outdoor living

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While the New England sky may now seem forever filled with slate clouds, chilling winds, and endless mists, these same gray days truly mean that spring is coming – and after spring, comes that irrepressibly gorgeous New England summer. Though famously beloved around the world for its sweeping blue skies and soaring mountains, rocky coastlines and roaring rivers, no one cherishes a New England summer more than those who have survived a New England winter: local New Englanders. Distant though it seems, summer really is around the corner; and with just a few imaginative redesigns or exciting additions, it can bring out the best our homes have to offer.   

Design by TMS Architects

Nothing sparkles of summer fun quite like a swimming pool. It’s a raucous, joyful call to all that makes this times great: glittering sun, wild times, favorite people, quiet contemplation. However it’s enjoyed, and no matter the size, shape, or depth, a pool is there to vibrantly celebrate the season throughout the months.

Design by TMS Architects

Swimming pools might be the epitome of summer for most – and a marvelous addition to any home – but in New England, the icon of summer takes a slightly different, deeply exquisite shape: the water. Lakefront to harborside, in New England, “the water” means one thing and one thing alone – escaping the world to hear that lap of waves on the shore. Whether it’s the dock of your dreams or a wonderful beach walkway, creating a tangible connection between your home and its nearest oasis is one to be prized for generations.

Design by TMS Architects

Oceans, lakes, ponds, and pools are not the limit of New England summers, of course. To believe such would scathingly ignore thrilling ranges and rolling hills – not to mention roadtrips, tree climbs, barn dances, and fireworks. Some are not water-lovers, but greenery-conquerors, and New England provides plenty for both. But in adding the best of summer to a home, incorporating a full-scale mountain remains problematic; yet that doesn’t leave those who don’t hope for waterfront bliss without brilliant prospects, from luscious gardens to woodland walks. Even the simple dedication to developing and caring for a rolling, verdant lawn is a lovely investment in years of Capture the Flag and star-gazing.

Design by TMS Architects

For many, the best of summer comes without swimming or hiking, rowing or playing; it needs little more physical activity than the turn of a page and the lift of a wine glass to make for the ideal day. And for those many, summer isn’t complete without warm, drowsy afternoons of dappled sunlight and long chats; without those times on the deck. A home might very well have a few slats of wood or a brick patio already attached – but that isn’t the same as a true porch. The real deck – or veranda, or porch, or anything delightful – must contain deliciously comfy seating, beautiful arrangements, with loads of light and shade in equal measure. A breathtaking view is, naturally, perfect. When building or renovating this classic extension, remember: it should feel enchanting in essence, a literal extension of your home’s best, drawing any family and friends to it as the summertime heart of the household.

Design by TMS Architects

Extensive outdoor additions can appear overwhelming to the point of impossibility. Summer is too soon, the work is too stressful, and the last thing anyone wants to do when the weather finally becomes magnificent is worry about a single thing – never mind a time consuming addition or renovation. It never needs to be so complex. If digging a pool, building a dock, or extending a porch seems too much – and understandably so – consider the spaces that already exist in your home and how they could be melded into the beautiful outdoor world of summer. French doors in the dining room, welcoming warmth? A fresh paint, brightening the halls? Refinished floors, winking in sunlight? Whether it’s a concrete, actual opening of a space to the nature outside or an aesthetic shift, the transition can easily be one as enjoyable as the season.

Design by TMS Architects

However, there is a special fun to marking the beginning of summer with a distinctive choice, a unique addition. But nowhere does it say such excitement must come from a large, complicated project. By building the most modest of fire pits to accentuate your favorite outdoor area, a basic gathering space becomes a fantastic paradise. With the smell of woodsmoke, the crackle of the fire, and the chill of evening air underneath glowing stars, nights take on a bit of timeless magic.

Design by TMS Architects

Staring at yet another rainy sky, it may feel spring is an allusion to something that will never come. But come it always will – and soon after, delectable summer. By planning your spring projects with the next step in mind, your summer can be filled with incredible memories to last all year long, and for many summers to come. 

Whether you’re looking to build your dream waterfront vacation home, or simply thinking of ways to improve the one you have for the season to come, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a consultation.

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There is no time to truly enjoy the outdoors quite like the bittersweet end of summer. New England has known this for centuries, and that’s not likely to change soon: there’s a certain magic to that golden haze in the air and that hot breeze on the skin. There’s a certain magic knowing life can be taken a bit more slowly for just a brief respite, these few golden days of lolling and relaxing. There’s a certain magic to knowing the office will accept your lax schedule, and that the kids will entertain themselves outdoors while you unfurl with that long-awaited book on the porch. It’s a magic we dream of all summer, for most of our lives – and it’s the reason we build those gorgeous refuges by the water, soaking in the breeze, basking in the mountain glow. This part of summer is often where we love our summer best, with its beading sunlight and hazy, endless days, fully appreciating all that the outdoors have to offer. And if there’s one thing the outdoors provides best, it’s those eternal moments unifying today with all of those New England summers generations before us. TMS strives to ensure those very summers continue with environmentally friendly and conscious designs, continuously inspired by a time in which enjoying all our nature has to offer went hand in hand with taking care of that nature, in every beautiful outdoor setting.

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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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If you could build your dream vacation home, which fun features would you add? That’s a question that has been on our mind ever since we shared this Family Playhouse under construction, which will eventually include a half basketball court and 9-hole mini golf course! When designing a vacation home — especially one in a rural area — many families are finding creative ways to keep the fun in-house. So what would we put in our ultimate vacation home? Read on for a little inspiration…

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