Lots of Details, Yet Minimal

The Sheats Goldstein house. One of my all-time favorite homes. Over the years this home, built in the American Organic Architecture style, has served to inspire and re-inspire me time and time again.

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Abeer Sweis

She Rolls the Role

SweisKloss Designer and Assistant Project Manager Amanda Cavallo has always loved arts and crafts. As a child she was obsessed with making stuff. She loved to go shopping with her dad at Home Depot where she would crawl around on the floor picking up stray bits and pieces with which to make objects at home.

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Abeer Sweis

Fall Into Your Remodel

You have been wanting to pull the trigger on a home or office remodel for a while. You have been thinking about it, conceiving options but you continue to put it off because it seems daunting and there are certainly other things that need your more immediate attention. 

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Abeer Sweis

I am Proud of Us

I am very proud of our town, Santa Monica, CA, at this moment. This Saturday, the ribbon will be cut on Santa Monica’s third universally accessible playground. Universally accessible playgrounds allow children of all abilities to participate and enjoy one common play area. These playgrounds are also designed to make it easier for caregivers with mobility devices to play with their children.

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Abeer Sweis

Big Picture

The reason we get engrossed in the details (see blog post “We Love Puzzles” 8/8/18) is because through the application of the details the bigger picture comes into view. And it is the bigger picture, the final product, that makes us go “wow.”

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Abeer Sweis

The Design Should be Theirs, Not Mine

I love teaching. I realized I loved teaching while working part time in my college design Mac lab.  I really enjoyed helping people figure out how to do something, and doing my own learning in the process. 

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Abeer Sweis

We Love Puzzles

Some people talk about the devil being in the details, meaning although something may look simple, the deeper you get into the details the more complicated the undertaking becomes. We prefer to talk about details like puzzle pieces that need to be fit together to form a picture. And we love puzzles. As SweisKloss is the puzzle creator and puzzle builder, we both imagine and implement these details.

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Abeer Sweis

Why Our Team Works

When working with a new client I always explain our team structure and introduce the team members. This is not an atypical practice in any service industry. However, our team is special. I am pretty sure this also isn’t an atypical statement in any service industry, at least I would hope other company leaders appreciate their team as much as I do. I would like to take a few moments to describe our team structure and say a few things about our team members.

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Abeer Sweis

Making the World Better

I particularly like Anne Frank’s sentiment because I feel it applies to what we do as a design + construct firm and what we do as individuals in our community.

SweisKloss’ policy is to support our team members’ activities in the community. Some firms may encourage their staff to get involved; our staff needs no encouragement. Each team member has come to SweisKloss with a full resume of giving back.   

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Abeer Sweis

A Rose By Any Other Name

ADU. Accessory Dwelling Unit. Not as romantic sounding as Carriage House, or as quirky as Grannie Flat, or as loaded as Mother-in-law Unit. But all are different names for the same thing, a space for dwelling that is separate or attached to a single family home on a piece of property. Once very popular, ADUs fell out of favor in the middle of the last century. With the rise in property costs, multigenerational living, the “sharing economy” and the desire to repurpose the garage, the popularity of ADUs is again on the rise.

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Abeer Sweis

A Shared Space is a Happy Space

Remember the TV show “Golden Girls”? How about “Friends”? Or perhaps “Three’s Company”? All of these shows included family or friends sharing a home. We called them roommates at the time, now in this new “sharing economy”, we refer to these living situations as house sharing or even co-living. House sharing can take on many different configurations, but the premise is simple: friends, family or colleagues sharing a house.

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Abeer Sweis

Form and Functional; Accommodating our New Non-Traditional Lives

Today we’re doing different things with traditional space layouts to accommodate our lives that are becoming anything but traditional. Our desire for space types seem endless. A few of the types being revolutionized are master bedrooms, home offices and living rooms.

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Abeer Sweis

Bold Colors and Natural Materials are Back! 

There was a lot I loved about Greece, but what sticks with me most about that trip as a young adult, are the colors. The bright bold colors that always look freshly painted against the alabaster white stucco walls. We’ve all seen the pictures, but in person the colors seem to have life, a heartbeat, breath.   

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Abeer Sweis

‘Tis the Season for Outdoor Living

It is finally that glorious time of year again when there is a remnant of evening daylight at the end of the workday; just enough time to enjoy a meal or a glass of wine on the back patio or at an outdoor café with friends. In Southern California we are fortunate to have more of these days than not and taking advantage of all of them has become a way of life.   

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Abeer Sweis

Open Spaces and Quiet Places

Our architecture evolves along with our lives. As our lives, on a whole, become less formal and less socially structured, so do the spaces in which we work and live. We wear far fewer suits, work far outside 9 to 5, and can work virtually anywhere. We seek out spaces where we are comfortable working on our laptop, in our yoga pants, at 1AM for example and employers have taken note.   

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Abeer Sweis

When Building Sustainably is Simply Building

What seems like long ago I would see for-lease signs on the sides of buildings advertising available space as “fully wired” or “wifi enabled”; these technologies were new and unique amenities at the time. Prior to this by almost 150 years I am sure the lease advertisements listed the brand new lift equipment called the elevator to win tenants over the competition.   

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Abeer Sweis

What I Love To Create 

When you ask Abeer Sweis what kind of space excites her, she would say one that influences people. Whether it’s a residential home or commercial space—wherever people spend time—she wants to bring out quality interactions in relationships that stimulate ideas, fuels communication, creates intimacy, and allows for growth. From family members chatting in the kitchen while preparing a risotto, to co-workers brainstorming a strategy to win new business, Abeer strives to create fertile built environments.   

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Adair Seldon

Not All Architects/Designers Are Created Equal

When selecting a firm, it’s important to understand the difference between the types of services each one offers so you will know what to expect. A firm that exclusively offers design and drawings means that it creates the design and drawings and then hands them off to the client. A company that offers design through construction administration creates the design and drawings, assists with bidding, reviews shop drawings and submittals, and verifies in the field that the work conforms to the design.

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Adair Seldon

The Evolution of SweisKloss

Abeer Sweis has come a long way in the 20 years since she started her own boutique design firm. She remembers being in business for just three months when she hired one of her Architecture students as her first employee. “I really missed working with a team and quickly realized that the most fruitful results come from collaboration. So, when I met the incredibly talented Olivia, I immediately offered her a part-time job,” she said.

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Adair Seldon

Abeer's Inspiration

What inspires one to become an architect? Ask Abeer Sweis, and she’ll tell you about a time when she was nine years old. On a Sunday afternoon drive with her family through the countryside of her native Amman, Jordan, she noticed a building unlike anything she’d ever seen. Set into the side of a hill with nothing but a glass front looking out at the world, it seemed as though the roof was built into the hill and nature had been undisturbed—as if it were meant to be and belonged.  

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Adair Seldon