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. Karin says:

    Congratulations on a lovely and cost efficient renovation. It’s such a pleasure to see one more set of metal cabinets saved. And that stove is a work of art, isnt it? I have always admired the stunning O”Keefe and Merritts, but don’t have the room myself. Who wouldn’t want a double oven? Love the Marmoleum floor and counterttops too.

  2. Heart says:

    Fantastic job Meara! And on a Budget too! Just goes to show you, when you got Style, money takes a back seat. Excellent work Meara, Beautiful improvement.

  3. lynda says:

    So pretty. I certainly remember my mom’s 1956 O’Keefe and Merrit gas range. It was replaced later with built in cook top and wall ovens.
    I have the 48″ Monogram gas range with one large and one small oven and a griddle. I really like it. You did a beautiful job. Hard work for sure, but it paid off.

  4. Elizabeth Mary says:


    OH MY! Love it all.

    My little 1946 kitchen does not have a wonderful old range or a window to put the sink under, but it does have those same countertops and edging, a new gray marmoleum floor (2 weeks ago, finally!), an in-ceiling exhaust fan, and same sort of white porcelain sink with drainboard. It is almost like our kitchens are long lost sisters!

    Elizabeth Mary

  5. Es says:

    I really really like it! I’m so glad you did this! I wouldn’t mind giving my kitchen a new floor of remnant Marmolean…that was a lucky find, wasn’t it.

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