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There may be little that most U.S. historians can agree upon. But if there is one thing, it’s that while this country of ours may so far have a brief history, it is one rich in detail and experience. While that may not be a surprising statement, the longevity of a cultural cornerstone within that short history – and its importance – might be: that of the country club. In our haste to become an independent nation, some habits are never quite forgotten and left behind; and some traditions flourish, much like ancient seeds brought to new soil. This country of ours might be just a few centuries old, but the first country club inspired by the empire we had just left was established within that first century – and in New England, have since become the epitome of luxury, the powerhouses of industry, and the utmost symbol of American potential and promise.

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As summer reaches its peak, becoming overwhelmed is all too easy. Anyone who regularly looks at a calendar cannot help but be amazed that July has zoomed past, and August is already upon us. While yesterday might have felt like May, suddenly all those plans for hikes through the mountains, trips to the beach, and evenings by the lake seem to have evaporated in the heat of running the kids to camp, attempting to keep the office cool, and the realization that schools will too soon be back in session. But August is precisely the time to truly soak in the summertime, with the wildness of early summer giving way to the relaxation of these hazy days. There’s a reason people vacation in this month, and a similar reason to why Portsmouth remains a vacation destination – and all of those reasons are just as true for each and every local. By taking the time to enjoy all our town has to offer, August vacations need not stray so far from home, and the gems of our area can be appreciated fully by both visitors and natives alike.

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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 from the July 4th onward becomes a celebration and consideration of everything that makes America great, and of everything that makes such greatness stand so tall. Whether it’s the barbeques or the fireworks, the parades or the military bands, it’s never hard to find something patriotic during the summer — particularly in New England. But it isn’t the loud festivities that define a nation, or even its remarkable history. It’s the innovation those festivities raucously represent, and the history that influences us to this day. If there’s any element of the United States that exhibits a nation dedicated to ingenuity and prideful of past, it’s within our physical foundation: our architecture. And there’s no form more beloved and more copied the world over than that of the American waterfront summer home. While the original mountain, lake, and sea abodes may be beyond a century old in age and design, the influence of traditional summer homes over contemporary choices in any kind of space are a living piece of history as classic and unique as any monument.

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Chances are you spend more time in your bedroom than any other room in your house. It’s your place to rest and recharge, and your bedroom’s decor should support that. This especially applies to bedding. After all, you spend several hours a night in contact with it! So when a client approached us about custom bedding, our design team was committed to creating the ideal setting for relaxation.

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As summer creeps into New England, many of us are daydreaming about that picture perfect beach escape. An oceanfront home is the embodiment of luxury and relaxation, and we have the privilege to be working on a stunning one this summer. Though the project is still very much in progress, the shape it’s taken so far has us inspired for many summers to come. Take a look behind the scenes to get into that summer state of mind…

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Any beautiful home will have its most spectacular features. Those soaring ceilings in the living room, a spacious kitchen, that oak mantelpiece in the study, these sweeping bay windows. While many homes may have some lovely details, the truly splendid have that special spot where, just as you turn the corner down a hallway, someone’s piece of design inspiration leaves you breathless. Yet, that all-important piece is too often overlooked: the hall itself that brought you there. Seen as the perfunctory artery of any living home, the functionality of the hall relegates it to necessity instead of beauty. While without it, those other choices could not exist, transitional spaces remain a frustrating afterthought, needed but not glamorous; as if design exists only in large rooms, and doesn’t flow throughout a home. Considering that particularly as an entrance, this part of your home is the first you and your guests may see and connects every other element within it. A hall or foyer becomes not just a path from one room to the next, but the area that creates a gorgeous and complete home every step of the way.

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Cool nights and perfect days welcome us to the end of June, where there’s nothing quite like having a locally brewed beer out on the back deck after work. While most of us in Portsmouth depend on the tourist season, there is nothing better than these last few weeks where we have summer all to ourselves. With all that our town has to offer, and with this ideal weather, enjoying the outdoors while it’s still all ours is the best part of this month.

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Any attempt to describe the work of Frank Lloyd Wright could easily fill an entire doctorate thesis, never mind a blog post. Any list of his accomplishments would take an afternoon to read, never mind fully comprehend. Yet any understanding of American architecture — and the history and future of architecture itself — owes itself to Wright’s work intrinsically, and bears his tenets instinctively. All of us at TMS are no different in this, particularly given his dedication to design that harmonizes humanity with nature, a fluid connection between the outdoors and in, and that a structure influences the lives of those who spend time within it. In celebrating the legacy of a man whose work spanned two centuries, nothing can be more apparent than the fact that it has guided the beginning of architecture in a third.

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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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