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For most, nothing symbolizes the celebration of this time of year with as much wonder and beauty as a Christmas tree. But in New England, it is emblematic of so much more: our evergreens have grown and soared for generations, and the traditions surrounding them represent the timelessness this season brings. These trees are of the same essence as the crackling cold air on a night of starry skies; of spiced hot cider and the glowing warmth of woodsmoke; of snow-topped hills turning blue in the light of winter sunsets. They speak of the magic made by children every year, waiting for Santa and playing in pageants. They bring that special joy which makes us all a bit happier, and a bit kinder, and a bit better – the special joy that makes the world a more hopeful place, even if just for a week or two. This is an annual respite for New England, and no place shows it quite as beautifully as The Rocks Estate.

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Most towns have a Historical Society, a museum where the unique past of a specific place is celebrated and passed on to future generations. Whether they’re the smallest of villages or largest of cities, a town’s museum can be a genuine institution, collecting and protecting everything from family trees to farming practices. But while in most towns such societies and museums are often in a cherished Victorian home or a renovated library, as usual, Portsmouth’s dedication to its community goes far beyond with the thirty-nine separate historical edifices that create the truly outstanding Strawbery Banke Museum.

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As 2016 draws to a close, many designers and industry professionals attend what will be their last trade show of the year: the Boutique Design Trade Fair at the Javits Center in New York. One of the premiere hospitality design trade shows, it provides designers with a chance to see upcoming trends and meet with leaders of the industry. This year, the TMS Interior Design team attended the show finding a wealth of inspiration and resources to keep us ahead of the curve. From living walls to touch-safe fire to metallic textiles, here are a few designs from the show that inspired us.

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by J Dennis Robinson

Portsmouth is unique. New Hampshire’s only seaport, soon to celebrate its 400th anniversary, blends charm and culture with vitality and commerce. In this series historian J.Dennis Robinson profiles people who influenced, honored, pictured, preserved, and promoted the historic architecture of “The Old Town by the Sea.”  

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There are countless intimidating elements to owning a home: renovations, upkeep, extensions. flooding, insulation, pipework. repainting, re-flooring, reupholstering. For every moment of comfort and excitement, there can be so many more of stress and endless planning. But there is a specially intimidating element, that comes especially just once a year: holiday guests. You love your home, and want everyone you love to love it as well. But beyond basic survival of the season, there’s the struggle of living your life this most hectic time of year, while also creating an environment in which your guests can enjoy the full experience of life within your home. The beautiful people you care for most can exemplify the best of the season’s merry spirit, with just a few planning tricks.

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