But, after nothing grabbed them in Melbourne, they decided to search further afield, eventually settling on Bendigo, where Carmel had studied some years before.
They found the outdoor space they wanted – and more – when they found a “dirt cheap, whopping, 1800 square metre block” in an already established area.
“The day we saw it, we put in an offer and the next day, it was ours,” remembers Carmel.
The couple decided to build a modern, minimalist family home with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a rumpus and open plan living.
“A simple plan that everyone goes for in a family home but we just designed everything oversized to make it feel more luxe,” explains Carmel.