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

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Gardens take on an entirely new dimension when borders are defined. Take a landscaped area of your property from an open space to an enclosed one, and you’ve created a secret garden room that’s private, comfortable and perfect for solo relaxation or intimate conversations.

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Under the watchful design guidance of TMS principal architect, Robert Carty, AIA, and Chris Ragusa of CM Ragusa Builders, a wonderful renovation is under construction near the ocean on New Hampshire’s coastline.  The homeowners live in the Midwest, using this home as their beach vacation house and wanted to expand the family living area to make it more open for entertaining and large family gatherings.

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As with residential and commercial architecture, beautiful landscape architecture is achieved through the successful application of specific design principles, features and details. The styles, in fact, are almost exactly akin. Just like designing a building, designing a garden or an entire property gives you an opportunity to exhibit a particular style that expresses your taste and personality.

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Whether you’re redesigning your outdoor living space and garden room to go along with your home renovation or are planning for a brand new home, there are a lot of places to look to for design inspiration, which can make the decision making process all the more difficult. However, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) helps make the process a bit easier thanks to its annual Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey.

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Today’s garden rooms bring all the comforts of your home outdoors. You’ll find plush couches mingling with stylish area rugs, outdoor fireplaces, personalized decor, trendy color schemes and more. Recently, we even discussed choosing a ceiling for your garden room.

On that same note, flooring is another choice you may not have considered for your garden room, but it’s one that can really make an impact on the look and feel of your space. Flagstone, brick, tile, gravel and even grass are some examples of garden room flooring options. Each one can be used to add color, dimension and texture to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space, while also serving a functional purpose.

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Ceilings are often referred to by interior designers as the fifth wall. Homeowners often neglect this space, but ceilings are another blank canvas with tremendous design potential. Ceiling treatments can help solve design problems, such as making a room feel bigger or cozier.

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When you’re renovating a home or starting a new build, decorative elements like paintings or a luxurious light fixture often put the finishing touch on the room. The same can be said when it comes to your outdoor living spaces. Deciding on the plants and layout is only half the fun when designing your garden! Selecting decorative elements to place among your landscape is a great way to add year-round contrast and color to the panorama, and it displays the harmonious relationship that can exist between organic and man-made elements.

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The warmer weather is calling you outdoors this spring, so why not visit a charming local garden for some inspiration for your own backyard? Set in an original waterfront neighborhood, the historic gardens at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are a destination you should add to your list this year.

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With warm weather on the horizon, many homeowners are looking forward to spending time outdoors after a long winter here in New England. Just as we refresh our homes with new décor each season, the same can be done in our garden rooms as well. In addition to incorporating a variety of flowers and plants, you can also enhance your space and add architectural interest with structures like arbors, gazebos and pergolas. Including all of these elements will make your garden feel more like a room, even in a vast, open landscape.

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While some homeowners want their gardens and landscaped areas to be a place for relaxation, others see them as spaces to entertain and enjoy time with family and friends. That’s the idea behind garden game rooms. Whether it’s bocce ball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, corn hole, badminton, etc., lawn games are what make group gatherings more fun, especially with the milder temperatures we usually experience here in New England during the spring and summer. If engaging in some friendly competition is part of your family’s tradition during holidays or a favorite way to entertain, you’ll certainly see the value of incorporating some space for games into your garden rooms. Below are a handful of inspiring ideas.

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