Outdoor entertaining ideas

Having a BBQ, Sunday lunch or casual Friday night drinks?

Outdoor entertaining ideas

It’s the perfect time to start thinking about heading outdoors to enjoy the longer daylight hours and warmer weather. Whether you’re hosting a casual Friday night pizza night with friends or a long Sunday lunch with the family, these summer outdoor entertaining ideas are sure to inspire you.

Prepare your outdoor entertaining area

Put your best foot forward and start by preparing your outdoor entertaining area for guests the day before your event. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and clean the patio. If your outdoor dining set hasn’t been used in a while, give it a hose and let it dry in the sun (we suggest hosing well before the event, so everything is dry in time!).

If you’re short on time or not sure where to start, get an Airtasker to take care of the lawn mowing, clearing up leaves or hosing down your outdoor furniture.

Light up your outdoor entertaining area

If you’re hosting an evening event, nothing quite makes the atmosphere as special as some pretty mood lighting. Have a fiesta with some bright, almost retro, 80s inspired coloured light bulbs, or go for a subtler look with some beautifully strung fairy lights. Lights strung across balcony railings, on tree branches, or bunched into glass jars and hung above the table are really effective.

Source: Apollo lighting

Have table centrepieces

Pretty up the table setting with a summery centrepiece. Make a colourful, fragrant centrepiece by pairing up florals with fruit. Bright colours and fresh, zingy smells like citrus will enhance the atmosphere of your outdoor entertaining area.

Source: Hampton Event Hire

Choose a theme or cuisine

No matter how big or small the get-together, it’s always nice to have a theme! If you’re having a retro party, make your next outdoor gathering a little nostalgic by serving up some traditional Aussie BBQ fare that your parents rocked about 30 years ago such as the cob loaf dip.

Go the extra step by decorating the area, setting up a photo booth, and get in the mood for a party.

Set up a drinks station

Set up a ‘serve yourself’ drinks station for your lunch or dinner party – buckets, a wheelbarrow, a table, your kid’s billy kart or even a small boat filled with ice are great options for serious entertainers. Not only will it look great, but you’ll take some of the effort out of hosting by getting guests to help themselves.

Source: thelittlelendingcompany

Keep the mozzies away

The humid, muggy weather we know and love summer for, brings with it an inevitable plague of insects. Keep your guests comfortable by fighting off the mosquitoes and midges with mozzie coils or citronella oil. If you want to be really clever about your lighting, centrepieces and insect repellent, you could make your own citronella candle table piece.

Source: The DIY Network

 

Play some tunes

Set the ambience by putting on some background music. It will help carry the conversation and create a good mood (and fill the gaps if awkward silences occur). Acoustic guitar covers work well for a relaxed evening under the stars, a hired jukebox will crank up the party for a significant birthday, and a live band will take your engagement party to the next level.

Cook up a storm on the BBQ

Speaking of BBQs… what is outdoor entertaining without a BBQ? Any type of BBQ will do the job; so long as it’s got a flat plate and a grill plate, you can do almost anything on it! Think summery, spicy, skewers, gourmet sausages, minute steaks, whole baked fish and chicken wings. Or if the weather calls for it, do a roast (beer can chicken is a favourite) and serve it up with a sensational salad and some BBQ sweet chilli corn.

We hope you enjoy these summer outdoor entertaining ideas. Let us know if you have any more!

Tape measure tricks for all handymen & renovators

It's one of the most practical inventions ever, full of hidden features you probably never knew existed!

Tape measure tricks for all handymen & renovators

How are your tape measure skills? Surprisingly, a tape measure is one of the most practical inventions ever, full of hidden features you probably never knew existed that will make the odd DIY home improvement job so much easier! Check out all the things your tape measure can do:

The ‘screw grab’

You probably already knew that you could hook (or clip) the end of a tape measure over the edge of a surface and walk backwards to extend the tape out, but have you ever wondered what that little slot in the metal hook is for? That little slot is a ‘nail and screw grab’, which neatly slips over the flat head of a nail or screw to help you hold the tape in place when you’re flying solo.

tape measure nail screw grabSource: diy house help

The scribing tool

Another neat little feature that makes home repairs and odd jobs easier is the serrated edge of the metal hook on the end of a tape measure (not all have them, so check). By dragging it back and forth on a surface, you can mark out a measurement down to the millimetre.

tape measure serrated hook
Source: AXMINSTER Tools & Machinery

The hook has ‘play’

Clearly, the hook must be our favourite part of the tape measure because we keep talking about it, but here’s one more…  You’ll notice the hook on the end of the tape has some ‘play’ or wiggle room on it, and the end centimetre of the tape may be slightly smaller than a true centimetre. This is because depending on whether you’re measuring on the outside or inside of something, you’ll want the hook thickness to either be counted as part of the measurement or not; therefore, there is movement each way of about a millimetre or so. This movement is called ‘play’.

Tip: Most tape measures come already calibrated for accurate measurements, but depending on how critical the measurement you need is, you might want to check how much ‘free play’ is allowed and calibrate the tape.  Getting this done professionally can be a costly exercise, so why not get one of Airtasker’s expert Handymen to take a look at it for you for a great price?

tape measure hook play
Source: AXMINSTER Tools & Machinery

The tape has measurements

Well duh! But seriously, stay with us…  We live life by the metric system here in Australia, but it is still common for imperial measurements to pop up every now and then, such as the plans you got off the internet. So it’s quite handy that tape measure tapes are often marked out by centimetres and inches, and broken down further into fractions (e.g. 1/4 inch).

stanley tape measure
Source: AXMINSTER Tools & Machinery

The length of the tape measure ‘housing’ counts

The housing (i.e. the hand held container that ‘houses’ the tape) can actually be a very handy sidekick for home repair jobs. If you’ve ever tried to measure the inside length of something, you’ll know it can be quite difficult.

Well, good news – the housing of the tape measure is often marked with a measurement of length (e.g. 10cm) that you can use to make life a bit easier. Instead of trying to measure the inside of something corner to corner by bending the tape, position the tape measure inside and draw the length of the tape out from surface to surface. Take note of the measurement on the tape (e.g. 65cm) and add it on to the length of the tape measure housing (65cm + 10cm = 75cm)… and voila, accurate measurements!

tape measure body inner length cornersSource: AXMINSTER Tools & Machinery

Some tape measures are better than others

Depending on what you want to use it for, there are different lengths of tape measures available that are better for some jobs than others. For example, an 8m tape is great for the hobbyist doing small home improvement jobs like cabinetry, but for bigger jobs like outdoor and construction, you might need something longer and possibly stronger.

You can get tape measures with magnetic hooks, blade locking mechanisms, and ones that can do a ‘stand out measure’ for hooking objects far away (i.e. you stand in one spot, and use your hand to extend the tape; it holds its weight and extends horizontally). This is getting into advanced handyman territory though; watch yourself!

tape measure range
Source: Pro Tool Reviews

Now that you’re armed with insider information, it’s time to show your tape measure skills off to your friends. Have you got any other tape measure tricks to share with the rest of us amateurs?

The most annoying home repairs

You either love them or hate them, but home repairs are a must when you own a home.

The most annoying home repairs

Owning a home is an exciting life achievement but after initial the excitement wears off and you settle in, you’ll realise that the upkeep is constant with cleaning, gardening and home repairs.  Some repairs are simple and enjoyable, others a little more complicated – it all depends on the building quality.

Here are some of the more annoying home repairs you should be prepared for in your home:

Leaking roof

Check the condition of your roof at least a few times a year, even if there are no obvious signs of leakage.  Hail storms, shoddy construction and UV damage can weaken the structure of your roof and allow water to get in.

Water leads to water damage, water damage leads to electrical damage, electrical damage leads to your house burning down… For Pete’s sake, if you find a leak, fix it ASAP!

It’s probably best to leave this one to the professionals. Hire a roof specialist or appropriately qualified Handyman to check and repair your roof (and clean out the gutters while they’re up there).

roof home repairs
Source: Wikimedia

Squeaking floor boards

Floorboards are easy to maintain and look great but when you hear them squeaking as you walk around, it can get a bit annoying and not to mention worrying.

For a quick fix, use some talcum powder in between to stop the rubbing. If that doesn’t do it, you’ll need to secure them properly.

Door damage from pets

Do you have cats or dogs? Unless they’re extremely well trained you’re almost guaranteed that at some point that they’ll destroy your doors. Whether it’s by scratching up the wood or slashing through the fly screen, cute little claws can equal annoying door and fly screen repairs.

If it’s a small rip, some clear nail polish will do the trick to keep it closed until it needs to be completely replaced.

For door scratches, if they are shallow you should be able to sand them back and paint over or stain again. However, doors are relatively cheap so you could simply replace it and not put in the hard work.

Remove wall paper

Tacky wallpaper needs to go (and fast!) and it’s something that you can easily do yourself with a steamer or removing agent, knife and perforator.

Then you’re free to put up new beautiful wallpaper or repaint.

Dripping taps

Nothing is worse than when you’re trying to sleep and all you can hear is the tap drip non-stop. First thing is to try to replace the washer that’s worn out. If that doesn’t do the job, check out the manufacturer’s website and see if they have some notes on how to repair it.

Clogged drain pipes

After a big storm, it’s really important to make sure that your gutters are clear of debris and rubbish so that the water can drain easily. You’ll also need to check that it’s not pooling, which you can easily do with a garden hose.

If it is you might need to adjust them or if a whole side is bad, replace it.

Unfinished home repairs

One of the biggest peeves, especially for those who have just purchased a home, is having to repair unfinished work. Nothing is worse than having a missing tile staring at you because it was removed six months ago to get to a hidden pipe, then never replaced.

bathroom tile home repairs
Source: Lowe’s

Patching holes in the wall

It seems so easy; mix ‘A’ with ‘B’, pop it on the wall and ‘Hey presto!’, the wall is fixed! If you think this is how holes are patched, you might be in for a rude shock…

If you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter how many times you scrape that goop, it won’t be right. You’ll be left with ridges and lumps, and then you’ll have to sand it and paint it.

We suggest that if you’re short on time, you just hire a professional and step back and watch the magic. You’ll save yourself a tin of goop and a lot of frustration.

wall home repairsSource: How To Specialist

If you’d like some help with completing any annoying home repairs, why not try out the services of an Airtasker Handyman? They’re multi-skilled, readily available and will get the job done in no time.

Lawn care for Sydney homes

Looking for the best advice on selecting lawn turf and determining the right lawn care routine? Here is a basic "Lawn care for Sydney homes"

Lawn care for Sydney homes

Looking for the best advice on selecting lawn turf and determining the right lawn care routine? Here is a basic guide for Sydney.

Choosing lawn for Sydney

Start off on the right foot by actually choosing a lawn that suits your Sydney home.  Choosing your lawn is not just a matter of selecting a style that looks and feels good. There are a number of considerations you need to make so you can choose a variety that will do well in Sydney.

  • Turf selection should be based on the hours of sunlight your lawn receives and Sydney temperatures and climate.
  • You should choose a variety based on expected wear and tear (i.e. will there be lots of foot traffic from people or family pets?).
  • You should consider whether you’d prefer a low maintenance lawn as opposed to a low cost lawn.
  • If you’re located somewhere by the water like Manly or the Northern Beaches, you should consider a variety that tolerates salt well.
  • The size of your lawn plays a factor too; small urban gardens in Sydney often get a lot of shade and are surrounded by pavers (which grass can spread into, i.e. ‘lawn invasion’).

Tip: Lawn Solutions Australia have a handy online lawn selector as a starting point for deciding on which lawn to grow in Sydney and surrounds, but as there are hundreds of varieties available, we recommend getting a local lawn professional to help you choose your grass.

lawn turf sydney
Source: The Telegraph

Lawn care in Sydney

Sydney’s temperate climate with mild winters and sunny days calls for a considerate maintenance approach.  Here’s a basic guide on what maintenance tasks to do when.

Fertilising

Regardless of your location, fertilising should be avoided in periods of hotter weather. Fertilising can actually cause a lot of stress to your lawn, and it’s important that after fertilising, you give your lawn a good watering so it doesn’t burn. In Sydney, it’s recommended that fertilising be avoided from January to March (Sydney Lawn and Turf).

Weed spraying

As for most areas, it’s recommended that weed spraying be undertaken in the cooler months. Sydney Lawn and Turf recommend weed control being done from May to September. In the warmer months, you’ll probably find that faster grass growth and thatching is enough to keep weeds at bay anyway.

Top dressing

Top dressing your lawn should only be done in the ‘growing’ season. i.e. when you need to mow it weekly (Lawn Solutions Australia). In Sydney, the best time for top dressing is Spring, so September to November is perfect (Sydney Lawn and Turf).

sydney lawn careSource: Flickr

Watering your lawn in Sydney

Sydney’s Water Wise Rules have specific guidelines about how and when you can water your lawn. If you’re using Sydney Water provided water, to establish a new lawn, you are allowed to use a sprinkler at any time of the day for 14 days after you’ve laid new turf. After that, you can use a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, or a sprinkler or irrigation system either before 10am, or after 4pm, on any day of the week. If needed, you can also use a bucket or watering can to water your lawn at any time (but that could get tedious!). The alternative to using Sydney Water is having your own rainwater tank, at which you can use to water your lawn at any time.

lawn care sprinkler
Source: Public Domain Pictures

We have some great lawn maintenance tips for summer that your lawn will appreciate.

Inground vs Above ground pool tips & inspiration

Thinking of splashing out and getting a pool installed for summer? If you can’t decide between an inground or above "Inground vs Above ground pool tips & inspiration"

Inground vs Above ground pool tips & inspiration

Thinking of splashing out and getting a pool installed for summer? If you can’t decide between an inground or above ground pool, here’s some tips and inspiration.

above ground pool inspiration
Image credit: Annette O’Brien via the The Design Files

Pool cost

The cost is usually the reason people choose an above ground over an inground pool; they’re generally a cheaper option and can come readily available in a kit. Inground pools are expensive to purchase and install, so expect to pay anywhere in the vicinity of $25,000+ (Compass Pools) for the most cost efficient choice. Above ground pools are definitely less expensive; depending on the surface material or kit purchased, you’re looking at a couple of thousand dollars (plus), but you should check to make sure the installation cost and full equipment kit (i.e. pumps, etc.) is included (hi pages).

hamptons style pool
Hamptons style inground poolspiration.
Source: Home bunch

pool shape options
One of the benefits of choosing inground is the endless options for shapes and sizes.
Source: Angie’s list

repurposed dumpster pool
There are endless ideas online for repurposing items, even to use as pools! This one is a repurposed dumpster.
Image credit: Stephan Beese via HGTV

Property value

If you live in a warmer climate, having a pool could potentially do wonders for your property valuation; it adds an aesthetic of relaxation and luxury to your home. But is it worth it, and does the fact of whether it’s an inground or above ground style matter? Well, that depends on the market and how much you might need to spend in order to leverage any increased property value (Aussie Home Loans). There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question; it’s best to do some research or speak to a local property agent.

pool with fire pit
Fire pit features are on trend.
Source: HGTV

pool with spa
Spas are still popular drawcards and work well in inground pools
Source: Austin Elite Home Design

But aren’t above ground pools ugly?

Some people shy away from above ground pools based on the misconception that having an above ground pool in your backyard can ruin the aesthetic of your property. But really, it all depends on what you have to work with. If you’ve got a sloped backyard that is otherwise unusable, an above ground pool is perfect for utilising this space, and can add a great deal of style to your property.

above ground pool inspiration
Proof that above ground pools can make a property look beautiful: Timber decking kits can easily be installed and can even give the illusion of an inground pool.
Source: Minimalisti

above ground pool
Create a stunning above ground pool with contemporary design.

Source: Pinterest

Maintenance

Above ground and inground pools usually require the same level of effort, and the same approach to maintenance tasks, so costs can be comparable.  It also comes down to the surface material of your pool (i.e. vinyl, fiberglass, etc.), whether it’s salt or chlorine, and your maintenance routine. If you consider the fact that an inground pool is a permanent fixture on your property, it could be more expensive in the long term to resolve issues if they occur (Pool pricer).

Tip: There a number of basic pool maintenance tips you should know and budget for; Airtasker have a number of pool professionals available to help.

landscaped pool
Plants and landscaping around edges look great but might require some extra attention and care. Landscape with plants and grass that are resistant to saltwater, or hose poolside plants off with fresh water after splashing.  
Source: designrulz

So perhaps we haven’t helped much with your decision making… have you got any other poolspiration or above ground vs inground advice to share?

Pool Maintenance Tips You Should Know

One of our favourite pass times at this time of year is hanging out by the pool. Make sure it’s in "Pool Maintenance Tips You Should Know"

Pool Maintenance Tips You Should Know

One of our favourite pass times at this time of year is hanging out by the pool. Make sure it’s in top nick by following these handy pool maintenance tips.

pool maintenance clarity pineapple
Source:  Pexels

Regular pool maintenance and cleaning

The key to keeping your pool healthy, in good condition and enjoyable is to keep it clean. Having a pool pump, filters, and a creepy crawly or automatic vacuum system on a daily cycle will definitely help this process along, but it is still necessary to perform some regular cleaning tasks.

Skim the surface

Every couple of days, you should skim the surface of the pool to remove bugs, leaves and other debris.  It only takes about 10 minutes if you keep the routine up.

Clean the filter

You need to clean the filter basket out regularly, but don’t make it ‘too clean’. According to How stuff works, a clean filter is less efficient than a slightly dirty one because having some grit in it will actually help ‘trap’ other dirt particles.

Scrub the pool

To prevent algae blooms and stains, you need to scrub or brush the sides, steps and bottom of the pool regularly. Pool maintenance professionals recommend doing this anywhere from once a week to once a fortnight, depending on your pool.

Tip: If you have stubborn algae stains that won’t brush off, try soaking an old sock or rag with chlorine and using it as a hand-held ‘scrubbing brush’.

Chuck in a tennis ball

A hot tip for keeping your pool as clean as possible is to throw in a tennis ball so it’s fibrous covering catch surface gunk and oils like sunscreen residue.

pool maintenance scoop
Source: Homestructions

Keep an eye on the water level

Maintaining your pool’s optimum water level is important so you know how much chemical to put in it to keep it clean and clear.  Aim to have the water level about half way up the opening of your skimmer (of inground pools); this is a good way to visually check the level and will ensure the skimmer can function properly. Evapouration and splashing will be the most common causes of water level fluctuations, but in some cases excessive water loss might be due to a leak. If you suspect a leak, try the DIY bucket test.

pool maintenance water level
Source:  Pool Pump Timers

Water testing and chemicals

To ensure water has clarity, is clean and safe (i.e. bacteria-free) and doesn’t irritate skin, you need to keep on top of your pool’s water health. Desirable PH levels, acidity and alkalinity depend on whether your pool is chlorinated or salt water, the pool design, the climate you live in and how you use the pool. It is best to get a pool maintenance professional to inspect your pool and its equipment, conduct comprehensive tests, and provide you with advice on your ideal chemical levels and ingredients, and a required care schedule. From there, you can take care of regular water testing and chemical maintenance using easy to use DIY water testing kits (available online and from pool supply stores).

Tip: After a summer storm, your pool is likely to have more debris in it than usual and be out of whack from changing water levels and temperatures. As soon as possible after a storm, you should clean it out and test and sanitise the water to prevent a bacteria outbreak.

pool maintenance water testing
Source:  Alibaba

Once a year, it’s a good idea to get a pool service professional to come out and do full check over of your pool heath and pool equipment; try an Airtasker pool expert for great service and results.

Lunch food delivery in Sydney CBD

Already in holiday mode and forgot your lunch this week? Airtasker can do lunch delivery in the Sydney CBD.  We’ve "Lunch food delivery in Sydney CBD"

Lunch food delivery in Sydney CBD

Already in holiday mode and forgot your lunch this week? Airtasker can do lunch delivery in the Sydney CBD.  We’ve got some great lunch food delivery options for you right here!

Organising lunch food delivery with Airtasker

The beauty of hiring an Airtasker for lunch food delivery is you choose your delivery price and you don’t have to worry about them finding a loading zone to do drop off in the busy CBD streets. They can drive, cycle, scoot, rock the public transport or get around on foot.

Brunch it up!

Didn’t get time to start the day right? Organise an early lunch food delivery task on your phone between morning meetings; easy!

Baked goodsBourke Street bakery in Surry Hills do a delightful croissant and coffee, the ultimate Sydney sider’s combination for a late morning pick me up.

Burritos! – The crew at Vargabar Espresso in Newtown are rumoured to do a mean breakfast burrito with a dash of tabasco; perfect, especially if you’re still feeling a little shady after yesterday’s work Christmas party.

Bowls – If acai bowls are your thing, check out the menu at Zilia; their acai bowls are awesome, but you might be tempted to try the coconut bowl!

Source: insatiablemunch via Flickr

Japanese, yes please!

Light and flavoursome – Japanese will always be the ultimate lunch ‘go to’ option, especially when you don’t have a hankering for anything else.

Sushi – Due to its popularity, it is so easy to access across the Sydney CBD and of good quality, at competitive prices. Takumi in Haymarket are a popular choice, and Sushi Rio on Sussex St do $3.50 plates off the train (excluding sashimi).

Creative Japanese – May we suggest something a little adventurous? Enter One tea lounge & grill on York St. They have a self-proclaimed obsession with matcha and serve up an exciting menu featuring matcha poke (fish salad) and ramen burgers. They’re serving lunch from 11:30am til 3pm, Tuesday to Friday.

lunch food delivery sushi
Source: Wikimedia

Burgers, fries, wings… all the good things

Mountains of cheese, brioche buns, meat patties, bacon, pickles and sauce… Artery clogging burgers… you have so many options to choose from in Sydney. Throw in some fried chicken, dirty fries, ridiculous shakes and you’ll be on your way to a decent food coma. Try Bare Grill on Bourke St, The Milk Bar by Café Ish, or Bar Luca.

lunch food delivery gourmet burgers
Source: Lady & Pups

Grab some groceries

Are you on team lunch duty to celebrate this month’s office birthdays, but don’t have time to tear yourself away from your desk and do the shop? Well get what you want, when you want, from wherever you want by sending an Airtasker out to do the grocery shop for you. Coles, Woolies, Thomas Dux (oh la la, fancy Woolies), your favourite providore… they’re all in reach. You could even get your Airtasker to sneak by your favourite bottle shop to pick up something festive for the team… it is December after all! #cheers

lunch food delivery groceries
Source: Pexels

Dessert

Finished your salad, burger, burrito (insert any of the options above) and need something sweet to finish off your meal? Airtasker to the rescue!…

Donuts! – Traditional cinnamon, glazed, baked, Eurpoean style, and all of the fun, eclectic options are available to you when you’ve got your own personal donut scout. Check out Buzzfeed’s ode to Sydney donuts for inspiration.

Lorraine’sLorraine’s Patisserie on George St have you sorted for cakes, tarts, heavenly chocolate eclairs, biscuits, pastries, all the goods things really… The lemon tart has the right amount of tang with a crispy puff pastry shell.

Gelato Messina – Summertime vibes (or all year round, really) call for a good scoop of gelato. Gelato Messina are on Airtasker’s list of favourite food delivery tasks.  Heads up, optimal travel time for your gelato is less than 35mins.

lunch food delivery donuts
Source: Pinterest

When you’re setting up the task, make sure you are clear about your pick up and drop off location, and whether the cost of the goods needs to be handled by the Airtasker, or if you’ve prepaid for your order already. Let us know if you have any more suggestions for your favourite Airtasker lunch delivery in Sydney CBD.

Apartment balcony inspiration

Taking in the city skyline from your apartment balcony is an enjoyable way to pass the time. Whether your balcony "Apartment balcony inspiration"

Apartment balcony inspiration

Taking in the city skyline from your apartment balcony is an enjoyable way to pass the time. Whether your balcony is open or closed, small or large, you can style it and make it functional for many different pass times. Here’s some apartment balcony inspiration.

wooden flooring apartment balcony
Source: Pinterest

Beautiful apartment balcony gardens

Having some greenery on your balcony is magic; it’s good for the soul and looks beautiful. You can get very creative with designing an apartment balcony garden that suits you.  Having vertical gardens, planters that hang on balcony railings, potted plants and mini urban vegetable gardens are some great ways to achieve a sense of nature. Succulents are big right now, and the cactus is making a comeback; you’ve got so many options!

Airtasker have fantastic garden experts available to help you design, establish and maintain your apartment balcony garden. Also, if you’re into growing your own vegetables and herbs, check out our advice on apartment vegetable gardening.

apartment balcony garden inspiration
Source: Pinterest

Create some privacy

If you can see straight into your neighbour’s apartment, they can probably see right into yours. The addition of a privacy screen will give you a little extra seclusion, especially in built up areas. You can purchase privacy screens, or create your own stylish aesthetic by planting bamboo, building up a vertical garden or training crawling jasmine around the edge of your balcony railings. Leave a little space so you don’t completely block out the sunshine, or have your screen mobile.

apartment balcony privacy
Source: City Farmhouse

Designated ‘chill zone’

We love the idea of positioning a comfortable little day bed on your balcony so you can relax and unwind in your own dreamy balcony enclave.  There are some beautifully made weatherproof day beds and outdoor sofa options around. Style your ‘chill zone’ with the addition of a little side table or drink holder, some scatter cushions and a soft throw. It’ll be the perfect place to get into a good book, or admire the horizon on sunset with a glass of wine.

apartment balcony day bed
Source: Sea of Shoes

Laze back in a hammock

Alright, this probably belonged in the ‘chill zone’ section, but who can beat a hammock? If it’s not possible to be strung between two coconut palms on a tropical island, then why not on your balcony? If you really wanted the whole resort style shebang, you could have a little wading pool on your balcony too.

apartment balcony hammock
Source: NORD no.27

Create an entertainer’s nook

All you need to create the ultimate entertainer’s nook is a drinks cart, along with a little mountable bench or table for nibbles, and some fun lighting. Invite your guests to take a seat on your carefully chosen outdoor chairs, or scatter some cushions around so they can lean back against the wall and look up at the night sky while taking in the intelligent conversation. If you’ve got the space, a small BBQ will fit right in too!

apartment balcony entertainer's nook
Source: BLOGLOVIN’

Bring the backyard to the balcony

Have you got a boring cement slab balcony on the second floor?  You don’t have to feel limited to working with what you’ve got; all you need is a little inspiration!  You could liven it up by creating a ‘patio’ with some temporary wooden flooring, or by laying down some faux grass (this is very trendy according to every rooftop bar there ever was in Melbourne!).

apartment balcony grass astro-turf
Image credit: nellygoing via Buzzfeed

We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas, and would love to hear more suggestions from you on how to redesign and fall in love with your apartment balcony.

Personalise your big day with unique wedding ideas

Personalising your wedding is not just about stamping your name everywhere or ‘doing it yourself’. It’s about sentiment and celebrating "Personalise your big day with unique wedding ideas"

Personalise your big day with unique wedding ideas

Personalising your wedding is not just about stamping your name everywhere or ‘doing it yourself’. It’s about sentiment and celebrating yourselves as a couple in the most ‘you’ way there is. Some inspiration for unique wedding ideas never goes astray.

unique wedding dog guest
Source: The Budget Savvy Bride 

Personalised vows

If you’re not feeling the stock standard “to have and to hold, from this day forward…”, why not personalise your wedding vows? What could be more personal than writing, saying, signing or even singing your vows straight from your heart?  You can still pay your respects to tradition, embrace your religion, and have a little fun at the same time. Is the trick to cheering your loved one up to always have a robust supply of cheese in the house? Promise to do so! Would it mean the world to your significant other to learn how to speak their native tongue? If so, why not learn and surprise them by saying your vows in their language?

unique wedding vows
Image credit: Megan Clouse via BRIDES 

Wear your mum’s wedding dress

If you’re a bride who’d like to wear something very special, you could wear your mother or grandmother’s wedding dress if it’s still around. Most of our older generations were married 20+ years ago now, so keepsake wedding dresses are sure to be unique. Vintage, lacey, flowing frocks can be worn as they were or modified by a skilled tailor to create a truly bespoke look.

Alternatives to the traditional wedding cake

Is cake not really your thing? Take some creative license with your ‘cake’ and instead of the traditional fruit cake or mud choices, why not have a ‘cheese cake’? Literally… a cake made of cheese wheels, stacked upon each other. What about a donut wall? They’re fun and decorative! Or no cake at all… maybe just some nice dessert, or a night cap? Whatever suits you and your partner’s taste.

unique wedding donut wall
Source: Revista Bacanal

Get a friend to marry you

Some couples are lucky enough to know a close family friend, a friend of a friend, or religious figure who is legally able to marry them. But some are not. Being married by a complete stranger can feel a little uncomfortable for some people. If there is a special person in your life who you’d love to be involved in your big day in a very special way, you could look into getting them certified to become a marriage celebrant. It is a little bit expensive though, so it’s not for everyone… but it is a nice thought.

unqiue wedding ideas
Image credit: Tyler Jones via BRIDES

Playlist by request

Let your guests personalise your wedding too by letting them pick the playlist. Many online wedding websites and apps have the functionality built in for your guest to contribute to the big day by uploading song requests and photos. Imagine the fun you’ll have dancing away to the Eagle Rock, a classic chosen my your great Aunt Betty…

unique wedding playlist
Image credit: Alice Q Style via Intimate Weddings

Unique wedding florals

When it comes to something to hold onto, or have in your hair, or dress the tables with, there are so many more choices than your traditional floral bouquets and table centrepieces. Some left-field trends to try include baby’s breath, bunches of herbs (rosemary and lavender are beautiful choices), succulents, cotton or even fruit!

unique wedding bouquets
Source: My Wedding

If you need help with planning or hosting your unique wedding, you’ll find some expert wedding professionals on Airtasker.

New parent’s guide to cleaning

If you’re coming into or recently inducted into parenthood, you already know that you’re in for an amazing time and "New parent’s guide to cleaning"

If you’re coming into or recently inducted into parenthood, you already know that you’re in for an amazing time and a hell of a ride.  You’ll settle into your new baby cleaning routine soon enough, but in the meantime, we’ve got a guide to cover some essential ‘new parent cleaning’ tips.

Deoderiser for nappy bins

Babies are cute as, but sometimes when they go number 2 (or number 3, or the dreaded number 4…) they have a special way of making a stink. You’ll come to realise soon enough that rose coloured glasses won’t mask the smell of spent nappies and wipes. Keep baby changing areas smelling nice and fresh by cleaning the nappy bucket with a homemade deoderiser. There are plenty of recipes you can try online that use everyday household products like baking soda.

new parent cleaning nappy bins
Source: Pottery Barn Kids

How to sterilise a bottle

It’s recommended by many health authorities to sterilise bottles before and after use, to ensure your baby is protected from unnecessary, harmful bacteria growth. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to sterilise items is to boil them.

To do this:

  • Disassemble and clean the items as you normally would.
  • Place them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover.
  • Bring to a rapid boil for at least 5 minutes.
  • Allow everything to cool, then carefully remove the bottle bits and drain them dry on a sterile bottle drying rack or surface.
  • Store them safely for their next use.

You can use the same method for other items that’ll end up in your little one’s mouth, like dummies.

Pregnancy, Birth & Baby has more informative advice on cleaning and sterilising baby bottles.

cleaning baby bottles
Source: Lifefactory via Amazon

Cleaning cloth nappies

If you’ve chosen to go down the cloth nappy path, there are things you can do to ensure your baby has the cleanest, comfiest bottom around.

  1. First, before putting anything in the washing machine, you should remove any solids (flush it or bin it).
  2. Choose your detergent – you can help prevent rashes by using a sensitive skin detergent or by making your own using non-toxic, eco-friendly ingredients.
  3. Most parents swear by a hot wash (two for extra nasty nappies).
  4. Hang on the line to dry then finish the nappies off in the clothes dryer if you have one, to ensure they’re super sanitised and soft.

Stripping nappies

‘Stripping’ is a common term used to describe a method to get persistent stains out (urine, poop and even minerals from water). It involves soaking the offending nappies in a seriously hot tub of water mixed with a detergent appropriate to the material your nappies are made out of. You generally soak the nappies for up to 8 hours or overnight before draining the liquid and running them on a hot wash cycle.

cleaning cloth nappies
Source: Wikimedia

The easiest way to clean a high chair

High chairs + baby + meal time = a complete mess! You will be forever cleaning up the high chair, the area around it, and potentially the room it sits in, so having an effective cleaning approach is a necessity. Multi-tasking while you do a good clean is a parenting win!

  1. Once your little one is done eating (read: painting the high chair), use a warm, damp cloth to wipe as much gunk off the tray, chair ‘and everywhere’ that you can.
  2. Spray the tray, handles, harness, straps and seat with a cleaning product of your choice (commercial or homemade).
  3. Leave the chair for a minute or two: bath angel baby, call your mother, have a meal yourself…
  4. Once the mess has somewhat ‘softened’, use a damp cloth with a splash of white vinegar to wipe away the mess and any residual product. It should come off nice and easy (if not, repeat).

cleaning a highchair
Source: Pinterest

If you’d like some help getting your cleaning routine down pat from an experienced parent and domestic cleaner, or just want some help around the house when your baby arrives, you’ll find what you’re looking for on Airtasker’s cleaning network.

6 Awesome fridge tips and tricks

Is cleaning and organising the fridge your least favourite chore? We have scoured the internet for the best tips and "6 Awesome fridge tips and tricks"

6 Awesome fridge tips and tricks

Is cleaning and organising the fridge your least favourite chore? We have scoured the internet for the best tips and tricks to help you stay on top of your fridge situation; here are six of our favourites.

1.   Clean your fridge religiously

Exactly what you didn’t want to hear, right? To keep your refrigerator in tip top condition, you need to keep it clean so it can function properly; and the more often you do it, the less effort involved.  If you only clean it out once or twice a year, you might find it has to work harder to keep things cool. Having a shelf full of expired products that you’ll never be able to use is a waste of space and energy. Do a basic clean just once a month, and you’ll find your fridge functions better, and looks much more inviting!

Tip: Using a food safe solution to wipe your fridge out regularly is a good idea. Try a commercial product like Vanilla Fresh (or mix up your own DIY solution); it’ll tidy up surfaces and deodorise things nicely.

DIY vanilla fridge wipe
Source: CHUBBY HUBBY

2.   Sort your fridge with baskets

Using small baskets to sort different products on shelves and in doors (and even in the freezer) is an awesome way to get some organisation going in your refrigerator.  Not only will using baskets help you sort the contents of your fridge, but the base of the basket also acts as a protectant layer to capture any spills or food mess; instead of having to clean a whole shelf when the milk leaks, you can just clean the basket. You could even have a basket for nutritious snacks to help keep you on track with a healthy eating plan.

fridge basket
Source: HAPPY go lucky

3.   Label everything

Using labels on baskets, shelves, doors, and drawers is an excellent way to achieve fridge utopia! Labelling by product category, meal type or by ‘use by’ date are popular fridge organisation ideas. You can do this in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry!

fridge labels
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

4.   Put things in the right spot

You can actually optimise the shelf life of your refrigerator contents by storing products in the best spot possible. Squawkfox has a fantastic guide on what to store where in your refrigerator. For example, don’t store milk in the fridge door because the temperature fluctuates too much. Instead, store it on a middle shelf.

fridge organisation
Source: Squawkfox

5.   Keep a list of the contents on the door

What smarter way to shop than having a full view of what you do and don’t have? Make use of the space on your outer fridge door by keeping an inventory of what you’ve got and what you need.  Some popular ideas include using magnetic shopping lists, white board markers, or even painting the door with blackboard paint.

Get the DIY tutorial for a blackboard fridge door from The Kurtz Corner.

fridge door lists
Source: The Kurtz Corner

6.  Use a Lazy Susan

What a brilliant idea; a spinning mini shelf in your refrigerator! By using a Lazy Susan to organise your condiments, canned and jarred items, you can easily see and reach what you’ve got available to top your gourmet sandwich with.

fridge lazy susan
Image credit: UNIKIA via Apartment Therapy

Airtasker have a great network of experienced domestic cleaners with some awesome fridge tips and tricks up their sleeve! Let them do your fridge cleaning and organisation for you.

Summer gardening tips

It's hot and dry or humid and wet. So how do we look after our garden in summer?

Summer gardening tips

Summer is almost here! Your lawn is probably growing like crazy already, and staying on top of maintenance at this time of year can be time-consuming. Here are some tips to help make Summer gardening a breeze.

Water your garden efficiently

In most regions of Australia, our Summers are a little on the warm side. Heat and evaporation rates are at their peak during the middle of the day, which can cause your plants to stress and wilt. It’s best to water your plants and lawn either first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon. This way, the water will have a better chance to soak into the ground, instead of evaporating straight away. Giving your thirsty garden a decent drink at cooler times of the day is also an efficient use of water.

summer gardening watering
Source: Homestructions

Bee-friendly summer gardening

A lot of fruit and vegetables in your garden probably require bee pollination. This Summer, attract bees to your garden to pollinate your fruit and vegetables by refraining from using harmful pesticides, and by planting bee-friendly flowering plants – this will help bulk their food supply up. Not only will your crops grow, but you’ll help save the bees!

Set up an irrigation system

Setting up an irrigation system is a great afternoon project, and can be very cost effective when you do it yourself.  You can tailor your design and materials to best suit your garden needs; options include sprayers, sprinklers, drippers and more. The very brief version of the instructions is that you would start by measuring out your garden and map out your irrigation system design. You’d then choose your materials, measure out your water flow and start assembling. To make your irrigation system easy and water efficient, you could add an automated timer attachment to your tap so you don’t miss (or forget) the optimal watering timeslot.

Bunnings have some great tutorials for planning your irrigation system, and installing your irrigation system. If you’d rather not spend your weekend installing polytube, there are plenty of Airtasker garden maintenance professionals available who would be happy to do this for you.

summer gardening irrigation
Source: Gardener’s Supply Company

Weeding the pavers around the patio and pool area

How frustrating is it when the pavers around your patio or pool area get overgrown with weeds in the warmer months? Most people put gap sand between pavers to prevent this (and set pavers in place), but after a while, weather can wash it away and weeds creep back up. Environbond suggests a step-by-step way to resolve this issue when it occurs:

  1. Start by removing any large weeds by hand.
  2. Use a rough broom or pressure washer to brush or blast the smaller weeds out.
  3. Follow up by applying a solution of white vinegar and boiling water to help kill any remaining roots.
  4. Allow the area to dry then fill the gaps in-between the pavers with sand to prevent weeds from re-sprouting.

summer gardening pavers
Source: manoswelt

Cut your lawn a little longer

Grass grows at a much faster rate in Summer and you may be tempted to mow it as short as possible to avoid having to do it so regularly, but your lawn will keep in much better condition if cut a bit longer. Having your lawn a little longer will actually suppress weeds and bindi growth (Coleby-Williams, J.).

We hope you enjoy these summer gardening tips. Once you’ve got your garden in its Summer prime, you’ll want to have guests over, so have a look at these summer outdoor entertaining ideas.

What you need to pack for a picnic in the park

Planning a picnic? There’s a tonne of fun to be had, but it won’t be much fun if you forget "What you need to pack for a picnic in the park"

Planning a picnic? There’s a tonne of fun to be had, but it won’t be much fun if you forget something.  Here’s a great checklist of what you need to pack.

picnic basket
Source: Pinterest

Picnic blanket

Unless your park has a spare recreational table and bench chair when you arrive, you might be sitting on the grass with the ants biting your bottom if you forget your picnic blanket. A waterproof one that can be rolled up and strapped to a basket or slung over an arm makes life easy.

picnic blanket
Source: World Market

Picnic basket

Having a dedicated picnic basket or backpack is a great grab and go option for picnics (and camping!). The essential items to fill it with should include plates, cups, cutlery, a tea towel, small cutting board, napkins, salt and pepper, and possibly a cheeky wine glass. If you get one big enough to pack a few sandwiches and a chilled beverage into, you’re set.

picnic basket
Source: Pinterest

Cushions or chairs

If you’d rather be up off the ground, or just want some extra added comfort, grab some cushions to scatter over your picnic blanket, or bring some trusty camping chairs.

picnic cushions
Source: west elm

Something to eat on

If you’re hosting a bit of a soiree, perhaps for a birthday party or large family gathering, you may need some extra space to prepare and serve food on. BYO a picnic or camping table if you have one, or get creative and grab a couple of wooden pallets to stack up and make yourself a DIY picnic table. Cover with a cute table cloth and Bob’s your uncle.

picnic pallet table
Source: BLOGLOVIN’

Food

What is a picnic without a glorious selection of sandwiches, cheeses, dips, salads and sweets? Choose a spread you’ll enjoy, but take into consideration how you will store it, how long it will keep, how you’ll serve it and how much clean-up will be required. Baguettes are a great, easy option.  It goes without saying, but if you want to bring items that you’re required to keep cold, like meat for a BBQ, always pack them in an esky with ice.

We’ve also got some refreshing picnic food ideas for you to try.

picnic baguettes
Image credit: Sharyn Cairns via gourmet traveller

Drinks

Wash down your lunch with a nice, cool drink. For the warmer weather, why not make your own lemonade from scratch, or homemade iced tea? Pop it into a cool thermos or drink dispenser and pack it in the picnic basket or esky.

picnic drinks dispenser
Source: POTTERY BARN

Fun and games

Once you’ve got the essentials packed, it’s time for the fun and games! Grab the footy, pack a Frisbee or bring some board games. Little ones love outdoor activities like kite flying, and bigger kids will enjoy games like giant Jenga. And don’t forget music! If you’re picnicking with a group of friends, a few cool tunes will turn your picnic into a party. Hit your talented muso friend up to bring his guitar, or go old school with a radio. You can get mini speakers that plug straight into your phone, and some pimped our picnic baskets even have Bluetooth speakers built in!

picnic radio music
Source: Rebecca Newport

Anything else you may have forgotten…

Depending on the facilities available at your chosen venue, you may need to bring a few more items to make your day a success (easy to forget if you’re too busy food prepping to be thinking ahead):

  • A portable BBQ and gas bottle
  • Rubbish bags and a bin
  • Toilet paper (for *ahem* bush toilets)
  • Lanterns for lighting if your picnic will continue into the evening
  • An umbrella or little beach tent for shade (regardless, you should always be sun smart when outdoors!)
  • Towels for a swim
  • Decorations if you are hosting a party, and
  • Plenty of other things you can find on Pinterest that you probably don’t really need, but would make your picnic amazing!

With all of this inspiration, it would not be difficult to get completely carried away with planning the pinnacle of picnics! Let us know if you enjoyed these ideas or have any other essential picnic items to pack.

Refreshing picnic food ideas

The sky is blue, the grass is green and the sun is bright and shining; now is the perfect time "Refreshing picnic food ideas"

The sky is blue, the grass is green and the sun is bright and shining; now is the perfect time of year for a picnic in the park. Allow us to help you plan your weekends with these refreshing picnic food ideas.

picnic food watermelon feta salad
Source: Watch What? U Eat

Picnic food cheese platter ideas

Start your lazy Sunday morning picnic with a cheese platter accompanied by colourful fruits, both fresh and dried. Blue cheese and fresh fig are a match made in heaven. Dried apricots, nuts and fresh grapes go well with cheddars, gouda and brie. There are many combinations you could make; for some great ‘cheesepiration’ for picnics, check out iowa girls eats.

picnic food cheese platter
Source: iowa girl eats

Refreshing dips and salsas

Make the most of seasonal ingredients by featuring them in a fresh dip or zesty salsa combination. Cucumber is a popular ingredient, and makes for great use in Tzatziki. Serve as a dip in the traditional way with vegetable sticks, or pipe it into little hollowed out cucumber discs so your picnic guests can just pick little bite-sized pieces up. If you’d prefer to use it as a side to sprinkle on barbequed meat, we suggest trying this incredible pineapple and cucumber salsa recipe.

picnic food pineapple cucumber salsa
Source: Destination Delish

Fresh fruit skewers

Summer fruits are coming in to season and even the kids will love these fresh and fun fruit skewers. Prepare them ahead of time on bamboo skewers, pack them in a long container and keep them cool in the esky until serving. They make the perfect, nutritious snack and add a pop of colour to your picnic!

Tip: Some fruits like apples tend to go a bit brown when cut and exposed to air. There are many claims on how to prevent browning such as lemon juice or citric acid, but if you want them to stay crisp and have the best taste, leave cutting them until last minute.

picnic food fruit skewers
Source: Chocolate Covered Katie

Mason jar salads

You know how mason jars were a thing… well they still are! Packing a refreshing salad into a mason jar trumps a soggy sandwich any day! Perfect for your picnic in the park (or at the beach, or even a festival), they’re easy to prepare, portable, keep well in an esky or cooler bag, and you can just pop the lid back on and wash them up when you get home. Why not try a beautiful watermelon and feta salad, or this shrimp (yes, prawn) and feta salad for your next picnic?

Tip: If you don’t want to be a ‘mason jar hipster’ but you love this idea, just use a normal glass or plastic drink cup – we won’t judge.

picnic food prawn shrimp feta cobb salad
Source: Savouring the Thyme

Rice paper rolls

Spice it up and pack some fresh, tasty rice paper rolls. Poached chicken shredded up with some cucumber, carrot, chilli, coriander, mint and basil will make for a flavoursome and nutritious picnic lunch. Keep them cool in an esky until you’re ready to serve with a peanut satay or hoisin sauce. No need for cutlery!

picnic food rice paper rolls
Source:  sally’s baking addiction

Sweet rice paper rolls

If you’re feeling adventurous, try a sweet version of the rice paper roll for dessert. Instead of using savoury ingredients, use fresh fruit and shaved coconut, and serve them with a sweet yoghurt dipping sauce.

picnic food sweet fruit rice paper rolls
Source: A Million Miles

Mocktail (or cocktail) hour

Bring back summer vibes with a cooler or bottle filled with fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, citrus, mint, juice and soda of your choice (the adult version could do with a splash of Cointreau and Bacardi). Bring a ladle to scoop the fruit, and a small container of ice for serving. As the ice melts, it will water down your ‘party punch’, so just keep it on the side and let people pop a few cubes in their cup as they go.

Tip: If you’re picnicking in a public park or location, it’s a good idea to check the rules on alcohol consumption before you go with the adult version.

picnic food strawberry lemonade drink
Source: little miss party

There are so many refreshing, fun picnic food ideas out there to try. Our hottest tip is to make sure you pack picnic food that will keep well in an esky or basket, and is easy to clean up. Let us know what you think of these picnic food ideas!

How to plan a DIY Wedding – from photography to favours

Weddings should be fun, not financially crippling.  Having a DIY wedding is a great way to save money and still "How to plan a DIY Wedding – from photography to favours"

Weddings should be fun, not financially crippling.  Having a DIY wedding is a great way to save money and still have a wonderful wedding. Here are some ideas on how to have a DIY wedding.

DIY wedding sugar cookies
Source:  Brit + Co

Planning your DIY wedding

One of the easiest ways to save cash on your wedding is to do as much planning as you can yourself!  If you have the time and love to make lists and be organised, planning your wedding and honeymoon will be a piece of cake. Search for and book your own venue, choose your own theme, do your own budget, etc. Use an online planner that you can take everywhere with you on your phone, or DIY your own wedding planner book. There are some great, free planner ‘how to’ guides and checklists online too.

DIY wedding planner
Source: gloriajoy

DIY wedding invites

Get your DIY mission started by making your own ‘save the dates’ and wedding invitations. Gone are the days of the standard antique letter press look; think outside of the box and make something unique! Why not make your own little wooden fridge magnets, send a homemade cupcake, or use the end of a radicchio dipped in paint to create a rosette stamp?

DIY wedding radicchio invites
Get the tutorial from Martha Stewart
Source: Elegant Wedding Invites

Wedding website/app

Many modern couples to be are opting to issue their wedding invitations with a wedding website or wedding app. You can definitely fit more detail in a digital invitation, and there are plenty of free sites and apps that let you customise your own. You can put everything on there from event details, to RSVP forms and song requests. Check out a purpose built site and app provider such as my wedding, or create your own from scratch using wix or squarespace.

DIY wedding website
Source: style me pretty

DIY flower crowns

Gorgeous, romantic crowns of florals are so much cheaper if you DIY. You can hire a florist for your bridal shower to teach you how to make them, or you could easily look up some instructional videos on YouTube and go from there. All you need is flowers (fresh, dried, silk or greenery), florist wire, florist tape and scissors.

DIY wedding flower crown
Source: Flower Girl Los Angeles

DIY wedding centrepieces

You can get so creative by doing your own centrepieces for the bridal and guest tables at the reception venue. Think about the theme of your wedding, the style and location of the venue, and what materials will go well with it. You could make the centrepiece below using a glass jar (start collecting now), spray glue and rose gold glitter.

DIY wedding glitter glass jar centerpiece
Source: The Wedding of My Dreams

If you’re looking for more centrepiece and decoration inspiration, we have plenty of DIY wedding decoration ideas for every theme.

DIY wedding cakes

Everyone knows that as soon as you say the word ‘wedding’, everything triples in price! Keep your wedding budget under control by either making your own cake, or finding a talented friend or relative who can make one for you.

DIY wedding cake
Source: Ruffled

DIY wedding photography

Photography is so easy to DIY!

  • Get guests to take the photos by placing disposable cameras on tables
  • Set up a photo booth with some props and an Instagram hashtag for your guests to tag themselves in
  • Get a friend with some exceptional photography skills to take the ceremony, reception and bridal party photographs, or
  • Get an Airtasker event photographer to capture some memories for you.

DIY wedding photography disposable camera
Image credit: Grant Watkins Photography via The Knot

DIY wedding favours

Sugared almonds? No thanks. Have fun by making your own wedding favours for guests. Get creative; you could make something edible, something that will grow, or something they can enjoy at the wedding (e.g. mini cocktails or a beer cooler). If you have little ones in attendance, keep them occupied by making some DIY colouring book favours.

DIY wedding favours
Source: evermine OCCASSIONS

Airtasker have a great group of event and wedding professionals ready to help you out on your big day.  Happy DIY!

Your guide to house maintenance

If you want to keep your home in good condition, a diligent house maintenance routine is essential. Investing time, money "Your guide to house maintenance"

Your guide to house maintenance

If you want to keep your home in good condition, a diligent house maintenance routine is essential. Investing time, money and effort in regular maintenance and odd jobs is a much better option than having to deal with costly, unexpected repairs. To help you stay on track, we’ve put together a guide to house maintenance.

house maintenance gutterImage credit: Suzanne Tucker via Safe Bee

Regular house maintenance

Keeping up with regular cleaning and house maintenance will put you a step ahead.

Every week or fortnight:

  • Vacuum, sweep and mop floors
  • Clean and dust all surfaces
  • Scrub kitchen sink
  • Clean insinkerator
  • Clean microwave
  • Wipe down rangehood
  • Scrub bathrooms and toilets
  • Whipper snip and mow (you can do this less often in winter)
  • Clear dead leaves and branches
  • Remove debris from the pool and check the filter

At least once a month:

  • Clean dishwasher
  • Test smoke detectors
  • Clean oven
  • Scrub cooktop
  • Clean rangehood filter
  • Clean wheelie bins
  • Weed garden beds

house maintenance rangehood filter
The rangehood filter can get very greasy if left unattended. Use some baking soda and dish soap to clean it yourself, or hire an Airtasker house cleaner to help you out.
Source: one good thing BY JILLEE

Every few months

In addition to your regular house maintenance tasks, every few months you should:

  • Wash windows and screens
  • Clean drains (use a drain cleaner and be careful to follow the safety instructions)
  • Gerni driveways and patios
  • Trim hedges
  • Check and clear roof gutters
  • Check hot water system and drain any sediment
  • Test electricity box safety switch
  • Check and clean garage door (including the rolling mechanism)
  • Check water meter is working and clear it of roots and debris
  • Clean fireplace and chimney
  • Clean air conditioner filter
  • Clean washing machine and dryer
  • Completely clean out refrigerator and cupboards

house maintenance hot water system
Source: The Family Handyman

The big spring clean

Every six months is the perfect time to round the whole family up and do a big spring clean. As winter is coming in to spring, or summer is moving in to autumn, scrub the house top to bottom, rotate your wardrobe, and do a big clean out of things you don’t use or need anymore. If you have clothes, cooking utensils, and other household items in good, working condition, post them on gumtree, or donate them to your local charity.

 

house maintenance DIY blinds cleanerSource: one crazy house

Odd jobs

On top of all of the above-mentioned house maintenance tasks, there are a number of odd jobs you’ll need to take care of:

  • Clean blinds and curtains
  • Clean window and door runners
  • Fix leaking taps and shower heads
  • Re-grout shower and bathroom tiles
  • Replace fly screen
  • Fix blown light bulbs
  • Fix dodgy door knobs
  • Clean mailbox
  • Check and repair roof tiles

If you’re in to home improvement and making things more efficient, you could also add these tasks to your ‘to do’ list:

  • Install power saving LED bulbs
  • Set up water efficient irrigation system
  • Fit water saving taps and shower heads
  • Install mesh gutter guards

house maintenance water efficient faucet
Source: Pinterest

If you’re looking for any assistance with your house maintenance or home improvement jobs, check out Airtasker’s handyman services, available seven days a week.

Studio apartment inspiration

Studio apartments are no longer a trade-off of ‘space for city’.  Photography is a wonderful source of interior design inspiration "Studio apartment inspiration"

Studio apartment inspiration

Studio apartments are no longer a trade-off of ‘space for city’.  Photography is a wonderful source of interior design inspiration for a studio apartment.  Here’s some visual inspiration to lust over.

studio apartment inspiration
Source: Brit + Co

Industrial studio apartment inspiration

Exposed brick, concrete, pipes, tiles, or any kind of material that is structural or functional is begging you to do it justice with the industrial look.  Complement this style when furnishing your apartment by going for neutral colours, wooden pieces, exposed light bulbs and wiring. Add a high ceiling, and you’ve got a lofty, industrial style studio.

industrial studio apartment inspiration
Source: homedit

industrial studio apartment exposed brick
Source: onedio

Minimalism

Minimalism makes perfect sense if you have a studio apartment you’d like to decorate without making it less spacious.  Achieve minimalism by focussing on essential furniture items.  You can create an ‘accent’ of style with the addition of small ‘personality pieces.  Even when experimenting with minimalism, you can style your apartment to a theme or design that exposes character.

minimalist studio apartment
Source: ULTRALINX

minimalist studio apartment
Source: ULTRALINX

NYC chic

Enviable NYC style is within reach!  These studio apartments sprinkled with funky homewares and bright hues are functional and inspiring.  They convey the ‘Manhattan vibe’ without the ‘Manhattan price tag’.  Living in a chic, cooridinated space like this will put a spring in your step.

stylish studio apartment inspiration
Source: homedit

stylish studio apartment
Source: Brit + Co

Cosy and comfortable

Personalising your space with creature comforts will make it feel cosy. Decorative trinkets, sentimental items, inspirational art and the use of soft, neutral colours and textures will bring warmth to your studio apartment. Make ‘cosy and comfortable’ your number one goal.

cosy comfortable studio apartment
Source: Brit + Co

cosy and comfortable studio apartmentSource: LABLSTUDIO

Intelligent use of space

Your studio apartment doesn’t have to be a case of ‘eat where you sleep; sleep where you eat’. Clever organisation, the inventive use of furnishings and maybe even a little DIY will make you feel at home, with room to move.

small space studio apartment inspiration
Source: homedit
If you don’t have room for a cupboard, use racking and shelving to create storage on the walls, or in this case, above the bed.  If you’re not confident in installing shelving on your own, get some help from an Airtasker Handyman.

bookshelf room divider studio apartment
Source: homed
Do you want to create a semi-private escape to the bedroom, but have heaps of cookbooks that can’t live in a box?  Why not install a bookshelf as a room divider?  Furniture retailers like IKEA have plenty of designs, and Airtasker have plenty of IKEA flatpack assembly gurus available to help you out.

bed cube studio apartment
Source: Brit + Co
Now this is interesting!  Create privacy with a ‘bed cube’ (on rollers, no less).

reading nook studio apartment
Source: Est Living
This idea is ‘clever’ and ‘cosy and comfortable’!  Construct a reading nook by the window, on top of a horizontal bookshelf.  If you don’t have a built in bookshelf, there’s nothing stopping you from purchasing your own and doing a bit of DIY to make a safe and sturdy base.  Top with a comfortable mattress, a few cushions and a throw.  (Again, if you need help, hit up an Airtasker Handyman).

Modern European glass bedrooms

Using bold colours or unexpected materials is an exceptional way to modernise your studio apartment. European glass is a luxurious, modern feature when used to partition off a ‘bedroom’.

european glass studio apartmentSource: HusmanHagberg

european glass studio apartmentSource: Brit + Co

Do you love these studio apartment design ideas?  If you’ve got some more lust-worthy visual inspiration that you’d like to share, please copy a link in to the comment box below.

DIY wedding decorations for every theme

Planning a wedding on a budget? DIY wedding decorations are your answer; DIY is a delightful excuse to get crafty "DIY wedding decorations for every theme"

DIY wedding decorations for every theme

Planning a wedding on a budget? DIY wedding decorations are your answer; DIY is a delightful excuse to get crafty and exercise extreme Pinterest addiction! If you’re looking for ideas on fun, creative, affordable, DIY wedding decorations, you’ll love what we’ve rounded up below! Get inspired and imaginative; you could try these DIY ideas for almost every wedding theme possible.

DIY wedding decorations centrepiece
Source: Hi Miss Puff

The outdoor wedding 

Dreaming of an outdoor wedding? What could be nicer than saying “I do” against a backdrop of fresh green grass, beautiful old trees, thriving gardens and a clear blue sky? The concept of the outdoor wedding gives you so much scenery to choose from… If you’re a country girl (or boy) at heart, maybe you’ve imagined yourself committing to your loved one beneath a fig tree, before heading to the farm shed for the reception.

DIY wedding decorations hanging mason jars
H
ang mason jars of flowers and baby’s breath on the aisle – all you need are jars, string and flowers.
Source: Etsy

DIY wedding decorations
Decorate a
wooden frame with vintage lace, leaves and fresh flowers to make your own arch.
Source: For Creative Juice

DIY wedding decorations twine mache fairy lights
Make your own romantic lighting for an evening reception using twine and fairy lights
. Get the tutorial from Splash of Something.
Source: Splash of Something

DIY wedding decorations photo garland
Tell your love story through
DIY photo garland – photographs pegged to twine and draped above tables.
Source: Pinterest

DIY wedding decorations for the beach

If you and your love share a passion for the sun, sand and salty air, the beach is the perfect place for you to have your special day.  Go for the full sea-side look and adorn your chosen location and venue in sea shells and star fish, or take a more conservative approach to the theme and keep scenery a little separate from style.

DIY wedding decorations driftwood centrepiece
Use driftwood as a
table centerpiece, or suspend it from the ceiling. Make it feel romantic by adding some florals, tea light candles or fairy lights.
Source: Weddingomania

DIY wedding decorations beach lanterns
Suspend lanterns above tables to create
tropical mood lighting for an outdoor beach wedding reception.
Source: Woman Getting Married

DIY wedding decorations rope pearl votive
Purchase
a little DIY kit from Soiree Supply or source your own glass, rope and pearls to make votive decorations.
Source: Soiree Supply

Rustic DIY wedding decorations

The rustic look is all about earthy tones, natural features, a romantic palette and vintage décor. You can dress any location in rustic style and it will instantly become a stunning wedding and reception venue. Blush pinks, rose gold, lace, chalkboard, white paint, wood and greenery are essential ingredients for the rustic look.

DIY wedding decorations burlap banner
DIY your own,
personalised wedding banner using burlap, stencils and spray paint. Hang it behind the bridal table, on the photo booth, or on the back of the getaway car.
Source: Etsy

DIY wedding decorations dessert table
Use a wooden pallet, some tousling vines and light up
letters to elegantly decorate the dessert table.
Source: MODWEDDING

DIY wedding decorations galvanised tubs
Serve
beverages in galvanised tubs.
Source: Pinterest

DIY wedding decorations wooden pallet guest instructions
Use a few planks of wood screwed or glued together, with some white paint
to provide instructions to guests.
Source: wedding FORWARD

Glitz and glam

Sequins, sparkle, suits, flashy smiles and champagne – glitz and glam is where the party’s at! If you’re having a traditional church wedding but want to modernise the classic look, this contemporary style will be a wonderful way to decorate any venue.

DIY wedding decorations sparkly baby's breath
A little metallic spray paint a
nd some baby’s breath will bring sparkle to your centerpieces.
Source: Pinterest

DIY wedding decorations glitter candle holers
Glittery
tea light candle holders are so easy to make – all you need is glass (save money by buying online), spray glue and glitter!
Source: Weddingstar

DIY wedding decorations sequins table runners
Glam up your table runners
and chair covers by using sparkly, sequined fabric.
Source: mywedding

If you love these DIY wedding decorations but don’t want to spend the weeks leading up to the big day stressed about getting everything done, Airtasker have an exceptional group of events professionals available to help with the handiwork and set up for your big day.

How to make an outdoor playground at home

Growing up with a spacious backyard to play in is a glorious memory from the childhood of many lucky Australians. "How to make an outdoor playground at home"

How to make an outdoor playground at home

Growing up with a spacious backyard to play in is a glorious memory from the childhood of many lucky Australians. If you had a sandpit, cubby house (DIY with help from Dad, of course) or trampoline, you were probably one of the most popular kids in the neighbourhood every afternoon after school. Thanks to the internet, technology and the DIY and upcycling trends, the ultimate ‘outdoor playground at home’ game has stepped up a level. Here are some inspirational outdoor playground ideas that kids of all ages will love; young and old (even grown ups).

Outdoor playground easel

Do your children love to paint, draw, use chalk and crayons? Taking the art station outside will encourage them to play outdoors and help keep the mess under control. You can mount an easel to your fence, or build something standalone. To make an outdoor easel is easy and cheap; use a sheet of Perspex (a.k.a. acrylic) for painting and crayons, or a wooden board covered in chalkboard paint for chalk drawing.  You can even buy ready-made, mountable chalkboards.

Heytherehome has a great project guide for a DIY outdoor chalkboard.

outdoor playground perspex easel
Source: Made with Happy

outdoor playground chalkboard
Source: tts

Mud kitchens

Mud pies… Surely they’re a golden memory from everyone’s childhood!  Many of us used to use sandpit buckets and ice cream containers for our mud pie-making extravaganzas, but parents these days have caught on to some great up-cycling trends to make the ‘mud kitchen’ a more serious business.

outdoor playground mud kitchen
Source: DUMPaday

Upcycle an old sink and some wooden pallets to build a mud pie kitchen. Accessorise with a few pots and pans from the camping basket, and the kids are in business!

outdoor playground mud kitchen
Source: Learn with Play at Home

Stacked bricks with boards or wooden sleepers are a great way to DIY a kitchen bench. Mount some shelves and hanging hooks for utensils.

Outdoor cinema

With winter on its way out, the change in season is the perfect time to host an outdoor movie night with the family. You can make it as simple as hanging up a sheet, borrowing a mini projector and speaker combo, and hooking it up to your laptop; or you can go all out and invest in your own equipment and a proper projector screen. Make some popcorn, throw a picnic blanket down and scatter a few cushions on the ground, and enjoy your outdoor cinema experience.

outdoor playground outdoor cinema
Source: The Garden Glove

Swings

Bring the park to your home by installing a swing in your backyard. If you’ve got a large shady tree with some sturdy branches, this will make for a perfect (and reasonably quick) DIY job. Use a rope or chain, with a smooth plank of wood (sand and paint it to avoid splinters), or try some of the creative swing ideas below.

Don’t have a ladder? Get an Airtasker Handyman to safely install your swing for you.

outdoor playground pallet swing
Source: Pallets Ideas

What can’t you do with a pallet? This bed style swing looks like a great adult sized swing (perfect for resting on with a glass of sanity, perhaps?).

outdoor playground tyre swing
Source: The WHOot

What a great idea – painted tyre swings!

Green teepee

This idea is so much fun – give the kids some shade in their outdoor playground by growing a green teepee! Climbing beans are awesome for teepees because they grow very quickly, and when they begin to produce a crop they’ll double as a ‘help yourself’ snack for the kids while they’re playing inside. This DIY idea is affordable and relatively beginner friendly, involving a few poles, wire or twine, seeds and elbow grease.

If you’d like some help bringing your green teepee dream to life, Airtasker have plenty of Handymen and women available – get a quote today!

outdoor playground green teepee
Source: the artful parent

Inspired by these outdoor playground ideas for your home? If you’ve got anymore, we’d love to hear them!

IKEA hacks for kids bedrooms

If you’d like to make your little one’s bedroom an exciting, creative place for them to grow and flourish, you’ll "IKEA hacks for kids bedrooms"

IKEA hacks for kids bedrooms

If you’d like to make your little one’s bedroom an exciting, creative place for them to grow and flourish, you’ll love these IKEA hacks for kids bedrooms.  There are so many inventive ways to use items from the affordable Swedish homewares giant to encourage play, create a fun environment, and a calm place for rest.  Here are some of our favourites.

Bekvam step stool IKEA hacks

The Bekvam step stool is one of the most versatile pieces of furniture in their range when it comes to kid’s rooms. With a retail price of $17.99 (IKEA), it’s an absolute steal. Have a look at these inventive hacks for using it.

IKEA hacks Bekvam step stool play kitchen
Source: mommo design

A lick of paint, a few knobs and a little basket rack will turn it in to an awesome play kitchen.

IKEA hacks Bekvan step stool library ladder
Source: Oakland Avenue

Paint or decorate the Bekvam with wall paper to turn it into a fun library ladder.

Small toy storage on a magnetic knife rack

Sick of stepping on little toy cars that feel like they go straight through your foot? You are saved! The Grundtal magnetic knife rack is a storage savior for little metal based toys like cars and trains. Kids love magnets, so picking up after themselves is a more likely event with this little IKEA hack (sadly, it won’t work on LEGO). It’s only $14.99 (IKEA) and is easy to attach to your kid’s bedroom wall.

IKEA hacks Grundtal knife rack toy storage
Source: JUST A GIRL

Lack side table IKEA hacks

The Lack side table (available from $7.99, IKEA), is another fantastic piece of furniture that you can create masterpieces with for your kid’s bedroom.

IKEA hacks Lack side table art station
Source: Pinterest

Encourage play and paint the Lack side table with chalkboard paint to turn it into an art station.

IKEA hacks Lack side table board games
Source: IKEA via HouseBeautiful

Board games – get some masking tape and paint so you can recreate your childhood favourites.

IKEA hacks Lack side table tabletop playground
Source: Etsy

Create a tabletop playground

Store books on a spice rack

One of the most popular IKEA hacks around (for a good reason) is using the Bekvam spice rack ($3.99 at IKEA) to store and display children’s books. It’s solid wood and can easily be painted and mounted as a cute little book shelf to walls, doors, above the bed head, etc.

IKEA hacks Bekvam spice rack book shelf
Source: BRIT + CO

Kura bed IKEA hacks

Have you got little angels who don’t want to go to bed?  Make bedtime something they look forward to by creating something unique and fun with the Kura bed. The Kura Reversible bed frame is $299 (IKEA, mattress sold separately). It can be flipped upside down to convert from a low to high bed. IKEA sell bed tents, but we know you can get much more creative than that – all you need is some inspiration, paint, wall paper and fun linen!

If the thought of putting together an IKEA flat pack is daunting for you, why not hire an Airtasker to do the assembly for you?

IKEA hacks Kura bed cubby house
Source: IKEA via Hellobee

Camp out in a cubby house

IKEA hacks Kura slippery slide bed
Source: LaurieFlower

Build a big kid bed with its own slippery slide

 

IKEA hacks Kura sweet dreams slumber party bunk bed
Source: Kidsmopolitan

Sweet dreams and slumber parties bunk bed design

Change table IKEA hack

A great IKEA hack for nurseries is to use the Tarva chest of drawers as a change table (starting from $129, IKEA). The 3 and 6 drawer options are both the perfect height for changing your baby, and the drawers can be used as storage for nappies and creams.

IKEA hacks Tarva change table
Source: Mon Bébé Chéri

Storage with the Kallax shelf

Parents in the know love using the Kallax shelving system to create storage for toys and other bedroom items. Having the Kallax on it’s side makes it easier for little ones to reach their favourite play items, and you can place a small mattress on top to create a reading nook. The Kallax comes in a range of configurations (starting from $69, IKEA) and can be stacked, painted and given inserts to make organisation easier.

IKEA hacks Kallax shelf storage
Source: Zelfmaak Ideetjes

IKEA DIY rocking chair

This rocking chair hack is an incredible money saving idea!  Instead of purchasing a rocking chair with a hefty price tag, why not make your own? IKEA has a great range of comfortable chairs available. Pick yours, then order some rocking chair runners online and attach them yourself.

If this task seems a little outside of your skillset, Airtasker have some great handymen who could do the job in no time.

IKEA hacks DIY rocking chair
Source: Popsugar
Image credit: Sara Boulter Photography

Have you got any more awesome IKEA hacks for kids bedrooms that you’d like to share? Leave us a comment below, and happy IKEA hacking!

Lawn care and maintenance tips

Keeping your grass forever green can be a challenge - but we're here to help!

Lawn care and maintenance tips

Lawn maintenance might not be on the top of your to do list other than mowing the grass but it’s just as important as the rest of your garden. We’ll take you through everything you need to know to keep your lawn green all year round.

Feed your grass

Your lawn doesn’t have a big root system like trees, so it’s important to regularly feed it to maintain its density and bright green colour.

There are different types of lawn care products:

  • Chemical lawn fertiliser to grow and get your grass green but make sure you use a spreader and also a tonic to make sure it’s even
  • Organic products for added conditioning and fertilising
  • Soil conditioners help the root system strengthen, which is important in the summer months
  • Soil wetter helps your lawn to hold water in the root system

Depending on your grass and climate you should be fertilising at least twice a year, in autumn (to protect for cooler months) and spring (to boost growth).

When applying fertiliser, do it in the mornings and use something natural or organic designed to ‘slow release’. Ensure you give your lawn a good drink afterwards, otherwise, it might burn. If required, keep weeds and lawn pests at bay by applying chemicals and pesticides, only as needed and directed.

 Fertilise your garden 2-4 times a year and make sure you water it in otherwise it can burn the grass!

Lawn mowing

There are three key steps to perfect lawn mowing: regular edging, whipper snipping and mowing.

Do your edging and whipper snipping first, then finish off the yard by mowing with a sharp, high blade. Most people don’t know that cutting your lawn a little higher is actually a good thing; it helps to keep the weeds away and gives protection against evaporation for the soil and roots. If you cut it too short, it can actually cause more stress and damage to the grass.

Get an Airtasker lawn care professional to give your lawn a great cut! They have all the rights tools, and they’re experts at edging, and cutting in and around trees and garden features.

Keep it wet in the warmer months

To keep your lawn hydrated and healthy, you’ll need to adopt a good watering routine in the hotter months.

Deep watering is a technique used to encourage the roots of your lawn to grow deeper, away from the top layer of the soil where heat and evaporation will damage them. Deepwater your lawn by watering less often, but for longer. The best time of day to deep water (or for any watering routine in summer) is either early in the morning, or late afternoon.

You could also look at a reticulation system to help keep the grass watered on a regular basis.

 Wetting agents to help soil particles hold water for longer are also a handy trick for keeping your lawn wet.

Aerating the lawn

Your lawn needs a breath of fresh air too. Aerating your lawn relieves soil compaction and will allow air, nutrients and water to get down to the roots. You can aerate your lawn using a power aerator, or a garden fork for a smaller garden.

To make it easier, work your way around the garden in a line and if you overlap it doesn’t matter – it’s actually a good thing!

Lawn repair

If your lawn has already suffered the effects of heat and evaporation, you can still turn it around by giving it some much-needed care.

Top dressing: If your lawn is suffering from a poor care routine or lack of topsoil, it might be necessary to try ‘top dressing’. Top dressing involves spreading a blended soil mix over your lawn.

Patch work: Dying patches of grass can be saved by using products such as lawn repair if caught early enough. If it’s gotten down to bare dirt already, you might need to patch up parts with turf.

Lawn builder products can help promote growth in new and unhealthy lawns.

 

Weed and pest control

Weeds

If your lawn is regularly maintained and well drained you shouldn’t have too much of an issue with weeds.  But when the grass becomes a bit thin or weak they can become a problem. Your type of grass will determine whether you use a spot technique or use different chemicals. Just be aware that you might then have to do a top repair on the grass as well as it might die too.

Pests

Lucky for us there aren’t too many lawn pests in Australia. But for areas where beetles and crickets can be an issue, there are treatments that you can buy from your hardware store.

Love our lawn tips? We’ve got more summer gardening tips where that came from!

Indoor gardening ideas

Indoor gardening is a great way to achieve a stylish look, and mood enhancing sense of tranquility. Having plants indoors "Indoor gardening ideas"

Indoor gardening ideas

Indoor gardening is a great way to achieve a stylish look, and mood enhancing sense of tranquility. Having plants indoors not only brings a room to life; it helps with air quality. Here are some beautiful indoor gardening ideas to try at home, the office, or even in the little café you’ve been dreaming about opening.

vertical indoor gardening
Source: woo home

Terrariums

Terrariums are gorgeous placed on a table or hanging from the ceiling (and they make great gifts)!  The word ‘terrarium’ is used to describe a miniature garden in a container, often made of glass and usually sealed, but can also refer to open-air containers.  They can be soil based, soil-free, sand based or water based.

water terrarium indoor gardening
Source: Etsy

You can purchase pre-established terrariums from garden centers, gift shops and online, or you can enjoy making your own. Get creative and try using random glass objects, such as a light bulb, water jug, or fish bowl, and fill them with succulents, indoor ferns, air plants, moss and florals.

indoor gardening terrariums
Source: Uncovet Blog

Vertical gardening

Bring your indoor area to life by installing a vertical garden. Vertical gardens are perfect for those with little space. Often mounted or hanging, you can choose to utilise your vertical garden for purely aesthetic purposes, or make it into your own little indoor herb or vegetable garden.

herbs vertical indoor gardening
Source: The Domestic Heart

vertical indoor gardening
Source: Karma Stream

Living walls

Living walls, or green walls are the ‘next level’ in vertical gardening. You can create a fixed or moveable feature wall with tumbling greenery, or brightly coloured flowering plants. Make it extra special by installing some down lights or water-proof fairy lights that you can switch on in the evening.

Depending on your design, to set up a living green wall, you might need a:

  • Free-standing or mountable structure
  • Layer of water-proofing (plastic) to protect the wall behind
  • Layer of fabric for your plants to grow on, and
  • A drip irrigation system with appropriate drainage.

Once you’ve got the structure sorted out, you can then select and install your plants.

Airtasker have some very talented gardening professionals available to set your green wall up for you.

living green wall indoor gardening
Source: studio m interior design

Suspended indoor gardening ideas

Suspended indoor gardens and upside down gardens are stunning indoor gardening ideas that will make your space feel extravagant.  Imagine the serenity of having a rainforest canopy above your floating kitchen bench, or in the middle of your family room.

suspended indoor gardening
Source: Happy Interior Blog

suspended indoor gardening
Source: woo home

Upcycled planters

Mason jars, glass jugs, light bulbs, old lanterns and vintage trunks are all perfect items to recycle and revitalise by using as a planter for your indoor garden. Hunt down inspiration on Pinterest and head to your local second hand store to find a bargain item in need of some upcycling love.

indoor gardening tulips planter
Source: Pinterest

lightbulb indoor gardening
Source: 1001 gardens

Succulents

Succulents do exceptionally well in most indoor gardening situations. They come in a wonderful variety of shapes, sizes and colours and are generally readily available at gardening centers and nurseries.

succulents indoor gardening
Source: Stagetecture

Air plants

Tillandsia (a.k.a air plants) are the brown-thumb’s best friend; they literally need hardly any attention because they thrive on oxygen (hint: over-watering will kill them). However, due to recent changes in import restrictions, they are not so easy to get in store anymore. When sourcing air plants, it’s best to purchase them online from a specialist retailer like Air Plant Décor, who will package your plant up delicately and have it delivered with full care instructions. Place them in terrariums or on unique air plant holders.

air plants indoor gardeningSource: Craft Organic

air plant indoor gardening
Source: Idle Hands Awake

Love our indoor gardening ideas, or have a few ideas of your own you’d love to share with us?  Let us know in the comments below!

How to grow vegetables in your apartment

Apartment living has it’s perks; no lawn to mow, no garden beds to weed. It is nice to have the "How to grow vegetables in your apartment"

How to grow vegetables in your apartment

Apartment living has it’s perks; no lawn to mow, no garden beds to weed. It is nice to have the satisfaction of growing your own vegetables though. Whether you’ve just got an indoor area, a small balcony, or if you’re lucky enough to have a rooftop, you’ll find there are a number of vegetable gardening ideas that will suit your apartment.

potato apartment vegetables
Source: Pinterest

Container planting

Container planting is a great option for growing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, bush tomatoes, climbing beans, root vegetables, lettuce and salad leaves. Containers come in all different shapes, sizes and materials. Do some homework on the required growing conditions of whatever it is you’d like to plant to and check the size required. The best thing about container planting is if you do move out, you can take your crop with you.

Wooden planters – construct your own using old pallets (often free from industrial sites if you ask politely) or find some gorgeous planter ideas online

vegetables gardening wooden planter
Source: Pinterest

Need some help putting your wooden planter together? Get some help from an Airtasker handyman in your neighbourhood.

Plastics planters – plastic pots are cheap and readily available from gardening and hardware stores, or you can recycle old plastic bottles to make your own apartment planters

vegetables gardening plastic planters softdrink bottles
Source: Just Imagine

Terracotta and ceramic pots – they look great, especially for things like citrus and olives – but beware they can get a bit heavy

cauliflower vegetables terracotta pot
Source: Balcony Garden Web

Smart pots – made from porous, lightweight material, they encourage drainage and root growth, and can be washed and folded up when not needed

Tip: A small hessian bag will work just as well for planting potatoes.

smart pot vegetables gardening
Source: Nutriculture

Herbs and micro-herbs in tins

Use old tin cans and biscuits tins to house herbs and micro herbs. Although they’re not technically vegetables, they are perfect for growing indoors and outdoors in apartments.

vegetables herbs tin gardening
Source: Pinterest

‘No dig’ wheelbarrow veggie patch

A wheelbarrow is a fantastic way to create a mini, movable vegetable patch that you can chase the sun with. The ‘no dig’ or ‘lasagna’ (layered) method of preparing a garden bed will work great for this style of gardening as it provides maximum nutrients with little effort to maintain. Follow the steps below to get started:

Step 1
Scout out a pre-loved wheelbarrow at a second hand store or pick up a cheap one from a gardening and hardware retailer. Make sure you bring your wheelbarrow to your balcony or rooftop before filling, otherwise it will be too heavy to move.

Step 2
Create some drainage by either drilling holes in the base (you’ll need to keep a container underneath the wheelbarrow to catch any excess water that leaks through), or by filling the bottom few inches with light stones.

wheelbarrow vegetables
Source: Lushome

Step 3
Prepare the ‘no dig’ garden bed:

  1. Start with a layer of newspaper – wet it
  2. Add a layer of mulch – lucerne hay or sugar cane mulch works well
  3. Add a layer of manure – chicken, cow or horse manure work well for vegetable growing
  4. Add a layer of straw
  5. Add another layer of manure (clearly this type of gardening is best kept to outdoor areas)
  6. Add a layer of good compost
  7. Depending on how deep your wheelbarrow is, repeat

Check out the ABC’s step by step guide to No Dig gardening. If you’d rather leave the garden bed construction (read: manure layering) to someone else, get an Airtasker gardening professionl to help you out.

Step 4
Plant your vegetables. It’s up to you to decide if you want to start with seeds or seedlings (for beginner gardeners, seedlings are a great head start). You can even use vegetable scraps from your crisper; they’ll do remarkably well! Try celery, shallots, carrots, lettuce and chili.

Root vegetables in glass

Make a masterpiece out of your indoor vegetable garden by planting brightly coloured root vegetables or herbs in a glass jar or container. Start collecting mason jars, vases or vintage jugs and try planting a spring mix of carrots, spring onions and raddish. Most root systems prefer to be kept in the dark while the leaves enjoy a little light, so tinted glass containers are ideal for planting vegetables and herbs that require a decent amount of sunlight.

herbs vegetables mason jars
Source: Wonderful DIY

Strawberries 

Not technically a vegetable, but so great to grow in an apartment that we couldn’t leave them out!  Strawberries do well in containers or hanging baskets. There are even varieties that require no sun and can be completely grown indoors, such as the Alpine variety.

strawberries vegetables fruits
Source: Plant Care Today

Mushrooms

Don’t have much sunlight available? No worries! Mushrooms love cool, dark places. Get a complete starter kit online for as little as $20 (Enfield Produce Pet and Garden Supplies).

mushroom kit vegetables
Source: Mushroom Kit

Have you got any more fantastic vegetable gardening ideas suitable for apartment living? Leave us a comment below.

Beginner’s guide to: Gardening

If you’re embarking on your first gardening project and you’re not sure where to start, our beginner gardening tips will "Beginner’s guide to: Gardening"

Beginner’s guide to: Gardening

If you’re embarking on your first gardening project and you’re not sure where to start, our beginner gardening tips will help you succeed.  Knowing where to start, planning and understanding your garden design will be the key to your success. Before you get down to the local landscaping store, there are a few considerations you need to make.

gardening roses and bench seats
Source: Pinterest

What type of gardening do you want to enjoy?

How do you want to use your garden? Are you doing some landscaping to finish off a newly constructed home, or giving your existing garden a facelift? Will this space be used as an entertaining area, children’s play area, veggie patch or chook pen? Do you want to build a feature garden? Understanding the purpose of your garden will help you plan the design.

tuscan gardening
Source: Pinterest

Landscaping and layout

Think about the space you have and how you might make the most out of it by carefully planning the layout. Garden goers with large, country back yards are blessed in their options. But if you’re in a terrace house in suburban Sydney and don’t have more than a 4 meter squared courtyard, you’ll need to be a little bit smarter with what you have. Draw up your design and experiment. Yates have a really handy Virtual Garden tool that you can use; it takes in to account your climate, garden size, what type of garden you’re interested in, and your level of gardening expertise.

Design ideas

A little bit of design inspiration never goes astray. Again, thinking about the space and how you want to use it, seek out plants, grass, garden accessories and possibly even outdoor furniture to complete your design. Are you into water features? Would a flower arch complete your garden’s English tea party look? Would a grape vine work nicely with a Tuscan theme? Landscaping centers often have mini display gardens that you can walk through, and there is plenty of design inspiration online.

beehive gardening
Image credit: Harold Lloyd
Source: Homestead Revival
Get your own homegrown honey by having a quaint little back yard beehive.

wheelbarrow flower gardening
Source: Italia Post
Find an old wheelbarrow in a second hand store and bring it to life with some brightly coloured flowers.

We also have some great small backyard design ideas and quirky garden design ideas for you to look at.

Drainage and ground preparation

When planning your garden, don’t forget to consider things like drainage and ground preparation. You don’t want half of your backyard flooded and turning in to a mud puddle every time you get a sprinkling of rain. You may need to level the ground, dig it out, and even prepare the soil if it’s lacking nutrients. If you have a bit of labouring work ahead of you, think about when the right time to do it will be; there’s no point in scheduling a landscaping job in the ‘wet season’ (okay, ‘wet weeks’ in Australia); mud and rain won’t allow for much productivity.

lawn and turf gardening
Source: DIY Network

Read up on what you are planting

Research is key for beginner green thumbs. Know whether the plants, grass, flowers, vegetables, etc. you are interested in will do well in your climate, how to care for them, and what their maintenance requirements are. For example, how much water does Sir Walter grass need? Will it do well in a hot climate? How much sun does it need? What are the best conditions for laying turf and how long will it take to settle?

Tip: ‘Sun-mapping’ is a thing – how much sun does your garden actually get and where? Spend a day outside to find out.

sunshine gardening
Source: Thiên nhiên

Spacing plants appropriately

When designing a dream garden, something many enthusiastic beginners neglect to think about is spacing of plants. If you’re constructing a tropical paradise of different varieties of palm trees to surround your pool, anticipate for them to get big. They’ll drop fronds, seeds and maybe even coconuts; they can grow over roofs, pools and block gutters. Do some research on the species you want to use and space plants appropriately; they grow.

Maintenance

Once you’ve established your garden, to keep it looking amazing you’ll need to have a good maintenance routine in place. Think about this in the planning stage. Consider:

  • Lawn care – aerating, watering and mowing
  • Weeding
  • Hedging
  • Pruning
  • Fertilising
  • Cleaning (e.g. bird baths)
  • Pest control
  • Irrigation, sprinklers
  • Gardening tools and equipment, e.g. hoses, shovels, etc.

gardening hose
Source: hey there, home

Budget check

Budget check = Reality check.  Now that you’ve got your design planned out, measure out your requirements (i.e. 10 meters squared of that beautiful Sir Walter turf) and cost it out before you get started. Don’t forget to consider ongoing maintenance costs as well; think in terms of money, time and effort.

Get ready to get started!

By having a good, well planned garden design, you’ll be on the right path to green thumb success. If you’ve identified certain tasks that you’d like to do yourself, think about your skills and experience and consider watching some online videos, or getting advice from a professional before you start. If for example, you don’t want to level the backyard or lay turf yourself, Airtasker have plenty of landscaping professionals available to assist. Get a free quote today.

How to clean your fireplace

It’s nearing the end of winter, and although cleaning out your fireplace is probably the last thing you want to "How to clean your fireplace"

How to clean your fireplace

It’s nearing the end of winter, and although cleaning out your fireplace is probably the last thing you want to do, it’s important to stay on top of it so that there’s less cleaning required at the end of winter. Here’s some helpful tips on how to clean your fireplace.

cosy fireplace
Source: nous decor

Be prepared to get messy

Soot, smoke, ash, and crumbling chunks of charcoaled timber… be prepared for things to get more than a little messy.

  • Smock up – an artist’s smock, old apron, or even a plastic poncho will do.
  • Gloves – something heavy duty and made of fabric.
  • Drop sheet – you’ll definitely need a plastic drop sheet, or an old bed sheet that you’re happy to dispose of for the floor. Tape it down around the base of the fireplace door/opening, and a bit past the sides.
  • A mask – if you haven’t cleaned your fireplace in a while, it might be worthwhile wearing breathing protection and an eye mask to protect you while you get grubby.

fireplace drop sheet
Image credit: Ashley Poskin
Source: apartment therapy

Get the right tools and materials

Before you start, get yourself sorted out with the many bits and pieces you’ll need to clean a fireplace. You probably already have some of these items as part of your fireplace ‘tool kit’ or in your cupboard.

  • Wire brushes specifically for chimney and furnace cleaning – long and short handle
  • A scraper/small shovel
  • Dustpan and brush (that you don’t mind getting covered in black soot)
  • Vacuum cleaner – a hand held one or one with a brush attachment would be perfect
  • Used coffee grounds – if you’ve got some (we’ll tell you why below)
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Paper towel/drying cloth
  • A bin, bucket or cardboard box – or you can just use the drop sheet if you’re not going to miss it
  • Hearth or fireplace cleanser – either a commercial product or homemade version

Tip: Apartment therapy have some great homemade cleanser ideas that use typical cupboard products like cream of tartar and vinegar.

fireplace tool set
Source: Etsy

Basic steps for cleaning the fireplace

  1. Remove any chunks of wood or debris from your cold, dry fireplace (yes, let that furnace cool down first or Darwin will get you)
  2. Dislodge any out of sight objects up the chimney using a long stemmed brush
  3. Brush the sides of the inner furnace with a heavy duty or wire brush
  4. Sprinkle used coffee grounds over the ash – their weight and moisture help cling to the ash and prevent it from flailing around your living room
  5. Scrape or shovel the ash and small burnt leftovers out
  6. Brush the inner sides out with a dustpan and brush and if you have one available, go over it with a vacuum cleaner to remove the majority of the particles
  7. Use a hearth or fireplace cleanser of your choice to scrub the insides of the furnace walls, glass and door (don’t forget to clean the grate and fireplace toolkit too if they need it)
  8. Clean the exterior with the product of your choice
  9. Wipe everything out
  10. Collect all of your rubbish and dispose of it
  11. Allow to dry completely before using again

Okay, so you’re all set to get your Chim Chim Cher-ee on!  If you’d rather let someone else be an ‘appier bloke, find an Airtasker to ‘shake ‘ands with you’.  They’ll cheerfully spend time rolling around in the ashes and smoke.

YouTube video: Chim Chim Cher-ee (from ‘Mary Poppins’)

Wall shelving ideas

If you don’t have spare cupboards or a lot of space, utilising shelves becomes important for decorating and storage. There "Wall shelving ideas"

Wall shelving ideas

If you don’t have spare cupboards or a lot of space, utilising shelves becomes important for decorating and storage. There are so many different styles of shelves that will fit within your decor. So, we’ve put together an inspiring collection of wall shelving ideas, using different materials that can be used to construct wall shelving in a fun and functional way.

The only other thing to consider is how to put it up without ruining your wall. Good news, we’ve got you covered with one of our Airtasker Handymen who will be able to take care of installing your wall shelving.

wall shelving ideas
Source: BLOGLOVIN’

Mounted wall shelving

Standalone shelving is out, and mountable wall shelving is in! Get creative with design, display and styling – think ‘open’ spaces and the ‘floating’ look.  Mounted wall shelving has a nice aesthetic and can still be very functional.

Added bonus: getting rid of standalone shelving against walls also means no more marks on floors and carpets, and more bench space.

mounted wall shelving ideas
Source: Apartment Therapy

Industrial wall shelving

The use of pipes, cast iron, copper and other metal materials for shelving creates a trendy, industrial look.  Go for a typical ‘edgy’ style that industrial design is known for, or take a different angle by using colour, a copper finish, or light to create a unique, fresh style.  Push the limits!

industrial copper wall shelving
Source: Steel Roots Design

Love this look? There’s plenty more from where that came from in our Industrial wall shelving ideas for your home post.

Cube shelves

Cube or cuboid shelves are a great way to bring a unique, uncomplicated style to life in a home. The infinite range of colours, sizes and styles they come in will allow you to experiment with different looks.  Try positioning them in a variety of ways before mounting.

cube wall shelving ideas
Source: Urban Outfitters

Design your own wall shelving systems

‘Design it yourself’ wall shelving systems are like a grown up version of Straws and Connectors; they’re your own art project on a wall. Think steel frames and wooden boards connected with joins in any arrangement you’d like.  You can jigsaw puzzle pieces together to create a unique, modern feature.

If you’ve got an idea of what you’d like in mind, Airtasker has some very talented Handymen who can help bring your design to life.

design your own wall shelving
Source: Design Milk

Wire shelving

Wire shelving is no longer just for the pantry or shower. Gain storage space and achieve a homily feel by mounting wire baskets on walls as storage nooks, to display greenery, hang prints and jewelry.

wire wall shelving
Source: Pinterest

Leaning shelves

Leaning shelves are freestanding shelves that are angled against the wall to give a ‘leaning’ or ‘ladder’ appearance. The depth and width of each shelf can be uniform for a patterned effect, or varied for the asymmetrical look. Individual shelves can even serve a specific purpose, such as storing a computer.  If you want to use it as a storage rack for items such as towels, go full ladder style (i.e. use a real ladder) and drape towels over each rung.

leaning wall shelving
Source: Oleander + Palm

Geometric shelving

Take your styling to the next level by decorating your walls with artfully placed shapes and sizes – think triangles, rectangular prisms, circles and hexagons. Stack them against each other, spread them out, or consider random placement. Using geometric shelving made out of natural materials against a white wall will give a contemporary, fresh look. Minimalism is the way to go when considering what to display on these shelves.

geometric wall shelving
Source: I Spy DIY

Repurposed personal items

If you’ve held on to personal items that you don’t use anymore but can’t bear to part with, consider whether or not you could repurpose those items in to something more functional. How about a hanging acoustic guitar wall shelf to represent your love of music? Take a look at what you’ve got laying around the garage and think outside of the box.

repurposed guitar wall shelving
Source: ReFab Diaries

Feeling inspired? We also have some beautiful bathroom shelving ideas that you might want to take a look it.

Beautiful bathroom shelving ideas

Looking for inspiration to solve a storage issue and enhance your bathroom design? In addition to some great ideas we "Beautiful bathroom shelving ideas"

Looking for inspiration to solve a storage issue and enhance your bathroom design? In addition to some great ideas we have on how to plan your bathroom design and small bathroom design, we’ve collated some beautiful bathroom shelving ideas for you to enjoy.

industrial bathroom shelving
Source: Bodie and Fou

Mounted bathroom shelving

Create a great looking storage space by mounting shelves. Brackets used to position the shelving can easily work as part of the design if you choose your materials and colour scheme wisely. Position the shelves on a back board and add additional hooks for hanging towels, or go for the ‘no back board’ option.

mounted bathroom shelving
Source: The Frugal Homemaker

Floating shelves

The ‘floating’ look is a variation of mounted shelving where the shelves are slipped over a protruding support attached to the wall and appear to float against it. They look really effective in white or natural wood.

floating bathroom shelving
Source: Bless’er House

Industrial shelving

Bathrooms are full of pipes and plumbing, so if the you’re in to the industrial look, the bathroom is a great place to implement it. Achieve the look by exposing pipes and plumbing, and complimenting their aesthetic by installing industrial style shelving, towel racks and toilet roll holders. Teaming industrial elements with reclaimed wood gives a really nice effect.

industrial bathroom shelving
Source: Etsy

If you’re inspired by this look and want to take it out of the bathroom, we have some more Industrial wall shelving ideas for your home.

Cube shelves

Clean lines and symmetry; there’s nothing nicer. Give your bathroom fashionable, modern character by installing cube shelves. Use them to display lotions and towels, or to house a little hint of greenery. You can DIY your own by using old drawers.

cube bathroom shelving
Source: Pinterest

Recessed shelves

If you don’t have space for shelves to be mounted or freestanding, you could recess them in to the walls between studs (if you own the place, or the owner gives you permission, of course). The little ‘nook and cranny’ look can be really beautiful.

If you need shelving installed or built in to your bathroom walls, take the fuss out of it by hiring a Handyman on Airtasker.

Princess Margaret Residence
Image credit: Carriage Lae Design-Build Inc.
Source: Houzz

Freestanding and hanging shelving

If you don’t have the option of drilling in to walls, consider using a freestanding or hanging bathroom shelving solution. Freestanding storage racks come in many different designs, are cost-effective and moveable. Hanging storage racks are a great option if you’ve got a towel rail you can hang them over, or even just a wall hook for lighter items.

hanging racks bathroom shelving
Source: Remodelaholic

Leaning shelves

Leaning shelves that have the ‘leaning’ or ‘ladder’ effect are wonderful; their height, varied depth and sturdy base allows you to store plenty of essential bathroom items.  Store hampers on the bottom shelf.

leaning bathroom shelving
Source: Love Chic Living

Ladders

Ladders are perfect alternative to bathroom shelving to use as towel racks! See if you can find an old one that’s feeling a bit unloved – sand it down and paint it in a nice accent colour before rehoming it in your bathroom.

ladder towel rack bathroom shelving
Source: funky junk interiors

Reclaimed wood

Reclaimed wood is a great look for any bathroom and will suit almost any colour scheme. Old wooden pallets are easy to get, often free, and are perfect for wannabe DIY carpenters to work on at home.

reclaimed wood bathroom shelving
Source: Viva Terra

Do you have other rooms in need of some shelf-spiration? If so, we have a wonderful collection of wall shelving ideas for you to muse over.

How to prepare your home for selling and moving

If you’re putting your home on the market, there are a number of things other than paperwork that you’ll need "How to prepare your home for selling and moving"

If you’re putting your home on the market, there are a number of things other than paperwork that you’ll need to do in preparation for selling and moving.

selling and moving home staging
Source: The Everygirl

Focus areas

The front door

Great first impressions matter. Make sure the entrance to your home is clean, tidy and looks nice. Gurnie the driveway, weed the front garden, and give the front door has a fresh lick of paint.

selling and moving front door
Source: Pinterest

Key rooms

The homemaker will want to focus on the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and laundry, so make sure repairs and cleaning for these rooms are on point. The other rooms of the house can usually be sorted out with a coat paint.

Repairs

Generally, you don’t need to fully renovate your home prior to selling and moving, but it should be in good, working condition. Little issues like mouldy shower grouting can put off people off. Small expenses and a little effort will go a long way in making your property more attractive to prospective buyers.

Do you need to?…

  • Re-grout bathrooms
  • Fix the fence
  • Fix leaking taps
  • Replace fixtures, e.g. chipped door knobs, rusty towel rails
  • Replace blown light bulbs

selling and moving repairs
Source: Getty via Popular Mechanics

Any investment you make in more expensive improvements prior to selling and moving, should be driven by where you’ll get the best return.

If you’re thinking of renovating prior to putting your home on the market, check out some Top renovations mistakes to avoid.

Rules and regulations

When selling and moving, there will be a number of rules and regulations that you’ll need to comply with, e.g. a pool safety certificate needs to obtained by the seller or purchaser in Queensland (Department of Housing and Public Works, 2015). It’ll make your property more attractive to a prospective buyer to have these things taken care of prior to sale.

Walls and painting

Check walls for marks, scratches and stains that might require plastering and a fresh coat of paint. Paint walls and ceilings in neutral colours; your property will appeal to a larger market (not everyone loves a bedroom in each colour of the rainbow).

selling and moving neutral paint
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Declutter and depersonalise

The sale of your property is a great excuse to clean out your belongings!  Declutter to maximise space for the open house and inspections. Depersonalise so buyers can imagine their own belongings in the space.

selling and moving decluttering and depersonalising
Source: Homey Oh My!

Cleaning

It’s important to give the impression that your property has been kept in good condition all the time (not just for the sale), so attention to detail is a must!  For the best results, you should do an ‘end of lease’ style clean.

Inside

Here’s a list to start you off:

  • All surfaces, benchtops and cupboards
  • Walls, skirting boards, power points
  • Windows, window sills, doors, screen doors, fly screens
  • Floors, carpets, tiles, timber
  • All built in appliances, e.g. dishwasher, oven, stove, range hood, etc.
  • Sinks, basins, taps (descaling)
  • Baths, showers, shower screens
  • Mirrors and wardrobes
  • Fans, air conditioners
  • etc.!

If the thought of scrubbing the oven makes you die a little bit inside, get some help from Airtasker’s reliable and flexible residential home cleaners.

selling and moving cleaning
Source: Pinterest

Outdoors

Outdoor areas should not be forgotten.  Make sure the:

  • Gardens and garage are tidy
  • Lawn is mowed
  • Garden beds are weeded
  • Gutters are cleaned
  • Pools are cleaned
  • Patios and driveways are clean
  • Cobwebs are removed

For open houses and inspections, you should also remove all rubbish, empty and wash bins, and make sure pet poo and pet bedding is removed.

selling and moving garden maintenance
Source: funky junk interiors

Odours

Sometimes if you’re living in it, you don’t notice it… Invite an honest friend with a keen nose over and get them to check for smells.  Odours in the home are usually from pets, mould and mildew. Find the source and address the problem, rather than trying to ‘mask’ it.

Staging your home for display

Put your best foot forward when presenting your home to prospective buyers.

selling and moving staging
Source: Home Adore

Furniture and décor

If your furniture is a worn, mismatched, or a little ‘dated’, consider hiring a home stylist to furnish your home during the sale period. It might be necessary to put your furniture in to storage temporarily.

If you need some assistance with heavy lifting and getting things in to storage, consider hiring a local furniture removalist to help you out.

Greenery

Create a calm and inviting atmosphere by adding some healthy, green plants to your home’s indoor and outdoor areas.  Little potted herbs perched on the window sill can freshen up the aesthetic of the kitchen.  Hire larger plants if you don’t want to purchase them.

selling and moving staging greenery
Source: BLOGLOVIN’

Good smells

Make your home smell inviting by roasting some coffee beans or baking fresh bread on the day of the open house.

Selling and moving

You’re on the home stretch when you’ve sold your property and the time comes to sort out furniture removal and storage. If you’re lucky, you’ve got access to a ute or small truck and the manpower to do the moving yourself. If not, seeking a professional furniture removalist will be on your list.

selling and moving furniture removals
Source: Moving Company Brisbane

If you’re in the market for a trusted, reliable removalist, check out the removalists for hire via Airtasker. They’re located across Australia and covered by insurance.

Let us know if you have any other great tips, and best of luck with selling and moving your home!

DIY Kitchen Hacks and Tips

The smells and sounds of the kitchen make it one of the most exciting and appreciated parts of the household. But sometimes "DIY Kitchen Hacks and Tips"

The smells and sounds of the kitchen make it one of the most exciting and appreciated parts of the household. But sometimes the process of cooking and cleaning up can be so time consuming, that it dampens the excitement. Here are some great DIY kitchen hacks and tips to help make cooking in, cleaning and organising your kitchen a little bit easier, and loads more fun!

Freezing things in ice cube trays

Don’t waste food; freeze it! Using ice cube trays to freeze things like curry pastes, tomato paste and lemon juice is easy and thrifty!  Once frozen, just pop the cubes into a freezer bag, label, date and defrost as needed.

 Kitchen hack tip: Pureed baby good freezes really well and saves busy mums plenty of time. Freeze ice cube trays of mashed pumpkin, mixed greens, a meaty casserole, etc., then once frozen put in to separate freezer bags. Defrost one block of each for a complete meal for babies 6-12 months old.
Ice cube tray DIY kitchen hacks and tips
Source: Yahoo! News

Cleaning the microwave

Working in the hospitality industry is a great place to pick up great kitchen hacks like this one! To clean a filthy, baked on, crusty microwave, pull the glass microwave tray out and spray the inside surfaces with Spray and Wipe. Place a microwave safe mug of water inside and zap for 40 to 60 seconds (depending on your microwave’s wattage). The mess will soften and easily wipe out with a clean, wet Chux.

cleaning microwave DIY kitchen hacks and tips
Source: Martha Stewart
Image credit: Johnny Miller

For some other ways to clean the kitchen, here are 4 natural kitchen cleaning products for your home.

Microwave meringues (seriously…)

While we’re on the topic of microwaves… you will have your MIND BLOWN by how easy it is to make microwave meringues (yes, they look a little different, but they taste just as good)! Try this recipe from BBC goodfood, and you’ll never spend another minute of your life ‘gently beating egg whites until stiff peaks form’ again!

  1. Stir 1 lightly beaten egg white in to 300g sifted icing sugar and roll into balls.
  2. Place 3 balls at a time on to a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 1½ minutes.
  3. Let them cool and serve with cream and fresh fruit – insanely good!
microwave meringues diy kitchen hacks and tips
Source:The Kitchen Mccabe

Line shelves and drawers with paper

Line your pantry shelves and kitchen drawers with paper so leaking products (e.g. oils and vinegars) don’t leave stains, and utensils don’t leave scratches. If you’re renting, do this when you first move in to a place, and all you’ll need to do when you vacate is remove the paper and do quick wipe with a microfiber cloth.

drawers lined with paper diy kitchen hacks and tips
Source: the kitchn

Cleaning fry pans

Most people know the old bi-carb trick, but did you know that adding a little detergent can make the cleaning process even easier? To clean a burnt fry pan, generously sprinkle bi-carb soda over the burnt parts, and squirt a little dishwashing detergent in the pan. Gently top it up with water so the bi-carb doesn’t move, and put the pan on the stove on full heat. Just as it comes to the boil, turn the heat off off so it doesn’t boil over and let it sit for between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on how burnt the pan is. The baked on grime should come straight off.

bi carb soda diy kitchen hacks and tips
Source: bellabox

Knot plastic bags

Knot plastic bags for reuse before stuffing them in to a plastic bag holder – it makes them much easier to pull out.

knotted plastic bags diy kitchen hacks and tips
Source: Pinterest

Freeze mince in flat portions

To make defrosting time quicker, freeze mince in sandwich bags, flatten and remove the air before sealing. A sandwich bag holds roughly 500 grams of mince and will defrost quickly and easily in a shallow water bath. This trick works with almost any food product.

mince frozen flat in sandwich bags diy kitchen hacks and tips
Source: Southern Living

Curtain rods and wall hooks

Using short curtain rods or even small towel racks, are a great way to store rolls of garbage bags, paper towels, and kitchen cleaning products. Temporary wall hooks are also a fantastic idea for storing saucepan lids on the inside of the cupboard doors, and hanging utensils.

If you’re not quite confident with installing rods and hooks by yourself, Airtasker has plenty of handymen (and women) waiting to help you out.

cleaning products curtain rod diy kitchen hacks and tips
Source: Apartment Therapy

Hassleback potatoes hack!

Of all of the kitchen hacks around, this is sure to be a favourite. When making hassleback potatoes, put a skewer through the bottom of the potato before cutting it; it stops you from cutting right through the potato.

Why didn’t anyone tell us this earlier?!

skewers in hassel back potatoes diy kitchen hacks and tips
Source: A Muse in My Kitchen
Image credit: Linda Lyell

Get more juice out of citrus

To get the most juice out of your citrus fruits, microwave limes, lemons and oranges for up to 20 seconds and roll them on the bench before cutting and juicing them.

lemon juice diy kitchen hacks and tips
Source: Nutrition Secrets

Do you have any other great DIY kitchen hacks and tips you’d like to share?  Please leave us a comment.

Laundry organisation and storage tips

The laundry is usually one of the smallest spaces in your home, so to optimise it’s functionality, it pays to "Laundry organisation and storage tips"

Laundry organisation and storage tips

The laundry is usually one of the smallest spaces in your home, so to optimise it’s functionality, it pays to be super smart with how you set it up. Here are some clever laundry organisation and storage tips.

laundry organisation and storage for small spaces

Source: Decorating Your Small Space

Floating shelves

DIY floating shelves are an easy and inexpensive way to create additional space for storing detergents and stacking towels. Snazz up the look of the boring old laundry room by choosing something simple and stylish, like these wooden shelves.

laundry organisation and storage tips floating shelves

Source: Thrifty Decor Chick

Pull out storage tower

You can either build pull out storage tower drawers in to your laundry design, or if you’re renting, you can purchase freestanding slim storage carts to achieve the same effect. These are a great way to store and easily access your laundry products as needed.

laundry organisation and tips pull out storage tower

Source: Listotic

Build yourself a benchtop

If you’re in to DIY and up for a challenge, you can create your own bench space building a floating bench top just above the height of your front loader washing machine.

laundry organisation and storage tips DIY bench top
Source: Notes from Wild Ink Press

Laundry organisation and storage shelves

Built in shelves that neatly fit your laundry hampers or baskets make laundry organisation and storage so much easier. If you don’t have built ins, you can do a DIY version. If you want to get really space-savvy, make one on wheels so it can be kept in the bathroom then rolled in to your laundry when the time comes to do the washing.

laundry organisation and storage tips mobile hamper storage

Source: Hoosier Homemade

Odd socks and small change

Where do you put all of the odd socks, random receipts, and unclaimed undies without making a mess? Hanging ‘junk drawers’ are a great way to keep all of the random bits and pieces in one spot. Buy one online, or use a large photo frame, pegs, string and chicken wire to make your own. Wall hooks are also great for hanging items and little jars or containers for collecting loose change, pegs and bobby pins.

laundry organisation and storage odd socks and small change

Source: Southern Belles Decorative Art

Hanging hampers

Save space and make laundry organisation and storage a piece of cake by hanging hampers from the wall. You can pop these away when not needed and easily move them in between rooms.

laundry organisation and storage tips hanging hampers

Source: The Pin Junkie

Drying space

You can purchase drying racks that are mountable, foldable, extendable and more. You can even repurpose almost anything to become a drying rack. How about hanging a ladder from the ceiling, or suspending an old bed frame with wire springs to hang coat hangers from?

laundry organisation and storage tips hanging ladder

Source: Little Lucy Lu

Lint is not for belly buttons!

You can wall mount little tidy bins for lint and disposing of other unwanted laundry items (tissues in pockets, anyone?). A Polished Habitat has a great DIY tutorial on how to make one.

laundry organisation and storage tips DIY lint bin
Image credit: Melissa George

Source: Polished Habitat

Dispensers and containers

Don’t you hate it when your kid has grass stains on his white cricket shirt and when you open the laundry cupboard to pull out the Vanish Preen, you’ve only got a dusting left? Fancy up the laundry room and make storing laundry products easy to keep stock of by using clear containers. Using dispenser taps is a great way to store liquid products too.

laundry organisation and storage tips dispensers and containers
Source: Container Store

Hang your ironing board

You can buy purpose-made wall mountable racks to hang your ironing board and iron. This will save you space and stop the ironing board from crashing down on you when your open the storage cupboard. Towel hooks are a really effective option too.

laundry organisation and storage tips hanging ironing board
Source: Right Up My Alley

If you’re not really the DIY type, you can post a Handyman task on Airtasker to have someone do the dirty work for you. Have you got any additional laundry organisation and storage tips that you’d like to share with us? Please comment below!

Top renovation mistakes to avoid

It doesn’t matter if you’re going down the DIY path or hiring an expert – no amount of experience is "Top renovation mistakes to avoid"

Top renovation mistakes to avoid

It doesn’t matter if you’re going down the DIY path or hiring an expert – no amount of experience is going to guarantee a completely seamless, stress-free renovation. If you’re considering renovating, whether be to ‘flip’ a place, or enjoy it for yourself, here’s a list of top renovation mistakes to avoid.

Renovating on impulse

tools of the trade
Source: Pinterest

Take for example a bathroom renovation and a split decision to remove a wall or the sink, but not having the expertise or budget to complete it. So you remain wall-less or sink-less for months… or worse, years! Key outtake here is to never start without a plan.

Design without intent

It’s important to design with intent. Do you want to renovate to increase your property value in preparation for sale, or do you intend on settling in and enjoying the place for a few years? Try to keep this at the forefront of your mind. As exciting as Pinterest boards and magazines clippings can be, you need to be realistic about the purpose of the reno and how much you should invest in it, i.e. don’t put your dream kitchen in to a house that you plan to rent out.

Not enough planning

The easiest way to get yourself in to a pickle is to go in with no idea what you’re doing, or what’s going on around you. You can help yourself by putting a bit of time and effort in to understanding what it is you want to achieve, and working out the end-to-end plan of how you’re going to get there. Think about sequencing, your timeline and budget.

Tip: Don’t do the polished wooden floorboards first and then start work on the cabinets… sequencing is important.

Rules and regulations

Check regulations with your local council (including times you can get noisy) and check what tasks require a license. Local council planning approvals and application fees are required for certain things. You may need to use a council building inspector or independent building inspector.

hammer and nails
Source: Style At Home

Lack of competence

If you’re going DIY, make sure that you or the people helping you are competent at the task at hand – three mates and a carton of beer do not guarantee an immaculate paint job. Educate yourself: Google, YouTube and your local hardware store staff are your friends.

Tip: Bunnings have some great, free DIY advice and even run free ‘how to’ workshops (most importantly, you can grab a sausage sizzle while you’re there).

paint brush on floor
Source: GH

Unrealistic living arrangements

If you’re already living in the place you’re renovating, you may want to consider temporary accommodation while the work goes on. Renovating can be really stressful and really draining, and on top of that, having a messy, dirty place with little to no privacy might end up being the last straw.

Not enough wiggle room in the budget

One of the top renovation mistakes that almost everyone is going to make is blowing the budget. To avoid budget blow out, talk to professionals, tradespeople and people who have renovated before, prior to commencing work. Research the work that you’re going to be doing and try to think of every possible expected and unexpected expense you might encounter. Put contingency funds aside that aren’t ‘part of your budget’ so when you find a termite nest, you’ve got some spare cash lying around to resolve the situation and move on.

broken piggy bank
Source: Real Simple

Tradie arrangements

If you’re going to hire a contractor to do the work for you, it pays to shop around.

  • A golden rule is don’t go with the first tradie you meet – get three or more quotes for all trades
  • Review the quality of their previous work
  • Know who is doing the job – them, or do they contract it out?
  • Know who their suppliers are – some only use x brand or x store
  • Make sure they’re licensed as required
  • Ask what is and isn’t included in quotes
  • Sort the contract out properly – have stages upon which payment is made and negotiate time damages in the contract prior to commencing construction, and
  • Most importantly, go with your gut.

If you’re having trouble finding someone, there are a number of licensed tradies for hire on Airtasker.

 

handyman tool belt
Source: The Guy Corner

Do you have any more tips you can share with us on renovation mistakes to avoid?

Small bathroom design ideas

The bathroom is one of the most versatile rooms to design in a home, but it can be a challenging task when "Small bathroom design ideas"

Small bathroom design ideas

The bathroom is one of the most versatile rooms to design in a home, but it can be a challenging task when space is a hot commodity. In addition to some great ideas we have on how to plan your bathroom design, we’ve pulled a few small bathroom design ideas together to help you make the most out of the space you have.

small bathroom design ideas
Source: StyleCaster

Small bathroom layout

You need to map out the room to understand what space you have a available and try a few different layouts to make use of it in the most efficient way possible. If you have a long, narrow room, try positioning larger fixtures at the end of the room so they’re not in the way. If you have a small, square or rectangular room, use corners for a shower cubicle or storage.

narrow bathroom
Source: Freshome

Shower

In small bathrooms, you can maximise floor space by opting for a shower instead of a tub. Skipping the bubble bath doesn’t mean you have to skip out on luxury though; there are plenty of indulgent shower options to choose from, such as the rainfall style shower head.

rainfall shower small bathroom design

Source: Pinterest

Big tiles

Bigger tiles in the bathroom make the room appear larger. Another clever optical illusion to make a room feel bigger is to run tiles from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. You can use smaller tiles to act as a feature or focal point on a wall.

big bathroom tiles

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Storage ladders

Storage ladders are a practical way to store various bathroom items in a visually pleasing manner. Carefully position cosmetics, lotions, towels and a photo frame on a white, wooden shelved ladder will create a crisp, comforting look. Using ladders without shelves to hang towels is also a great alternative to a mounted towel rack.

small bathroom design storage ladders
Source: DIY Rally

Floating shelves

Floating shelves positioned above the toilet or vanity will create plenty of storage without compromising space in the room. Stacked with a well thought out mix of essentials, greenery and accessories, they can become a functional and stylish feature of the room.

floating bathroom shelves
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Hidden hampers

Hampers are easy to stow and don’t have to be completely visible, but if you want them to be seen, there are plenty of good looking options available online and in bathroom accessory stores. You can use them to store towels or laundry and slip them underneath the bathroom vanity or other shelves so they’re out of the way.

hidden bathroo hampers
Source: Georgiana Design

Standing cabinets

Use a vertical standing cabinet placed against your longest wall to store and display towels and toiletries. Get creative with a bit of DIY and paint an old cabinet a vibrant colour – position it in a bathroom with neutral walls to create a focal point in the room.

green standing cabinet in bathroom
Source: Freshome

Pull out storage

The beauty of pull out storage is that you can have more storage space without having the inconvenience of trying to access it by opening a cupboard door in a tight spot. You can literally pull out a narrow, vertical storage shelf and have easy access to the entire shelf without trying to bend your arm in an unnatural way.

pull out bathroom storage
Source: Decor Pad

Over door hangers

Over door hanging hooks are a great alternative to a towel rack when you’re lacking space. They’re cost-effective, temporary, are likely to do damage to your door when installed properly, and are available in a range of materials and colours to suit your taste.

over door hangers
Source: Container Store

Mounted canisters

Mounted canisters are great for storage of smaller items like toothbrushes and razors. You don’t have to go with the usual sterile looking white porcelain canisters anymore though – mason jars and painted poly pipe are ‘on trend’, cheaper options that you can DIY.

mounted bathroom canisters
Source: Pinterest

Minimalism

Having too much ‘stuff’ in a small area creates a sense of clutter and can make a room feel claustrophobic. Taking a minimalist approach to your small bathroom design will help you achieve the illusion of a larger space. A strategically placed small succulent or candle here and there will add character to the room, but avoid going over the top. Strip out everything but the basics and feel the freedom!

minimalist small bathroom design
Source: est living

If you’re renovating, we have some great tips on top renovation mistakes to avoid that you may want to have a look at before you get started. If you’ve got any other suggestions for maximising space in a small bathroom, leave us a comment!

How to plan your bathroom design

When building or renovating a bathroom, there are a number of things you should consider before you get started. We’ve "How to plan your bathroom design"

How to plan your bathroom design

When building or renovating a bathroom, there are a number of things you should consider before you get started. We’ve pulled together some great tips on how to plan your bathroom design.

IKEA bathroom design ideas
Source: IKEA

Planning

If you need help with planning, you can hire a designer on Airtasker, or use a design planning tool to step through the process. There are plenty of online bathroom planning tools that allow to you experiment with different designs and customised layouts so you can visualise how you bathroom will look.  Some even allow you to shop for fixtures and accessories as you go. Check out the Reece’s 3D bathroom planner – they also have some great bathroom inspiration photo galleries if you’re not sure where to start.

bathroom inspiration
Source: My Domaine

Practicality

Design in the bathroom is not just about looks; it’s about practicality. You need to think about who will use the bathroom, when and how. Is the bathroom part of a large family home, where children might be all using it at once to get ready for school in the morning? Or is it for an elderly couple who may want to focus on accessibility? If you’re likely to experience ‘peak hour traffic’, it might be a good idea to consider features like double basins and a separate toilet.

double basin bathroom design
Source: Woohome

Bathroom design

When you plan your bathroom design, think about what you do and don’t like in your existing bathroom. If you have a bathtub now, do you ever use it? If not, perhaps you could make use of this space in a better way in your new bathroom. If you need a new hot water system, do you prefer to take the sustainable path and opt for solar, or will your choice be between gas and electricity?

Many bathroom retailers have visual inspiration galleries online that you can browse. IKEA have a catalogue dedicated to all things bathroom that you can browse for ideas.

rain shower bathroom design
Source: Exipser

Surfacing

It’s important that you’re clued up on regulatory requirements and what you can and can’t use to construct your bathroom. Your local council can help you out with rules around safety and waterproofing.

Things you need to think about are non-slip surfaces when choosing your floor, shower and bathtub. Also knowing what materials you can and can’t use on certain surfaces, for example floor tiles can be used on walls, but you can’t use wall tiles on floors.

bathroom wall tile design
Source: The Blue Post

Position in the house

Think about where the room is in the house. If your building a new home, your plumbing and hot water system might be more efficient and less complicated to install if the rooms using these features are closer together (e.g. laundry and kitchen). Consider if the bathroom you’re designing is a main bathroom, ensuite or second bathroom. Does it need to be situated close to the bedrooms?

ensuite bathroom design
Source: The Block Shop

Layout

When you plan your bathroom design, you need to consider the size of the overall room and the fixtures that will be installed. You should also think about the placement of plumbing and electrical outlets. How annoying would it be if you forgot to install power points and then had to blow dry your hair the in the kitchen? Think about things like which way the shower door will swing.

Tip: Don’t forget to think about the positioning of smaller fixtures, such as towel racks and toilet roll holders – these take up a surprising amount of space if they’re installed in the wrong spot.
towel rack
Source: Etsy

Ventilation and lighting

To avoid mould, it’s important to make sure that there will be adequate ventilation in your new bathroom. Even with windows, sometimes a small vent will be required to ensure moisture dries out properly. Having natural lighting in the bathroom is great for ambience (and applying makeup), so if possible, maximise it in your design, or use natural lighting solutions.

If you’re experiencing problems with mould and mildew, find out how to rid mould from your home for good.

natural light in bathroom
Source: The Ultralinx

Accessories and finishings

The final touches are what will give your bathroom ‘oomph’! You can explore colours and textures to give your bathroom style and draw all of the elements together. The well known ’60, 30, 10’ rule is a surprisingly effective concept to use.

  • 60% = main colour – think walls and ceiling (stick to something neutral)
  • 30% = secondary colour – somewhat stronger, think floors, feature tiles, blinds
  • 10% = accent colour – think bold, strong colour; try implementing with towels, soap dispensers, a plant, a mirror, etc.
 Tip: Don’t forget to add accessories and finishing touches to your budget.
bathroom accessories
Source: Hometalk

If you’re working with a smaller space, we’ve got some great small bathroom design ideas just for you!

Small living room design ideas

Most people these days will find affording their dream home a challenge and might have to compromise on space in "Small living room design ideas"

Small living room design ideas

Most people these days will find affording their dream home a challenge and might have to compromise on space in order to have a place to call their own. If your home is on the smaller side, odds are your living room is where you’ll spend most of your time, so you’ll want it to have a relaxed and inviting ambience. Working with what you’ve got, there are some great small living room design ideas that you can use to make the most out of it.

Visualise before your start

When you don’t have much space to start with, you’ll want to think about the look and aesthetic you’d like to achieve before you start purchasing furniture or moving items. Pinterest, blogs, friends, cafes and home living stores are great sources of inspiration for design and styling. DIY can be a lot of fun, but if it’s not your cup of tea, you can seek out an interior designer or handyman on Airtasker to help you out.

small living room design ideas

Source: Decoholic

Modular lounges

If you don’t have the luxury of space for a big three-piece sofa set, consider a modular lounge. Modular lounges are great because you can purchase different shapes and sizes and configure them in to a variety of ways to fit the room.  Just make sure that if you’re getting a chaise, you think about what side of the room the longer piece will sit on. Choosing lounges with a lightweight appearance will also help a small living room appear bigger.

Coco Lapine Design

Source: Coco Lapine Design

Furniture as storage

Save space in the living room by getting a coffee table that doubles as a storage unit. Use it to store remotes, DVDs, magazines and other gadgets. A small side table with internal shelving will also be a functional, space saving addition to the room when placed at the end of the couch.

small living room design ideas coffee table

Source: Dagmar Bleasdale

Mounted entertainment systems

Wall mounted flat screen televisions will save you plenty of space, and they’re becoming more cost effective. Another option if you’ve got the cash to splash is setting up a projector on to the wall and connecting it to a laptop. Sound bar speakers are slender and can be wall mounted; they also look less cluttered and the wiring is simplified. If these are beyond your budget, you can get space-efficient vertical speaker towers that look good and blend in to a room.

Tip: It’s important to get your TV wall mounted correctly, post your TV wall mounting task to get it completed for you.

small living room design ideas mounted tv
Source: EVEN

Greenery

If you don’t have room for a little side table to sit plants and flowers on, you can still brighten up a small living room by making use of hanging space and shelving. Hang or mount little glass terrariums on the walls, and you’ll get that nice aesthetic that greenery inside the home provides. Use floating shelves to give the effect of an indoor vertical garden, or place potted plants on window sills.  Plants like ferns, air plants and succulents work well inside, as do small flowers and herb seedlings.

small living room design ideas wall plants

Source: StyleCaster

Wall and ceiling space

A room can look a little bare without much on the walls or in the centre, so make use of the space to create something functional or just add character. Think prints, clocks, a little vertical garden or a floating shelf on walls.

If you’re up for the challenge, try making your own bookshelf by cutting up an old pallet. Paint it with varnish or a neutral colour and use it to hold little plants or stack books.

Utilise hanging space from the ceiling for pendant lighting, a hanging chair or even a fire place – it will add a focal point and element of style to the room.

small living room deisgn ideas pendant lighting

Source: My Domaine

Bring the living room design together

If you don’t already spend every weekend at Kmart, putting the final styling touches in your small living room is a great excuse to get down there. Soft pastel prints and copper are on trend at the moment – add this to your space in the form of a print or hanging article. Put a soft, neutral coloured throw over the side of the couch to draw the look together.

small living room design ideas copper vase

Source: Pinterest

Do you have any tips for styling a small living room? Let us know in the comments below!

Vegetable Gardening in Autumn and Winter

The drop in temperature is no excuse to give up your green thumb just yet.

Vegetable Gardening in Autumn and Winter

Is your vegetable patch beginning to look a little under the weather (pun intended) as the cooler months arrive? The drop in temperature is no excuse to give up your green thumb just yet.

Vegetable gardening this time of year is quite forgiving for autumn vegetables and winter growing. Plant now to allow your little veggie patch babies a few months to establish themselves before spring and summer roll in. It’s all about knowing what to grow, where and when.

Vegetable gardening – what to grow, where and when

Seed packets and seedling labels will often tell you ideal sowing and growing information. There are some vegetables that will do reasonably well in most climates in the cooler months. According to Stephanie Alexander’s (a.k.a. The Fairy Godmother of growing edible produce in Australia) The Kitchen Garden Companion book the following vegetables and herbs will do well in most of Australia if planted in Autumn and Winter:

  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Cabbage
  • Coriander
  • Lettuce
  • Blueberries (warm climate varieties now exist!)
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes


Source: Pixabay 

Seeds and seedlings

There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Enthusiastic gardeners can either grow from scratch or get a head start and buy established seedlings to transplant in to their ‘forever garden’. Farmers markets are a great spot to pick up seeds and seedlings, as are online retailers such as the Lost Seed and Southern Harvest. Your local vegetable gardening stores and nurseries will also have a great variety.

Tip: There are quarantine restrictions that may affect some states/territories when buying online.

vegetable gardening seedlings
Source: Flickr

Garden design

Sometimes the best part of making a garden is the part where you get to choose your design. Pinterest is a mecca for all forms of vegetable gardening inspiration. Bed, box, containers, raised beds, vertical, hanging, potted, trellises, indoors, outdoors, rooftops, etc. The options are endless! Get inspired.

vegetable garden design inspiration
Source: Flickr

Prepare and plant your garden

Once you’ve chosen your design, there’s prepping of soil, planting and nurturing to do. If you’re finding yourself short of time (or want to curl up under the blanket and watch Netflix instead), you can post a gardening task to get some help. If you’re into DIY, read on.

Soil

For bigger garden beds, landscaping businesses sell good quality vegetable garden soil by the cubic meter. You can get soil that’s already conditioned and ready for planting. If you’re doing something smaller, get bags of good quality soil and soil conditioning products from gardening retailers.

Remove leftover mulch

If you’ve already got an established garden bed and it’s got mulch on it, make sure your remove it. The purpose of mulch is to keep moisture in and evaporation rates won’t be as high in cooler weather, so you don’t need it. You don’t want to end up with soggy soil and unhappy plants.

Plant food and worms

If your soil isn’t already conditioned, invest in a good quality fertiliser routine so your plants are well nourished. This will help them grow up big and strong. Blood and bone, seaweed plant tonics like Seasol, and compost are popular choices. Worm poo is also a great fertiliser. The added bonus of having worms in your garden is that they aerate the soil.

vegetable garden earthwormsSource: Flickr

Keep your garden going by establishing a good watering and maintenance routine. You’ll be reaping the fruits (or veggies) of your labour in no time. If you need some more help, we’ve got plenty more gardening tips for you. Happy vegetable gardening!

Top Midnight Food Delivery in Adelaide

It’s 11:30pm and you want tea smoked duck, but you can be bothered getting in the car and driving down "Top Midnight Food Delivery in Adelaide"

Top Midnight Food Delivery in Adelaide

It’s 11:30pm and you want tea smoked duck, but you can be bothered getting in the car and driving down to Gouger St to get it… Adelaide, did you know that you can order your duck and get an Airtasker to do late night food delivery for you? Yes, it’s a new thing, but we think it’ll catch on! Want to try it? Here are a few great places open late for Adelaide food delivery via Airtasker.

Ying Chow Chinese Restaurant, Adelaide

Ying Chow Chinese is located in the heart of Radelaide’s food district, serving up excellent quality Chinese at reasonable prices. Locals say the shallot pancakes are must have, along with the red vinegar pork ribs, Chinese broccoli in garlic sauce, and of course you already know you want the tea smoked duck. Their reliable quality and late opening hours will keep your tummy happy any night of the week.

Midnight Adelaide Food Delivery
Source: Ying Chow Facebook

Location: 114 Gouger St, Adelaide
Opening hours: Sun – Thurs until 12:45am, Fri – Sat until 1am
Web: N/A, but you check Facebook
Phone: (08) 8211 7998
How to order and pay: You can call in advance to place your order, but you’ll need to get your Airtasker to pay upon pick-up, so make sure your posted price takes your order value into consideration.

San Giorgio, Adelaide

If you’re looking for late night eats in Adelaide, you cannot go past San Giorgio on Rundle St. The name gives it away; they’re an Italian pizzeria serving up the expected pizza and pasta repertoire, but they also do some magnificent chicken, steaks, seafood and salads!

If there are a couple of you, grab one of their meal deals and a tiramisu for a shared midnight snack (or just order it for yourself, we don’t judge). They do have a delivery service for a price and minimum order of $20, but depending on where you are, they may not reach you. Airtasker food delivery is a great way to get around that.

Midnight Adelaide Food Delivery
Source: San Giorgio

Location: 217 Rundle St, Adelaide
Opening hours: Open past midnight, 7 days (check opening hours here)
Web: www.sangiorgiopizzeria.com.au
Phone: (08) 8223 1700
How to order and pay: Order online via menulog and pay with a credit card, voucher, PayPal, or cash on pickup. Or alternatively, ask your Airtasker to place your order and pay in person.

East Taste Cafe, Adelaide

The Asian food scene is strong in Adelaide, so it’s no surprise that we have another Gouger Street special open until midnight. East Taste is where the hospo staff choose to dine after their shifts. They serve up incredible, modern Asian fusion dishes and even cater for the vegan crowd.

If you’re unsure what you want, you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you just call up and ask for whatever’s going on the specials board. Right now their feature dish is fresh scallops on the shell with XO sauce (Source: East Taste). If that doesn’t tickle your fancy (as if it wouldn’t!), the salt and pepper eggplant is said to be one of their best dishes. Yes please!

east taste scallops
Source: East Taste Cafe

Location: 119 Gouger St, Adelaide
Opening hours: Until 1am every night, except Sat which is until 2am. Not open on Mondays.
Web: www.easttasterestaurant.com.au
Phone: (08) 8231 0268
How to order and pay: You can call in advance to place your order, but you’ll need to get your Airtasker to pay upon pick-up, so make sure your posted price takes your order value into consideration.

How to hire an Airtasker for Adelaide food delivery

The going rate for most food delivery tasks on Airtasker is about $20 (Airtasker), but you need to take a few other things into consideration:

  • How far is the food pick-up location to the delivery location? 10 minutes is a big difference to 45…
  • How much might it cost an Airtasker to get your food to you? Consider fuel expenses.
  • Will you be able to pre-order and pay in advance, or does your payment to the Airtasker need to cover this cost?

To make it easier for everyone involved, make sure that your task includes the:

  • Delivery suburb in the task title
  • Pick-up location and delivery suburb details in the task description
  • Pick-up and delivery date/time
  • Details on how the food is being ordered and paid for

For more hot tips on how to hire an Airtasker for food delivery, check out Food Delivery via Airtasker.