Storage is something we all seem to need more of these days. Why not find a way to add it to your home while making it visually appealing at the same time? Built-in cabinetry is extremely customizable and adds a high-end look to any room. Cabinetry can be creatively designed in any style or configuration- the possibilities are endless! Built-in millwork enables the addition of plenty of storage without adding bulky standalone pieces. This is especially important if you have a small space or an awkward layout that would not allow for the use of typical furniture. You can turn what could be an otherwise unusable nook into something specifically designed to suit your particular storage needs.
This client’s dining room utilizes the custom built-in by adding extra seating in a room that will truly benefit from it during the Holidays. Just add a long table in front of the bench-style window seat to maximize the number of guests in a small dining space. Plus, it has the added benefit of being a fun place to lounge while enjoying the view during the rest of the year.
Have an empty nook in front of a window? Add a built-in window seat for enjoying a pleasant book and cup of tea every morning. Not only does this space look visually beautiful, but it provides a cozy space for a favorite activity while maximizing an empty alcove.
Creating a custom dividing wall is another great way to enhance your home. While providing room definition between the living and dining spaces, this cabinet also serves to give the client valuable storage space for all their tableware needs. Glass front doors allow for the display of china and other wonderful collectables.
Make even that small awkward nook useful by adding storage space in a bathroom. Custom built-ins can provide you much needed linen storage especially when space is limited. Customize it to your needs- do you want a place to display treasures on open shelving? Or maybe you want to be able to hide all those bathroom necessities behind a cabinet door? There are so many unique and creative options available!
Do you need help adding some custom storage pieces to your home? Contact us to get started on your next project!
I always like to chat about the necessary parts of buildings that we sometimes take for granted. Even the most benign functional things can play an essential role in the feel, texture, and style of a place. One of the most useful of these things is architectural screens, fences, and lattice. Screens and fences are used for privacy or as a visual or physical boundary. Lattice is another such barrier that is supposed to block the view and access to critters from under your porch while still allowing air to flow. There are so many choices we make as architects to design them, so they disappear to blend into the surroundings or play a starring role. These fences play an important roll in setting the tone for two very different aesthetics.
Here the traditional white fence blends with the lacy attitude of the screen porch while doing its job to provide privacy to the pool area and a barrier that is required by code.
The modern wooden fence provides privacy for an in-town contemporary garden, and boldly states that you will see lots of clean, modern things as you enter this remodeled home.
These traditional fences set up a layering effect as you move from public to private areas. They interact well with the architecture.
This fence has nothing in common with the architecture and therefore sets up a casual backdrop for this poolside fireplace.
This sunroom takes on the language of an open porch. The use of a lattice screen, with an oval cutout that mimics some of the home’s window details, gives some enclosure and shade to the space while adding a traditional element.
Similarly, this bench greets you at the entry porch and is framed by a round screen cutout that is repeated in the living room where it frames the view to the mountains. One could argue without these details, this renovation would still work, but the repetition of language and events ties the home together.
The functional exterior screen at the basement level of this home blocks an exterior storage area from view while still allowing air to flow under the deck above. Again the diamond cutouts follow the diamond motif throughout the house, including the diamond muntins you see in the adjacent windows.
Reinterpreted, on the interior of this same home, the screen gives some separation to the balcony study areas on either side of the two-story living room.
It also defines the boundary of the living room and gives this 20′ high volume some interest and sense of scale.
In the basement, these motifs are used a little more playfully in the upper guard rail (screen) at the stair. This type of reinterpretation allows the stair to be open but still part of the overall composition of cabinets and built-ins on this family room kitchenette wall.
This outdoor shower, surrounded by a very straightforward fencing system, works well with the home’s details.
Alternatively, in a home with a very small back yard and some close adjacency to the neighbors, another approach was used. Each side of this porch was filled in with a custom screen that gives privacy to an outdoor shower on one side and buffers the neighbors that are 15′ away on the other. The height of the interior transom windows is reflected in a screen change from full privacy at the bottom to open balusters at the top. This was a creative way to integrate the architecture with the functional, needed privacy screens.
This home uses a simple vertical board pattern as the barrier under its porches. The architect could have used any number of lattice configurations to do the same functional job. However, it was a great decision to use simplicity here as to not take away from the intricate railings that are being highlighted on the porches and decks above. Had the railings been simple, the choice for cutouts in the vertical boards or some more complex patterns could have been deployed.
Here is an example of a historic home’s lattice where this complexity is celebrated amongst the simple forms of the foundation and simple porches. Certainly an inspiring design for this classic arts and crafts home.
Hopefully, the next time you look at a home, you may be more aware of some of the pieces and begin to realize why some things are appealing and why some items are not as pleasing. There is a vast vocabulary to work with when building a home, and we hope that we make wise choices for all the pieces and parts so that the building flows together in a pleasing composition you can call home. If you’ve been looking to add some new aesthetic details to your home don’t hesitate to contact us today.
We spend a significant amount of time working on the finer details of our projects. The end results are rewarding not just for ourselves, but also the end-users and owners of the buildings. However, these details are not always just for looks. Homes and commercial buildings today are implementing more and more building systems to help with life safety, building comfort, and overall sustainability. All of these systems live behind the beautiful finishes and details that we create in our buildings. Some of these details can require an immense amount of coordination to pull off well and each building will require different approaches to achieve the desired result.
Guardrails and handrails are two necessary pieces of our built environment that we come in contact with almost every day but may take for granted. Guardrails are the part of an elevated walkway or stair that protects us from falling off the edge. Handrails guide us along the path of a stair and give us something to grip as we navigate up or down in our buildings.
These two ordinary elements can impact the design and feel of a building tremendously, and as a design element have the opportunity to help unify the design theme as well as provide some unexpected delight. Read on for a few of our favorite guardrail and handrail designs from TMS Architects projects…
Many of our projects begin with a totally clean slate — bringing a client’s vision to life by designing a brand new and completely custom home. But starting from scratch isn’t always necessary. When the location of a home is just right, or an existing home is rich with historic details, a client may choose to renovate instead. Over the years, we’ve had several opportunities to renovate historic homes in stunning locations — blending classic New England charm with the style and needs of a modern family.
Read on to learn more about some of our favorite exterior renovations…
Spiral staircases have truly stood the test of time. They’ve been around for thousands of years, but it’s not uncommon to find them in a contemporary home today. This unique design can make the most out of a compact space, make a statement, or often do a little of both at once. Read on to learn more about spiral staircases and see some of our favorite designs…
Summer in New England is always much too short. With just a few months of warm, sunny weather each year, us locals are inclined to make the most of it. For many of our clients, that means installing a home pool. It can be a laborious (not to mention costly) addition, but a well-designed pool area offers plenty of fun for kids and adults alike. As we move closer and closer to Fall, we’ve decided to look back on some of our all-time favorite designs.
Back in the Summer of 2015 we shared photos and behind the scenes details of a Maine family playhouse under construction. After a great deal of hard work, we’re pleased to share that the whole family and many of their friends were finally able to relax and play in their new vacation house! Take a look inside…
Family vacations are all about having fun and creating memories that will last a lifetime. So when our clients approached us to build the ultimate Family Playhouse in Maine’s back woods, fun was our number one priority! Take a look behind the scenes at our progress so far…