architects in Portsmouth NH

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TMS couldn’t let Halloween go by without a piece on Seacoast hauntings from our local historian, J. Dennis Robinson!  New England is famous for its stories about witches, witchcraft and haunted homes and according to Dennis, the Seacoast was not immune from these beliefs. 

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In this series, TMS has covered countertop materials and appliances and now turn our attention to trends in kitchen cabinets; colors, materials and built-in functionality.  While white cabinets are still the leaders in popularity, according to design sources, “grey is the new white”. 

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As we continue our discussion of trends in kitchen design, materials and appliances, it is interesting to note that kitchens are combining a mix of cutting-edge technology and materials while also incorporating “retro” designs and a wide array of colors.  Long gone are the days of avocado and gold appliances and in addition to stainless steel, kitchens are sporting appliances in a wide array of styles and colors.  KitchenAid just introduced the industry’s first-ever black stainless steel finish which they term a “new neutral look”.

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September and October seem to be months in which the focus of many shelter magazines turns to kitchens.  Perhaps this is because we are coming inside from a summer of grills and outdoor living and realize that our kitchens might need some work!  As Bill Soupcoff, AIA, one of TMS’s principals always says…”It doesn’t matter whether a home is historic or modern; the kitchen is still the heart of the American home.” 

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The new owners of this historic residence wished to retain its formal aesthetics but recognized that their young and energetic family needed some additional casual space.  The kitchen and the spaces in the rear ell did not meet the owners’ needs and the second floor master bedroom also served as access to the second floor spaces in the rear ell.  All bathrooms were antiquated and the home also lacked direct exterior access to the large back yard and swimming pool.

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If you could build your dream vacation home, which fun features would you add? That’s a question that has been on our mind ever since we shared this Family Playhouse under construction, which will eventually include a half basketball court and 9-hole mini golf course! When designing a vacation home — especially one in a rural area — many families are finding creative ways to keep the fun in-house. So what would we put in our ultimate vacation home? Read on for a little inspiration…

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A few months ago, we shared the beginnings of a beach house project here on our blog. Now at three months in, we’re happy to say that construction is moving right along! Here are some highlights of the project so far…

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tms-outdoor-space

Great landscape designs all have one aspect in common — balance. And the wonderful thing about balance is that it doesn’t have to be elaborate to be effective. Simply adding a few structures for your kids to enjoy or creating a small garden room can resurrect a bland landscape. Below are some key tips to help create more harmony in your outdoor spaces.

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In recent years, many country clubs have transitioned from exclusive and stuffy to a modern, family-oriented feel. This is exactly what the Antonaccis had in mind when they purchased the Hampden Country Club in 2012 and brought on TMS Architects to update the entire facility. Drawing inspiration from the Four Seasons and Shooting Star resorts in Jackson Hole, we set forth to bring their vision of a relaxing lifestyle resort to life. 

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tms-porches

Although porches haven’t been as common as they once were in new home construction, they are making a comeback in a big way. Originally designed for space to relax, enjoy a cool breeze, and possibly socialize with neighbors, porches are also being appreciated as extensions of our living spaces and adding architectural interest. If your home currently has a porch or veranda and you are not making use of the space, or if you are considering building a porch, there are several things that will help you maximize this space.

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What kind of image do you conjure up when you think of a courtyard? Many people think only of the grandiose types that are found at mansions or public venues, resplendent with large fountains and lush gardens. In fact, courtyards are an under-utilized architectural detail that can change the whole look and feel of your home. Indoor & outdoor courtyards offer natural light and a sense of outdoor space regardless of where your home is situated.

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Have you considered including a breezeway as a component of your landscaping? They offer great architectural interest as they connect portions of your home, offer protection from the elements, and they can help direct cooling breezes to your outdoor space. While designing a breezeway is best left to professional architects, the following information can provide you with some inspiration.

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tms-outdoor lighting

Follow the light — it’s an idea humans have clung to since our humble beginnings. Light can make or break a space. Without the right kind of light, a space can be bland, uninviting, and even scary. But, with truly inspired and thoughtful lighting, a space can exude warmth and beauty. Lighting outdoor spaces can be tricky, because light direction and shadows greatly alter our perception. However, we think with our simple three step plan, you’ll become a pro at outdoor lighting:

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tms-outdoor space

Since the beginning of time, colors have evoked certain emotions in human beings. We’re drawn to ideas and motifs that make us feel something, and colors are no different. Individual colors have distinct connotations — some color combinations can even be off-putting with their cold and uninviting nature. But, whether it’s a soothing space you’re going for or something a little livelier, choosing a coordinating palette of colors will help everything flow together visually.

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Flowing water isn’t just beautiful — it has many invaluable health benefits, too. Water features purify and humidify the surrounding air, create a calming and serene environment, and encourage us to feel cool and relaxed. Struggling with a bit too much urban noise pollution? No problem! Water features create an audio backdrop that can transport you to a different place and connect you back to nature. So, here are some of our favorite water features to help take your landscape from dry and lackluster to delightfully aqueous:

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What could be better than watching your favorite team win on a sublime summer night surrounded by all your friends? We can’t think of anything more enjoyable and convenient than experiencing this pastime from the comfort of your own stunning outdoor media room. With outdoor spaces, the sky is the limit — literally, any outdoor amenity you envision can be available right outside your door.

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tms-backyard

Your backyard should be more than extra lawn and garden to care for; it should be your private oasis from which to escape daily stress or spend quality time with family and friends. Today’s designers are creating backyard and outdoor living spaces that seem like actual extensions to your home. Use some of the following ideas to inspire your stylish backyard.

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tms-firepit

Outdoor fireplaces are a definite source of warmth and lend an air of coziness to any landscape that tends to draw people together wherever they are situated. While these reasons may be high on your list for having a fireplace on your wish list, there are also other added benefits such as higher resale value or increased equity in your home and defining your outdoor space.

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Garden ground covers provide many benefits beyond being decorative. Moisture retention, erosion prevention, and weed control are just a few of the more important reasons to ensure you have sufficient cover. Rather than the typical mulch, gravel, or cedar bark that require replacement over time, why not use hardy ground covers that excel in your garden?

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Create a Thriving Organic Landscape with TMS

Strong chemical weed killers, pesticides and fertilizers were once considered the best way to have a picture-perfect landscape. Over time and with further research however, we have learned just how damaging that practice was to our environment. As strong proponents of organic growing, TMS Architects would like to help you with creating an organic landscape.

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