Inspirations

See our blog for new projects, announcements, and all things TMS Architects.
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Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are semiconductors that emit light when voltage is applied. Although they’ve been around in limited form since the 1960s, it wasn’t until the last decade that they gained in popularity as an energy efficient lighting source. With a high light output and a wide range of colors available, LEDs are now used for both general and targeted lighting.

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Although bathrooms provide an excellent return on investment, many people overlook the benefits of designing a space to draw the wandering eye. Whether you’re undergoing a major renovation, uplifting a historic home or building a new home for the family, working with an architect can help inspire great home design ideas for your bathroom while providing a high return.

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Historic homes generally don’t have a lot of natural light, but this is all part of the charm that draws us to them in the first place. With the vast choices available today, it’s possible to bring modern lighting into a historic home without compromising the architecture’s character.

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Since your foyer is the first room to make an impression on family, house guests and visitors, it’s important to make a bold statement with the right design. Whether your style is modern or you’re re-creating a look from days gone by, the lighting plan you choose for your foyer is a fundamental step towards achieving your home’s best design.

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An important facet of sustainable architecture includes using building materials that are not harmful to the environment, as well as reusing materials whenever possible. Salvaged wood can be upcycled and used in many applications that meet both of those criteria. Considering the beauty, uniqueness and historical quality of reclaimed wood, you should not overlook its usefulness.

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Although it may not be an obvious priority for your business, commercial site or home office, lighting design is a critical element in any work space. It can encourage sales in a retail environment and boost productivity in the office. Since lighting a work space consumes so much energy, upgrading to energy-efficient light sources is a great investment that can encourage production.

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As the leading American custom lighting designer, Hammerton knows a thing or two about creating gorgeous light fixtures. Combining old-world artisan techniques with modern design and manufacturing, we can count on them to produce the best lighting solutions for the most refined New England designs.

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Lighting is often overlooked as a factor that can help homeowner’s save a significant amount of money over time. From complete renovation projects and sustainable architecture to simply replacing bulbs, there are benefits to illuminating your home with efficient lighting solutions.

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TMS Architect’s guest historian, J. Dennis Robinson, provides us with an interesting post on moving things around and how a change in space or time can really alter your perspective!  As he says, “the more things change, the more they stay the same…” 

“I used to row an Alden Ocean Shell. I put the fiberglass boat on the top of my old Toyota Tercell and hauled it from one access point on the Piscataqua River to the next. Once, long ago, I put the boat in the back yard to store it for the winter — and it sits there still.

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TMS Architects recently had the opportunity to work again with  Rob Karosis to photograph an unusual architectural project that Shannon Alther, TMS principal, worked on recently.  The homeowners of this beautiful home and barn had lived in the area for years and were thinking seriously about downsizing…apparently all they really needed in a new locale was access to the internet and an airport.  However, the more they thought about leaving the area, the pull of family and grandchildren was hard to ignore so they came up with an ingenious solution in lieu of leaving the family home.

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Vaulted and cathedral ceilings present unique challenges in terms of lighting a modern or historic home, especially when task lighting is required. With the wrong lighting your beautiful open spaces can become a dark and glum eye-sore, rather than bright, fun areas to host gatherings among family, friends and colleagues. Read on for some lighting ideas, whether you’re ceiling is vaulted or cathedral.

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In 1986, Tom Hanks and Shelley Long had audiences in stitches in The Money Pit, a film about a dream house that becomes a renovation nightmare. That story, of course, is just fiction – or is it?

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When designing a transitional room, finding the right balance of new and old furnishing while maintaining an uncluttered space can be a difficult accomplishment. This can be especially true when you are trying to add task or ambient lighting.

New updates to timeless schoolhouse lights are an excellent way to add a vintage appeal to any room, especially when incorporating them with historic architecture. Light-diffusing shades and the smooth, clean lines of the pendulum-style lights are a classic way to add light to areas that are in need. Today’s schoolhouse lights offer bands of color, various geometric shapes, to add interest, and fancier fittings that would work in a number of transitional rooms.

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TMS architects is always keeping track of the most popular home design trends, from building materials to market trends. And today, we will be taking a closer look at flex rooms in houses and lofts, which are becoming particularly attractive to homeowners and potential buyers.

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Relaxing in a long, hot shower after a busy day is a great way for most diligent workers to unwind. Unfortunately, one aspect of oceanfront home design that’s often overlooked is the outdoor shower and bath.

Not surprisingly, outdoor showers are well-suited and highly functional for coastal homes. They’re novel enclosures that allow one to rinse off after a swim or enjoy a proper shower while remaining outdoors. Other uses of outdoor showers include washing hands and tools after a gardening session, showering after exercise and cleaning a pet’s muddy paws.

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While many homeowners opt for a glitzy showplace for their residence, more practical ones realize that a house should be a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Here are a few home design ideas for accomplishing this goal and designing an inviting and relaxing environment in your home, commercial business or oceanfront retreat.

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Rob Karosis of Rob Karosis Photography recently photographed this TMS-designed  home with interiors created by Cebula Design and landscaping by Woodburn and Company.  The location near the ocean is stunning and the interiors utilize a design palette that compliments its oceanfront location.  Samia Touma, TMS project manager, explained that “this  very inspiring site presented a number of challenges, including the clients’ wish to save some existing mature trees while the elongated shape of the site made siting the residence a difficult task.  Incorporating a generous program on the narrow site was a challenge.  The screen porch and attached garage had to be relocated several times to achieve the final layout due to programmatic and site constraints.”

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Incorporating water features is a great way to add a zen-like quality to your outdoor space. While they can require significant maintenance, container water features can define your yard without consuming vital space, all while providing the natural, soothing effects of water.

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Having just moved a large pink dollhouse, made for my daughter by her grandfather, J. Dennis Robinson’s recent post for TMS Architects was very poignant.  The pink dollhouse has seen better days and needs some refurbishing but it was a labor of love and evokes so many good memories.  Dennis Robinson is absolutely right….architecture can be found in a pink dollhouse, a model of Portsmouth’s South Church, a hand-made wooden fire station, a home or skyscraper…all were designed, built and are repositories of very powerful memories. 

Dollhouses are not just for girls. My grandfather made one for me when I was a boy. It was a realistic, hand-made, wooden fire station almost three feet tall. It had a tower and two arched openings for my fire trucks. Grandpa Jake painted every red brick on the firehouse and installed every tiny shingle on the steep sloping roof. The model is still up in the attic of my parent’s home.

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Like a personal introduction, the first impression of your home is vital to how well it is perceived in its entirety. While attention to the entryway or foyer of a home is often overlooked, we at TMS Architects think it is a crucial area to carefully and thoughtfully design. Having a fabulous entryway is an important indicator to whether or not you will experience comfort, happiness, and safety throughout the rest of the home.

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