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

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As the saying goes, good things take time. In November of 2014, a family approached us to design their lakeside vacation home from the ground up. They desired a home where the whole family could enjoy skiing in the winter, waterfront fun in the summer, and socializing with their neighborhood friends year-round. It was an exciting undertaking, but not without its challenges. Nearly a year was spent working with the town on demolition of the former house on the property and deciding on guidelines for the new house to be constructed. In November 2015, Cristina Marais began working with the client on an interior design plan, while Rob Carty and Tim Giguere finalized the overall design of the house. Finally, just a few weeks ago, it was move-in day! Read on to learn how this home, a long time in the making, finally came together as a beautiful retreat for the entire family.

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This time of year in New England, patio season still feels lightyears away. But those chilly temperatures, snow, and mud present an opportunity to enjoy the great indoors with those you love. Does that sound more like a headache than a good time? With a luxurious home wet bar, it doesn’t have to be. An investment in a fully-loaded home bar helps you kick back, delights your guests, and makes that time indoors so much more enjoyable.

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February often seems little more than a frustrating extension to winter, filled with nothing but slate skies and slushy streets – especially when it starts with such a Super Bowl high, only to have nowhere to go but down (except for the inches of snow). For some, Valentine’s Day and snow sports offer a willing escape, but for others the wait for spring is interminable. Unless, of course, those others are in Portsmouth. As always, this gem of the coast has plenty of exciting events and cozy retreats to fill its time, whatever the season or the weather.

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Throughout our homes, each space can serve an endless variety of purposes. A living room is a place of comfort, of entertainment, of lazy Sunday mornings; a bathroom a place of rejuvenation, of contemplation, of preparation. The kitchen becomes a headquarters, the pantry a kid’s clubhouse, and the other way around. On the weekdays, one is an area of hectic rushes and piles of refuse – and on the weekends, sparkling to perfection for the best parties around. But there is one space that remains unchanging, timeless in purpose and quintessential in essence: the master suite. From the sprawls of Versailles to the stories of the Plaza, master suites serve as the foundation of a home’s inner life. It is where we start and end our day. Yet while their purpose may be unchanging, they are often forgotten in renovations, an afterthought to a house’s interior design; and a bit of change within that space may be all you need to redesign the experience of your day to day life.

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Compare and contrast. It’s done by everyone; to make the best choice, find the best deal, take the best chance. Throughout any day, endless small decisions are made by the measure of these meters, without even conscious thought: which elevator will come the fastest, which sandwich for lunch, which movie to watch. These choices shape our tastes and styles, these little opinions, from the boots we like to how appealing we find the structure of a doorway. Eventually, such choices begin making larger appearances – where we go to college, where we live – and rarely are choices larger and put on greater display than when they form the creation of your home. In your home, your choices are reflected not just to the current outside world, but to your own family for generations. This is what makes the Wentworth Lear Historic Houses of Portsmouth, New Hampshire a unique and exemplary opportunity to look at the process of taste, culture, and choice in two houses built nearly three centuries ago, in striking contrast, side by side – and both with their stamp on our nation’s history.

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Even during the most comfortable of times, the thought of redesigning your house can be exhausting. Renovations strike terror into the hearts of even the bravest of homeowners. Both terms are harbingers for dusty air and sleepless nights, hectic mornings and gritty floors. But nothing is more tiring and frightening than when either term is involved with a building’s structure. This fundamental foundation – from the very literal foundation through every wall and angle – of a structure seems insurmountable, epic in importance and unfathomable to change. Shifting any elements, of any size, feels ridiculously difficult at all times – but never more so than when the weather swings from freezing blizzards to muddy false springs. Yet these elements themselves are so often the shifts needed to bring new life to a home, beyond the rejuvenation of fresh throw pillows and a switch of the rugs. But instead of focusing on the scale of a change or the differences in the exterior, consider the multitude of small, manageable changes in interior architectural details that can be achieved long after the original build, regardless of how daunting the season may be.

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It’s January. Every single surface of your life is filled with words like “fresh,” “new,” and “revitalizing.” Junk mail touting gym memberships covers the kitchen table, articles about healthy meal plans cram the computer screen, and all emails on your phone reference resolutions to be maintained. Things to be bought and sought, thrown out or traded in. But this year, let the change of season be rejuvenating without the stress, without the buying, without the endless, never-satisfying fetching of “new” and burn out of “old” – by reassessing what you already have. With a few changes, additions, and adjustments, your house will be ready to welcome all the new year has to offer, just by focusing on two words: storage and organization.

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During the first week of the new year, it’s always nice to sit back and reflect. For TMS Architects, 2016 meant exciting new projects and clients, tying up loose ends, and taking time to celebrate and explore. We’re so proud of our team for their hard work and accomplishments this past year, and we’re excited to see what 2017 brings. Read on to learn about our favorite highlights from the year that was. 

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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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