West Elm’s beautiful new home collection supports Guatemalan artisans — and the town in which they live. The retailer teamed up with designer Diego Olivero and the Pintando el Cambio Association (Paint the Change) to help paint the homes of the residents of the Santa Catarina Palopó community in Guatemala.
The community is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Atitlán. An influx of new residents has made sustaining growth through agriculture alone difficult.
Painting the homes in the traditional patterns and colors of the region gives the locals a sense of pride and ownership. Plus, it creates a tourist destination that could help with economic development.
According to West Elm, approximately 350 houses have been painted. They have a goal of also transforming another 200 houses.
The new collection
Mirroring this project, West Elm is releasing a new line of graphic and colorful textiles inspired by the local Guatemalan artisans’ works. Diego Olivero designed the textiles and West Elm selected Philadelphia studio Roar + Rabbit to manufacture the collection.
The studio turned the designs into a limited collection of upholstered goods and items like rugs, tote bags, wall art and more. 50 percent of sales will go to the Pintando el Cambio Association to continue to support the community.
Here are some of our favorite pieces from the new West Elm Atitlán Project: