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Warm weather is nice, but there’s something about a snowy landscape that is so enchanting. Nothing quite compares to the way it sparkles in the sun and glows in the moonlight. Colder climates can make for picturesque scenery, but they can also leave you with ice damns, slippery stairs, drafty interiors and – a homeowner’s nightmare – burst pipes. Homes that are located in regions with colder climates come with unique challenges. With these challenges, however, come opportunities for smart, sustainable home design. With winter still underway, here are some of the colder climate design ideas that we find inspiring.

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Passive home designs work with the environment rather than against it. By taking advantage of location, orientation, and local climate, a passive home is designed to maintain comfortable temperatures while reducing energy consumption.

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Do you have a particularly lovely garden? A spectacular view from your home? Is there a particular tree, rock formation, or other landscape feature that deserves to be honored? If so, large corner windows for homes offer a way to add unique design impact.

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If you’re in the market to design a new home from the ground up, the possibilities are endless. But, how can you be sure that what you put on paper will look good in your home?

The Interior Design Studio at TMS Architects has the answer.

The studio, a 16’x12’ space at the TMS Architects office, features fully-customizable interior design options that allow you to see first-hand what will work — and what won’t — in the space that you envisioned.

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What used to be an impediment is now an innovative storage solution. The Z axis is no longer something to work around but rather something to work with. Kitchen cabinetry design has evolved to optimize even corners. They may look like ordinary drawers until you see them in action. These clever designs take advantage of every square inch to bring you the ultimate convenience and efficiency.

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Wine cellars aren’t the only at-home features for wine connoisseurs. If you are a wine collector looking to take your wine storage to the next level, you may want to consider a wine cooler.

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The photo we pinned of the modern traditionalist kitchen was designed during a project we call the New Hampshire Hilltop Home and has made its way to several Pinterest boards. This popular pin has us thinking about granite countertops, and how to pick the perfect color.

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The homeowners of this seaside home in New Hampshire wanted a renovation in order achieve a gorgeous vacation getaway they can enjoy with extended family and friends. Their number one goal was to achieve larger, more open spaces that would lend themselves to gathering and spending quality time together as a family. Instead of a formal dining room, they wanted plenty of space for casual dining in the form of an expansive kitchen island and a full home bar adjacent to the kitchen.

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These days, reclaimed wood can come from a vast number of sources, like boats, barns, sheds, mills, and even your own remodeled home. You can even find reclaimed wood for free if you know where to look. The Northeast has a plethora of barns and farmhouses surrounding the landscape, and local excavation companies can also be a viable source. What’s more, distinct age marks visible on reclaimed wood add personality, character, and warmth.

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Stained glass is more versatile than you might think, and the visual effect it has on living spaces is incomparable. Take advantage of natural light and let stained glass windows produce luminous color and create an ethereal feel. Here are some of our favorite design ideas for incorporating these artful architectural features.

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A child’s bedroom is a space for dreaming, playing, creating and using one’s imagination. So why not design it this way? Nurture, encourage, and inspire your child with a bedroom design you both love. A little color can go a long way in a kid’s bedroom design. When done right, you can still achieve a beautiful space that can grow and change with your child’s age without having to repaint. Here are some of our favorite paint colors for adding fun and enduring style and personality to kids’ bedrooms.

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It was once said that architecture is music frozen in time. We couldn’t agree more. Here at TMS Architects, a beautiful architectural detail is like a perfect harmony. It’s music to our… eyes.

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Are you searching for a way to introduce simple style into your home? Create a warmer atmosphere? Or, are you simply looking for a change from mundane, white surroundings?

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Would you like your home to work harder for you? If you have unused space near an entryway, consider converting this area into a beautiful and functional mudroom. Think about all the items that collect by the door – shoes, coats, bags, umbrellas, keys, mail. The list goes on! A thoughtfully-designed mudroom can not only contain these items and help keep common areas tidy, but it can be customized to add comfort, convenience and efficiency to your daily routines.

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Historic saltbox homes are a regular part of the landscape here in New England. Originally borne of necessity, saltbox home designs became so popular and functional that what started out as an add-on became a staple feature in new home designs of the 18th century.

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Are you considering integrating a cupola into your home’s architecture? First, make sure that what you envision is truly a cupola (pronounced CUE-puh-lah). In fact, many of the structures our clients bring pictures of are actually belvederes or lanterns, rather than bona fide cupolas.

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Parking courts and historic homes go hand-in-hand. Consider that many historic New England homes were built when horses, carriages and buggies were the norm, which meant homes were designed with wide, sweeping exterior entryways. You can recapture the essence of your historic home’s “first impression” by using parking court designs for historic homes.

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Most of us are familiar with the iconic silhouette of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. So let’s move on to something a little closer to home here in New England – the Massachusetts State House in Boston. What do these two structures have in common? Cupolas!

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We appreciate modernity, but there is something magical about renovating a historical home or commercial property in a way that preserves its historical panache while embracing contemporary accents that make the space comfortable and energy efficient.

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One of the missions of TMS Architects is to, “…embrace our clients’ visions and translate them into buildings that are beautiful, functional, and sensitive to their environment.” Recently, we’ve had the opportunity to do just that while partnering with Opportunity Works on the design and build-out of their new 37,000 square foot facility.

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