British property developer and television presenter Sarah Beeny is a familiar face to many viewers across the UK, thanks to her fact-filled shows on Channel 4 that advise viewers on how to refurbish their properties.


Born on 9th January 1972, she seemed destined to forge a career in the property industry, since her father was an architect for Bovis Homes. In interviews, Sarah has spoken of how her father built an assortment of new garden sheds at their Berkshire home, igniting her interest from an early age.


Early career


Her entry into the property arena was somewhat unusual, as she decided to travel the world at the age of 17, before realising she wasn’t enjoying herself. She returned to the UK and tried her hand at a number of jobs, including door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales and starting her own sandwich business, before deciding on a drastic career change.


Sarah began studying property in her spare time, which gave her a good knowledge of the market. She saved money until she could afford to launch her own development business.


Television shows


Sarah was introduced to a talent scout from production company Talkback Thames and she was invited to take a screen test. This resulted in her first TV show, Property Ladder, which was hugely successful and ran for seven series between 2001 and 2009. She also presented Channel 4’s One Year to Pay Off Your Mortgage in 2006 and Property Snakes and Ladders in 2009.


2010 saw the beginning of Sarah’s new series, Help – My House is Falling Down. Although the title wasn’t to be taken literally, all the properties that featured on the show needed extensive repairs. In the same year, Channel 4’s Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare followed her historic house refurbishment in the East Riding of Yorkshire, when she transformed Rise Hall into a plush wedding venue.


Sarah also presented Village SOS in 2011, which followed a group of residents who wanted to restore their village to its former glory.


Bifold doors


Her show, Double Your House for Half the Money, was a home improvement show advising householders on how to find cost-effective ways of enhancing their home. Among the tips Sarah offered throughout the series, bifold doors were a big part of some of her home redesigns. She advised that the focus should be on creating a continuous flow between the outdoors and indoors through the use of bifold doors, to enhance the transition between the space as opposed to interrupting it.


One episode revealed how bifold doors could be the key to extending the sense of space in a kitchen-diner. Incorporating bifold doors and re-organising the room and garden made the area look and feel so much more spacious. In another episode, the owners of a two-up two-down Victorian semi installed bifold doors to showcase the stunning views of the Sussex countryside beyond.


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