home design

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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…

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When you read the words “Maine home,” we bet there’s plenty that comes to mind: rolling hills, peaceful views, and classic New England style. Sustainability and efficiency, however, are probably not at the top of that list. In the past, prioritizing sustainability would dictate the overall design of a home, meaning styles like a classic Cape house would be out of the question. Today, however, it’s easier than ever to incorporate green features into traditional architecture… of course, having years of experience with both like we do doesn’t hurt either.

In this series of blog posts, we’ll be documenting the progress of a Maine home that features both classic design elements and a forward-thinking approach for both the current homeowner and the generations to come. We hope you enjoy following along!

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All great homes begin with a vision. When we begin working with a new client, one of our first and most important steps in the process is to translate their ideas and wishes into a visual rendering. This allows everyone involved to really get a sense of what the proposed design will look like, make any necessary adjustments, and decide on a design that’s just right before moving forward.

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It’s January. Every single surface of your life is filled with words like “fresh,” “new,” and “revitalizing.” Junk mail touting gym memberships covers the kitchen table, articles about healthy meal plans cram the computer screen, and all emails on your phone reference resolutions to be maintained. Things to be bought and sought, thrown out or traded in. But this year, let the change of season be rejuvenating without the stress, without the buying, without the endless, never-satisfying fetching of “new” and burn out of “old” – by reassessing what you already have. With a few changes, additions, and adjustments, your house will be ready to welcome all the new year has to offer, just by focusing on two words: storage and organization.

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There are countless intimidating elements to owning a home: renovations, upkeep, extensions. flooding, insulation, pipework. repainting, re-flooring, reupholstering. For every moment of comfort and excitement, there can be so many more of stress and endless planning. But there is a specially intimidating element, that comes especially just once a year: holiday guests. You love your home, and want everyone you love to love it as well. But beyond basic survival of the season, there’s the struggle of living your life this most hectic time of year, while also creating an environment in which your guests can enjoy the full experience of life within your home. The beautiful people you care for most can exemplify the best of the season’s merry spirit, with just a few planning tricks.

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There are some of us who spend all year looking forward to this time of the year: the sparkling snow, the holiday cheer, the scent of woodsmoke in the air and a glint of candlelight at the dinner table. For them, the weather is sometimes the best part, or at least an acceptable part of the deal; cozy nights, long days on the slopes, and plenty of comfy layers in between. But for even those heartiest of people, this season brings some things few embrace: winterizing and renovations. Be it dedication to the environment or dedication to your pocketbook, the unique challenge of heating throughout our New England winters is one that has defined us for generations. With a vast array of options from short-term to long, your winter can be spent focused on the wonderland instead of the thermostat.

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The sunset has shifted, the air has a crispness so fresh it can be tasted, and the chill creeps slowly into everything from your house to your bones. Halloween has passed, Thanksgiving is planned, and the temperatures seem to be finally settling down in true New England fashion. From year to year, these things never change – but perhaps they make you think of adding another, certain warming tradition. After all, this is the season of woodsmoke and flashing embers, magical sparks and dusky flames. There’s nothing like coming home to start a roaring fire, or spending the weekend nestled in front of one with your favorite book and a cup of tea. If those autumn winds have you considering this cozy home addition, all you need are a few hints and tips to start planning the change that could make your entire fall and winter brighter.

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There may be no word that strikes fear into the hearts of homeowners in quite the same way as this simple one: renovations. It brings to mind endless days of contractors tramping in and out of your house, strange problems that seem to grow unceasingly, and mystifying bills that breed themselves. Things that would never have been a thought before – how long can the kids do homework in the garage during this project? – become a daily focus in lives where days are already full. But renovations don’t have to be a spiraling, time-consuming era of stress when they can instead be an exciting time of possibility – even during this busiest time of the year. The thing most often forgotten when thinking about the word “renovations” is that “renovations” don’t have to be enormous, expensive, or time-consuming to make a massive impact on redesigning a space into new life. When it comes to innovative choices in beautiful spaces, the tiniest of details can make the most magnificent change.

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The concept of “cozy” might be most thought of in the chillier months, but the essence of that feeling is truly key to the interior of any home all year long, regardless of the temperature — because in many ways, that feeling of cozy is precisely what transforms an empty house into a beautifully fulfilling home.

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Summer from the July 4th onward becomes a celebration and consideration of everything that makes America great, and of everything that makes such greatness stand so tall. Whether it’s the barbeques or the fireworks, the parades or the military bands, it’s never hard to find something patriotic during the summer — particularly in New England. But it isn’t the loud festivities that define a nation, or even its remarkable history. It’s the innovation those festivities raucously represent, and the history that influences us to this day. If there’s any element of the United States that exhibits a nation dedicated to ingenuity and prideful of past, it’s within our physical foundation: our architecture. And there’s no form more beloved and more copied the world over than that of the American waterfront summer home. While the original mountain, lake, and sea abodes may be beyond a century old in age and design, the influence of traditional summer homes over contemporary choices in any kind of space are a living piece of history as classic and unique as any monument.

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Chances are you spend more time in your bedroom than any other room in your house. It’s your place to rest and recharge, and your bedroom’s decor should support that. This especially applies to bedding. After all, you spend several hours a night in contact with it! So when a client approached us about custom bedding, our design team was committed to creating the ideal setting for relaxation.

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As summer creeps into New England, many of us are daydreaming about that picture perfect beach escape. An oceanfront home is the embodiment of luxury and relaxation, and we have the privilege to be working on a stunning one this summer. Though the project is still very much in progress, the shape it’s taken so far has us inspired for many summers to come. Take a look behind the scenes to get into that summer state of mind…

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Any beautiful home will have its most spectacular features. Those soaring ceilings in the living room, a spacious kitchen, that oak mantelpiece in the study, these sweeping bay windows. While many homes may have some lovely details, the truly splendid have that special spot where, just as you turn the corner down a hallway, someone’s piece of design inspiration leaves you breathless. Yet, that all-important piece is too often overlooked: the hall itself that brought you there. Seen as the perfunctory artery of any living home, the functionality of the hall relegates it to necessity instead of beauty. While without it, those other choices could not exist, transitional spaces remain a frustrating afterthought, needed but not glamorous; as if design exists only in large rooms, and doesn’t flow throughout a home. Considering that particularly as an entrance, this part of your home is the first you and your guests may see and connects every other element within it. A hall or foyer becomes not just a path from one room to the next, but the area that creates a gorgeous and complete home every step of the way.

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As beautiful as they may be, not every garden needs to be as sweeping, lush and high maintenance as Versaille. They are not exclusively for the vast expanses and many landscapers of a Newport mansion. Nor are they only for the relaxing retiree of Cape Elizabeth, dedicating daily hours to temperamental plants and soil research. Gardens can be for absolutely anyone, and can serve a more fun and fulfilling purpose than pure aesthetic and priggish tea parties. Your home garden should be just that: a functional, wonderful, welcoming extension of your home.

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Lighthouse Cove Cottage

There is little as thrilling, rewarding, and overwhelming as building an entire home of your own. To create the spaces of your dreams, and fulfilling the scope of your future. To build the ideal place into which you and yours can grow, and making it entirely your own. But while the final image of your complete fantasy might rest easy and fully illustrated in your mind, the actual steps taken between the first turn of soil in a shovel to the finishing beauty of your new house can be daunting. With just a few tips and considerations, the process of building your dream home can be kept from becoming a nightmare.

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Like a painting in which more detail is added or a piece of clay taking shape on a potter’s wheel, it is wonderful to see the construction progress of a new TMS-designed home.  This residence, in northern Massachusetts, has been under construction by DiPiero Construction, Newburyport, Massachusetts, for a little less than a year and the homeowners are finally seeing the light at the end of the project…choosing colors, tile, fixtures, furniture and artwork for their new home as the abstraction of the floor plans become individual and specific rooms.

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Our client came to TMS to help them in realizing their vision of a New England rambling cottage that captured the rural character of their site which was defined by fieldstone walls and surrounded by sheltered vistas into the wooded landscape beyond.

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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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As the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. But when it comes to designing your dream home, we know that the inside and outside are equally important. When you think about it, architecture and interior design go hand-in-hand if you’re looking to create a cohesive, functional, and beautiful spaces.

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Make a good first impression this holiday season by adding festive decor to your entryway. Guests will instantly feel welcomed when greeted by such touches as wreaths, garlands, and luminaries. You’ll also boost your home’s curb appeal in the process.

A festive wreath hung on the front door is always a staple for a well-decorated holiday entryway. Whether you make a wreath yourself or buy a pre-decorated or, even better, a fresh evergreen wreath, you should choose a style that matches well with your home’s exterior as well as other holiday decor outside and inside the home. You can even get creative with how you hang your wreath, opting for a ribbon instead of the traditional door hanger.

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