Downton

See an English Estate Renovation That’s Any Downton Abbey Fan’s Dream

There’s not many people brave enough to take on such an outlandishly top-end renovation project, but for Dean Poulton, 33, and Borja de Maqua, 31, of the Instagram feed @mytinyestate, this grand design of stunning proportions was too tempting to resist. A rural English affair in Warwickshire, it comprises an array of different buildings and gardens including a three-story Georgian manor house, an adjoining servants’ quarters, and a caretaker’s cottage that dates back to Tudor times, plus a charming gardener’s cottage and piggery—all set amidst 2.5 acres of formal gardens, courtyards, and stables—barely habitable and far from good decorative order. These self-taught fixer-uppers may call the estate tiny, but the amount of work completed since they started, in March 2018, is vast. And what makes the story all the more compelling is how they have journaled their makeover via their social media platform. Having started out as a way to share progress with friends and family, it has garnered a following that has turned into something else altogether. For any DIYer, this is renovation porn.

Having left their previous home for rural Warwickshire, U.K., Dean (left) and Borja are midway through the renovation of this Georgian estate. With a variety of accommodations from cottages to stables, the future use of the property will prove to be as adaptable as they are.

Having left their previous home for rural Warwickshire, U.K., Dean (left) and Borja are midway through the renovation of this Georgian estate. With a variety of accommodations from cottages to stables, the future use of the property will prove to be as adaptable as they are.

Photo: Dean Poulton and Borja de Maqua

In terms of compatibility, the stars aligned when this couple met eight years ago. Dean is an architect by trade, and Spanish-born Borja is a surveyor. Before they purchased My Tiny Estate, they completed a number of other home renovation projects, and this is their most ambitious restoration to date. They obviously make a good renovation team, which is just as well, as everything from constructing timber-framed walls using traditional methods, plastering

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