Moving to Canberra from Tasmania, it took some time for Jasmine and Alex to find their place in our planned city. Our well laid out streets, suburban landscape and young aesthetic can feel soulless and disconnected if you don’t know where to look.
Unsurprisingly, it is in Hackett they found their joyful place and their newfound love of Canberra is infectious and heartfelt. Now selling their mid-century home and returning to family in Tasmania, I asked Jasmine to share her experience of how Canberra became ‘their place’.
Like many families, we landed in Canberra, quite suddenly, for a job – typical examples of the steady population growth enjoyed by the territory for more than a hundred years.
It was 2008 and the ‘millennium drought’ was in full swing. I remember washing our car with a little bucket, on a prickly patch of yellow that I refused to call grass, feeling that I could never truly make the city home. Where was the soul that I had found in places with long histories and slow, organic, layered approaches to town planning?
People in the know kept reassuring us, “Canberra has a great arts scene”, “the best restaurants and galleries”, “thriving theatre companies,” “so close to the beach and the snow” (all true!), but at the end of the day, I realised I didn’t want to have to look hard or travel far to find the things that bring me joy. I didn’t even want to have to go out. I wanted to wake up each day and love my house, my street, my neighbourhood and my community, and I guess I wanted it to love me back. I wanted us to be connected to something beautiful.
That’s when we discovered Hackett and it’s mid-century marvels.
It was a red brick 60s number with atomic era light shades and a pink bath that welcomed us in, wrapped us up and brought us home.
Owning and making a creative and personal living space is grounding, settling, satisfying, reassuring. Through this house, the whole Capital region became an extension of ‘our place.’ From our newfound position of comfort, we began to see and enjoy everything it has to offer.
Now Hackett happens every day, right here in our front yard. People and dogs and children with bikes all stop to chat for a minute or an hour. We’ve built cubbies in the bush and played endless games on the oval. We’ve had so many cups of tea with so many new friends. We’ve made art and made music and cooked a thousand cakes! We’ve watched the seasons change and our garden grow as fast as our children have.
We’ve picked lemons, figs, apricots, raspberries and walnuts, and watched the cockatoos take all the almonds for themselves.
Are we glad we stuck it out in the well-planned city with quirky bus stops and noisy birds? You bet we are! We’ll always be glad we discovered what she has to give.
Holly Komorowski is the director of a boutique agency, home.byholly, which focuses on selling houses throughout the established Canberra suburbs. Holly is living proof that real estate agents can be authentic, genuine, friendly and highly effective. To learn more, contact Holly on 0434 973 987.