Edible Monterey Bay


Beyond the Box

Beyond the Box designs kitchens for people who love to cook

What foodie wouldn’t love a new kitchen? Renewed interest in growing our own organic food, composting, shopping at the farmers market and cooking healthy meals at home is creating a mini-boom in kitchen remodeling.

cyndi&shannon3“There was a time when I designed kitchens for people who didn’t even cook, but now people are getting back to their roots. Cooking great food, entertaining friends and family at home and everyone is hanging out in the kitchen,” says Cyndi Mosher, owner of the Santa Cruz-based kitchen design company Beyond the Box.

Mosher, and her colleague Shannon Demma, find their clients asking for conveniences like recessed compost bins, outdoor sinks for washing garden produce, environmentally friendly materials and old fashioned farmhouse-style tables where the kids can do their homework as dinner is prepared.

“The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we live, where everything happens,” says Demma, “So remodeling a kitchen makes people’s lives better.”

Mosher and Demma spend lots of time getting to know their clients’ tastes, lifestyle and cooking requirements. We consider details like how much they bake, how many family members cook and how often they entertain. “People are more conscious now of not wasting money, but those kind of limitations force you to look at all the options and come up with a good design that works,” says the owner.

Less stress

1011_center15_9Making your dream kitchen a reality is not as easy as it looks on HGTV. It requires plenty of planning, a good sense of form and function, demolition, tons of hammering, construction crews and then there’s the expense.

A kitchen designer can minimize the stress. “Our job is to guide and help people through the remodel, enriching the process with our experience, helping the client stay within their budget and making it fun,” says Mosher.

“I want my clients to love their kitchens. It’s a nice feeling when it all comes together,” adds Demma.

There are four main reasons to use a professional designer for your kitchen remodel:

1) It can be difficult to know what you don’t know! A kitchen designer has experience with this process and can really help with the tough decisions. They are likely to know more than you do about all the new products coming on the market and all the options available out there in cabinets, hardware, counter tops, tile, appliances, faucets and flooring.

2) Great planning and design will help avoid costly mistakes. It is much less expensive to make changes during the planning stage, than during construction with a change order.

3) A set of plans with computer generated renderings is an amazing tool to help visualize a new space. This is very difficult for many people.

4) An experienced designer is an ally, they will coordinate with the builder and help handle any construction problems that may come up.

A complete kitchen remodel can cost between $50-60,000 and beyond. The cost of hiring a designer is normally a tiny fraction of that price. At Beyond the Box, half of the design fee can be applied towards the purchase of cabinets or countertops.

Green design

1011_center15_18Demma is especially passionate about green building and is a LEED Accredited Professional. “Many people are asking for remodels that create a lower impact on the environment,” she says.

The showroom of Beyond the Box—in the Santa Cruz Arts Center—displays numerous green options, like three different styles of countertops made with recycled glass bottles and concrete. The Ice Stone, Crush and Vetrazzo brands come in all different color combinations and distinctive confetti patterns.

Recycled paper and cardboard counters are also display. The materials are compressed and soaked in resin so they are amazingly durable.

Cabinets made of sustainably sourced woods like bamboo and eucalyptus are another option. Beyond the Box carries two lines of cabinetry that use no added urea formaldehyde materials to build their cabinets: Ovation and Aristocratic.

Beyond the Box creates kitchen designs in styles ranging from the popular craftsman bungalow to Tahoe glam. “We are also seeing a surprising number of contemporary remodels, especially in the more expensive homes,” says Mosher, who holds a certificate in kitchen design from the National Kitchen & Bath Association and opened her business in 2004.

Getting started

1011_center15_9Both women started out their careers in other fields, Mosher as a pharmaceutical rep and Demma working with her husband’s building company. They each went into kitchen design after wrestling with remodeling their own kitchens, Mosher in Ben Lomond and Demma on the east side of Santa Cruz. They are impressed by how much the business has changed in the last few years and credit the internet, as well as home improvement shows for “getting people’s juices going.”

“Younger people want to be super-involved in the design process, because they have so much access to information and so much inspiration is out there on the internet,” says Mosher.

She recommends the website Houzz as a good place to start collecting ideas for your kitchen remodel. Next check out all the fun before and after photos at the Beyond the Box site, expertly designed by her son Cheyne.

Then make an appointment to meet Cyndi and Shannon. Even if you already know exactly what you want, you can expect them to make it better.

Beyond the Box Kitchen Design, 1001 Center St. Suite #15, Santa Cruz, CA

Tel. 831-427-0100 Ÿ www.btbkitchens.com