Jennifer Tackaberry handles sales and client relations for Ottawa At Home, but her tasks within her own home are even greater. She balances a busy work schedule with an even more hectic home life where she, and her husband Todd are active parents to three energetic daughters. Jennifer is an avid volunteer with her daughters’ sports teams as well as a sports enthusiast herself.
The hands-on mom relishes family time. This often includes mealtimes together in a space that has to easily transform from a homework station to an elegant setting for entertaining friends and family.
The Tackaberrys purchased their Wellington Village area home from the British High Commission in 2008. While the traditional style, centre-hall plan house had been well maintained, the aesthetics were outdated.
Jennifer describes the previous décor as “heavy” with its wall-to-wall sea-foam green carpet and grand-scale print draperies. So when the Tackaberrys went to work to breathe life into the space, their priority was to open up the small foyer, remove all carpeting, redo the hardwood flooring and paint throughout.
Over the years, the existing space didn’t work for the family, and in 2014 they took their renovations further by opening up the kitchen and dining room area. Jennifer worked with Stefania Crilly from Spruce Design along with Kitchens by Design, to transform the space to better suit their lifestyle. Jennifer’s biggest impetus for change stemmed from the fact that her girls used the dining room as their homework and project area.
“When I was in the kitchen I couldn’t see the girls in the dining room,” Jennifer says of the separate and more formal space that was true to the design of its era. “We wanted it to be open concept where we could all be together.”
The modifications maintained the integrity of the original character by retaining some significant details like the arched opening from the hall to the dining room. A built-in buffet, within a nook in the dining room window, was left to preserve the home’s original charm, while contributing to the room’s function.
Today, Jennifer has exactly what she needs from their home. “There is enough space for me to work on my laptop while the kids are working on their homework. It lets us all be in one space without being on top of each other.”
The most recent update connects the kitchen to an outdoor living space that lends itself to the Tackaberry’s active lifestyle. A sizeable backyard is fully equipped for entertaining and hosting après sporting activities, when the hot tub is particularly appreciated.
The family bought their Wellington Village area home to be closer to friends who already lived in one of the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods. Like many homeowners, their first priority was finding a home in an area that would suit their family. But as many houses in well-established neighbourhoods tend to be older, it often means compromising between modern homes designed for active family living and a desired location. Ultimately, the Tackaberrys managed to adapt the space to meet their family needs and accommodate their lifestyle, while preserving the charming appeal of an older home.