Growing family bliss

Trish and Dave thought looking at homes in a nearby display village would be fun for a couple of hours. But they ended up falling in love with the design for their forever family home.

Building a home wasn’t on our path at all,” Trish says with a bright smile. “All we knew was that we wanted to have a large family. There was this nearby display village, our two kids were at their grandparents’, and we had a little spare time, so we decided to go and have a look.”

The couple saw various homes that looked great from the outside but wouldn’t meet the needs of a sizeable family inside. “And then we walked into the Saxonvale 40 from McDonald Jones, and it was love at first sight,” Trish recalls fondly.

“There was a long list of things we loved about it. The fact that the living area is at the back and all the private quarters are upstairs was great. “The kitchen was phenomenal, and the high ceilings took our breath away. We loved that it’s a two-storey home, and that the staircase isn’t the first thing you see when you walk in. Instead, you feel welcomed into the home.

“But as much as we liked what we had seen, we weren’t ready to take things any further. Yet our family was growing, and we knew that one day we would be building our own home with a large backyard for the kids to play and enough space for everyone.

With both Trish and Dave growing up on acreage in the Blue Mountains they started looking for a sizeable block of land on the Central Coast to stay close to family and friends. They wanted a thousand square metres but couldn’t find anything of that size on a quiet street.

They had almost given up on their quest when they found a big enough block in Eastern Lake Macquarie.
Initially, Trish wasn’t a fan. “It was massively overgrown and had lots of work written all over it, but when we came to have a look, the place felt so peaceful. We knocked on some of the neighbours’ doors and everyone was lovely and spoke highly of the neighbourhood.”

The couple went ahead and bought the block. McDonald Jones’s site assessment confirmed that it was a great choice for their dream design and preparation for the build got underway. However, the pandemic threw another spanner in the works.

“We sold our old home and moved in with my parents. We are hugely grateful that they helped us out, but the pandemic added its own set of challenges with lockdowns and everyone working from home. By then we had four children under six and things got a bit chaotic at times,” Trish admits.

Let’s get going!

Discussions with Council caused further delays so by the time the couple finally saw pegs in the ground, they felt huge relief. “From then on, everything became so much easier. It was great to see the house come together.”

Find your dream home
For more information on the award-winning McDonald Jones home designs, go to or visit one of their display homes across the Hunter and Central Coast.

Read more in our Summer Edition of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.
Story by Cornelia Schulze, photography by Joshua Hogan