During her days as the host of Property Ladder, when it was sometimes very clear that she was baffled by the participants’ approach to developing houses, some viewers may have wondered how Sarah Beeny would fare if she was being filmed renovating a building.
Well, they don’t need to wonder any longer. Last year, she brough us Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country, which followed the property expert, her husband Graham Swift and their four boys as they swapped life in London to move to a semi-derelict former dairy farm in Somerset with 220 acres of land.
The family were planning to turn it into the modern, carbon-neutral mini-stately home of their dreams, which Sarah admits was a very ambitious undertaking, but she was ready to give it her best shot.
As she said ahead of the first series: “I think I’ve always quite enjoyed the buzz from change and mountainous challenges and moving our whole family lock stock and barrel from city to country and re-inventing our whole life has certainly been that.
“I am so aware of how lucky we are to be able to do something like this, but it’s been a life changing experience. But ultimately I do believe you only live once and if you can make a dream real you should try and journey down that path if you can.”
The first series did attract some criticism, with a few viewers questioning the timing of a series showing Sarah and her family creating their dream home when others were struggling with the pandemic. But most saw it as a bit of welcome escapism, which explains why it returned for a new series last week.
In this second episode, the family are halfway through building their home – the shell is complete, so now they are concentrating on the interiors.
They’re taking their inspiration from one of their previous projects, Rise Hall, a country house Sarah and Graham renovated in Yorkshire. In particular, they want to emulate its impressive original staircase in their new home
They manage to track down a local staircase maker, Jake, who heads up the family business and has been working on achieving old-looking new wood products since he was 14 years old. So, they have the perfect man for the job, but the problem is that Sarah and Graham have slightly different visions for this important feature. Can they agree on what they want so that the work can begin?
That’s not the only difference of opinion they have this week. Sarah has happy memories of her parents keeping goats and is interested in acquiring some of the animals herself. So, the family make the trip to the neighbouring county of Devon to learn more about what exactly it involves and what the benefits might be.
However, Graham is already wondering whether they really have time to take on goats, and what he learns during their fact-finding mission does little to change his mind.
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