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See our blog for new projects, announcements, and all things TMS Architects.

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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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The towns that nestle along New England’s rocky, spectacular coastline are legendary for many things: remarkable history, breathtaking beauty, and incomparable character. These many towns may all be remarkable, breathtaking, and incomparable – at any time of year, or any moment within that year – but there is one town that shines especially, and never more so than a special time of year. While some may think first of the shimmering, vibrant hues of autumn; the glimmering, dewy blossom of spring; the sparkling, lush flash of summer. But in Portsmouth, there’s one season that glitters more brightly – the wintery holiday season. The glisten of untouched snow, glowing candles in windows, woodsmoke dancing in the crisp air. Nothing shows off our harbor as the Christmas Capital of North America quite as well, unless it’s the bevy of wonderful events that celebrate it all.

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There are some of us who spend all year looking forward to this time of the year: the sparkling snow, the holiday cheer, the scent of woodsmoke in the air and a glint of candlelight at the dinner table. For them, the weather is sometimes the best part, or at least an acceptable part of the deal; cozy nights, long days on the slopes, and plenty of comfy layers in between. But for even those heartiest of people, this season brings some things few embrace: winterizing and renovations. Be it dedication to the environment or dedication to your pocketbook, the unique challenge of heating throughout our New England winters is one that has defined us for generations. With a vast array of options from short-term to long, your winter can be spent focused on the wonderland instead of the thermostat.

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The sunset has shifted, the air has a crispness so fresh it can be tasted, and the chill creeps slowly into everything from your house to your bones. Halloween has passed, Thanksgiving is planned, and the temperatures seem to be finally settling down in true New England fashion. From year to year, these things never change – but perhaps they make you think of adding another, certain warming tradition. After all, this is the season of woodsmoke and flashing embers, magical sparks and dusky flames. There’s nothing like coming home to start a roaring fire, or spending the weekend nestled in front of one with your favorite book and a cup of tea. If those autumn winds have you considering this cozy home addition, all you need are a few hints and tips to start planning the change that could make your entire fall and winter brighter.

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There may be no word that strikes fear into the hearts of homeowners in quite the same way as this simple one: renovations. It brings to mind endless days of contractors tramping in and out of your house, strange problems that seem to grow unceasingly, and mystifying bills that breed themselves. Things that would never have been a thought before – how long can the kids do homework in the garage during this project? – become a daily focus in lives where days are already full. But renovations don’t have to be a spiraling, time-consuming era of stress when they can instead be an exciting time of possibility – even during this busiest time of the year. The thing most often forgotten when thinking about the word “renovations” is that “renovations” don’t have to be enormous, expensive, or time-consuming to make a massive impact on redesigning a space into new life. When it comes to innovative choices in beautiful spaces, the tiniest of details can make the most magnificent change.

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We are pleased to announce that TMS Architects recently received four 2016 PRISM awards! This annual ceremony hosted by the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston recognizes top local talent in the Architecture and Interior Design industry, and we are thrilled to be included once again this year. Read on to take a look at our award-winning work…

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The concept of “cozy” might be most thought of in the chillier months, but the essence of that feeling is truly key to the interior of any home all year long, regardless of the temperature — because in many ways, that feeling of cozy is precisely what transforms an empty house into a beautifully fulfilling home.

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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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Summer may be coming to its end, but as all true New Englanders know, that only means the best of times spent in the great outdoors are just beginning. School may be in session and those September days tick away faster than seems possible, yet the temperatures remain warm, leaves remain green, and hours spent in nature remain so often the best of a day. Whether hot or cool, summer or winter, such experiences are priceless all year round – and even if school is back in session, that doesn’t mean the kids can’t enjoy the most wonderful aspects of the seasons. With a few twists and ideas, any outdoor space can become oriented to your youngest explorers, and kid-friendly can become family fun for all months and all ages.

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The first few weeks September are so often the sweetest of summer. While it may go by too fast, things on the whole slows down; everyone wants these few moments to last before the hectic beast that is autumn sets in. The end of summer is time for a breath, when most people understand that work can take a back seat, schedules can slacken, and those softly hazy days can truly be enjoyed. This is the time to truly relish time, summer, and especially our community. Enjoy these last summer favorites of events in Portsmouth before those lustrous fall days set in, to bring even more beauty with its cool winds and shifting colors.

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