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

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Spring is a wonderful time here in New England. As the flowers begin to bloom, there are plenty of gardens to visit where you can find a bit of inspiration for your own landscapes. The astounding beauty of the gardens of Prescott Park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire are among our favorites.

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During late spring and early summer, there’s nothing better than dining al fresco in your own backyard. Not only is an outdoor dining area convenient for making and enjoying dinner on the grill, but it’s also a great time to enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers, trees and plants in your surrounding landscape.

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TMS Architects’s intrepid project manager, Justin Knowlton, paid a site visit yesterday to a renovation he is supervising currently under construction on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.  Designed by TMS principal, William Soupcoff, these photos speak volumes about the transformational possibilities inherent in an architecturally-designed renovation.

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Even though the official start to spring is still a little over a week away, it’s not too early to start thinking of ways to enhance your outdoor living spaces with beautiful garden rooms. Garden rooms can be used for outdoor entertaining in the spring and summer or simply for relaxation and the enjoyment of fresh flowers and the surrounding scenery. The idea is to bring the comforts of the indoors — plush furnishings and stylish decor — outdoors. You can expand the footprint of your home without adding square feet.

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Mark your calendars for the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s Old House and Barn Expo taking place March 15-16, 2014 at the Radisson/Center of New Hampshire in Manchester, NH.  Historical preservation is an important mission for TMS Architects and we applaud the work that the NH Preservation Alliance does to publicize and preserve New Hampshire’s historic treasures.  The Old House Barn and Expo is only one of their many important activities.

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Homes wouldn’t feel complete without trim, and yet this is an element that’s powerful in its subtlety. It may not be the first thing you notice about a home, but the interest, style and sophistication trim brings to interiors rarely goes unnoticed.

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Dormers are great features that add architectural interest and personality to your home’s exterior. One definition of a dormer is a simple protrusion that juts out from a sloped roof and has a roof of its own. Dormers often are seen above windows on classic style homes and add beauty and dimension on the outside, while offering additional headroom and space on the inside.

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The fireplace often takes center stage in a room, but the mantel can just as easily become an area of interest with the right design and materials. As the place where you display family photos, prized possessions and, of course, your unique sense of style, giving some extra thought to your mantel is well worth it.

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TMS Architects was treated to a wonderful morning recently at the Boston Design Center‘s Stark Showroom which had been briefly appropriated by Boston Home Magazine to introduce their Spring issue. Editor Rachel Slade led the audience through the new issue, highlighting great products for spring (wonderful to see pastels !) and walked us through some amazing New England homes featured in this new issue. There was a wonderful Tremont Street town house, a small apartment beautifully designed by interior designer Frank Hodge and a very special Chappaquiddick house that was the work of Boston-based architect Peter Rose among many other articles.

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At TMS Architects, we frequently use stone in our exterior designs of homes and other buildings. Oftentimes, we use stone for homes that also have stone in their natural landscape. This is because stone elements create a solid connection with the surrounding environment.

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This question was posed to TMS Architects by one of loyal “correspondents” who has followed our work for several years. His question, in its entirety went as follows:

> “If you don’t mind me asking, this is kind of an open-ended question, but I’ve been thinking about it lately since I’m seeing the home design/engineering process first hand.

>> In short, what do you see in the future of home design? Not in terms of software, but in terms of overall design trends?

>> It’s been fun viewing and studying your designs for all this time and seeing how your designs progress as the months and years pass! I’m sure you’ve seen so many trends that have come and gone, but overall, I think traditional design is here to stay, albeit with different design trends.

>> I just hope there are people in my generation that will be able to design such wonderful homes since you probably won’t be designing forever.”

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Transom windows are small, detail windows found above doors or other windows. These windows are also attached to the horizontal crossbeam, or transom, beam above doors. As transitional elements between doors, windows, eaves and moldings, transom windows are often fan shaped. Besides being used for decoration, transom windows also add natural light to spaces and help with ventilation.

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Ceilings are often an afterthought – if they’re thought about at all – when it comes to home design. However, thoughtfully designed ceilings can be used to tie existing design elements together, add a sense of intimacy to a large space, or to continue a decorative theme that has been started from the floor up.

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It’s safe to say that the front door is the crown jewel of the home’s facade. As the main focal point, the entryway has the power to make a powerful and lasting impression as it sets the tone for the rest of your home, both inside and out. This exterior centerpiece also offers the opportunity to express style and personality.

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TMS Architect’s  guest historian, J. Dennis Robinson, is back with a piece for us on a mysterious pile of stone in Portsmouth Harbor.  If you live on the Seacoast of New Hampshire or travel in the area by boat, you have probably seen the structure’s ghostly presence on the banks of the Piscataqua River.  Dennis provides us with some insight into the building and its murky history.

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If you boil architectural design down to two fundamental elements you’d be left with two types of lines: straight and curved. It’s the careful composition and interaction of these two opposing elements that can make architecture so interesting and engaging. Straight lines can imbue strength, order and symmetry, for example, while curved lines can evoke softness, elegance and gracefulness.

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Each phase of the Portsmouth Music Hall Theatre Restoration brought this century-old cultural landmark back to life with architectural features and details that radiate with exquisite beauty and history. It started with the restoration of the historic dome and proscenium arch, which was completed in 2006. TMS Architects – in partnership with a team of builders, construction companies and engineers – remodeled the lobby and moved on to the auditorium in 2007.

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When it comes to design details, windows are a favorite at our firm. There is no better way to open up your home and welcome in natural light for a more pleasant living space. Clerestory windows in particular have a unique set of aesthetic and functional qualities. They are placed high on walls to let in light from above, a technique that originates in Gothic cathedrals. In addition to drawing the eye upward, clerestory windows also help make your living spaces more comfortable by helping heat rise.

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OK…couldn’t resist the bad pun! DERT actually stands for Disaster Emergency Response Team and three TMS staff members recently participated in a training session which enabled them to become certified SAP (Safety Assessment Program) volunteers. TMS’s Jason Bailey provided us with the following information about the necessity of this program and how architects can play a vital role in disaster relief efforts.

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Exposed beams are no longer only for log cabins and industrial lofts. This design technique can add warmth, interest and raw, natural beauty to nearly any style home. Whether you have high ceilings or you simply want to take the architectural appeal of your home to the next level, exposed beams can be a wonderful way to enhance the aesthetic value and add unique appeal.

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