Interior Design| What’s Your Design Inspiration? Reply

Have you ever said, I know what I want the space to look like, but I can’t seem to make it happen? . . .Today we are introducing a new blog series, Interior Design Guide, your guide to understanding how great design comes to life. Learn from professional interior designers some of the key processes of interior design, and how those processes lead to creating beautiful spaces.

Where do you find your design inspiration?

One of the first things your designer will ask you to do prior to your initial design consultation, is to collect photos that inspire you the most; whole rooms, objects, colors, fabrics, architectural details, etc.  Think of design inspirations as all of your favorite things; flowers, family heirlooms, nature, colors, textures, patterns, comfy clothes, cool crisp fresh air, summer nights, cherished memories, and on and on.  Design inspirations can be anything!  Sharing your design inspirations is key to understanding your style.

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Inspirations are everywhere so be sure to notice the simplest of details. Glass table scatter translates into beautiful rich jewel tones, interesting geometrical forms, and brilliant bling…is there ever enough bling?

cropped-photo12.jpg

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

We love visiting fabric stores for inspirations…sometimes patterns speak most, sometimes texture and color combinations speak the most. Take time to explore the world around you.

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Don’t forget to stop and take in the scenery along the route.  This lovely backdrop of the waterfall, natural textures, and woodland colors resonates a sense of relaxed serenity.  Can’t you just feel the breeze from the falls and the sun on your shoulders?

Designer Tip: Take lots of photos everywhere you go because you never know what will inspire you the most!

Once you have collected your photos, you will want to organize them. Organizing is easy. Just cut & paste your favorite photos from magazines, Pin photos onto Pinterest boards, or if you are tech savvy, create a Photoshop collage similar to our weekly Saturday Sampler, Interior Design Collections to Inspire.

We enjoy using Pinterest to explore thousands of photos because it’s quick, easy to use, and doesn’t require sticky glue.  We can also control client privacy by creating a “Secret Board“.  Secret boards are perfect for sharing photos that only clients and staff can see and pin to.  Our clients love working with us through Pinterest since it’s a great way to communicate our design ideas!

Designer Tip: Make notes on each photo about your likes or dislikes to share with your designer. 

Websites for inspiration

If you are not the “photographerish” type, there are plenty of websites out there that you can visit to find inspirations . . . Houzz is a popular and resourceful website that allows you to collect and share inspirational photos.  Remember, inspirations can be found anywhere, so be sure to visit a variety website genres; science, fine art, history, photography, fashion, etc., but keep in mind the copyright laws and don’t overstep your boundaries. When in doubt, get permission to use other’s photos!

What inspires you most? Share your inspirational photos with us, we would love to see them!

Best,

Corinne Gail

Kitchens and Baths | Quick Bathroom Makeovers You Can Do 1

Ah, January, the month devoted to stocking up on fresh new linens and getting organized! While you’re at it, take advantage of time spent indoors this winter and tackle a quick home refresher project.  To give you a jump start on January, here are a couple quick and inexpensive makeover ideas you can use to refresh your bathroom spaces.

The Family Bathroom

Bathroom #1 Before is a great space…plenty of room, but in need of a little pizzaz!

Bathroom #1 Before

Bathroom #1 Before

Paint is a simple and relatively easy quick change anyone can do.  We updated the wall colors in Bathroom #1 using Sherwin Williams #6148 Wool Skein for the main walls, and an accent wall color of SW #7059 Unusual Gray.  Two off the shelf fabric shower curtains bring in a little more pizzaz to the space, and were perfect for creating a tub/shower enclosure for when guests visit, cover a simple window cornice and sew box pleat embellishments onto the guest bath towels.

Bathroom #1 After

Bathroom #1 After

The simple window cornice was created using foam core (you can do this!).  Foam core is available at your local craft store or office supply.  We covered the foam core with a thin layer of batting and then attached the decorative fabric using straight pins.  Straight pins are great for quick changes…just unpin the old – repin the new fabric and you are good to go!

Bathroom #1 After Detail

Bathroom #1 After Detail

The Guest Bathroom – Powder Rooms

Powder rooms are one of my favorite spaces to refresh…Powder rooms are typically small and usually located close to a family room or living room.  This is a space that everyone will use, so why not make it functional and special?  Bathroom #2 has functionality, but is somewhat awkward and extremely BORING!

Bathroom #2 Powder Room

Bathroom #2 Powder Room

Here we changed up the color and added vertical stripes on two main walls to help give this tiny little space a sense of grandeur.  This technique is simple and easy to do.  Just apply Sherwin Williams latex glaze over the new wall color SW#7036 Accessible Beige!  The “lame-o” contractor grade pedestal sink was replaced with a new storage drawer vanity complete with black granite top and plenty of counter space to hold fine milled soaps and a fragrant candle. The colorful art piece adds interest and fits the space perfectly.

Bathroom #2 Powder Room After

Bathroom #2 Powder Room After

Why not start your January 2014 off with a quick and inexpensive makeover you can do to refresh your bathroom space?  Send us your makeover photos, we would love to see them!

Happy New Year 2014. . .

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Sustainable Healthy Design |Don’t just replace it…Revive it! 2

Let me be the first to admit that sitting at my keyboard over the last few years has not proved to benefit my public speaking skills!  I’m always amazed at the amount of perspiration one body can produce in the short span of 10 minutes!  In any case, this week I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of local business owners about Healthy Living by Design and the art of Repurposing, Reinventing and Reusing furnishings from around the home, a subject near and dear to my heart as a certified furnishings expert.  Here we go!

I don’t intend to drone over statistics and bore you with industry jargon, but I do want to share these facts I feel every consumer should know about common products used to manufacture furnishings.  Ready?

  1. The furnishing’s world is the #3 user of wood behind buildings and paper.
  2. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds-gases) are released into the air you breathe from adhesives and finishes…including formaldehyde.
  3. Adhesives are used in pressed & composite wood products; veneers, plywood, particle board, fiberboard, and MDF.
  4. VOCs from paints and finishes; varnish, lacquer, shellac, fabric sealers and backings.
  5. VOCs may have short and long-term adverse health effects on you and your children.  Asthma affects 15-20+ million people, many are children.
  6. VOC concentrations are consistently higher indoors – up to 10x higher.
  7. VOC concentrations can offgas (releasing of gasses) up to 1 year after use or application.
  8. Textiles require 10-100% of their fabric weight in chemicals to produce.
  9. These chemicals include pesticides, herbicides, and dyes.
  10. Asia rivers are the most polluted in the world.

Whew!  OK, we made it through the facts list!  Now that you have the bare bones knowledge of products of the furnishing’s world, let’s move on to a more pleasant topic…what you can do to ensure Healthy Living by Design in your home and office.

Are there alternatives for healthier choices on the market today?  YES, YES and YES!  Alternative products are more readily available today than ever, and cost about the same as any quality furniture item.  If you are in the market for a new sofa, chair, table, etc., ask your sales rep questions and be sure to check that the item is manufactured using certified wood products, certified organic fabrics, emits low to zero VOCs, and if possible, manufactured locally.  Contact us if you would like more information about healthier choices for your home, we would love to help!

Another 100% viable alternative for Healthy Living by Design is to repurpose, reinvent, and reuse the items that you already own.  Do you have a furniture piece that you just don’t know what to do with, but hate to toss it out?  I do, I do!  Then I encourage you to explore ways of redesigning its purpose to fit your lifestyle.  Below is just one example of what you can do.

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Old dresser you don’t use?  Check out this artistic recreation!

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design.

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design.

Repurposing this unused dresser to a (have to admit) well used Wine Bar, was the perfect fit to our newly created wine lounge. . .formerly known as our very underused formal living room!  The process was fairly straight forward; sand, sand, and more sanding to prep for restaining and painting using zero VOC products.  Adding a few artistic touches such as grape cluster knobs, iron scroll work from a discarded CD tower, and accent paint, and Voila!

Don’t replace it…Revive it!  You too can create one of a kind healthier furniture pieces for our home!  Contact us if you would like more information about alternative Healthy Living by Design products available in your area.

What’s your Design Dilemma?  Send us an email, we would love to help!

Reinvent your space!

Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Design Soup | Healthier Weed Control 4

You may be asking yourself what does weed control have to do with interior design – literally, nothing.  However, when designing fabulous spaces inside and out, I look to the great outdoors for inspiration and I find that I’m not inspired by a garden full of weeds, although some can be beautiful, but that’s not my point today.  I wouldn’t be doing my job if I neglected to emphasize a gorgeous outdoor view from the interior.  Extending interior views that frame attractive outdoor living spaces means I look closely at how the landscape from decks, patios, windows, walkways, entries, etc., will enhance my client’s experience, and sorry, the weeds must go!

Early Spring and early Fall are the best times to kill off those pesky weeds before they have a chance to move in the relatives and take up permanent residency in your landscape.  Here is a very effective HEALTHY weed control alternative to commonly found toxic weed/vegetation killers.  This natural alternative is safe, cheap and non-toxic to you, your family and pets!

Vinegar!  Yes, vinegar!  Here’s why it works.  Growth of plants/weeds depends on a fairly balanced pH level in the soil.  Adding acidity such as vinegar to the soil alters the pH level to an extreme causing the weeds to die.  This process is almost immediate after application as seen in these photos – photos courtesy of my own landscape.

Typical blooming weed.

Weed 1 hour after vinegar application

photo(8)

Creeping weed 1 hour after application.

WooHoo!  Vinegar knocked those hard to remove weeds in my rock garden dead within minutes!

I suggest using inexpensive white distilled vinegar you can purchase anywhere.  If you have a bulk discount store, you may find the best price ~$2.00 a gallon.  I empty the gallon of vinegar into a garden sprayer and then add about 1/3 water.  That’s it. . .now go spray the weeds making sure you saturate them.  Full sun helps speed up the process, but is not necessary.

A couple things to know about using vinegar as a weed control:

  • You will smell it for a few hours.  Just tell your neighbors you are making pickles!  I would rather smell vinegar over any TOXIC chemical, any day!  Have you noticed how long those chemical smells linger in the air that you breathe!? Think about tracking those chemicals into your home for your kids to play in, hmm? that’s scary!
  • Vinegar does not sterilize soil.
  • Heavy rain will lesson its effectiveness. Choose a dry day for application.
  • May increase your pickle appetite.

These photos were taken less than 24 hours after vinegar application –

photo(12)

photo(13)

Removing and disposing of the dead bodies is easy…pull up and toss into recycling!

Choosing alternative solutions to our chemical dependencies inside and out, will help create a healthier life for everyone.

We would love to see your photos of success using this method, just drop us an Email to share your experience.

Happy landscaping~
Corinne Gail

*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Interior Design | Wallcoverings by Casart 1

It’s my pleasure to write a guest post for Corinne today, but just how did that come about?

I happened to see one of Corinne’s posts- Design Dilemma/Ceiling 101 http://wp.me/p3o4RD-c8, and emailed her that Casart could be an answer to practically every dilemma illustrated.  In fact, we think of the ceiling as the fifth wall!  Here’s a customized world map installed on a ceiling.

Casart_Custom-World-Map_Rm_Press_web_wm

In fact, all of our products are offered in both Regular and Casart Light  http://www.casartcoverings.com/sitemap.html  our repositionable material specifically for the ceiling (and also walls). This lets anyone be the creative genius for decorating that often overlooked space — except when looking up.

Corinne said she’d like to know more about the product and thought her readers would too, and asked if I’d like to do a guest post so here I am.

Casart® (pronounced “Kaz-art”), meaning “art for your home”, offers the look of traditional decorative finishes and modern wallcovering designs on a self-adhesive vinyl canvas that can be easily repositioned, removed and reused.  Vinyl is a practical, eco-friendly, sustainable by-product of salt and depending on where you live, it can often be recycled.  Because it is so durable and can be reused, unlike traditional wallpaper, no paper is used or extra glue/ materials are needed to apply and reapply.

What makes Casart different from the other “peel-and-stick” products?

For starters, Casart is very durable and our Casart Regular material http://www.casartcoverings.com/about.html is graded for both residential and commercial use.  It is 52” wide.  It is available in more than one weight and texture.  Any design can be customized.  Casart can be removed without leaving any residue behind.  It can be re-rolled onto its backing sheet when removing and also reused.  It can be applied to most any smooth surface such as glass, Lucite, metal, and wood and not just walls!  It is ideal for homeowners who like to decorate seasonally, for students to personalize their dorm space, and for renters who may not be able to alter their walls.  But if you love it, you don’t have to take it down!  Just be aware that not all repositionable wallcoverings are the same as you will see in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqQD00hXLxU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUaTxG3ayoI0F5GsT1siacww

It’s said that one picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m going to let the pictures speak for Casart’ versatility.

An over-all floral like Flower Power adds an unexpected pop to a nursery or a girl’s room.

Baby-Kate-giraffe_4299_em

 What if you’re a guy and don’t want a floral theme? Just one individual or combined stripes and patterns can be perfect for any man cave space and add pizazz without breaking the bank!

Chair_Casart_stripes_5x8.5_REVrack_web

Wouldn’t this faux padded headboard change a dorm room from drab to decorated?

Casart_Faux-Padded-Headboard_press_wm

Or add a piece of Casart like this blue Faux Linen right over the glass on a picture frame for a one-of-a-kind headboard.

Casart_FL-Headboard__press_web_wm

Casart can go right over Casart as illustrated with the Artichoke from the Botanicals placed over the Faux Padded  Harlequin.

Casart_Artichoke-unframed_wm

Tired of looking at those scuffed stair risers?  Look at the difference the Cabo Blue and Cream Faux tile makes in these stairs.

Casart_Faux-Tile-Stair-Risers_wmWant a conversation piece?  Tell a story with Woodland Stream on your stair risers.

interior stair

You don’t have to cover an entire room.  An accent wall can make a big statement.

3D render modern interior of dining-room

There are many more designs on our website where you’ll also find additional illustrations in our gallery.

Thank you Corinne for this opportunity to share my enthusiasm for Casart’s features with you and your readers. We look forward to seeing all the creative decorating ideas they can think of with Casart. The possibilities are endless. If anyone has any questions, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.

Lorre Lei Jackson

contact@casartcoverings.com

www.casartcoverings.com

Thank you Lorre Lei for sharing your product knowledge with us today!

Corinne Gail

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*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Interior Design | Is Your Paint Color Behaving Badly? Reply

Selecting the perfect paint color for your space can be frustrating, but you should know that there are two common reasons why the color in the can applied to the wall does not resemble the paint chip from the store…paint behaving badly.  Don’t punish yourself by spending hours and hours of your time running back to the store collecting stacks of paint samples to try and figure out why your paint colors are not working!  Understanding why paint may be behaving badly is key to selecting the perfect paint color the first time.

What you need to understand

First, keep in mind that the amount of natural lighting and types of lighting in the space; fluorescent, incandescent, LED, etc., greatly affect the way colors appear in your space.  Second, colors are affected by other colors.  I like to call this phenomenon color bounce.  Simply put, color bounce happens when other colors from lighting, wall-to-wall carpeting, furniture, ceiling, flooring surfaces, cabinetry, etc., reflect and mix per se onto your paint colors.

Four things you can can do

1. Every DIY’er should own a paint color fan deck.  Take a trip to your local paint dealer and arm yourself with a paint color fan deck.  Tip:  Sherwin Williams offers free fan decks.  Using a fan deck to select your paint colors while inside your space is more accurate than pulling samples at the store.  Remember, color is affected by light and store lighting is typically industrial fluorescent, so unless your space is illuminated by fluorescent lighting as well, the paint sample will look different under the lighting at home.

Sherwin Williams Fan Deck

Sherwin Williams Fan Deck

2. Using your fan deck, isolate the hues within your space.  I like to use natural lighting to locate my 4 favorite hues.  You should be using your color inspirations and custom color palettes that we talked about last week to help make your hue selections.  Click on the link if you missed our last blog about Color InspirationsTip:  If your overall space feels too dark, select a lighter color value, and if the space is too bright, select a darker color value.

Hue = Color
Value = Lightness or darkness of a color

3. ALWAYS, always, always, test the paint color in multiple areas within your space and observe it over the next few days during all types of lighting.  Your paint dealer will have trial sample paints you can purchase, while some paint dealers offer actual painted paper samples in a variety of sizes that you can tape to the wall.

4. Work with your paint professional to make value adjustments to your selections and be sure to ask which type of paint and finish; gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, flat, etc., will be best for your lifestyle and space.  I highly recommend paints classified as LOW VOC or ZERO VOC for all interior applications, your body will thank me.  Tip: Use the ‘globe’ symbols below to help select low level VOC products.

Graphic courtesy of Dulux.

Graphic courtesy of Dulux

Choosing the perfect paint color for your space doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience.  By understanding color behavior and applying a couple tricks of the trade, you too can control color behaving badly.

If you have a specific question on color or paint selections, we would love to hear from you.  Just Email us your questions and you could be featured in one of our upcoming blogs!  For more information about our services, visit our website.

Go color something!

Corinne Gail

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*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Interior Design | Paint Color Inspirations Reply

Wow, I feel so guilty missing my blog post on the 4th of July!  Did you miss me!?  I took some well needed time away and ate lots of yummy food, spent fun times with family and friends and enjoyed the bombs bursting in air, but the party’s over and it’s back to work!

It’s not always a simple task finding an interesting topic to blog each week, but while commenting on design dilemma questions for Houzz, I noticed that the most popular questions are those asking for help choosing the perfect paint color for their spaces.  So, I figured let’s start a mini-blogging series all about color and paint…

When designing a space I begin by identifying my color inspiration.  Inspirations can be found in an accessory, a photo from your favorite vaca, a special fabric, food, etc., etc.  I like to keep in mind that my color palette helps to guide my final design decisions throughout the entire project.  For some great ideas on where to find color inspirations, check out design-seeds.com.

Photo courtesy of DesignSeeds.com

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds.com

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds

Photo courtesy of Design-Seeds

Here’s a fun tool to help you identify and create your custom color palettes just like a pro.  Click on  letschipit.com by Sherwin Williams, it’s a fantastic tool and really easy to use.  All you need is a photo of your inspiration and a few minutes…they do the rest!  Here are a couple palettes I created from photos taken from my journeys.

Flowers by the seashore...Corinne Gail Interior Design

Flowers by the seashore…photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

If you are not happy with any of the initial colors, you can change them up with a simple click of the mouse.  Also, visit your paint specialist who can help make simple color adjustments for just the right palette.

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

Once you have created your custom color palette, select your favorite 3 harmonizing colors; 1 main wall color, 1 ceiling color, and 1 accent color.  Choosing 3 colors will get you started, but feel free to add more if you want to paint trims, millwork or work with an additional accent color.

Remember, the sky is the limit when it comes to finding color inspirations, and even that could be a beautiful inspiration!

What inspires you?  Email us your design inspirations and “Lets Chip It” samples, we would love to see them.  Next week we will talk about why your paint is behaving badly …

Happy chipping!

Corinne Gail

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*We do not receive compensation for products or services mentioned in this article.

Interior Design | Design to Help You Sleep Better 1

Bedrooms should be retreats, places where we can go to rejuvenate and restore. . .places we can relax away the stresses of the day.  So, which colors can help you get the best sleep?  If you guessed calm colors such as blue, yellow and green, you are correct!  According to a recently published sleep study, color sets the mood and those sleeping in blue bedrooms received the best night’s rest, followed by rooms in yellow and green.

Lakeside Serenity Retreat

Photo courtesy of Corinne Gail Interior Design

However, color is only one design element that can help or hinder your restful sleep.  If you are not sleeping as soundly as you should be, here are some quick tips to help you create a better place to sleep.

  • Eliminate signs of work from your bedroom. No desk, no computer, and no files!
  • TV’s should be kept behind closed doors when not in use, and always on a timer.
  • De-clutter your space and get organized…put everything in its place, and have a place for everything.
  • Choose soothing, calm colors for your bedroom, linens, and accessories.
  • Luxury linens are always welcomed and I like to suggest organic fabrics.
  • Hang blackout drapery if you have light sensitivities…these also insulate from the winter cold and hot summer sun.

And to help send you off to “Slumberville”, try a therapeutic calming blend of essential oils lightly diffused into your space minutes before bedtime.  Check out my favorite natural essential oils/product sites www.doTerra.com and www.Aveda.com for healthy living.*

Setting a restful stage with calming colors, de-cluttering your space and removing signs of stresses from work, will help encourage a good night’s rest.  To learn more about how we can help you design your personal retreat and promote the best sleep, please visit our website or Email us your questions. We are glad to help.

Sweet dreams!

Corinne

*We do not receive compensation for products mentioned in this article.

Interior Design | Ceiling Design 101 Reply

Do you have white or nondescript ceilings in your home?  Ceilings are the most neglected design canvases I find in most residential homes.  Today I want everyone to look up and have an “a-ha moment” about what you can do to liven up your rooms with a simple ceiling treatment!

When redesigning or decorating your space, never forget to add interest to the ceiling.  Painting a motif, adding an accent color, or simply attaching an architectural detail to your ceiling will change the entire look of the space.

Here are a few examples of creative ideas to add interest and décor to your home.

NewspaperCeiling.Interiordeignnet.

Photo courtesy of InteriorDesign.net

What a fresh idea and great way to incorporate a very stylish design trend we are seeing for 2013-2014 Design Trends

PinkStripe_

Striped ceilings are bold and beautiful.

TreeCeiling_Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Loving the ceiling motif applied to this space.

ZigZag_Beverly of MiZen Design

Photo courtesy of Beverly of MiZen Design

This chevron pattern on the ceiling can be accomplished by first painting the entire ceiling in flat paint, then taping out the chevron pattern and painting between the lines with a water based glaze.  Tada!

Coved_Houzz

Photo courtesy of Houzz

Architectural details such as coffered ceilings are popular in entryways and dining areas…notice the accent color inside the coffer?  What a nice touch to bring interest to the ceiling, and it’s simple and easy to do.

Have a ceiling design dilemma?  Email us your photos, we are glad to help!

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Kitchens and Baths | Banquette Built-In Reply

Do you have a “unique” nook in your kitchen or perhaps your dining room that is a bit tighter than you would like? Fill those unique spaces with a space saving banquette.  Built in dining allows you to utilize every inch of your limited space.

Bay Window Banquette

Bay Window Banquette 2

Bay windows are a wonderful place to create a custom dining area. Incorporating the banquette dining area into the bay window maximizes your seating potential and keeps a cluttered kitchen free of roaming chairs.

Banquette Storage

Don’t forget that a custom banquette is the perfect place to integrate storage. Every inch of storage space you can create within your home is a bonus. The exposed end of this banquette provides practical storage solutions that are easy to access at any time.

Dining Room Banquette

When your dining room is a bit too tight for comfort, or perhaps you have an awkward passageway or door that doesn’t allow you to fully enjoy your dining room, building in a banquette seating area gives you maximum seating as well as plenty of space to move about.

Island Banquette Seating

A banquette is a wonderful way to turn a tight unorganized space into a functional and creative eating area. Don’t forget to have fun and to be creative when it comes to finding unique storage solutions and a vibrate color combo to brighten up these small spaces.

Pop of color Banquette

Banquete Elle Decor

If you are having trouble finding the perfect layout that will allow you to maximize your space, remember we are here to help, email us your questions and images of your tricky spaces.

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