On the new HGTV show “Building Roots,” Ben and Cristi Dozier are used to renovating mountain houses in Colorado, but their latest project calls for an international touch.
In the Season 1 episode “A Kitchen With a View,” the Doziers help Ben Waddell and Beatriz Garcia, a married couple in Durango, CO, with three kids who want to blend his Colorado style and her Mexican heritage into one gorgeous kitchen.
“I want to have the feeling of Mexico, like little touches here and there,” Garcia says.
They give Cristi and Ben $100,000 for renovations, which won’t go far without some smart planning. Here’s how they transform this kitchen without blowing past their budget, with plenty of take-home lessons for adding some international flair to just about any space.
Don’t be afraid to combine two styles of tile
Given that Garcia and Waddell want to bring some Mexican style into their kitchen, they know one great way to do that is with genuine Mexican tiles.
So, when their family takes a trip to Mexico during the renovation, Garcia and Waddell pick up some colorful tiles that Ben and Cristi know will look perfect on the wall.
The team installs three long rows of Garcia and Waddell’s unique Mexican tile above the counter. But, not wanting the kitchen to look too bold, they fill in the top half with much simpler Saltillo tiles.
The new backsplash looks perfect. The blue and orange tile adds a pop of bold color, while the Saltillo tile keeps the room looking warm and grounded. These two very different tiles easily transform the space as they work well together on one wall.
Keeping cabinets is a huge money saver
While Garcia and Waddell are willing to spend a hefty $100,000 on this project, Cristi and Ben still need to be careful with the budget. Luckily, Ben knows how to cut costs from the start.
On demolition day, he tells his team: “We’re going to reuse as many of these cabinets as we can. We’re going to repaint them and refinish them. It’s going to be awesome. That way we just have more budget for more finer things.”
This is a smart move because cabinets can be tens of thousands of dollars, and this home’s cabinetry doesn’t seem too worn. In fact, after painting the cabinets a darker tone and adding some new hardware, they look as good as new.
“To complement those Mexican tiles, we’ve decided to make a bold move and paint those kitchen cabinets blue,” Cristi says of the new color.
In the end, it’s clear that keeping the cabinets and giving them new life with some paint and new pulls was a clear money saver.
A simple counter won’t compete with a busy backsplash
When it comes time to pick counters, Cristi and Ben don’t want anything that will compete with the new backsplash.
“Ben and Beatriz’s kitchen is going to have a lot of really pretty painted tiles in there,” Cristi says when shopping for materials. “So we’re hunting for a simple countertop today.”
They find a black, textured granite for the perimeter counters that they know will look perfect next to the bold backsplash and the dark blue cabinets. These textured counters are not sleek or shiny, which is perfect for this kitchen. The whole room gives off a warm, cozy vibe.
While Cristi and Ben look for opportunities to bring in Garcia’s Mexican heritage, they also want to highlight Waddell’s style preference, too. Waddell mentions that he uses a copper coffee pot every morning, so Cristi and Ben want to use more copper that will play off his favorite kitchen feature. They add a beautiful copper sink and copper pendant lights above one of the islands.
“It feels appropriate to have a copper sink to kind of play off some of the copper accents that might be on the stove or on the shelving,” Cristi says.
Trifold doors help bring the outdoors in
In addition to renovating the kitchen, Garcia and Waddell are also hoping to open the kitchen to the back patio.
“What we’d love to have is, like, a wall of windows,” Waddell tells Ben and Cristi. “Like, you open up that accordion-style window and you feel like you’re on the patio.”
Waddell also mentions that he likes to sit on the patio in the mornings, so it makes sense to make the space more accessible.
Ben and Cristi pick out a trifold door with a modern black frame. They know this door will bring a ton of light into the kitchen while helping to improve the indoor-outdoor flow, which will come in handy when Waddell wants to hang out on the deck in the mornings (and when this family is entertaining). This new door is the perfect finishing touch to this gorgeous kitchen.