Finding Your Dream Cotswold Property
When we embarked on our own journey to move to and find our Dream Cotswold Property, we discovered the amazing husband and wife team, Peter and Francesca Sharvell, who head up the boutique estate agency: Sharvell Property. We quickly saw that their years of experience, local insight and wonderful personal service were a winning formula. A few year later we met up again for a coffee and a catchup to talk all things property and interiors. Here we share a little more about this dynamic duo.
For those who have not yet heard of you, tell us about Sharvell Property?
Sharvell Property is a contemporary boutique estate agency with traditional values. We provide a bespoke service tailored to you and your home; combining beautiful marketing and local knowledge with an outstanding commitment to our clients.
Based in the heart of the Cotswolds and specialising in the sale of residential properties in the region, we pride ourselves on our service and approachability whilst offering integrity, discretion, and professionalism. Our relationship with our clients is of the utmost importance to us.
We created Sharvell Property after working for over two decades in the sale of international, national, and regional properties at multinational blue-chip companies including Knight Frank, Strutt & Parker and King Sturge (Jones Lang LaSalle). Our experience has led us to identify a need for a more personal and better managed approach to buying and selling property. We wanted to make a difference and create a business together which we could be proud of. Who knows, maybe one day our boys will want to follow in our footsteps!
We are lucky to live in one of the most attractive and sought-after regions of England. The Cotswold has much to offer the potential buyer and our enthusiasm and knowledge of the area is key. We have built a wonderful network of friends, contacts and a wealth of experience which we wish to share with others.
What is it like working as a husband and wife team?
We actually met working together at Knight Frank in London so have never really known any different! We are pretty much 24/7 together, although we divide up the workload. Peter is more on the forefront of the business, meeting clients, and I tend to look after the admin, back-office side of the business. We play to our strengths and genuinely love each other’s company so it works for us!
Is it possible to achieve the work/life balance?
Absolutely, although that doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve! We work hard and love what we do but are very mindful that family comes first. Although some weekends we also work Sundays, we really do try and keep this precious time for our three boys. One of the reasons we set up the company was to be able to work our own hours and adapt our work around our family life and commitments. Sometimes we definitely need to check ourselves and remember to switch off!
How would you advise homeowners to get ready to market their property?
First impressions are so important so we always stress how the good presentation of a home is vital. It’s the little things which can really make a difference such as making sure the hedges are trimmed, the driveway is weed free and nicely gravelled etc. A fresh lick of paint on the front door can work wonders and also making sure the lighting inside a home works well – no missing light bulbs!
Homes are lived in and we absolutely don’t want our vendors to feel they need to have a ‘show home’. The key is to declutter, which can be time consuming but also quite cathartic, and a step ahead of the game for when it comes to packing up to move.
Do first impressions really count?
Yes yes yes! Most people make up their mind about a house within minutes of arriving. The general vibe of a house and how it makes you feel is paramount. Houses are bought on feeling.
Most people can see beyond a tired décor but a vendor can score real brownie points by making a home feel welcoming and inviting. A few items which can help are gorgeous aromatic candles, atmospheric lighting, even a freshly baked loaf can make a house feel homely. It’s the little things which can catch the eye – a colourful cushion or a few personal photos dotted around to make the house a home.
What makes the perfect home?
Is there a perfect home? we think everyone’s idea of perfect is different. For us, a home which has soul is a very special home.
Is the kitchen still the heart of the home?
For most homes yes. We have definitely seen a rise in kitchen/garden rooms. Bringing the outdoors in and creating a free-flowing movement between indoor and outdoor living is more and more popular. For us the heart of the home is the kitchen – a generous space for everyday family life but also ideal for entertaining family and friends. A formal dining room can be magical and so elegant but it is generally only used for special occasions and with space at a premium in the Cotswolds, dining rooms have made way for rooms which serve more of an everyday purpose.
How do you define Cotswold style?
An English Provence: beautiful, elegant and sometimes quirky.
How do you enjoy the Cotswolds at the weekend?
We love to get outside and breath in the fresh air. Our boys are very active and love the outdoors, so we tend to go for a long Sunday walk, possibly stopping off for a delicious lunch at one of the nearby gastro pubs. Over the past few months we’ve discovered some truly magical walks on our doorstep and its always wonderful putting the world to rights during a long stroll.
What’s on your Cotswold bucket list?
Our list would go on forever! We are very lucky to live in such a fantastic area. But a few that spring to mind are:
A night at Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons – Raymond’s Maman Blanc apple tarte is sensational!
The Cotswold lavender farm – we really need to make a trip there!
A huge thanks to Francesca and Peter Sharvell for taking the time to talk to us – A real pleasure as always.
To check out some of the latest, most stunning Cotswold properties coming to market, check out Sharvell’s latest edition of Portfolio Magazine here.