Tag Archive 'Interior Design'

Feb 02 2012

Living Room Design Tips

Today, living room themes vary as much, and are as individual as, the people who live in their homes.  It’s even common for a living room to be fairly ignored, as more and more people tend to congregate in the kitchen/dining room area of the home to eat, visit with neighbors, play games and just enjoy each other’s company.  If you have been thinking about updating your living room but don’t know what to do with it, the information in this article will help you with the task.

Give it plenty of thought

Think about the other members in your family, and what they enjoy doing.

If you have teenagers, do they usually retreat to their bedrooms to watch television or listen to music?  Get them involved in designing the living room area.  You may find that if you set up areas in the living room that are meant for listening to music, playing games or watching television, your teens spend more time with the family.

Would you rather your living room be more of a family room where everyone relaxes, reads and unwinds at the end of the day, or do you prefer a more formal area that is quiet and peaceful, no television or music allowed?

Keep these things in mind so that your living room will be used exactly as you intend.  Your desire may be a mixture of the things mentioned above, but whatever it is, decide before you begin to plan out the design.

Visualize your ideas

Next, put your thoughts on paper.  Write down those ideas you like best, and even draw a rough outline of different designs for the living room.  This could be living room furniture lay outs, color schemes, textiles, etc.

By writing down your ideas and sketching out your thoughts, those ideas that are your favorites will clearly be defined, making it easier for you when it comes time to begin the project.

Look through magazines or online and keep a folder of those design ideas that you love most.  Tear the pages out of magazines, print out the pictures you find online.

Deciding on furniture needs

How much seating you have available in your living room depends largely on the size of the room, but you do want to take account of how many people would usually be in the room if it were to be used.  Consider how many are in your family and whether you have company (relatives, friends) on a regular basis.

This will help you determine whether you need a sofa and recliner.  Perhaps additional furnishings such as a love seat or additional chair are appropriate.

Walls set the mood of the room

Your walls will be the most prominent aspect of the living room, so it’s important that you decide whether you want them to be bold and modern, warm and soft, elegant, casual, dramatic, etc.

The colors you choose for the walls will dictate the rest of the decor.  If your living room is large, consider rich shades of pumpkin, caramel, burgundy or grey-blue.  For a smaller living room, it’s usually best to stick to light shades of cream, butter yellow, apricot or pastel blue and green shades.

When it comes to accessories for the walls, the sky is the limit!  What you choose will depend largely on the theme you have chosen for the room.  Large tapestries, mirrors, bold prints, wall sconces – choose those things you really love instead of putting something on the wall just because “it fits”.

Put these tips to use when designing your living room and you just may see that your family actually starts migrating out of the kitchen and in to the room that was meant for gathering.

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Sep 27 2010

Designing a Living Room Around a Focal Point

Every room of your home should have a focal point, which is simply a place where the eyes naturally go when entering the room.  You may not even realize if your living room has a focal point.  How can you find out?  Consciously walk in to the room, and notice what jumps out at you first.  If nothing really attracts your eye, you may be missing a focal point, which is essential to proper decorating.  This article explains more about focal points, and how to design your living room around it for the most appeal.

The main feature of your living room

Nearly everyone has an area of the room that makes a great focal point.  For you, it may be a beautiful fireplace, an exquisite area rug or an antique armoire or other piece of furniture.  In creating a focal point, you may be able to use a feature that already exists, or it may be necessary to add a distinguishing touch.

A fireplace makes a great focal point

If you do have a great fireplace in your living room, use it to your best advantage!  Hang a spectacular mirror or painting above it that attracts the eye.  You can also add dramatic sculptures to the mantel, or even paint a faux border around the entire fireplace.

What if there is no focal point?

Create your own!  If there is no large, distinguishing feature in your living room that really draws the eye, create one.  Think outside the box on this one – a great area rug, a glass display case filled with collectibles, or even a great wall display or tapestry can be the focal point of the room.

Once you decide what the focal point is or create your own, it’s time to decorate around it so that it can be fully appreciated.  Large furnishings should be placed in the room before any accessories, because these items lend “shape” to the room.  Furnishings should be arranged so that from any position, the focal point is within view.

Ideally, your living room should be designed to seat six to eight people comfortably.  This may include a sofa, love seat and chair with ottoman, along with a rocker if you like.  Once you have placed your furniture where it attracts the most attention to your focal point, you are ready to bring in the accessories and accents.

Plants, artwork, accent tables and other decor should be placed so that they enhance your furnishings, while at the same time keeping attention on the focal point.  Accents should blend with the decor, not take away the impact of your focal point.

Once you have completed the room, you won’t believe how beautifully it transformation the space!  A focal point is essential for your living room; otherwise, when you walk in to the room there is nothing special to grab the eye, and the room simply goes unnoticed. Why have rooms without personality, when you can have one that exudes great interest and appeal?

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Apr 20 2010

Rustic Decorating Warms Up Your Home

Rustic décor is one of the most popular styles for decorating a home.  Whether you live in a densely populated neighborhood of a big city or in a wooded rural area, this style of décor is warm and inviting.  Nothing feels more comfortable or welcoming than a home decorated in rich, warm shades – and those who love natural wood are sure to find this style of decorating a favorite!

Shades of forest green, cream, brown tones and any other rich colors found in nature are used in rustic décor.  Walls, floors, ceiling fans and furniture are often made of wood.  Hardwood floors are beautiful in any home, but exquisite in this style.  Braided accent rugs, when thrown at the foot of the bed or in front of a sofa add to the homey, comfortable look and atmosphere.

For the Walls
Some types of paneling are outdated, but you can find wood panels that are applied horizontally which creates an amazing look.  If you would rather paint the walls, be sure to stick to rustic colors.  Add even more interest by painting only a couple of walls.  You may want to paint one forest green and another in a rich tan color to contrast.  Wall tapestries are perfect when used in the rustic décor style.  Scenes of nature, mountainous terrain and forest landscapes all make exquisite tapestries that make a room look rich.

Furnishings for the Rustic Home
Leather and solid wooden furniture complement the look perfectly.  Coffee and end tables should match any exposed wood on the sofa, love seat or recliner.  If you choose to use a fabric for your furniture, dark green, rust and creams are beautiful in a plaid or striped pattern.  As with the rest of this type of décor, stick to colors and textures that mimic nature.

In the kitchen, a long wooden pine or maple table is perfect.  Add a bowl filled with fruit and your table is complete!  When it comes to seating, use mismatched wooden chairs or even benches!  The older and more worn the pieces look, the better.  Accessories in a rustic styled kitchen often include prancing roosters, stone and ceramic pots filled with sunflowers or herbs, and a homey rug placed in front of the sink area.

When it comes to accessories, look for items that have an antique or worn look.  Again, leather and wood make perfect accents, and keep the natural theme flowing throughout your home.  A distressed wooden trunk is a perfect addition to a living room or bedroom, and antique style mirrors create beautiful walls.  Flea markets are a good place to find mirrors, and it really doesn’t matter if they contain a few dings – it just adds to the rustic appeal.

Nothing speaks warmth, security and family like rustic décor.  No matter where you live, you can create comfortable, inviting spaces that all who enter your home will love.  The purpose of a home is to give you comfort, security and warm feelings at the end of the day.  No home is quite as welcoming and beautiful as the rustic style home!  Country or city, this is one style you will truly fall in love with.

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Apr 07 2010

Turning a Tired, Dated Kitchen into a Showplace

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Family, friends, and relatives all love to congregate in a comfortable kitchen-the one area of the home that everyone enjoys. For centuries, kitchens have been the room where everyone gathered, the heart of the home. Here families have come together for great meals, visiting at the table, or playing board games. After all this activity, it’s not surprising that your kitchen may look a little dated. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to give it a fresh, updated appearing, increasing the value of your home at the same time.

Certain Things Give Away the Age
Not surprisingly, there are some dead giveaways when it comes to your kitchen’s age. Are your kitchen appliances still avocado green? If your answer is yes, then this is something you need to get rid of. Or, if that’s not in your budget, then simply give them a facelift. Appliance paint is available that allows you to change the color. Of course, read the label before you buy it, but most paints of this kind can be used on refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances.

Perhaps it’s your cabinets that look outdated. If you can afford it, you might buy new ones or even have someone build them for you. Otherwise, you can completely transform the look yourself. All you need is a fresh coat of brightly colored paint and some new hardware! Start by sanding the finish down and then repaint them with a color that will liven things up a bit. By changing the look of your cabinets, you can transform the look of your entire kitchen.

Other Little Changes Create Big Impact
With very little expense, you can do many small things to change the look or style of your kitchen. A simple thing to do is to change the window treatments in the kitchen area. If you’ve always hung curtains there, perhaps this is the time to consider some wooden shutters or modern blinds.

Another easy touch is to handcraft a brightly patterned runner for your dining table. Look online or at a flea market for a used baker’s rack, which makes a great place to display all of your favorite things. If you have a very small kitchen that contains an island, open up the area by removing that island, giving it a more spacious look.

What About the Floors?
Has your worn linoleum turned yellow with age? Fortunately, there are a few things you can do. Many people find that wood flooring is especially warm and charming in the kitchen. Or you may find that tile is a good fit with the room’s style. You can settle on any look and design you want.

For those of you who cannot afford new flooring, don’t worry. You can always refresh the old! One option many don’t realize they have is to paint the linoleum. Start by sanding them down, being sure to remove any dirt and dust particles. Then apply an oil-based primer. Apply two to three layers of your chosen paint. Cover it with a few layers of oil-based polyurethane to seal it and you’ll be good to go!

Updating the look of your kitchen is a great way to increase the value of your home. In fact, the kitchen is the one room in the house that most potential buyers look at most closely. These tips can help you transform your kitchen into a dazzling space that will attract the notice of all your visitors.

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Mar 25 2010

Creating a Lavish Look for Your Home on Budget

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

You flip through the magazines showcasing rich, elegant looking interiors and dream of what it would be like if only you had the money to create such awe-inspiring settings. The truth is, not many people have the money required to furnish a home so lavishly. What it takes to make a room eye catching and inviting doesn’t require much money at all – just a little of your own unique personality.

Elegance without Expense

Many people think that in order to transform the look of a room they must spend big bucks. New furniture, hangings for the walls, carpet, flooring, accents, etc. You will be glad to know that you can create a dramatic impact without spending tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, for just a few hundred you can create a look that will rival any in the dreamy homes you’ve seen in the home decorating magazines.

What you must do is put some of your own personality in to the décor. You may decorate your home according to the latest trends, or what you think others will find attractive. This is what most people do, and in the end it isn’t really the look that they want. It isn’t personal enough, it all seems a little – well, contrived. From bland colored walls to pictures that don’t really have any personal ties, and windows without any impact. It’s all just “stuff” that is there to make your home look exquisite, but it isn’t working. Besides inflicting some of your own unique ideas, what to do?

Make it Your Own

Create the atmosphere you desire with paint. Want a bold, dramatic look? Use up to 5 shades of burgundy, forest and navy. As long as your existing furniture is colored in a shade that will blend, you will be fine. Paint baseboards a darker shade, walls the lightest.

Add some rich window coverings, which you can make yourself for almost nothing, and a few wall hangings. You can create beautiful swag curtains yourself out of satin bed sheets. Flea markets are a great place to find some unusual pieces you can use for accents. Have your children do some finger painting, using colors that compliment your décor. Mat their work and you have some wonderfully colorful abstract wall hangings!

Let the Energy Flow

Want a lively, energetic and refreshing look? Use several shades of paint as in the previous description, but make these colors electric. Bright greens, peach shades and burnt orange are wonderful when mixed together. Display simple botanical groupings on the walls, a straw colored woven rug for the floor.

Keep your furniture light – no bulky or over-sized furniture. If you already have light colored furniture that is basic in design, this look will work perfectly. When it comes to the windows, you can use wooden shutters, or create your own curtains using a sheer material. Concentrate on a look that appeals to you, and imagine the possibilities.

With any look, contrast makes things much more interesting. It used to be a no-no to mix floral patterns with stripes and plaids. Now, it’s the thing to do! As long as you stay within your color boundaries, mixing things up adds a “wow” factor that cannot be ignored. Want to create a one-of-a-kind look on a shoestring budget? Just use some imagination, and mix it with a little of your own unique personality.

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Mar 23 2010

Get a New Kitchen Look on a Budget

With the recent economic downturn, most families have little, if any, extra money. If your kitchen is in desperate need of a facelift, it’s hard to know what to do-especially considering that this is usually the most expensive room in the house to remodel. Fortunately, there are many things you can either do yourself or have someone else do at an affordable price. If you want to transform the look of your kitchen without spending a fortune, here are a few easy steps you can take.

  • The obvious place to start is to paint your walls and ceiling. If you change the colors completely, you can make a really noticeable difference. For example, if you’re looking to add color and vibrancy but don’t want the look to be overbearing you can add color and vibrancy with a soft yellow or pastel peach. Or to really make the look pop, paint the baseboards a contrasting color.
  • Spruce things up by updating any cabinet and drawer pulls. This type of small touch in a décor can really make a large impact. Your local home supply store should offer all sorts of new pulls to choose from. You might even be able to add a touch of color to your décor with a patterned pull.
  • Give your kitchen a whole new look with new lighting fixtures. Chances are, your fixtures have been there for years and are most likely outdated. Compared to having to move the electrical box, lighting fixtures will save you a bundle. You want to choose fixtures that are compatible with and will fit in the same place as your current one does.
  • Consider updating your windows. Are mini blinds still hanging on all of your kitchen and dining room windows? Why not take them off completely and hang some delicate sheer material instead? If you just happen to prefer blinds, then consider the vertical variety. For a more elegant look, you might use satin sheets to create your own swags. When you use a little creativity, your window options are virtually endless.

If you don’t mind painting, with a little imagination you can create a unique look that will others will envy. You want to create a home that reflects your tastes and personality, making it your own special place. If you want to make it uniquely yours, then keep things as original as possible.

As you can see, it’s not necessary to spend a bundle of money in order to transform the look and feel of your kitchen. You want a look that family and friends can enjoy in comfort, since the kitchen is often the most used room in the home. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a few of these simple tricks can make! You can make your kitchen look as though it cost thousands for only a few hundred dollars, and no one will know any better.

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Mar 11 2010

Kitchen Flooring Ideas

When you choose flooring for your kitchen, it will depend on the style and look you wish to achieve in the room. Of course, certain styles are more popular than others, but you need to choose what will work best in your kitchen. Fortunately, you have a wide variety of options—here are a few different kitchen flooring ideas to consider.

Wood Flooring for the Kitchen
A common flooring choice in kitchens is wood floors. Overall, wood floors tend to be one of the most popular types of flooring options available. If you decide to go with wood floors, you’ll have several different types of wood to choose from. The warmth of the wood will add character to your kitchen space, whether you stick with a basic pine slat or choose the trendier, environmentally friendly bamboo wood flooring. Choose a color and type of wood that fits with your kitchen’s style and theme.

Tile Flooring: Timeless and Tasteful
Kitchen tile is another very popular type of flooring. With this type of flooring you have many different options to choose from, from different colors and designs to a variety of materials. Plain tile floors, ones that are laid out in a design, and others that resemble stone or are decorative are just some of your options. Both ceramic and porcelain tile floors are resistant to stains and scratches and require little maintenance. However, do be careful not to drop anything upon the tiles, as they can crack.

Laminate Flooring in the Kitchen
If you’re looking for a less expensive choice for the kitchen floor, consider laminate. The new laminate flooring offers many different options that you can choose from. A very popular type of laminate flooring is that which looks like wood and can easily pass for a genuine wood floor. You can also go with a laminate floor that looks like tile. A plain laminate floor is very simply but can fit in perfectly to play down a visually striking kitchen. Laminate floors can be installed easily and they cost much less than a tile or real wood floor, making them a popular flooring choice.

Concrete Flooring in the Kitchen
People don’t always associate concrete flooring with a kitchen, but in recent years they have become increasingly popular. Many people don’t realize that a concrete floor designed for the kitchen is different than a regular concrete floor. These decorative and stained concrete floors can have patterns and color incorporated into their matrix. Concrete floors are very reasonable when compared to real wood floors and are also remarkably durable.

Vinyl for a Kitchen Floor
If you’re looking for another inexpensive flooring option, consider vinyl tile or sheet. When people think of vinyl, they often think of the old linoleum floors of the past, but vinyl has actually come a long way. Now vinyl comes in all kinds of patterns, colors, and designs, and can add much style and beauty to any kitchen. Not only is vinyl inexpensive, but you can install the floor yourself. With its versatility, you can make a clear statement with that vinyl tile floor or let it be a quiet, calming addition to your kitchen. There are thousands of options, so it’s up to you what type of vinyl tile you choose.

These are just a few of the many flooring options you have to choose from for your kitchen. First narrow down your selection, and then go out and see what’s locally available. It will probably surprise you a little to discover just how many options you really have.

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Mar 10 2010

How to Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

Do you have older kitchen cabinets that you either want to keep or can’t afford to replace? There are several ways to update those cabinets to look nicer and better fit with your kitchen décor. Here are some easy ways to update your kitchen cabinets without having to commit a lot of time or money to the project.

Add New Hardware to the Kitchen Cabinets
Choose new hardware, for a very simple and inexpensive way to update your kitchen cabinets. By adding new pulls or handles, you can really change the look of a cabinet. Cabinet hardware doesn’t take long to install and it’s also inexpensive. Unique handmade or hand-painted cabinet pulls will really spruce up your cabinets and add a creative touch to your kitchen décor.

Paint the Kitchen Cabinets
It’s easier than you think to paint kitchen cabinets. You may not even have to sand them before painting, depending on the style and color of your old cabinets. The easiest way to paint cabinets is to remove the doors and paint them on a flat surface. This way you’ll get the best possible coverage.

When you choose a new color, you can completely change the look of the room. For instance, by painting the cabinets a particular shade, you can turn a country kitchen into a modern-style décor. This type of painting project usually takes a weekend, leaving you with a kitchen that looks brand-new come Monday morning.

Take the Doors Off the Cabinets
A quick way to update kitchen cabinets is to remove the doors from at least some of the units. You can use this space to show off what’s inside those cabinets or showcase a collection that enhances your kitchen’s theme or style. You don’t have to take off every cabinet door; even just two open cabinets can change the entire look of the kitchen. Before you remove the doors, however, be sure that you are committed to keeping the inside of those cabinets clean and organized, and are comfortable displaying the items inside. For example, a collection of plastic cups will not make as wonderful of a kitchen accessory as antique china.

Replace the Cabinet Doors
A great way to update your kitchen and have cabinets that fit with the style you’re going for is to replace your kitchen cabinet doors. When it comes to kitchen cabinet doors, you have plenty of different options. For instance, you can find doors that have designs built in to them. There are also doors that have windows. You want the cabinets to match the rest of the décor, so be sure to look for a cabinet door that will fit in with the theme and style of your kitchen. Before you pick out your doors, make sure they’re going to fit properly by taking careful measurements  of your cabinets.

Any of these ideas for updating your kitchen cabinets can help take your kitchen from old to stylish and new. You can dramatically change the look of your kitchen with any of these renovations—and none of them will cost you thousands of dollars. Once you decide which option will work best for your cabinets and your kitchen, you can start updating your look.

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Mar 08 2010

5 Simple Tips for Arranging Furniture in Your Family Room

When it comes to decorating the family room, people often have trouble with arranging the furniture to maximize the potential of the room. When the furniture is arranged properly, the room will seem stylish, but also natural and comfortable. Here are 5 suggestions for making the most out of your room’s potential when arranging your furnishings.

1. Consider the Location of the Doorways
There is only one doorway in some family rooms, while others may have two. Keep the locations of these doorways in mind when arranging your furniture, as this will ensure that the room has a good flow. For a family room with two doorways, try to place the furniture so that people don’t cross the “conversational area,” as they walk across the room. A major consideration for those rooms with one doorway is to be sure people can easily access the furniture without have to navigate through the whole room in order to sit down.

2. Take into Consideration the Walls
If you have a long wall in the family room, that is a great area to place your big sofa or other major piece of furniture like a mission tv  stand. That wall can also be made into a focal point for the room by placing something like an entertainment center there. The other furniture in the room can then be arranged around this wall.

3. Leave Plenty of Space between the Furniture Pieces
When arranging the family room furniture, you need to make sure that you leave plenty of walking space in between each piece. You want people to have adequate space in which to walk around the room but still have things close enough so the space is intimate. If you’re able to strike a balance, then people will have a comfortable amount of space to walk, but when seated, they won’t be so far away that the space isn’t intimate anymore. No one wants to be bumping into furniture right and left when walking around. But on the other hand, you also don’t want people to have to shout in order to talk to one another.

4. Make Sure the Furniture Balances Properly
One common mistake is to put all the large pieces of furniture on the same side of the room, leaving the space looking completely off balance. For instance, don’t place a large sofa next to a large recliner, and then put a small chair and oak end table across the room. Try your best to achieve both horizontal and vertical balance in the room by mixing up your larger and smaller pieces.

5. The Furniture Arrangement Should Be Functional
When arranging the furniture in the family room, you need to be sure to keep it functional. You want to make sure the family room serves its purpose as a more casual, sort of hangout room. Thus, if you’ve designated this space as a place for your family to watch movies together, then you need to be sure that enough of the seating faces the television screen so that everyone is comfortable. It doesn’t matter how stylish the family room is. If it’s not functional, the space will be completely wasted.

Arranging the family room furnishing should go much more smoothly when you follow these simple tips. What will result is a family room that’s stylish, yet also comfortable and functional.

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Mar 02 2010

Simple Lighting Options for Your Kitchen

If you’re looking for lighting for your kitchen, you may have more options than you think, depending, of course, on your kitchen’s style and layout. When it comes to kitchen lighting, you have plenty of options. However, not every selection will fit every type of kitchen. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when you choose the lighting for your kitchen.

Under-the-Cabinet Lighting Can Enhance the Look
Under-the-cabinet lighting in a kitchen can definitely enhance the look of the décor. You just need to figure out which type of light will best fit your layout, especially that of your cabinets. There are certain things you’ll need to consider before diving into the project, such as which areas of the kitchen you’re going to want lit. You have three different under-cabinet lighting options that you can choose from, including incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps, and LED lights. Be sure to do your research on each type of lamp so you can determine which will work best in your kitchen.

Decorative Lighting Can Add Style
If first and foremost you want your new lighting to fit the style of the room, then you should look at decorative lighting. You might choose a light that hangs from the ceiling or one that lies flush with it. Examples of decorative lighting include products such as chandeliers and pendant lights. Not only do these types of lighting fixtures look attractive, but they also provide plenty of light for the room. If you want to make the light look even more appealing, choose a fixture that will match your kitchen’s theme or style.

Track Lighting Is Great in the Kitchen
If you have seen any pictures of or toured any new homes lately, you’ve probably seen track lighting in the kitchen. More and more people are going with track lighting in the kitchen these days. Track lighting allows you to direct the light wherever in the kitchen you need it most—for instance, by the stove or near the countertops. Nowadays, track lighting comes in many different styles and designs and thus is way more attractive than it used to be. If you’re looking for a more creative or different look, then consider a track that’s curved or even in an “S” shape rather than going for the more traditional straight line.

Recessed Lighting Is Common in Kitchens
Recessed lighting is another popular kitchen light option. This type of lighting involves the lights being installed right in the ceiling. You can point most recessed lights to whichever spot you want in the kitchen, which makes them similar to track lighting. The clean and streamlined look offered by recessed lighting makes it a great choice for contemporary and modern kitchens. Since recessed lights need to be installed in the ceiling, it’s best to hire a professional to do so to be sure it’s done properly and safely.

These days, you have so many different lighting options for your kitchen. If you do your research, you should be able to find a light that not only matches your kitchen’s décor but also highlights your beautiful space.

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