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Today’s garden rooms bring all the comforts of your home outdoors. You’ll find plush couches mingling with stylish area rugs, outdoor fireplaces, personalized decor, trendy color schemes and more. Recently, we even discussed choosing a ceiling for your garden room.

On that same note, flooring is another choice you may not have considered for your garden room, but it’s one that can really make an impact on the look and feel of your space. Flagstone, brick, tile, gravel and even grass are some examples of garden room flooring options. Each one can be used to add color, dimension and texture to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space, while also serving a functional purpose.

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Ceilings are often referred to by interior designers as the fifth wall. Homeowners often neglect this space, but ceilings are another blank canvas with tremendous design potential. Ceiling treatments can help solve design problems, such as making a room feel bigger or cozier.

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When you’re renovating a home or starting a new build, decorative elements like paintings or a luxurious light fixture often put the finishing touch on the room. The same can be said when it comes to your outdoor living spaces. Deciding on the plants and layout is only half the fun when designing your garden! Selecting decorative elements to place among your landscape is a great way to add year-round contrast and color to the panorama, and it displays the harmonious relationship that can exist between organic and man-made elements.

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The warmer weather is calling you outdoors this spring, so why not visit a charming local garden for some inspiration for your own backyard? Set in an original waterfront neighborhood, the historic gardens at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are a destination you should add to your list this year.

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With warm weather on the horizon, many homeowners are looking forward to spending time outdoors after a long winter here in New England. Just as we refresh our homes with new décor each season, the same can be done in our garden rooms as well. In addition to incorporating a variety of flowers and plants, you can also enhance your space and add architectural interest with structures like arbors, gazebos and pergolas. Including all of these elements will make your garden feel more like a room, even in a vast, open landscape.

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While some homeowners want their gardens and landscaped areas to be a place for relaxation, others see them as spaces to entertain and enjoy time with family and friends. That’s the idea behind garden game rooms. Whether it’s bocce ball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, corn hole, badminton, etc., lawn games are what make group gatherings more fun, especially with the milder temperatures we usually experience here in New England during the spring and summer. If engaging in some friendly competition is part of your family’s tradition during holidays or a favorite way to entertain, you’ll certainly see the value of incorporating some space for games into your garden rooms. Below are a handful of inspiring ideas.

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When the weather warms up, there’s no better place to relax and enjoy the outdoors than a waterfront garden room. With the tranquil sounds of  the ocean or lake on one side and a beautifully manicured garden filled with lush plantings on the other, a waterfront garden is the perfect place to enjoy some quiet time to yourself!

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There are some places in your home designed for gatherings, while others are for work and play. But sometimes you pine for personal space that’s just for you. Soon, you can enjoy the peace of a secret garden and a quiet hideaway on your property where you can read, relax and enjoy fresh air.

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During late spring and early summer, there’s nothing better than dining al fresco in your own backyard. Not only is an outdoor dining area convenient for making and enjoying dinner on the grill, but it’s also a great time to enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers, trees and plants in your surrounding landscape.

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Even though the official start to spring is still a little over a week away, it’s not too early to start thinking of ways to enhance your outdoor living spaces with beautiful garden rooms. Garden rooms can be used for outdoor entertaining in the spring and summer or simply for relaxation and the enjoyment of fresh flowers and the surrounding scenery. The idea is to bring the comforts of the indoors — plush furnishings and stylish decor — outdoors. You can expand the footprint of your home without adding square feet.

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Homes wouldn’t feel complete without trim, and yet this is an element that’s powerful in its subtlety. It may not be the first thing you notice about a home, but the interest, style and sophistication trim brings to interiors rarely goes unnoticed.

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The fireplace often takes center stage in a room, but the mantel can just as easily become an area of interest with the right design and materials. As the place where you display family photos, prized possessions and, of course, your unique sense of style, giving some extra thought to your mantel is well worth it.

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At TMS Architects, we frequently use stone in our exterior designs of homes and other buildings. Oftentimes, we use stone for homes that also have stone in their natural landscape. This is because stone elements create a solid connection with the surrounding environment.

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Transom windows are small, detail windows found above doors or other windows. These windows are also attached to the horizontal crossbeam, or transom, beam above doors. As transitional elements between doors, windows, eaves and moldings, transom windows are often fan shaped. Besides being used for decoration, transom windows also add natural light to spaces and help with ventilation.

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Ceilings are often an afterthought – if they’re thought about at all – when it comes to home design. However, thoughtfully designed ceilings can be used to tie existing design elements together, add a sense of intimacy to a large space, or to continue a decorative theme that has been started from the floor up.

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It’s safe to say that the front door is the crown jewel of the home’s facade. As the main focal point, the entryway has the power to make a powerful and lasting impression as it sets the tone for the rest of your home, both inside and out. This exterior centerpiece also offers the opportunity to express style and personality.

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If you boil architectural design down to two fundamental elements you’d be left with two types of lines: straight and curved. It’s the careful composition and interaction of these two opposing elements that can make architecture so interesting and engaging. Straight lines can imbue strength, order and symmetry, for example, while curved lines can evoke softness, elegance and gracefulness.

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Each phase of the Portsmouth Music Hall Theatre Restoration brought this century-old cultural landmark back to life with architectural features and details that radiate with exquisite beauty and history. It started with the restoration of the historic dome and proscenium arch, which was completed in 2006. TMS Architects – in partnership with a team of builders, construction companies and engineers – remodeled the lobby and moved on to the auditorium in 2007.

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When it comes to design details, windows are a favorite at our firm. There is no better way to open up your home and welcome in natural light for a more pleasant living space. Clerestory windows in particular have a unique set of aesthetic and functional qualities. They are placed high on walls to let in light from above, a technique that originates in Gothic cathedrals. In addition to drawing the eye upward, clerestory windows also help make your living spaces more comfortable by helping heat rise.

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Exposed beams are no longer only for log cabins and industrial lofts. This design technique can add warmth, interest and raw, natural beauty to nearly any style home. Whether you have high ceilings or you simply want to take the architectural appeal of your home to the next level, exposed beams can be a wonderful way to enhance the aesthetic value and add unique appeal.

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