can said gold (‘Oro’), the can said tobacco color.”

— Victoria L.

In over your head with a DIY project? Avoid the Pinterest fails with help from a seasoned Tasker. 

 

Coffee Break with Treehouse Designer Daryl McDonald

In Coffee Break, we catch people who inspire us during a rare break in their busy days for a virtual coffee date. We chat about what drives their personal and professional passions, how they get reenergized at home, and what they’re currently obsessing over. 

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Credit: Nelson Treehouse and Supply

Daryl McDonald has the job we all dreamed of having as kids (and we won’t lie, it’s a job some of us still dream of having as adults). A designer and project manager for Nelson Treehouse and Supply (featured on the Animal Planet show Treehouse Masters), Daryl is one of the creative minds behind Nelson’s dreamy treetop abodes. Daryl’s start in treehouse design and construction came when he started working for Nelson Treehouse in between semesters studying political science at the University of Washington. When he weighed his post-graduate options (law school vs. building treehouses), he chose his passion and hasn’t looked back. Nowadays Daryl spends most of his time helping clients with custom designs, consultations, and working on large-scale projects like Treehouse Utopia in Texas and an upcoming resort in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. When he’s not deep in construction plans or perched on a ladder, you can still find him in nature, snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking. Read on to see where Daryl finds inspiration and what he loves most about building treehouses.

How did Nelson Treehouse and Supply come to be?

Back in the day, Pete Nelson started the company Tree-House Workshop with a partner in 1997. Around 2012, they went their separate ways and Pete started Nelson Treehouse and Supply. In 2015, we started filming Treehouse Masters on Animal Planet, and the show ended last fall. Currently, we typically have two to three jobs happening in the field at any point.

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What’s one project you’ve worked on lately, that made you come alive? 

The good thing about treehouses is that every single one is different. Nelson Treehouse’s design philosophy is that the tree itself dictates the design, so when we approach a treehouse, we take inspiration from the tree first and foremost. Obviously, client requirements come into play, but every single tree is unique and that’s why we like building treehouses. That said, a project we did in the San Juan Islands comes to mind — we got to mix different types of materials and do a modern design, which is a little bit of a departure from our usual Northwestern craftsman approach.

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A treehouse in the San Juan Islands. Credit: Nelson Treehouse and Supply

What’s one thing about carpentry that most people don’t realize? 

The good thing about carpentry is that it’s obviously not rocket science, but something people don’t realize is that in order to be proficient at it, you have to be thinking two to three steps ahead. You have to anticipate the next step so that your progress doesn’t end up conflicting.

Finish this sentence: good design is…

Inspirational and functional.

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Credit: Nelson Treehouse and Supply

What words of advice do you have for people who want to get into carpentry and woodworking? Any tips for getting started? 

Woodworking and carpentry can get very complicated very quickly, but there are so many things you can do with just a few tools. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning, but you can literally get a piece of wood and start sanding and layering and you’ve already got a project going. It’s easy to build on your successes from there. You don’t need a fully fledged workshop, the important thing is to just get started.

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Credit: Nelson Treehouse and Supply

What’s your favorite way to prepare for a busy day? What about to unwind at the end of the day? 

I’m a big list maker, so I have a pretty good checklist whenever I’m coming in to a busy day. This is important as I’m the project manager for projects happening in the field and l take care of a lot of complications with people building their own treehouses and help them with their own designs. Looking at my desk right now, I’ve got eight different projects — with all this on my plate, I’d say prioritizing is the most important way to prepare, and understanding that not everything has to get done in a single day.

As for unwinding ⁠— around here, we’re close to the mountains. It’s really nice and ideal for going out for a hike in the woods at the end of the day. There’s a Japanese term, “Shinrin-yoku”, which translates to forest bathing, that I think describes it well. Basically, it’s not necessarily hiking to get a destination but rather the idea of being somewhere and taking it in. Just being where you are, experiencing the place you’re in. The mountains are amazing and we’re lucky to have them so close by.

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Credit: Nelson Treehouse and Supply

What was the first place you called home? Your favorite place you’ve called home?

The first place I called home was Seabrook Beach, New Hampshire. I grew up there, five doors down from the beach with my family, including four sisters. It was a great place to grow up, being able to have a beach day pretty much anytime.

Currently, what are you…

  • Feeling inspired by: Nature. Our constant inspiration is always nature, and sometimes that translates into making structures in the trees. Biomimicry is a fun concept we like to take on—it always gets my creative juices going, being able to take something that occurs in nature and being able to translate it into human form, breaking things down to the most simple form.
  • Reading: The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World. I  got it from my father-in-law and just got started on it. The nice thing about treehouses and treehouse building is that it’s a combination of several different studies in a way—we start with structural engineers, and obviously we all are carpenters. And at the other end of the spectrum we have interior designers and furniture makers; it’s a cool way to combine different fields.
  • Watching: A British Design Show on Netflix called The Great Interior Design Challenge
  • Listening to: Pearl Jam. I’ve been going back through their albums and catalogue, they have an appropriate song called “In My Tree”.
  • Snacking on: This time of year, we’re eating lots of stuff from our garden. We have a good crop of green beans right now.
  • Next on your to-do list: Going back and looking at a complication for people making their own treehouse. We have some online plans on our site, and I help people adapt it to their own tree layout and figure out how to accommodate to them.
  • On your phone wallpaper: A photo from a hike my wife and I did last fall. It’s in black and white and in a local ice cave. The edges of the ice cave look kind of like they’ve been scalloped and texture dipped.
  • The messiest thing in your life: My basement. We have a small garage back there, but it’s basically become our storage space. It’s definitely our last house project; it’s where all the leftovers of our house projects go.
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Daryl and his right hand man, Rusty. Credit: Nelson Treehouse and Supply

Inspired to tackle your own dream home project? Let a Tasker help. 

Bonjour, Paris! TaskRabbit Is Now Live in France!

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TaskRabbit has already crossed the pond to the UK, but now we’ve sailed the English Channel and gone live in France! As of today, anyone in the Paris metro area looking for help with their ever-growing to-do list can get it done through TaskRabbit. All you need to do is download the TaskRabbit app on iOS and Android or visit TaskRabbit.fr to tell us what you need done, find the right Tasker for the job, and cross more items off your to-do list. 

TaskRabbit is also available at selected IKEA stores across the Paris region. Just as in the US, UK, and Canada, IKEA shoppers in the Paris metro area can use TaskRabbit’s furniture assembly services — because no matter where you are, sometimes you need a little help with that PAX closet system or the TRYSIL bed frame! 

Of course, there’s more to France than just Paris, and we’ll be rolling out out in additional cities over the next 12 months. For now, we’re bringing our vision of making everyday life easier for everyday people to one of Europe’s biggest cities. 

We’re looking forward to connecting more people who are sharing their skills and helping each other make life a little easier. To mark our debut in France, check out some interesting facts we’ve discovered about Paris! 

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  • Paris’s shortest street, the Rue des Degrés, is only 6 meters long — less than 20 feet
  • Come 2024, Paris will be one of two cities to have hosted three separate modern Summer Olympiads. Do you know the other city? Highlight here to find out: It’s London!
  • The Phantom of the Opera’s underground lake isn’t just a flight of fantasy; there really is a “lake” underneath the Palais Garnier opera house
  • Paris doesn’t have any stop signs. (It used to have one, but it’s apparently not there anymore.)

Ready to tackle that to-do list? Book a Tasker today. Interested in becoming a Tasker? Sign up here.

Fall Decor Trends We’re Loving

Ah, fall. What’s not to love about it? The changing colors of the leaves, pumpkin pie, scarves, Halloween, not to mention the crisp air. You’ve swapped out your summer dresses and shorts for cardigans and jeans, but what about the house? As summer ends and the weather cools, we’re sharing fall decor trends we’re loving for the season ahead. Try them out and tag us @taskrabbit on social media to show us how you’ve refreshed your home for fall. 

  • For a classic rustic look, go for wood furniture and wooden accents.
  • You don’t have to be limited to just wood! Marble, granite, and copper can give your living space an organic atmosphere.
  • In addition to the essential pumpkin, use wheat for a naturally textured wreath or decorations for your porch, fireplace, and mantel.
  • Aside from warm, earthy tones, don’t be afraid to incorporate a flair of deep purple and blush pink.

  • Rather than sticking to minimalist design, embrace bold splashes of color in your decor choices.
  • Display objects and decorations with a handcrafted aesthetic, like a bright throw pillow or deco art piece.
  • Mix and match your furniture to reflect your tastes and personality. Don’t stick to just one theme!

  • Don’t be afraid to stray from solid colors — incorporate plaid into your decor to evoke warmth and comfort as the weather turns colder. A plaid curtain or throw blanket add a nice touch.
  • Consider velvet for pillows or couches. This makes your room feel cozier and more luxurious.
  • Lay a patterned rug in your living room for even more of a cozy element.
  • For an extra sense of warmth, decorate with fringe, crochet, and macramé.

Ready to welcome fall in your home? Get help from a Tasker.

Task Spotlight: A Curtain Partition & Painted Bee Feeders

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At TaskRabbit, we’re constantly trying to make our homes a place we love spending time every day. That means we’re always on the lookout for home inspiration, whether it’s a small tweak that makes all the difference or a big renovation to start afresh. Most often, we find them from you. Here are some of our favorite home projects from the TaskRabbit community this week.

Have a project you completed with help from a Tasker? Share a photo using #TaskRabbit and tag us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter to be featured!

MOUNTING

NYC Tasker Andrew B. helped with a client’s home project by mounting staggered floating shelves and installing a curtain wire partition.

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ASSEMBLY

LA Tasker Mia I. spent an afternoon “making one little boy very happy with his first electric vehicle!”. Up north in the SF Bay Area, Andrew F. put together and installed a sleek IKEA storage unit.

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PAINTING

In New Haven, Tasker Scott Z. painted a beekeeper’s new feeders. “Awesome experience, can’t wait to try the honey!” he says.

 

Life projects taking on a life of their own? Book a Tasker to do away with your to-do list.

Your Most Memorable Move — in 6 Words

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Moving is both a fresh start and a huge headache. Last month, we asked you share your most memorable move in just six words for the chance win a housewarming package with $500 in TaskRabbit credit and a session with home organization gurus Life in Jeneral. Could anyone capture the agony of lifting a giant sofa up five flights of stairs or the thrill of playing Tetris with moving boxes? You certainly rose to the challenge. It was almost impossible to pick our favorites, but we managed to narrow it down to 14. Read on to see our top picks, and tell us your favorite in the comments. 

Which entry was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Moving soon? Avoid the headache with help from a Tasker.

Task Spotlight: A Grand TV & Floral Paintings

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At TaskRabbit, we’re constantly trying to make our homes a place we love spending time every day. That means we’re always on the lookout for home inspiration, whether it’s a small tweak that makes all the difference or a big renovation to start afresh. Most often, we find them from you. Here are some of our favorite home projects from the TaskRabbit community this week.

Have a project you completed with help from a Tasker? Share a photo using #TaskRabbit and tag us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter to be featured!

MOUNTING

In NYC, Tasker Andrew B. assisted a returning client in remounting their TV for better comfort. Meanwhile in LA, Tasker Mia I. helped a client hang floral paintings and install curtain rods.

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CLEANING

In NYC, Taahira G. made a client’s bathroom absolutely spotless.

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HANDYMAN

In London, a Tasker helped a client replace her bathroom doors with “pretty new ones complete with sparkly handles”.

Moving

In NYC, Tasker Andres C. played real life Tetris and won, helping a client move her belongings: “she thought it would take at least 3 trips, everything done in 1.”

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Life projects taking on a life of their own? Book a Tasker to do away with your to-do list.

Task Spotlight: White Shelves & A Sewing Project

This week at Taskrabbit blog cover (1)

At TaskRabbit, we’re constantly trying to make our homes a place we love spending time every day. That means we’re always on the lookout for home inspiration, whether it’s a small tweak that makes all the difference or a big renovation to start afresh. Most often, we find them from you. Here are some of our favorite home projects from the TaskRabbit community this week.

Have a project you completed with help from a Tasker? Share a photo using #TaskRabbit and tag us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter to be featured!

MOUNTING

In London, David W. and Mark R. had all their mounting needs sorted out by a Tasker.

Back in the states, fellow Taskers Andrew B. and Jermone C. installed what their clients’ walls needed: some beautiful shelves.

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CLEANING

In Chicago, Adiya F. spent the day making an art studio spotless.

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ASSEMBLY

It’s back to school season! Tasker Dennis V. assisted a college student by assembling a wardrobe in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Dallas Tasker Michael B. built an attractive rustic desk.

PAINTING

In Danville, Andrew F. helped a couple out by painting their atrium an impressive gray. Meanwhile in Wimbledon, a happy client had their walls painted: “Grabbed a photo in excitement before the sun set.”

Miscellaneous

In LA, Tasker Mia I. took on a creative project for a Tasker: “Fun little sewing project! Client got these beautiful Indian wall hangings as a gift for their new baby and needed to figure out how to hang them. I came in with dowels, felt, needle and thread and whipped this up and let them hang on nails.”

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Life projects taking on a life of their own? Book a Tasker to do away with your to-do list.

Task Spotlight: Guitars on Display & A Shelf of Plants

This week at Taskrabbit blog cover

At TaskRabbit, we’re constantly trying to make our homes a place we love spending time every day. That means we’re always on the lookout for home inspiration, whether it’s a small tweak that makes all the difference or a big renovation to start afresh. Most often, we find them from you. Here are some of our favorite home projects from the TaskRabbit community this week.

Have a project you completed with help from a Tasker? Share a photo using #TaskRabbit and tag us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter to be featured!

ASSEMBLY

Londoners David W. and Mark R. kickstarted their shelfie goal journey with the help of a Tasker. Now all that’s left is the mounting.

Back in the states, Tasker Barnaby D. tackled a massive industrial bed and made his client’s day. In Baltimore, fellow Tasker Jermone C. assembled a gorgeous IKEA PAX Wardrobe.

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MOUNTING

Houston Tasker Michael L. assisted a family by displaying their guitars on move in day. Similarly, Michael B. helped a client decorate and prepare for football season with some new frames.

Sarah W.’s furry pal seems to appreciate her newly mounted shelves, thanks to a Tasker. Meanwhile in NYC, Tasker Dustin H. achieved quite the feat of hanging not just one, but two of heavy mirrors.

Outdoor Tasks

“Grateful for Taskrabbit and my healing shoulder,” says Stephanie in Austin, who had a Tasker help her spread mulch.

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Life projects taking on a life of their own? Book a Tasker to do away with your to-do list.

Coffee Break with Jerry Givens, Personal Wellness & Yoga Coach

In Coffee Break, we catch people who inspire us during a rare break in their busy day for a virtual coffee date. We chat about what drives their personal and professional passions, how they get reenergized at home, and what they’re currently obsessing over. 

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Having practiced yoga and meditation since 2006, Jerry Givens is an expert at helping people find their inner peace. Previously the office manager at TaskRabbit, he’s now pursuing a full time career in teaching yoga and meditation, writing, and private coaching. Read on to learn more about how Jerry finds inspiration and creates balance in his own life.

How did you come to be a personal coach?

Personal coaching is something that I naturally fell into. After years of teaching yoga and working with students in group classes and one on one, questions about life and mental organization came to the surface for many of my students. So I took some coaching and psychology courses and made coaching a part of my offerings.

Tell us about your work style. Where do you draw inspiration, and what conditions, environment, or motivations do you need to do your best work? 

My work style depends wholly on what it is I’m working on. Being a Life Coach, Yoga Teacher, and Writer, every day and moment can be different. The one commonality is that I practice mindfulness through it all. I try to understand how my mind is working in addition to what it’s working on. This allows me to see any stuck mental patterns and course correct when necessary. I also try to know when to stop working and reset. Spending time in nature is one of my favorite ways to reset the universe in my mind. Having strong work/life balance makes sure that I’m consistently in a place where I can do my best work.

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What’s a project you’ve worked on lately (professional or personal), that made you come alive? 

Last Spring, I ran a yoga and psychology retreat in Santa Cruz, California. This touched me both personally and professionally, as I got to combine my knowledge of both yoga and psychology into one cohesive experience. Everyone who attended had a wonderful experience and it made me excited to continue with both yoga and coaching.

What’s one thing about personal wellness that most people don’t realize or address in their day-to-day lives? 

One thing that I see is many people think personal wellness has to be a dramatic shift from their current lifestyles. I think of personal wellness as small habits we incorporate. This could be meditation/mindfulness, a fitness class, choosing healthier food options, or even journaling. I find that the small shifts are the ones that have the most significance and the most staying power. Even sitting and watching your breath for two minutes a day could drastically shift someone’s overall mood. Also, I find that when these small yet significant habits are established, we naturally want to do more to be healthy.

Finish this sentence: The mind is…

…trying it’s best to help you, though it doesn’t always know how. Be gentle with yourself.

What was the first place you called home? Your favorite place you’ve called home?

Ann Arbor, Michigan is the first place I called home, though my favorite place is the San Francisco Bay Area. Between the culture, the weather, and the nature I can’t imagine living anywhere else!

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What words of advice do you have for people who want to start practicing yoga? Any tips for getting started? 

For getting started, trust that you don’t have to be good at it right away (or ever). You don’t have to be able to touch your toes, you don’t have to be flexible, you don’t have to know how to stand on your head. I really recommend that newbies start by attending a studio class, in lieu of watching youtube videos or DVDs. Like any kind of physical activity, there’s an element of risk and a teacher leading and watching you will help you to stay safe and fix any alignment issues. Other than that, just have fun with it. It’s a great way to explore your body, it’s abilities, and your relationship to it.

What’s your favorite way to prepare for a busy day? What about to unwind at the end of the day? 

For winding up, I try to meditate for at least a few minutes and drink some Earl Grey tea (my version of coffee), giving myself plenty of time to not have to rush when able. I always make myself breakfast too, no matter what. At the end of the day, I’ll hang out with my friends or roommates and share our days’ activities. Netflix is also there when all else fails.

Currently, what are you…

  • Feeling inspired by: Watching people grow and evolve

  • Reading: MISTBORN Series by Brandon Sanderson (I love fantasy)

  • Watching: WHAT/IF on Netflix

  • Listening to: CUZ I LOVE U by Lizzo

  • Snacking on: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

  • Next on your to-do list: Create more online meditation recordings for the app Insight Timer

  • On your phone wallpaper: Yosemite National Park

  • The messiest thing in your life: The novel I’m currently writing. So many ideas. So many continuity issues. Still very exciting though!