Scarcity

Scarcity

I have been listening to a great NPR podcast series lately, Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam, and the latest episode really struck a cord with me. The “You 2.0: Tunnel Vision” episode about the psychological phenomenon of scarcity is about how our brains react to scarcity. The examples in the episode center around poverty and the scarcity of money, hunger due to a scarcity of food, and loneliness. My thoughts went to a recent temporary experience of scarcity in which my brain behaved just as the podcast had illustrated.

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5 Great Lounge Chairs

5 Great Lounge Chairs

During the dog days of summer, nothing sounds better than relaxing with a good book and a cold drink. So we thought we’d show you 5 great lounge chairs to unwind in at the end of the day.

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Abeer SweisComment
To AC or Not to AC...

To AC or Not to AC…

I write this on what is forecasted to be the hottest day of the summer so far this year. Our office, in a beautiful old building near the beach in Santa Monica, has a lot of windows but no air conditioning. Every summer we play a game of window and door roulette, opening some, closing others, to get the right balance of cool ocean air cross breezes. But when there is no breeze, well, we have no choice but to take frequent breaks to get popsicles!

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Barkitecture

Barkitecture

I often say that I wish I could live the life of my dog. She is spoiled. She wants for nothing. Except for maybe a custom doghome. Creatively called “Barkitecture”, there are many clever doghouse designs out there, there is even a book by the same name published in 1999 by Fred Albert. As a design + construct professional, I see the design possibilities in this genre are endless. Just a few moments perusing the Internet yields a dizzying variety of barkitecture homes, and of Barkitecture events. Many communities have doghouse design competitions as fundraisers for their local shelters.

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Abeer SweisComment
5 Great Outdoor Features

5 Great Outdoor Features

Ah summertime and spending it in the great outdoors. Your own outdoors! At SweisKloss we love to design + construct these 5 outdoor elements into our client’s projects. A pergola with a retractable sun shade. The pergola extends the living space from the indoors to the outdoors; the sun shade allows the pergola to be a functional and enjoyable space in the Southern California climate.

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Abeer Sweis Comment
Small Town Feel

Small Town Feel

It surprises a lot of people to learn that Santa Monica is a city unto itself. Pushed up against the Pacific Ocean by Los Angeles on three sides, it is easy to think of Santa Monica as a neighborhood of the metropolis of LA. But step into the City of Santa Monica and you immediately get the vibe not of a part of the second largest city in the country, but of a small town. The small town feel is most apparent during the summer when everyone is out and about, and especially at the Main Street Fourth of July Parade. Even those who “don’t go out much” will run into dozens of people they know at the parade.

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Roofing Tiles made from What?!

Roofing Tiles made from What?!

As a design + construct firm whose mission is to create, we use a lot of material. We are thoughtful about how our projects impact the environment and we consciously incorporate existing materials where possible. In addition to reusing material, we recycle what we do not use. And Los Angeles County and the State of California assures that we do.  

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Jessica HandyComment
Toes in the Sand

Toes in the Sand

The kids are out of school, the air is warm, the sun is up longer and the sandals have come out of storage… it’s Summertime!! Summer feels like the season of energy, of excitement, of freedom; somehow it feels just a little more liberating than the other 3 seasons. Maybe it is because we spend more time outdoors during the summer, and the outdoors feels expansive, the outdoors gives us more room to breathe and to move our bodies. 

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Abeer SweisComment
Sum of its parts

Sum of its parts

When you imagine your brand new or newly renovated space what does it contain? Walls, ceilings, windows, stairs, doors, drywall, paint, baseboard, doorstops, subfloor, railings... OK, I am willing to bet that you are not picturing the drywall, but you are instead imagining the overall feeling of the space. It is the interaction of the design elements, like the cabinetry, the tile, the sun-drenched hardwood floors, and the view to the outdoors from a couch that make you feel like you want to be in that space.

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5 Great Light Fixtures

5 Great Light Fixtures

Limiting a selection of really great light fixtures to five is really difficult! Just like a lot of design elements, what fixture we like depends upon the style of the space, the location of the fixture, the effect we wish to create, etc. But there are some fixtures that transcend “it depends.” One is this funky bedside wall fixture that is simple yet highly functional.

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Abeer SweisComment
Scholarship Season

Scholarship Season

This has been another successful scholarship season for the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica. Handing out over $46,000 worth of academic, music and arts scholarships to our high achieving local students is always our favorite activity of the year.

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Abeer SweisComment
Creating Clarity Through Closet Renovation

Closets, Closets, Closets!

Whether custom made or prefabricated, walk-in or along a wall, it can’t be denied that closets are a necessity. Closets are for storing items we use every day, items we won’t pull out until the next season, and items we just as soon forget we have. A home renovation is a great time to reevaluate your closet needs. We thought we’d help by listing a few of our suggestions for a closet re-design.

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Abeer SweisComment
5 Great Coffee Tables

5 Great Coffee Tables


The coffee table. A piece of furniture that is both useful and decorative, and whether for coffee or cocktails, when missing makes the space feel almost awkward. Picture your own living room without a coffee table, feels weird right? In honor of this ubiquitous furniture accessory, we thought we’d share five that have caught our eye. 

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Abeer SweisComment
Never Just a Wall

Never Just a Wall


Our design + construct team knows a wall is never just a wall. Whether residential or commercial, we create design elements that provide shade, afford privacy and dial down the volume outside. They’re art pieces that stoke the imagination. I love building walls.

Take our work for DCG. In 2013, the IT services company challenged us to transform a 2,000-square-foot, empty store into a functional office space.

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Abeer SweisComment
Happy Earth Week

Happy Earth Week


Although I would like to believe the expression, “Everyday is Earth Day”, until it is, we can at least go as far as wishing you a Happy Earth Week. In celebration of Earth Week here at SweisKloss, we have started office composting. Most of us either bring lunch to the office or order in and eat here together, or even make lunch here.

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Abeer SweisComment
Green Spring Cleaning

Green Spring Cleaning


If you are jumping on the tidying-up movement made popular by Marie Kondo’s “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and motivated by the season to do some “spring cleaning,” we thought we’d share some of our favorite recipes for green cleaning. These solutions are easy to make, easier on the skin and the airways than commercial cleaners, and they contain no dyes that can discolor your furniture and fixtures. If you don’t love the odor of any of these ingredients, you don’t have to bear it long because the odor dissipates quickly.

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The Center of the Home Universe

The Center of the Home Universe

The kitchen. Intended to be a place to prepare food, the kitchen has metamorphosed into a place for many activities, in addition to preparing food, and sometimes not even used for food prep at all (some of my New York City friends store sweaters in their kitchen cabinets and shoes in the oven!). As a place to cook, bake, eat, entertain (and store items), the kitchen is the room that all others in the house seem to revolve around spiritually and in the case of an open plan home, physically.

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Depends on How you Define Necessary

Depends on How you Define Necessary   

In a bathroom design, unarguably a toilet, sink, bathing ability, mirror and privacy are what we think of when we consider what is necessary in the design. There are other design element options that are perhaps not “necessary” but, arguably, really nice to have.

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Beyond Four Walls and a Ceiling

Beyond Four Walls and a Ceiling

It is hard to imagine enjoying spending time outside right now with all this rain, but it won’t be long before we will want to spend all of our days and evenings outdoors. The outdoors is where many of us go for a change of scenery, to stretch our legs, to breathe deeply. Many of us also like to grill, enjoy an outdoor fire, relax with a glass of wine or a good book after work. To be able to have these tranquil experiences in our own yard is nothing short of heavenly. And it is not about the view, it is about being able to see, to see beyond four walls and a ceiling.

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Abeer SweisComment
Architect as Master

Architect as Master

When you are thinking of building a home, we want to help you build your dream home. Leave nothing to chance and let Sweiskloss help you with our design and build philosophy and construction services in Santa Monica.

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