Category Archives: Design Details

Offices that Inspire: A Cure for the Common Workspace

MMA circular study

A study must be just the right amount of beautiful. Beautiful enough to inspire excellent work, but muted enough not to distract. The ideal study is a finely-tuned space: a chair at center-stage, plenty of light streaming through the windows, a view to inspire, and enough decorum to settle unobtrusively in the background when the […]

Tradition and Creativity in Renovations

Renovated English Tudor from 1920s.

The sky is blue, an impossibly bright shade of blue that is just about the only thing to tip you off that the house is not in England. It is grand and rambling, unfolding across the lawns in a wonderfully earthy sprawl of rustic charm. Stately like it’s been there for centuries, the kind of […]

How Architecture Reflects Society

Rendering of a shingle-style home elevation

A thought seized us recently as we were discussing a previous blog post on the history and influence of shingle-style architecture. Near the end of the article, we point out that the style reflects “the slow and romantic lifestyle of the Victorian era.” And it does. But at the height of its popularity, shingle-style architecture […]

Shingle-Style Architecture: Turn-of-the-Century Allure

MMA Shingle-Style Country House

Shingle-style architecture is a uniquely American brand that marks a point of convergence for several different influences from Queen Anne Victorian to Medieval Romanesque. A popular New England style that appeared just as the nineteenth century wound to a close, shingle-style architecture paints a sweeping portrait of the nation at that point in time: high fashion with […]

Crown Jewel: Why Thorncrown Chapel is our Architectural Inspiration

Thorncrown chapel and vicinity, exterior, day.

When retired schoolteacher Jim Reed purchased a plot of land overlooking the Ozark Hills in 1971, he did not know it would soon be the site of one of the greatest marvels of modern architecture: Thorncrown Chapel. Though the space was intended for a new home for Reed and his wife to enjoy in their […]

Modern Cape: Same Tradition, Better Technology

Exterior modern Cape Cod house

In terms of classic New England architecture, the traditional Cape Cod cottage is a time-honored standard. Built to provide shelter from the vicious winter storms that whipped in off the Atlantic, these homes have remained popular due to their charming simplicity and the nostalgic element of tradition that suffuses them. They are uniquely New England. […]

Vermont-Proof: MMA Winterizes a Timber-Frame Lodge

Vermont Barn exterior

Verdant hills, violet lupines springing from the ground, rugged mountains rising and falling all the way to the horizon—it is a paradise enough to convince anyone to drop everything and race away somewhere quieter to be in nature. But even this idyllic haven faced its obstacles when it encountered the Northeast’s fiercest foe: an endless […]

Newport Cottage Restoration – A Winning Pedigree

Newport Cottage Restoration

When an MMA client uses our services again and again, it is validation on both a personal and artistic level, and for us it is the highest compliment. Not long ago we had the good fortune to work with longstanding clients on another of their homes. The couple had visited and become captivated by the […]

Multiple Sensitivities—How Morehouse MacDonald Transformed a Cape Tradition

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When a Cape restaurant owner has a thriving breakfast and lunch eatery—much loved by discriminating New Yorkers as much by its own East Dennis locals—you can assume business is good. Very good. So it isn’t surprising when a new investment co-owner comes into the picture with plans for expansion. This was the moment Morehouse MacDonald […]

Outdoor Patio Design: Cape Cod

Outdoor Patio Design

Cape Cod—or to locals, “The Cape”—is renowned for summer beach days and nights filled with fire pits, barbecues and spending time with loved ones. Our clients, situated not too far from Old Silver beach in North Falmouth, were like the many other residents of Cape Cod—they wanted a home where they could easily entertain guests […]

The Dovetailing of Residential Architecture and Landscape Design

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In the beautiful village of Marston Mills sat an outdated home overlooking the harbor. The house did not compliment the views or fulfill our clients’ needs, so they reached out to us looking for a complete overhaul. Together we decided to demolish the current home and build a new one from the ground up. Our […]

Design Visa: Why MMA’s Clients Take Us Abroad

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When initiating a new project for a vacation home or secluded getaway retreat, one of the first questions that come up is: should I hire a local architect or bring my architect with me? It’s a superb question, and one several of our clients have asked themselves over the years. Local or Remote—Which is Best? […]

Discovering History in Charleston

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As you know from our previous blog post, we have been restoring the renowned and classic Charleston home—the Alfred Hutty Residence. We are in the process of demolition, framing and concrete work and found two discoveries that are of historic interest. We discovered the first one after breaking down a deteriorating wall. Behind it was […]

Boston Tower Penthouse: Custom Door Handles

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Sitting aloft the city high above the hustle and bustle resides a beautiful, 3,000 square foot penthouse overlooking the twinkling lights of Boston. Our client suffers from arthritis that impacts day-to-day activities. Movement as simple as opening a door can be uncomfortable. Typical door knobs and handles weren’t working, and our client was interested in […]

The Alfred Hutty Residence: Restoring a Charleston Classic

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Charleston, South Carolina brings to mind delicious food, southern charm, and historic homes. The latter being one of our specialties. Always wishing to work in this historic city, we were pleased when a former client asked us to restore a famous landmark there – the Alfred Hutty House. The home was built in 1770 and […]

Creative Solutions at Buzzards Bay

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The creative distinction between original designs and renovations is a curious area to explore. The focal points of both types of projects are clear; creativity and the client’s vision supersede much else. But the degree of creativity taken on with a renovation is a sliding scale precariously placed on a litany of factors. How much […]

How to Make a House a Home – The Importance of Creativity

What makes a house a home? Creativity and addressing a client’s needs with thoughtful solutions are part of the process. For the family involved in our Marston Mills project, the challenge—and the solution—came in the form of custom headboards and cabinetry for the kids’ bedrooms. In this project, ingenuity stemmed from conflict: the client loved […]