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.
Today, when not going to yoga, running, walking her dog Loki, or doing Pilates, you might find Amanda at Sewing Rebellion learning to repair clothing. Her passion for making stuff and her passion for environmental sustainability makes her a champion of waste reduction, object reuse and upcycling. She is currently combining a shelving unit recently rescued from the curb, with outdated tile samples from the office to make really cool tile covered shelves. She’s also turning a ballcap handed out by a bank as a promotional item, and some discarded sample fabric swatches, into a colorful woven headpiece.
When moving here from the Boston area a little over a year ago, Amanda chose to live within walking distance of her new job. She moved west because of the sunshine, the lack of cold, and the laid-back lifestyle. She was attracted by California’s responsible environmental laws and to Santa Monica because of its reputation for being green. She wanted a walking community and Santa Monica offered just that.
In fact, when their lease was up on their car, instead of renewing, Amanda and her partner thought they’d try living without one. Imagine that! Living without a car in the LA area! He works from home, she roller blades to work; so far being wheel-less is working out.
Living without a car is one example of how Amanda says she is “constantly thinking how I can do things differently.” She says, “buildings are the most complex and impactful things in our built environment. And if I can do things differently at this large scale, then I can make an impact.” Amanda is excited about the sustainable architectural trend of getting back to using materials that are real. She feels real materials make one feel more connected to nature. Real wood, real stone, real glass. And not using plastic and paints to make something imitate the real thing.
Most stimulating to Amanda are material textures and how materials come together to give a space its character. She loves the outside-living lifestyle and has found a perfect fit with SweisKloss’ indoor outdoor flow style of architecture. Personally, Amanda’s primary criteria in a design is to be able to walk around it barefoot. Walking barefoot straight through the inside to the outside of a space feels very rich, very connected, liberating and fluid.
Behaving sustainably is not easy in our world of modern conveniences. But Amanda has managed to make sustainable living not only her design style but her lifestyle. From roller blading to work to giving up her car to repairing her clothes instead of throwing them away, she talks the talk and walks the walk, or more suitably rolls the role.
We are so glad she is here with us at SweisKloss in Santa Monica. And although she claims the Boston area will always be home, with a big smile Amanda says “I love Santa Monica; this is my happy place.”