THE work of an aspiring interior designer from Old Town received mixed reviews this week when she appeared on a prime-time BBC television programme.

Sarah Donegan, of Stafford Road, Old Town, was picked to appear in an episode of Your Home in Their Hands, which was broadcast on BBC One on Thursday.

The show sees amateur designers take on the challenge of redesigning rooms in houses where the owners have lost inspiration, with a surprise reveal at the end of the show.

But despite winning praise from presenter Celia Sawyer, a celebrated interior designer, Sarah’s ‘clients’ – Dave and Sarah Marshall – were not impressed with her efforts in the living room of their 1920s semi-detached house in Crewe, Cheshire.

When presented with the vintage revamp, Dave said: “To me, it’s all clutter. I don’t like it at all.”

But 50-year-old Sarah, who currently works as a handbag and graphic designer, has vowed to continue to pursue her passion for interior design, pointing out that she was told to complete the room in her style, even though she expected the couple not to like her design.

“If you had asked him (Dave) to list things he hated, one of them would have been ‘things that are old-fashioned’,” she said.

“I was picked for that very reason.

“But we weren’t given a brief, we were given a sheet of paper with two lines on it, four weeks before it started.

“We were actively encouraged to stop thinking like an interior designer. ‘Just do what’s in your own house,’ they told me.”

However, the work Sarah did on the room, which included exposing a brick wall and using vintage items sourced from across the country, did impress presenter Celia, who said: “I think she’s achieved everything in the brief and I think she’s done a very good job.

“That’s the first time I have said that I think, ever. 10 out of 10.”

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Presenter Celia Sawyer from the BBC 1 programme, Your Home in Their Hands, reveals the finished room fitted out by Swindon designer Sarah Donegan

A BBC spokeswoman also said how much Celia liked the room and that she was “sorry” Sarah had any negative feelings about the show but that she “came across really well”.

Sarah said she hoped people would see beyond the reaction of the couple and focus on her style and design skills. “The fact she liked my room was great but people would have thought I didn’t listen to the clients so it was a bittersweet experience,” she said. “I wouldn’t do it again, I’m not interested in being on the telly.

“When I went in for the programme, I was hoping for it to be some sort of platform to show off what I’ve got, to get some future work, but I don’t know if that will happen.

“But this (interior design) is the direction I want to go in.”