Aha! Hack: Surprising New Uses for Cookware in the Kitchen and Closet

Have you been pigeonholing your pots and pans as only good for their intended uses? Designers Jorge Almada and Anne-Marie Midy of Casamidy love colorful Mexican enamelware and have discovered new ways to put it to work.

At their impeccably detailed rustic-luxe ranch house in Sonora, Mexico, just south of Bisbee, Arizona, they’ve elevated stockpots as ceiling lights and used serving dishes as clothes organizers. Take a look at their creative cookware, very little to no work required.

DIY Enamelware Lights

Casamidy ranch kitchen Mexico with enameled cooking pot as hanging light. Eric Piasecki/OTTO photo.
Above: Thinking beyond the stove and table: an enameled stock pot hangs as a lampshade in the family’s ranch kitchen.

“When we first built the ranch house in 2012, one of the things we focused on was the turquoise enamelware from Cinsa—it’s ubiquitous in the ranches of Mexico in particular in this color,” explains Jorge. “The light was made on a whim.” Photograph by Eric Piasecki/OTTO.

Casamidy Rancho kitchen with DIY enameled pot ceiling light
Above: A second pot serves as a ceiling light: “It’s drilled into the ceiling using screws and anchors. It has a light bulb and a wire.” A Cinsa Olla Vaporera color Turquesa Steamer Pot is $84,95 from Vintage enamelware stockpots are available on Etsy in a range of sizes and colors starting at $14.

The kitchen is an ode to “popular Mexican product design,” Jorge says, and just about all came from the local hardware store. The lacquered metal, oak, and leather Sonora table is a signature Casamidy piece—at the couple’s contemporary furniture workshop is in San Miguel de Allende, everything is made by hand using old-world techniques and often finished with stitched saddle leather. The lockers have French enamel numbers: “Because the ranch is isolated, when we go food shopping we buy a lot. The first holds pasta, the last one is filled with board games: This is both our dining area and game room.”

Closet Organization, Courtesy of Cookware

Casamidy wardrobe with metal kitchen pans as shirt bins.
Above: The Casamidy Mercado Armoire has shelves sized for serving dishes as storage. The standing closet is  made of wrought iron and steel mesh, and the company will paint it to match any color sample.
Casamidy wardrobe with metal kitchen pans as shirt bins.
Above: “I found the trays at a local supermarket and knew they were more or less the size of a folded shirt,” says Jorge. “We made the Mercado Armoire with the trays in mind.”

Jorge and Anne-Marie get their enamelware at Mexican markets, at Utilitario Mexicano in Mexico City, and at vintage shops in Bisbee, Arizona, such as Old Lady Pickers and Miner’s & Merchant’s.

Casamidy wardrobe with metal kitchen pan used as shirt bin.
Above: “The more enamel textures and colors in the house, the better,” says Jorge. “This was a way to bring them into the bedrooms and not just the kitchen.”

We’re longtime Casamidy fans. See our posts:

N.B.: This post was first published on Remodelista on Nov. 21, 2022.

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