The charming e-shop Behind the Hill specialises in artisanal accents for the home that are lovingly handcrafted in Mexico and Guatemala. “All the items are inspired by the rural communities they honour,” says the site’s Brooklyn-based French founder and creative director Maud Lerayer, who first hit upon the idea when she travelled to Mexico in 2003. “I was supposed to stay nine months; I stayed nine years.”
Lerayer’s ongoing search “behind the hill” has turned up accessories made using ancient techniques and natural materials such as seagrass and ixcaco cotton. The blankets and throws centre on earthy tones, such as the elegantly minimal cotton Sunrise blankets ($150) woven from naturally dyed yarns in southern Mexico, in combinations of cream and indigo, delicate dove grey and white, and the palest pink with marigold. The Guatemalan ixcaco cotton blankets ($220), woven on the shores of Lake Atitián, are more graphic and bold, in rich terracotta and navy hues, making beautiful bed throws that pair perfectly with the handwoven Mexican petate rugs ($142) made from organic tule palm.
Cushions, meanwhile, provide refreshing pops of colour, such as the one-of-a-kind, technicolour Nebaj pillows ($150), which are refashioned from vintage huipil tunics worn by indigenous women in Mexico and Guatemala. There are also a number of fashion accessories, including the summery Jaspé clutches ($85), in shades of berry and brilliant indigo, and the capacious Palma tote bags ($125) woven from seagrass.
For those looking to explore the region themselves, Lerayer also offers “curated travels” such as the week-long Volcanoes and Textiles from Guatemala tour (from $1,750 per person, not including flights) departing February 16, which combines artisan workshop tours with luxury accommodations and volcano hiking.