Where the Money Went: Reese Lackey’s Budget Luxury Kitchen

Lackey hollywood hillsWhere the Money Went:

Appliances, fixtures: $8,900
Travertine floor: $1,700
Granite counter tops: $3,300
Electrical: $900
Replace window: $300
Painting, misc. hardware: $900

Total: $16,000

When Reese Lackey remodeled the kitchen in his 1927 Hollywood Hills house, he wasn’t worried about his tastes as he planned to flip the newly purchased house for a profit.

His main goal was to create a luxury-looking kitchen for as little money as possible.


The task would be formidable: The kitchen had virtually no charm with its plain wooden cabinets and counters covered by white tile with dark grout. The spectacular canyon and city views were framed with a tacky louvered window.


Kitchen before

To create a kitchen that future buyers would love, Lackey spent $16,000 and chose stainless steel appliances — a Dynamic Cooking Systems (DCS) range, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Bosch dishwasher.

For the floors, he used travertine marble tile that he got at a bargain. For the counters, slab granite. The jalousie window was replaced with a French casement.

So why was Reese’s kitchen so inexpensive? That’s because he kept the old cabinets, simply painting them and adding cool hardware. What an amazing transformation. Oh, yeah, one more thing: Reese liked the remodeled house so much that he decided to stay.

Here’s where the money went for the rest of the project:

Saltillo tile/porch: $1,900
Garden wall: $2,800
Stucco front of house: $1,300
New lighting throughout: $1,700
Misc. electrical: $1,000
French doors in master bedroom: $1,200
Master bathroom material and labor: $3,500
Painting and interior plaster: $8,000
Refinish floors: $2,200
Recarpet den, bedrooms, stairs: $2,200
Decking on balcony: $400
Gutters, drywall, drains, hardware, misc. repairs: $8,400
Furnishings: $4,400
Total: $55,000

See the whole story.

(Photo: KPR)

2 Comments on Where the Money Went: Reese Lackey’s Budget Luxury Kitchen

  1. Willie

    It looks great! In my case, my cabinets were made of very cheap MDF with some kind of faux wood cover. They were not build to last. Now, if I would have had wood ones, like the ones in your kitchen, I would have probably saved a bundle.
    By the way, the final tab on all the appliances (VIKING) was $9433.00

  2. mike a

    I am interested in placing my counters and wanted to hear your thoughts about how you went about it? what company did you deal with? any insight you could share would be helpful