Showering Your Dog with Love

Showering Your Dog with Love

At SweisKloss we love dogs and know our clients do as well. Dogs are undoubtedly considered part of the family; I often refer to my dog as my third baby, since she came after my two children. Driving around LA, one could easily spot dogs in strollers, backpacks, and custom bike baskets.

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How sausages are made.

How sausages are made.

Otto von Bismarck is most often credited with saying, “if you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” Although I think that I do not particularly want to see how sausages are made, I think it is extremely important that we all are aware of how laws are made. And that we have the opportunity to participate in how they are made is one of the benefits of this great democracy. With that said… the Santa Monica City Council will be considering proposed amendments to the ordinance for R1 neighborhood zoning at their October 22 meeting. If you have any interest in remodeling your home in Santa Monica in the near future, you made want to exercise your right to speak up.

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Our next project will be built of… cans?!

Our next project will be built of… cans?!

We are really excited to announce that we are presenting the inaugural Canstruction Santa Monica competition!

Canstruction is an international design competition, held locally, between architects, engineers and design teams, who build inventive sculptures out of non-perishable food items. It is a festive affair that challenges these teams to “out creative” each other, involves the community in judging and participation, and benefits the local food banks.

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Panama: A Personal Photo Journal

Panama: A Personal Photo Journal

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Panama for professional and personal fulfillment; it was an unforgettable experience. Everywhere we looked we were surrounded by ocean and lush mountains, although as a designer my eye kept returning to the built environment. In Panama City, the built environment is a mixture of old and new, often right next to each other, often backdropping one another. It was difficult to take a snapshot without the mixture in the viewfinder.

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The Back to School Issue

The Back to School Issue

At SweisKloss we understand the importance of designing for children’s needs. And having school-aged children reminds me of this importance every day. Simply put, kids need a place to focus, a place to unwind, a place for storage and a place to sleep.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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