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

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Looking for something extra to add visual interest to your outdoor landscape? If you’re unfamiliar with the idea of rain gardens, you’ve been missing out on a quintessential, sustainable garden staple. The things that attract us to gorgeous rain gardens are their undeniable reduction in pollution, their contribution to water preservation, and they allow you to enjoy beautiful native plants.

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In a delightful departure from some of TMS Architect’s other projects, TMS Principal Bill Soupcoff had an opportunity to work with  long-time clients on the renovation of their  Beacon Hill pied a terre.  The couple are owners of a successful inn on the seacoast of New Hampshire and wanted a small apartment in Boston where they could decompress and enjoy the cultural opportunities offered by the city.

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TMS Architects, under a design team headed by project architect, Jason Bailey AIA, and interior desiger, Laura Malloy of Malloy Interiors, just completed another extensive renovation for Bottomline Technologies’s Portsmouth headquarters  to accommodate their growing Marketing and Creative Design Team departments.  Bottomline Technologies is a world leader in cloud-based payment, invoice and banking solutions for corporations, financial institutions and banks around the world and TMS has worked with Bottomline for several years, revamping office space in Portsmouth as well as other Bottomline locations around the country.

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With so much recent knowledge about rainscaping, the flood of information can often be overwhelming. So, we’ve taken our favorite tips and compiled some of them to help you learn more about shaping your landscape into a functional, working rainscape.

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For your new wildlife retreat or rain garden, you’ll want to seek out drought resistant and native plants. The reason is simple — they’re well adapted to your specific climate, soil type, and pests. Ultimately, these advantages allow such plants to sustain themselves on less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Without any help from humans, these plants will thrive, giving way to an eco-friendly landscape that still looks fantastic. Luckily, most native plants are also drought resistant and can handle poor soil conditions as well.

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Last Sunday, a large group of TMS employees and assorted spouses, friends and children embarked on a bus trip to western Massachusetts to view the TMS-designed Hampden Country Club. We are all very proud of this project that has taken shape over the past two years on bucolic hills overlooking the distant Berkshire Mountains. The TMS project team consisted of Shannon Alther, AIA, Principal, Jason Bailey, AIA, Project Architect and Cristina Marais, Interior Designer. All three did an amazing job and it was wonderful to be able to tour it as a group!

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Having a great yard design is a blessing in itself, but maintaining incentives to spend even more time outdoors can be optimally rewarding. So, why not give yourself something to look forward to when you step outside? Our designers at TMS Architects can help bring structure and beauty to your landscape regardless of your lifestyle. While there are a huge array of possibilities for charming outdoor garden rooms, we’ve taken a few hints from classic garden designs to compile some of our favorite ideas.

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Hardscapes aren’t limited by their sharp edges and abrupt angles. Think of them merely as the canvas upon which you can splash greenery and spring blooms to create charming garden looks. While some may have settled for mundane shrubbery and annuals jammed between the driveway and sidewalks, your exterior has the potential to be dynamic and cohesive. Keep the flow in your garden by considering these ideas for utilizing hardscaping to suit your landscape desires.

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Many thanks to Selectwood, a wonderful building supply resource center in Portsmouth, NH, for featuring a TMS designed home in the Spring 2015 Builder’s Price Guide.  The project, A Seaside Renovation, was a collaborative project between TMS Architects, CM Ragusa Builders and, of course, the homeowners!

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When you picture a gazebo, you might visualize the grandiose setup of the wedding you recently attended. You might picture whimsical flower arrangements, twinkling candles, and the spirit of romance in the air. However, gazebos can actually serve as wonderful landscape staples — places to picnic with your family, enjoy the breezes on a warm summer day, and cultivate your favorite flowers.

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With the right plants, you can make your garden come to life even after the sun goes down. While we mostly think of enjoying gardens as a daytime activity, there are a variety of plants and landscape design elements that can be incorporated into gardens to make them just as vivid and awe-inspiring at night as they are in the sparkling sun. Imagine having your very own moonlit garden to enjoy while dining al fresco, hosting an elegant soiree, or simply taking a nighttime stroll.

Here are some of our favorite moonlit garden design ideas.

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Several years ago, a few members of “team TMS” were lucky enough to tour an amazing place known as Bedrock Gardens, located in Lee, New Hampshire, 20 miles inland from NH’s coast and halfway between Boston and Portland. We recently received a postcard announcing this year’s series of Open House events at the gardens which prompted this post about the gardens and to urge you to attend one of these marvelous self-directed tours. It is an experience not to be missed!

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Stunning Cupola Designs that Flatter the Home

Looking to make a statement with a refined, unique architectural feature? Long forgotten in the design world, people are once again starting to take notice of an iconic rooftop structure — the cupola. So, what is a cupola? And why has it taken the spot of the most pinned Pinterest photo for TMS?

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Don’t be deterred by the name. The concept of the pergola is in reality very straightforward. It’s simply a row of vertical columns constructed to support a trellis or horizontal beams that are situated above. As the temperatures climb, you might be looking for a way to continue to enjoy your landscape without suffering in the stifling heat of Summer. Pergolas are classic, beautiful structures you should consider because of their ability to provide a versatile reprieve.

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Sloped or Grading Landscapes Unite with Visual Appeal

Dealing with sloped landscapes can be difficult, but it’s not impossible to manifest an alluring garden. It’s certainly not easy and requires a lot of effort, but all you really need is time, devotion, and an attentive eye. To overcome the hurdle of a sloped landscape, we must carefully shape and contour the land in order to establish a set framework for the landscape’s design. This process, called grading, is crucial because it places the groundwork for proper water flow and drainage.

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Nothing quite compares to the rich tones and textures that reclaimed wood can bring to kitchen designs. Naturally beautiful and warm, reclaimed wood countertops can enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen while reducing your impact on the environment. Since no two pieces of wood are alike, you know you are getting a one-of-a-kind countertop with its own unique story. Not to mention, reclaimed and repurposed wood countertops can be just as beautiful as they are durable, functional, and environmentally-friendly.

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There has been a considerable amount of publicity lately about replicating The Old State House, which is presumed to have once stood in the center of Market Square.  This got our guest historian, J. Dennis Robinson, thinking about other Portsmouth buildings that have also been lost over time.

“Here we go again. Just when you thought Portsmouth’s Old State House was never to return, it’s back in the news. A well-intentioned group wants to build a replica of the 1760-era colonial state house on the site of the city’s federal building off Daniel Street. That dream has been kicking around Portsmouth for almost a century. Architect John Mead Howells tossed out the idea back in the 1930s. I sat on a city committee to study the issue and TMS Architects helped with an in-depth study of the surviving remnants of the building.

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Sustainable homeowners are smart homeowners. After all, wouldn’t you rather spend your money on a weekend getaway or a fun day out with your family than waste it on your electrical bill? Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances in your kitchen can mean less waste, less resources consumed, more peace of mind, and more money in your pocket.

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TMS Architects was asked recently to design a beach house for a family currently living  in “All for the Family“, their TMS-designed main home.  The owners had their eyes on this spectacular beachfront lot for many years and were able to purchase it when it became available.

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With the right design, a bathroom can be just as eco-friendly as it is beautiful. It starts with the thoughtful selection of reclaimed, recycled, and green materials and finishes with water-saving features that ensure environmental responsibility. A well-designed, eco-friendly bathroom can evoke peace of mind, not only with its spa-like atmosphere but with its clear environmentally conscious layout.

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