Youngstown kitchen cabinets share star billing with an O’Keefe and Merritt range in Meara’s kitchen remodel

kitchen that needs remodelingMeara’s “before” kitchen was actually just fine, with that can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it O’Keefe and Merritt range and neutral cabinets, countertops and flooring. That said, it wasn’t the stunner she wanted for her 1955 midcentury modern house built by the prolific Ernest Pierson. The solution? A cost-conscious refresh using Youngstown steel kitchen cabinets headed to the dump, boomerang laminate countertops and a remnant piece of real linoleum flooring. The “after”: Much more than just fine —  Meara’s kitchen is adorable

kitchen design after including youngstown steel kitchen cabinets

Meara writes (edited slightly to combine emails):

My home was built in 1955 by the Ernest Pierson Building Company in Eureka, California. The Pierson Building company built a number of subdivisions in the greater Eureka area in the 1950’s. The homes are some of the only flat roofed ranch homes in the area. It is my hope that Pierson homes will become appreciated for their architectural significance.

I purchased the home in 2012 and have completed extensive renovations. The kitchen was the only room that had not received any attention.

Prior to the remodel the kitchen was a chopped up version of the original. The kitchen had originally had a cooktop and a wall oven which had been removed years prior and portions of the cabinets were modified to make room for a standard range and dishwasher.

1950s kitchen remodel

I decided to do the kitchen remodel by accident. Friends of mine were doing a kitchen remodel on a rental and the Youngstown kitchen cabinets were being removed and headed for the dump! I let them know that I was interested in the cabinets, we discussed the possibilities of how we could fit them into my kitchen space. Once we agreed on how to maximize the use of the space the project was a go. The cabinets are the original finish, I chose not to refinish them as they are in very good condition. 

The goal of this remodel was for this finished kitchen to look as though it had always been there — and, it was a remodel on a serious budget of $3500.

youngstown steel kitchen cabinets

I began the search for counter top material and flooring. Retro Renovation was a great resource! For the countertop I chose Formica Charcoal Boomerang. I found a great company called Heffrons for the aluminum countertop edging. I live in a small and remote area in Northern California with a limited number of resources. I was lucky enough to take my project to a local counter top installation company (Humboldt Countertops Surfacing) that was excited about my project and worked with me to pull off the vintage look that allows the kitchen to look like it was always a part of my home.

metal kitchen cabinets in a remodeled kitchen

The flooring was a remnant piece of Marmoleum flooring.

vintage okeefe and merritt stove

The remodeled kitchen is the perfect setting for the O’Keefe and Merritt stove. Rounded upper and lower shelving units were custom designed to finish off the look.

This has truly been a labor of love for me and everyone who has seen the kitchen loves it and reminisces about a cozy vintage kitchen they have enjoyed in the past.

Meara Hattan, Realtor

Hooray: Another realtor who “gets it”! What a lovely little kitchen, Meara. Congratulations on a remodel that was both thrifty and historically appropriate, and thank you for sharing it with us!.

  1. Mike says:

    As I look at this kitchen, am almost brought to tears. In a way, my grandmother’s kitchen looked soooo much like this. The sink, the stove, and the cabinets really take me back. Well done!

  2. Zach says:

    Hello. I found your site by accident a few years back. I love it! I am a professional mechanic, and have loved old cars since I was a boy. In the classic car world, preservation is important to those of us who restore cars. It is good to see this mind set being applied to vintage homes. I think preserving the history of American style, and manufacturing quality is very important! Not to mention, I love all “old” historical things about our country. Save our history! And-I love pink bathrooms! I remember relatives having them when I was a boy.

  3. l says:

    The stove and cabinets look like they just came off the assembly line!
    This looks like a time capsule of my grandmother’s kitchen. I am so jealous! 🙂
    You ‘ve done a fantastic job on a shoestring budget. What a labor of love.
    Congrats on your beautiful vintage kitchen.

  4. Marilyn says:

    Your remodel is very nice, I enjoyed seeing how you kept the stove and integrity of the kitchen….great color combinations. I am equally impressed at how little you spent…that gets a wow!

  5. Penny in CO says:

    I second the comment about why on earth wasn’t the sink put under the window in the first place.
    Love the sink with draining board attached – was it the original?
    Suggestion: install a light or lights in the narrow door lower cabinet to the left of the stove. Is there a lazy susan in there to make finding things easier?

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