ISSUE 7  |  The New Eclecticism

Home on the Range with Casamidy in Mexico

February 20, 2015 10:00 AM

BY Margot Guralnick

At their ranch in stark Sonora, Mexico, designers Jorge Almada and Marie-Anne Midy have perfected their own brand of rough-hewn but impeccably detailed luxury. The couple are the brains behind Casamidy, a furniture company in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, that helped launch saddle leather and heavy canvas seating into the vanguard. Almada and Midy themselves and their two young sons are based in Brussels, but Mexico is their home away from home–they have a place in San Miguel, and Almada spent memorable stretches of his childhood at a ranch his father once owned in Sonora. On a visit back to the area, an aunt of Almada’s invited the family to reestablish roots in Sonora by building a casita on her ranch. 

Designed by Almada and Midy and constructed in 10 months, the Casamidy compound is as polyglot as they are, a combination hacienda and Belgian country house. It’s located about an hour due south of Bisbee, Arizona, in the Sierra Madre mountain range, one of the few places in Mexico where it snows on occasion. Come cross the border and take a look.

Photography by Jorge Almada.

Above: The front porch serves as an outdoor living room with furniture upholstered in Casamidy’s signature waxed canvas.

The ranch setting is remote, and it’s a study in contrasts: “Both blistering hot and very cold; bone dry and monsoonal,” says Almada. So the trick was come up with a practical design that works year-round. “We used the materials on hand, brick and concrete, as well as the local talent–masons who are also cowboys.” 

Above: A fine place to hang your hats, the double-height main room, with its painted brick and exposed beams, was inspired by the “clean, angular, pointy-roofed look” of classic Flemish architecture. Its palette of white and green with accents of brown leather and black stripes carries through in every room. Casamidy designs, including the Sayulita Table, folding Grenadier Side Chairs, and Sonora Mirror, are mingled with San Miguel antiques and family pieces. The floor is poured cement with cracking and the occasional footprint. The windows are sculpted iron, and, like much of the fine work, were executed by Casamidy’s highly skilled San Miguel crew.

The house is off the grid and heated by wood-burning stoves, including a giant one in the living room. “We have a generator that runs from sunset to bedtime, and our water comes from a perforated well and is very, very clean,” says Almada.

Above: The “Sonora green” of the rafters is applied to the rustic door frames. The woven leather chair is a Casamidy classic.

Above: The house has a camp kitchen with bodega chairs and table and Metro-style shelving (from Costco) for enamelware. In lieu of a fridge, food is stored in a cooler.

Above: The painted headboard in the master bedroom is festooned with Mexican carved wood flowers. The beds in the casita all have plaid sheets modeled after the “grime-hiding” bedding Almada remembers admiring as a boy on a visit to a historic submarine.

Above: The master bath doubles as a lounge. The Portofino Chaise (in a Toiles du Soleil black and white stripe) stands on a custom rug bearing the family cattle brand. The Sonora green armoire has Casamidy’s round Altamura Pulls of iron and stitched leather.

Above: The highlight of the room is a hammered Copper Tub from Counter Cultures, “a wink to the nearby copper mines of Cananea and Bisbee,” says Almada. The leather-hung mirror is Casamidy’s Pila Seca design.

Above L: A Casamidy filigreed sofa faces the living room fireplace that the family dubbed the Locomotive. Above R: The Hiver mirror of sculpted wrought iron.

Above: Accessed by ladder from the main room, the boys’ bunk is in a loft. (“It feels like a treehouse, but it’s hell for us to go up with laundry,” says Almada, “so we plan to install a pulley system.”) The camp beds are Casamidy’s Altamura design of wrought iron cloaked in waxed canvas. (See more of the line in our post Indoor/Outdoor Furniture Made from Salvaged Canvas.) The list of words on the wall are Almada and Midy’s behavior reminders for their sons.

Above: Enamelware designs crop up throughout the casita. Almada says the chests of drawers “have been in my family forever.”

Above: Days at the ranch are spent riding, picnicking, and kicking back on the veranda.

We’re longtime Casamidy fans. See our posts:

And take a look at The Artisanal Home, Casamidy’s recently published first book.