The city of Chicago is chocked full of remarkable young talent and I’m always thrilled to find something and someone a little bit different to showcase in my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom! The white brick walls of the showroom are a revolving exhibit of beautiful paintings and photography. Our newest exhibit was just installed this week and adorned with the beautiful work of Chicago Artist Allison Osborn!

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How fun are these painted “Rolling on the Decks” skateboards and just how cute is she??!?

Her work here, entitled “Pastel Cracks” is another fave of mine.

Allison Osborn grew up on the shores of Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver, Indiana. With views of inspiration always around her, she naturally gravitated to the visual arts. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting with a concentration in Curatorial Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she graduated Cum Laude in 2011. I have had the opportunity to mentor and work beside another MICA Grad, Jessica Williams, within my firm before she relocated to NYC with her uber talented hubby, Luke. Sorry…I digress :)

In her career, she has participated in several group shows and has had five solo shows. In 2010, she exhibited at Chicago’s Harper Gallery. In 2012, Allison was voted Best Visual Artist in Chicago and was a National Finalist when competing in the RAW Artist Competition. She exhibited in 7 group exhibits at Robin B Gallery in Chicago in 2013-2014. Allison has collectors both nationally and internationally, including West Africa and London, and has been commissioned for custom pieces by NHL player, John Michael Liles and New York Yankee’s Owner, Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal.

A pretty impressive resume I must say for a young artist!! I am so thrilled to share her work…we have already sold a work of hers!

“Blue Dream”

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This piece took my breath away!! Simply stunning. It was a perfect fit in the showroom.

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In the Artist’s Words:

“The relationship between the fluidity and rigidness within my paintings is meant to cultivate a feeling of the unknown – mixed with an emotional connection to color, texture, and chance. Just as one can find himself or herself lost when traveling without a map, it is my hope that one can become lost in my work while enjoying the colors, texture and shapes they encounter as their eyes roam the canvas. My paintings let the viewer decipher what is happening.”

“Crocodilly”

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“My work is created with a variety of paint colors mixed with a special admixture. When the paint and agent begins to dry, a unique reaction occurs. This reaction allows the surface of the painting to interact with the mixed media and creates a new surface all of its own. I utilize specific color palette combinations that I think best suit the landscape of the canvas. The medium, when complete, creates an explosion of color, allowing the viewer to see the uncontrolled and undulated work.”

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“Seafoam & Silver”

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A trip to Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium inspired this masterpiece!!!

“Jellyfish”

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“The unexpected nuances that result recreate the landscapes of my early childhood – still waters, rolling hills, green pastures. I create my paintings for the love of solitude and exploration. They are my escape, a release of my emotions. It is my hope that my work creates a world on the canvas that both mirrors and exudes, the beauty of the world in which we live.”

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The depth and texture created in Allison’s work is truly remarkable.  Photos can’t begin to capture it!! Her work will be on display for the summer…Please stop by 1822 W Grand to check it out!!!

Hope to see y’all soon! xx





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Orange certainly IS the new black! I have always had a huge crush on orange. It just makes me happy.  It instantly makes a space positive, energizing and warm. I love combining orange with grounding colors such as brown, navy and tan, or together with turquoise and purple, it forms my favorite mid-century color combination.

But orange doesn’t like to be toned down too much. It commands attention! This vibrant hue is often a recurring color in many of my design projects…

This orange shaggy lamb stool (available from my BID Showroom in a rainbow of colors) was the perfect pop within a sea of grays in this serene bedroom sitting area.

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I couldn’t resist these fab Knoll upholstered orange Milo Baughman dining chairs for my own getaway home in Arizona…

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or these stunning orange accent chairs by Bradley upholstered in one of my fave Jim Thompson fabrics in this Chi-town Ritz Carlton Mag Mile high rise!!

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Whether using orange as an accent as I did within this Nantucket third floor guest nook using antique quilts…

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or as a big WOW factor as in these orange Farrow and Ball ”Charlottes Locks” adorned walls of the Lake Forest Infant Welfare Show house I designed last year…

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You can’t go wrong with incorporating this fab color as exhibited in my fave Brunschwig & Fils fabric on my Rondelay.

And, of course at my Buckingham I+D Showroom in Chicago you can see orange waving out to you from every direction! Check it out my Rug Company pals!

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The latest item in the showroom to get an orange makeover via my go-to Orange Burst by Benjamin Moore
is this Mid-Century Modern beauty that we obviously use for BID parties and for some storage too :)

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 Grab yourselves a bouquet of some orange lilies or gerber daisies this summer and enjoy what we have going on in July! xx





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When it comes to new product development, it’s often challenging to stay on top of all the trends and know what the cool new thing will be! More and more companies now often look to creatives—Interior Designers, Architects, Product Designers, Costume Designers and Artists—to collaborate on product development.

 Silestone, by Cosentino, leader in the kitchen and bath industry, continues its Trendspotting program for a third year, and also introduces a new component to their program–Silestone Color Design. They have selected five “trendspotters” from across the country to share their design expertise and regional market insight for the development of the next color series for the Silestone natural quartz line and I am SO, SO thrilled and honored to be selected again as part of the bunch!! Going to share just what Chi-town design is all about!

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My fabulous trendspotting cohorts include NYC  designer and TV personality Courtney Cachet,  Sacramento Interior Designer and Author Kerrie Kelly, Austin-based Designer and alum of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Addition Kim Lewis and Interior Designer Extraordinaire Mark Williams hailing from Atlanta. Here we are all in the fabulous kitchen at Kip’s Bay Show House…some fun was had there with this talented crew.

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We kicked things off a few weeks ago at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in NYC where Silestone was perfectly featured in the kitchen. One of the leading experts in kitchen and bath design, Matthew Quinn, created this AH-mazing kitchen using Silestone by Cosentino “Helix” in the suede finish. Matthew is known for creating aesthetically gorgeous spaces while also creating function for his client’s lifestyles. His innovative and creative concepts highlight his keen awareness of the synergy between design and lived experience. His use below of Silestone for the pair of integrated island corner sinks was pure genius!

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Later this month, we will be traveling to Cosentino’s global headquarters in Almeria, Spain, to test our initial colors (Ah, Spain, perks of the job!) We will be working alongside the talented and creative Product and Innovation Director, Valentin Tijeras Garcia, and his team. The final hues will be tested in the marketplace, sent into production, and finally unveiled at The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in early 2015! I’m delighted and so looking forward to be traveling to Spain again this year for the 2nd time as part of Cosentino’s Trendspotting group. I cannot tell you the thrill of brainstorming and creating color materials and then actually seeing them roll off of the assembly line at the production plant!

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If it’s anything like last year, there will be work, but tons of laughs and fun!!

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Silestone and the latest product to be created by Cosentino, Dekton, are such great options for kitchens, baths-and so much more….so many colors and textures available to create different looks for both inside and outside of the home, and soon after our trendspotting trip, a few more!

Stay tuned y’all!

 





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Happy SUMMER!!! As of June 21st, the summer season is OFFICIALLY here!! After an extremely excruciating winter, we are all so looking forward to an amazing summer in Chi-town. One of the many things that I love about summer, besides the warm weather, sunshine, family holidays and eating outdoors- of course, is that it marks the “nautical” season. Living on the shores of Lake Michigan, we take our boating very seriously. We have to pack a lot of it into the few short months that we actually can. There are many nautical inspired pieces in my closet from anchor prints to my new fave navy Chanel espadrilles (nautical doesn’t always have to be so overt :)

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With summer arriving, I couldn’t help but reminisce of a fave historic restoration client project of mine….my client’s gorgeous 200+ year old retreat in Nantucket that fortunately called for a hint and a nod to a pared down nautical theme all year round. My client and I (along with her daughter who I am lucky enough to have as one of our three summer interns at BI+D) shopped arose the Northeast and accumulated some crazy cool pieces. It was so fun working on this project!

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The family room is “literally” anchored by a pair of cocktail tables fashioned from old brass portholes!

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The mantle art is a found lead seahorse architectural staircase remnant.

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The “Smooth Sailing” sign is from an old tavern while the antique carved whale was found in the fields of my fave Brimfield Antiques Market.

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Did you notice the “wave like” detail of this restored antique mahogany bed that was placed in the master bedroom?

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A collection of antique whaling tools and a harpoon adorn the kitchen hearth. Also, an array of the families collected shells sit within an antique tray centered on the kitchen island. This collection is ever changing….

Here are some additional shots of this gorgeous home located on Orange Street- you should see the hydrangeas in season!

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Meanwhile back at the ranch, we are loving our collaboration at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom featuring fabulous pieces by Dunes and Duchess…they are available in an array of custom lacquered colors, but when done in their “Commodore of the Yacht Club Blue” (gotta love the name!!), these candelabras and light fixtures are given a cool shoreline vibe. In the classic white, their appropriately named “Lakehouse Chair” is definitely going in my next beachy project!

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Nautical doesn’t mean just anchor prints and blue and white. There are many ways to incorporate a subtle theme into any space. Loving these bespoke rustic wood painted art pieces and the ship portholes adorning this nautical inspired bathroom. I like that idea :)

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Nautical is of course a repeating big trend in fashion each summer. Here are some of Princess Kate Middleton’s revolving classic nautical looks….

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And how some other fashion bloggers and stars interpret the trend!!!

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 I’ll be rockin’ my nautical stripes and prints all season!

Happy 4th of July y’all!! xx

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What used to be so “unheard of” in both design and fashion was the mixing of metals–either you did silver or gold. Not both. These days-thankfully and finally- I am spying a turning of the tides and a generous dose of mixing metals. To me the mixing of unexpected pairings is what keeps things interesting and unique.

Speaking of interesting, how about a dose of gold sprinkled here and there in your next home project? I love, love, love adding in a gold element within my design projects. The metallic and luminescent qualities of gold adds an instant element of luxury and warmth.

In my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago, we have these fabulous pillows from Pyar and Co shown here on this equally fab Adrian Pearsall mid-century sofa. These soft, cotton-linen pillows feature hand-block-prints in metallic gold foil. I especially love the whimsy of the gold foil kites! How about our gold metallic ostrich eggs :)

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Another pillow line that we share within the Showroom is Kari Fisher Designs. Kari specializes in contemporary hand blocked textiles. The process begins with high quality solid white or natural linen. Inspired by design history and traditional printing methods, she designs each pattern thoughtfully and carves each block by hand in her home studio in Atlanta, GA. Each step of the process is completed by Kari herself. My favorite,  of course, is the gold!! Love this hand-blocked chevron print!!

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While at High Point Market this past Spring, gold was all the rage! Natural Curiosities had some AH-mazing gold art like these “Wings of Love”, “German Krystalle”, “Cartier Heart Strings” and the “Gilded Arrow”.

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While I love the simplicity of gold and white…I am also obsessed with incorporating gold with bright hues like orange, my fave! Loving this “Sunset” series.

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Tommy Mitchell also has these gorgeous gilded gold accent tables….one was just delivered to a client’s home in Michigan on Monday while I was there for an installation!!

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I am ga ga over gold in wallpaper….

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My Design Director is expecting TWIN boys any day now…can we just stop and admire this adorable nursery she designed with the gold stars??!?


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And- oh my- lets not forget about the tried and true power of gold in jewelry and fashion!

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Anything when given a gold makeover just automatically ups it’s luxury meter. Gilded gold bath tub? Um, yes.

Who isn’t sporting something gold at this very minute?! Sparkle away y’all!

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I love trend watching and enjoy it even more so when I see the trends trickle across various categories from interior design then into furniture and then trending into the world of fashion!  One hot thang that I love a whole lot is lucite. Lucite, or acrylic resin, brings an instant dose of glamour to any space….or outfit!

Lucite is great to use in small spaces where you need the function, but not the heavy visual weight. It’s clear quality just adds a touch of lightness and luminescence to any room. In some of my favorite past design projects, I have incorporated lucite in various ways.

As counterstools in this stunning kitchen of one of my favorite clients….

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 Seating in dining rooms….

I loved using lucite in contrast to the darker, industrial pieces in this project of ours on the Mag Mile

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Or even just a simple, small touch of lucite as a stand in an entry hall can make all the difference in how an artifact is displayed

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Currently at my Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom in Chicago, we’ve got quite a few cool vintage lucite finds including candlesticks and one of my faves that I can never ever  resist…lucite grapes!

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  Lucite can be used in so many different formats….in lighting, accessories (Love these amazing antlers shown below)…or even in cribs!

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Lucite also is everywhere in fashion, from jewelry….

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To shoes!

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Even Hollywood is jumping on the lucite bandwagon. Leave it to Miley C to make a major Lucite statement!! Hmmmmm…

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Just remember that a little goes a long way with lucite. Test it out in one of your rooms or your wardrobe- or maybe both!

 





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It’s no secret that I love color. Color is a huge part of my design process as color for me is synonymous with the word emotion. No color is off limits! It can often be challenging…how do you choose the “right” color for the space?

Thanks to Traditional Home magazine, fear color no more! Please join me and my uber talented crew of fellow designers for the Traditional Home Color Master Class! We will all be sharing our tips and tricks for incorporating color into your home. Every week for 12 weeks, you will receive an email with ideas of how to decorate with color–from rich hues to soft neutrals, and even how to decorate seasonally throughout the year!

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Best of all, all the tips are FREE! They will not be published in the magazine, so be sure to sign up for the master class today!

Color me HAPPY! xx

TradHomecoverJune AM

 





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We recently had some of our favorite vendors visit our Buckingham Interiors + Design showroom to share with us all the latest and greatest in fabric line introductions. One trend I continued to see in textiles was pixelated prints! Who knew?! Have y’all seen any lately?

Whether a large pixelated pattern, or a pixelated solid to add some dimension, these “blurred” lined prints were everywhere. Here are a few faves…..

This fabric, appropriated named “Pixus”, from Sahco is a shiny ombré velvet adorned by a large pixel pattern of abstract blossoms. Interpreted into a modern digital printing technique, Pixus boasts fresh colors and a silky sheen!

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The fabric “Suri”, also from Sahco, is a small-patterned plain jacquard. Woven on a fine polyester warp, it looks and feels like a rich silk fabric. The contrasting weft colours create the tiny pixel design.

In the finishing process, the shrinkage yarn creates a fine, raised structure. SURI is a luxurious drapery available in an extensive palette of 14 colors!

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The fabulous fuchsia fabric is from Camengo. Entitled “Sagunto”, the pixelated effect gives great depth and interest to an overall solid fabric!

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Here is a close up so you can really appreciate the beauty!

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and lastly, in the spirit of Spring, I love the extravagant bloom of “Peony” from Pollack!

Taking a slightly different approach to the pixelated effect, this fabric features eight embroidery colors, with the dots themselves intricately toned and feathered, and each leaf and petal shading from the center to the outer edge in an ombre effect. I featured ombre as a trend a few posts ago as you may remember. Trends upon trends!

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Whether interior design follows fashion and art or vice versa, the trends always seem to be intertwined!! I personally love to see the connections when these design worlds collide.

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Currently at my Buckingham Interiors + Design Studio in Chicago, I am thrilled to be displaying the photographic work of my talented and dear friend Chicago-based photographer, Maggie Meiners. On display through mid-June are works from her series “i hear with my eyes”. You just have to see her pieces up close and personal in order to really capture their graphic, simple and yet captivating photographic message.

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In Maggie’s words:

“I felt isolated as a kid. I’ve always assumed that it was because of the profound hearing loss I developed as a result of continuous ear infections and subsequent surgeries. Not being able to hear made me feel left out—of the conversation, of the gossip, of the joke. To make sense of my silenced world, I tried to find ways to compensate while proving to myself that I belonged.  Visual cues provided that bridge.  Lip reading, body language, gestures, the clothes people wore and the objects with which they surrounded themselves were like pieces of a puzzle. I continue to rely on these cues to help make sense of the world from which I came and of which I am still a part.

While my state-of-the-art hearing aids capture sound, I still rely heavily on the visual world for clarification and direction.  This body of work encompasses the various visual cues that, like totems, certify my sense of belonging.  Whether it is a father and son walking together or people playing cards, I feel connected by these components, using them as signposts to point me in the direction of self in concert with the world in which I find myself.”

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A few of my fave images…and titles….

“Cocktail Costumes”

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“Cut from the Same Cloth”

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and of course “Chanel”!!

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 We are taking some of Maggie’s pieces to a client installation today..more on that to be featured soon in the summer issue of Sheridan Road Magazine!





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With the warm summatime weather soon approaching (We Chicagoans hope at least!!), I am looking forward to all of the outside entertaining and parties! For ideas on throwing the perfect party, there is no better person to turn to than design guru Annette Joseph! A nationally recognized photo stylist/producer, Annette often appears on The Today Show and Martha Stewart Sirius Radio, and has specialized in lifestyle editorial images for national magazines for over 20 years!

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From lifestyle + interiors…

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To food + entertaining….

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Annette Joseph does it all! AND she is sharing her arsenal of tricks for the FIRST time in her book “Picture Perfect Parties”. This engaging how-to guide provides blueprints for a year’s worth of get-togethers, covering every holiday and occasion. From her many years of experience, Annette has developed her secrets for making entertaining easy!

YES, EASY! and dare we say….INEXPENSIVE too??

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Annette’s focus is on using objects that you ALREADY have at home….turning everyday objects and reinventing them, ingeniously transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.

In Annette’s words, “My philosophy centers around the idea that the best way to bring people together and make food enjoyable is to create table presentations that excite the eye and delight the imagination as much as they do the palate.”

I am thrilled to soon be welcoming Annette to my Buckingham Interiors + Design Showroom in Chicago to host a book-signing event on Wednesday, May 28th 6-8pm! Mark your calendars and rsvp to info@buckinghamid.com!

Don’t miss out as Annette shares her tips and tricks of entertaining with effortless style. Hope to see y’all soon!

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