Lisbeth Larsen may have the most enviable job.
As Norwegian paint brand Jotun Global Colour Manager, she not only gets to travel the world to identify upcoming trends, Larsen is one of the people who deciphers those trends and translates them into upcoming shades that will find their way into millions of homes.
“I believe I do have the best job,” says the affable Larsen during a visit to Kuala Lumpur.
While picking colours may appear as an easy job, there are in fact armies of people, comprising a global network of colour-trend researchers and backed by colour specialists in Sandefjord, Norway, to determine what consumers will want in their homes the next year.
These observations are what forms the annual Jotun Global Colour Card.
For 2019, Larsen and team has translated their insights into a palette of 28 shades themed themed ‘Identity’ to be added to the extensive Jotun paint range.
‘Identity’, according to Larsen aims at exploring the colours that characterise and reflect the modern urban lifestyles of the world.
The number one mission is that we are able to create beautiful colours that people would paint in their homes and to give architects good colour tools
“We believe that home is the living story of who we are, told in the objects and colours we fill it with. Our research identified three identities that resonate with homeowners of every global city.”
“A calm palette of slowness and simplicity that you can peacefully return to as life grows faster and busier; a refined palette inspired by vintage treasures and new design pieces that you love to store and showcase and a raw palette that reconnects you to the warm colours of soil and sand - reminiscent of a relaxed, rural atmosphere,” says Larsen.
Lisbeth is a respected leader of industry in the fields of interiors, colours and consumer trends. With a background in fashion designing for many years, Larsen went on to start her own company called Lisbeth Larsen trend in 1996, catering to prominent consumer brands including IKEA, H&M, Miele and Fashion Fairs.
A decade on, she joined Jotun and in 2006, became the company’s Global Colour Manager.
“The number one mission is that we are able to create beautiful colours that people would paint in their homes and to give architects good colour tools,” says Larsen, who draws inspirations into the world of design through trade shows, fashion and interiors seminars - and more often than not, just observing people.
“Right now, it seems to be that people want to relax a little bit more. So, that’s why we ended up with some new neutrals which can help bring a sense of calmness,” says Larsen.
She adds that while Jotun comes up with a new colour trend report every year, it doesn’t mean that the old colours are ‘thrown out’.
“It’s really important that we are able to reuse the colours,” says Larsen.
“Right now, I’ve actually started to work on the 2020 colors and we are specifically looking at some old colors because we think that we do not need everything to be new and fancy all the time.”
“This is because there are so many things that we are able to bring from the past. That goes for fashion, that goes for furniture, that goes for colours too.”