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Jotun 1877 Pebblestone
23rd August 2017

Styling Colour: Q&A with Kråkvik & D’Orazio

Oslo-based set designers Kråkvik & D’Orazio and Norwegian paint company Jotun have been joyfully working together for ten years. Their secret to success? They really like each other.

“We met with our favourite boss, as we like to call her, Lisbeth Larsen, more than 10 years ago, when she started working for Jotun,” says Jannicke Kråkvik, one-half of Kråkvik&D’Orazio. “We have been collaborating with Jotun ever since and have become dear friends in the process. Jotun is like a big family and we have got to know so many beautiful and talented people over the years.”

Kråkvik&D'Orazio is an Oslo-based studio run by creative power couple Alessandro D'Orazio and Jannicke Kråkvik. The studio specialises in interior styling, design and exhibitions, mixing Italian-born Alessandro’s architectural flair with Oslo native Jannicke’s Scandinavian mindset. In 2013, the duo launched Kollekted By, a design and interiors shop located in a former butcher shop in the design district of Grunerlokka, Oslo. Needless to say, the two don’t get much downtime!
Jotun, 5044 Icy Blue

Alessandro and Jannicke met in Oslo 13 years ago and have been collaborating with Jotun for 10 or those 13 years. The studio masterminded the eye-catching design of Milan Design Week exhibitions Structure (2016) and Everything is Connected (2017), both showcases of Norwegian design conceived and supported, in part, by Jotun.  The duo’s most recent collaboration with Jotun is its 2017 colour card, entitled Rhythm for Life. Shot in private homes in Sweden and Denmark by photographer Line Thit Klein, the sets created by Kråkvik & D’Orazio translate each of the colour card’s three colour palettes into real life interior spaces.

With Rhythm For Life having just been unveiled, we put some questions to Jannicke about Kråkvik & D’Orazio and its long-running collaboration with Jotun. In the interview that follows Jannicke shed lights on the creative influence of being a Norwegian-Italian duo, their healthy addiction to work, and the secret behind approaching a fresh set design project.

Jotun, 6350 Soft Teal

Alessandro is Italian and Jannicke you are Norwegian. How do your cultural backgrounds manifest in your creative practice?

Alessandro has now spent half of his life living in Norway, yet his Italian background is as strong as ever. In 25 years time, it might become even more important. It is difficult to explain but Alessandro’s slightly more minimalist and architectural approach blends well with my slightly softer and textured Scandinavian way of thinking. After many years together, as a couple I think we work in a more Italian way, allowing discussions into our work. We discuss a lot and are not afraid to talk things through.

Creatively you obviously work very well together but what do you individually bring to projects? Is one of you stronger at a certain skill set for example?

Alessandro often draws the bigger lines, like the architecture and set designs. We are both very into the use of colour and texture and we often have discussions about these. I am more concerned with the details in a shot or a setting. I tend to overfill a setting, to begin with, so we can then both remove things piece by piece until it almost hurts. That’s when the magic happens.

Jotun, 20054 Silky Pink, 2588 Artist Clay

Tell us a little about your career routes – how did you both get to where you are today?

Alessandro studied art and architecture in Perugia, Italy and 25 years ago he moved to Norway. In the first few years living in Norway, he opened a design shop selling Italian brands such as Driade, Casa Milano, MDF Italia and so on. After some years he started working as an interior designer and stylist. I went to an interior design and art direction school in Oslo. Just a few years after I finished I met Alessandro. We moved in together after just two weeks and started our company, Kråkvik & D´Orazio, 14 years ago.

You’ve been working with Jotun for a long time. What is it that works about the collaboration and why do you enjoy working with them?

Where to begin? We met with our favourite boss, as we like to call her, Lisbeth Larsen, more than 10 years ago, when she started working for Jotun. We have been collaborating with Jotun ever since and have become dear friends in the process. Jotun is like a big family and we have got to know so many beautiful and talented people over the years. I actually think it is our 10th anniversary this year. We have learned so much about colours and how they can change a room, a mood or a look entirely, and it has become a very important factor in all our work. Jotun is simply the best and we are so lucky to be working with them.

Jotun, 10580 Soft Skin

Tell us about the approach to the Rhythm of Life shoot: were you wanting to communicate?

It is all about the lives we are living. We are influenced by everything around us and life is changing and increasingly moving faster and faster. Travelling, both in real life and online, has become important and we are all searching for a way to slow things down a bit. Our homes are where we tend to put our guards down, it is a safe and calm space. The Rhythm of Life shoot was an opportunity to challenge what that calm and safe space we call home actually is. We worked with different themes, different destinations, and with people in our minds. A home is a personal space and the magic thing about Jotun’s new colour card is that Lisbeth and her team have made it so easy for us to combine the styles and colours as we like, in our own, personal way.

Jotun, 10964 Smoked Oak

How would you describe the differences in mood between the three sets?

This year’s colour card not only provides colour inspiration but is also a great tool in helping create your own colour palette. You can mix and match colours from all three themes. The card has been divided into three themes: Serenity, Garden and City. All three are parts of our daily lives: our desire to calm down, be a part of nature and deal with our busy city lives.

Silent Serenity, with its beautiful peachy pinks and earthy browns, creates a calm and relaxed atmosphere. We have mixed different cultural pieces like old terracotta pots, pieces of iron, baskets and ceramics. All are handcrafted and in different natural materials. Linen, wool, stone, natural leather and terracotta are key materials.

Jotun, 20046 Savanna Sunset

Lush Garden is all about the desire to surround ourselves with nature. Green as a colour brings a calm and natural atmosphere to a room. We have chosen to focus on the natural habitats from the warmer and sunnier parts of the world, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, and always balancing it with a modern interior aesthetic. The theme has a fun mix of colours, with huge plants, vintage objects and natural materials such as linen, silks, and ceramics.

Jotun, 8281 Pale Linden

City Motions is all about how to survive in our busy city lives. This theme is more architectural and minimal, but still down to earth with its crafted details and focus on environmentally friendly choices. The blues creates an element of calm. Materials like wool, linen, leather, velvets, stone and ceramics create a relaxed and urban style with handcrafted details.

Jotun 5455 Industrial Blue and 5044 Icy Blue

The Rhythm of Life photography was shot in several countries, namely Sweden and Denmark. Why was this important?

For us, location means a lot. It has to have character, architectural details and beautiful light. This time we were about to find these just outside of  Stockholm and in Copenhagen. We also enjoy the challenge of searching for furniture and objects in different countries, it gives us the opportunity to research new places.

How do you go about designing a set? Where do you start?

Working with Jotun and Lisbeth, we always start by colouring a location together. With the themes in our minds, we start researching furniture and objects. We draw up the bigger lines and leave the details for later. It is important to have an open mind and to trust our instincts. We can get hung up on details and move a chair a thousand times until it feels 100 per cent right.

You are interior designers, stylists and owners of a boutique. How do you split your time? Surely it’s a challenge to squeeze everything in?

Our work is our passion so we do not think of it as work. It is, of course, important separate the from our personal lives at times but generally, there is not a problem. People around us might say that we work too much and they might be right. But when we try having a few days off, we tend to start working again anyway. This is what we love.

Jotun, 5454 Dark Teal

You’ve used Jotun paint in your own apartment. By using Jotun in your personal space, it is clear that you appreciate the companies that you choose to collaborate with. Why is liking and believing in the work of a collaborator important?

Liking and believing in a product is important to the result. You have to understand the product to make it shine and with Jotun that has never been a problem. Jotun products, their quality and beautiful colours, shine for themselves. It was never a question choosing to use Jotun paint in our own space, it was just a little bit harder to choose a colour!

Want more Kråkvik & D’Orazio? Read our interview with them about their set design for Everything is Connected


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