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ELLE Decoration Ukraine: new project Emerald Villa

Bold dreams in the fabulous interior of a project by designer Natalya Bolshakova

Alice laughed.

“You cannot believe the impossible!”

“You just have little experience,” said the Queen.

- At your age, I spent half an hour every day! On other days, I managed to believe in a dozen impossibilities before breakfast. ”

The dialogue from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice through the Looking Glass” would resonate with anyone sitting in the living room of Natalya’s latest project, a house near Kiev. An elegant and slightly eccentric living room, in the best of English traditions, is located in the additional, grandly named guest wing of the main house. The property also boasts a dining room, porch, barbecue area, guest bedroom, spa area, hammam and gym. Natalya Bolshakova (Bolshakova Interiors) worked on the interior and enthusiastically recounts details of the property: “I would say there were no obvious shortcomings in the space, some advantages: large footage (360 sq. M), large wide windows “from which beautiful views, extraordinary ideas and solutions can be generated by the client, the ideal situation! ”

Dreams and fantasies, which initially seemed too bold to come to fruition within the walls of the main house, have become a reality here. When asked what influenced the choices of colour, Natalya smiles: “The mood of the client. In relation to the living room, we were inspired by English and French interiors with active colours. I wanted colours that represented aspects of life and celebration, bright and unexpected combinations. ”

A bar counter with a metal surface evolved as a joint idea with the client: an idea that was complicated to implement and required a long and detailed search for a suitable artist, accurate and careful production of all the delicate compounds. Ultimately, the feeling of mixing “manhattans” and dry martinis at such a beautifully constructed counter must be a wonderful experience. There was another inspirational challenge for the designer, to fit the hostess into the eclectic interior.

The mockingly playful mood of the living room is replaced with calm classics in the guest bedroom, decorated in tones of latte and English roses. In the recreation areas white minimalism reigns, accentuated by graphic black details - niches and French sliding doors – al slightly understated, allowing one to admire the varied shades of green through the huge windows. Natural light and living plants add to the ambience and give a fresh and natural feel.

However, even in the perfect project, there must have been a difficult area of work? “Choosing fabric for curtains,” Natalya laughs. - I also had to rack my brains over where to install the fireplace. There were many options until we found the perfect place. Everything else went smoothly, we were all on the same wavelength.Actually, I perceive this as a collection of art”.

A source:

Cocktail party ELLE Decoration Ukraine

Recently we were able to congratulate ELLE Decoration Ukraine on the long-awaited fourth issue of the magazine. Why is it long-awaited? Because we really love this magazine and always look forward to new releases for another dose of inspiration. The main themes of this issue are: women in design, bright premieres of Salon del Mobile and the results of the ELLE Deco International Design Awards 2018.

Guests were treated at the restaurant of modern Vietnamese cuisine NĂM to Modern Vietnamese Cuisine from Hector Jimenez-Bravo. Throughout the evening we enjoyed the magical atmosphere, the program of events, quality music, an interesting program and communicating with friends.

Interview for Forbes Ukraine

Natalia Bolshakova, the owner and director of the Nataly Bolshakova Interiors studio loves her profession. To be an interior designer – gives not only the possibility of continuous creative development, but also is an opportunity to command high fees and payments. Bolshakova takes on projects where the starting price is $ 10,000.

Natalia is the winner of several prestigious European competitions, – SBID International Design Awards 2012 and the European Property Awards 2015-2016 are two of these. Bolshakova became a member of the British International Design Association SBID in 2012.

Forbes asked Natalia about interior design specifics in the luxury segment, Ukrainian design manufacturers’ opportunities and the industry as a whole.

Natalia, what does a designer need to do to work in the luxury-segment? What specific skills do you need?

Substantial experience in the interior design industry and a comprehensive knowledge in related fields are needed to work with such projects. First of all, engineering systems are an essential part of a smart home. Furnishing a living space in the luxury segment is a combination of the best from the design industry and appropriate use of modern technologies.

Regarding the specifics of the segment, I can say that it is difficult, but very interesting. The clients are demanding, it is necessary to surprise them, but on the other side, the projects are very energising. For me it is a possibility to realize more and more daring ideas, to develop constantly, to work with the most interesting furniture factories, textile manufacturers. These are very high quality, beautiful things created by people with their own philosophy and history.

How important is it to receive specialized education in this field?

Relevant education is certainly important! It gives the right framework for the profession. However, in my case everything turned out differently. I was educated as an engineer and radio physicist, who graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Interior design become my main profession later. I have worked in this field for ten years now.

Why radio faculty? As it often happens, my parents chose the university for me. Do I regret the decision? To some extent, if I made the choice now, I would not hesitate to enter Saint Martins University for example. On the other hand, a profile university sets certain stylistic preferences for students, in preparation for a further graduate career. As for me, I have developed my own style during practice, which is appreciated by my clients. Perhaps it is good that no one before imposed their own views and visions.

Is there any trend in the interior, which is relevant today?

The Industry is an energetic place developing ideas and combinations of style and eras. Currently retro style 1950-1960-s is very popular. It operates in different interpretations. Lights and furniture in this style are widely used in modern interiors. Lights and furniture by Delightfull company are a striking example. The company is very young, but has a very individual style. These things are in the homes of many Hollywood stars, in the movie “50 shades of gray” and in the showrooms of famous companies.

The loft is fashionable in Ukraine today. There is a growing interest in the Ukrainian masters of design. When considering trends, it is important to understand they change very quickly. And for designers it is important to create an interior that will be relevant for years to come.

What is the average amount of projects you have in a year? Are there any savings on aspects of interior design with the advent of a political and economic crisis?

Yes, unfortunately, there is the crisis in Ukraine. Nevertheless, I have many orders, we have more than 20 projects at different stages of realization in three countries.

My position is that the crisis is predominantly in people’s heads. I do not think about it and I try to develop constantly, think more creatively, and find new opportunities for development. I would say that there is no crisis in my studio. Soon, we are moving into a new, larger studio space and actively expanding our team.

With the advent of the crisis, project budgets in Ukraine have decreased, but people who accustomed to the quality and beauty of luxury goods, very rarely buy things from ikea.

SBID is one of the most prestigious European institutions in the field of interior design. In October, they opened a representative office in Ukraine. What opportunities are opening up for the Ukrainian design industry?

It took for my partner Yulia Danilova (Head of Domio Home Interiors company – Ed.) and myself a year to bring The Society of British and International Design SBID to Ukraine. We intend to implement, supported by SBID, first of all, the promotion of Ukrainian professionals – designers and architects, their participation in major British and European tenders. SBID UA will provide this tangible opportunity. The organization also provides access to a variety of specialized events, allows the expansion of a circle of acquaintances and partners and the sharing of knowledge and global trends. Educational projects is another area, on which SBID is focused. What are the opportunities? It’s learning from the best professionals and striving upward.

What is the situation with the Ukrainian manufacturers now and in the past?

To be honest, it is bad. Successful cases are rare. Most high quality and beautiful products, unfortunately, are not produced in Ukraine. Historically we did not have significant development of the design and decoration industry, such as in UK, Italy and France, where from childhood they learn to draw flowers in national museums from the Van Gogh originals. Visiting, for example, the Capitoline Museum, you can see a lot of school groups and students who conduct classes among authentic works of famous artists. They are impregnated with beauty and art from childhood. Plus they have a large, living industry that forms the basis for personnel development and education. We have no foundation yet for a successful combination of design, production technology and an educational. Of course, we have the beginnings, but it is not a mass phenomenon.

How big is the potential of the Ukrainian design industry? And what are the short-term prospects?

The potential is great, but it is still a secret from the world. Internet and freedom of movement helps now. If you possess the desire you can gain any knowledge and work in any country. We do not yet have the supply of design geniuses, for example, as the University of the Arts London. We have a huge potential for effective dissemination of new information, we strive to be the best, we learn very quickly. And I believe, that we are much more likely than a hundred years ago to bring up a new generation of designers, architects, artists.

«White penthouse» project was published in “SALON” magazine

Please, tell us about the beginning of the project, what served as a starting point in creating the interior?

At the very first meeting, we discussed zoning with customers. In my opinion, the organization of space is the most important component of the future interior. Therefore, we carefully discussed the issue of functional separation with the owners. The mandatory set includes a living room, connected with kitchen and dining room, parlor, master bedroom, two nursery rooms and a bathroom. We had no fundamental difficulty with the layout. The apartment is in a new building in the centre of Kiev, almost without walls, it’s a completely clear space with load-bearing columns,which allows many possibilities. I divided the apartment into two parts, focusing on the location of the windows. Some of the windows looked out on a bustling avenue, which of course was a public area, others on a quiet street, so perfect for a private zone.

As for the design, I based this on the customers’ wishes. The starting point was a sofa, the client discovered in a magazine and showed me. I reflected further on the interior and its design and produced some ideas.

It transpired that objects in this interior have a certain degree of self-reliance and dictate the shape of the space in many ways. Is this true?

This is true to some extent. Initially we started with minimalism as the driving force, but then departed in the direction of a more expensive and respectable interior. As I said, the sofa by TOSCONOVA factory has significantly influenced the design of the public area. Its soft, rounded shape is somehow is repeated and imitated in many other items.

For example, with its rounded mirrored columns the famous kitchen Ola 20 by SNAIDERO factory has undulating contours, which are a representation of high design itself, and at the same time, rhythmically echo the sofa.

As for the interior as a whole, the private part of the apartment is slightly different. It has dominant dark shades, which incidentally were the customers’ principal wish.In contrast, the living room is lighter and more solemn.The style is more modern if compared with the public area, in which the influence of Art Deco is perceptibly greater.

As a result, we created an eclectic interior, which absorbed the techniques of different design directions. The style is difficult to categorise, but I would call it a luxury-minimalism,as we used expensive finishing materials and furniture by well-known brands combined with modern technologies.

A “smart house” has systems that control the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, humidification, lighting, home theater, a system of “multi-room” (the sound is distributed over all bands), video surveillance, controlled curtains and other functions.

Alternatively, a sauna with chromotherapy.

Can we call this a continuation of your corporate identity or is each interior an independent project, created under the influence of the customers’ wishes?

Of course, with time every professional produces a distinctive style. However, this does not mean that every project is a copy of the previous one. Simply, there are some achievements, some favorite techniques, and according to individual style the client chooses the designer. The ideal situation is a mutual freedom of action and the gaining of the client’s confidence. Only then it is possible to create and do something new,as the ideas are generated during discussions related to each particular project. Each customer has their own life-story, and eventually a personal and unique interior can be envisaged.

A marble wall with lamps and Wall rupture by Flos was installed inside one of the most beautiful elements of the interior. As Natalia mentioned, she did not want to cut the marble slabs, although due to their impressive size, they did not fit in the elevator! Eventually, they were raised through the windows by winch, and the final adjustment was carried out in the facility. The Upholstered furniture was made by Tosconova.

Columns, lined with mirrored stripes and black lettering, hide the supporting structures and at the same time give the interior a special solemnity. At the owner’s request, the glass wall with a waterfall, set next to the kitchen appeared in the living room. Another style-forming element of the interior is a modular system of luminaires by Fabbian. They are effective because the glass pendants can create totally different compositions, and in such a large space the single style of lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers and sconces, work to create a whole and complete image. The Kitchen was made by Snaidero.

The Cabinet. Wall panels, pilasters and capitals closet are lined with leather. The chairs, stand and table-top desk are lined with the same leather. Part of the wall is decorated with plaster-corrugated panels. All the furniture is from the Ulivi Salotti collection. As Natalia explained, the design of this installation is so distinctive that things from other manufacturers work artistically.

If viewed from the hall to the living room, the public area is decorated in soft cream colors. In order for the light interior not to look too pale, the designer used a large number of black components, which created a contrast graphically. Mirror Caadre from Fiam by Philippe Stark. Console by Cattelan Italia.

Dining room. Dining table, Ulivi Salotti. Chairs, Rolf Benz.

The parents unit is a separate area, consisting of a bedroom, bathroom with a bath and dressing room. “The owners were not afraid of the dark shades in a private part of the apartment, in fact, they asked for it themselves – says Natalya. – I think it’s wonderful, because in a dark space with a sense of comfort and intimacy, we feel stronger. Some walls are saturated, but on the floor there is a soft milky carpet, white ceilings and furniture give a positive vibe. In addition, the use of the heavily contrasting colors helps to avoid the polarised feeling of a very dark or very bright room.” Bed, lamps by Tosconova.

The window in the bathroom is a great advantage. Additionally, through pleasant greenish tobacco-colored walls, we have managed to create the feeling of a living room. The floor is texture tiled under natural slate. In addition to the spa (Jacuzzi) there is a sauna (Effegibi) and a shower, through which we were offered a complete home spa. Sink by Duravit.

The private area is different from the public primarily by color: dark colors dominate here.

The youngest son’s room. One of the walls decorated with blue boiserie. According to designer, she needed a bright accent in a bright room. And the wall became the source of this accent. To give it a seamless feel the door (Effebiquattro) leading to the dressing room and even the door handle have been painted to match the wall panels. Furniture by Halley.

One more nursery room.

Detail of the parents’ bedroom. Chair, floor lamp by Tosconova.

Natalia Bolshakova: “The most important question for me after finishing the work is how both the owners live over time in their new house, or if some aspect causes discomfort or unease. We are not talking so much about the beauty as about functionality. According to the customer, they feel very comfortable here. The spacious living room with a home theater system has become the favorite place for the family. Each child has their own room, decorated to their own taste, and parents have a separate area and a complete home spa with a sauna and hot tub“

White Penthouse project in the British journal “Society”

The official magazine “Societу of British and International Design" published the project “White Penthouse” by Natalia Bolshakova.

Here you can download the electronic version of the article in log in English:

SOCIETY – Nataly Bolshakova (White penthouse)

“White Penthouse ” on the pages of “Archidea” magazine

Modern styles give such a wide range of opportunities the creation of modern design means the architect actually gets carte blanche.

From the “mandatory program” of decoration of the apartment, the client’s have dictated only the total number of rooms (there are five- a combined living-dining-kitchen area, cabinet, bedroom and two nursery rooms), a clear division of space between public and private (the colour preferences were designated, the general area should be light, the master bedroom – dark), as well as a long-standing dream – a waterfall down the glass in the living room.

Carte blanche was not only creative; the apartment in the new house was an open space with supporting pillars without walls. As the public area remained as open as possible, columns there turned into decorative elements: stoned with mirrored stripes and additional black capitals with a hidden light. To add harmony to the two bearing columns, we have added two corner trim columns in a row, in the same finish.

The Mirrored effect is supported by glossy ceramic granite flooring in the kitchen-dining area. The wall, lined with polished marble provides an additional reflection in the living room. The wall is also the source of light and heat. In addition to the hidden lighting on the ceiling, the iconic light Flos – Wall Rupture with handmade fault, and mini bio fireplace was installed. The kitchen area is conventionally separated from the living room by the waterfall requested and backlit. However, through the transparent glass, down which the water flows, elegant lines of the cult kitchen Ola 20 Snaidero are clearly visible.

The subdued space of the master bedroom is unique and romantic: it is a separate area for maximum everything is zoned using transparent dark glass.

The cabinet also made with special attention being paid to the atmosphere. A lot of wood and leather were used, and wall panels are covered with the same leather that is used in the finishing of the rack and a table. One of the walls is decorated with a copyright plaster relief boasting thin vertical stripes.

Nursery rooms, with deliberate themes of growing have been made “for growth” – furniture, textiles and colours were carefully selected to support this idea.

The whole apartment is equipped with a “smart house” system that controls the heating system,radiators and water underfloor heating, ventilation, air conditioning, humidification, lighting, blinds control, home theater system, a system of “multi-room” (the sound is distributed evenly throughout all zones) and video surveillance. The project has become a satisfying achievement, with great attention to materials. Perhaps, the quality is one of its determinant properties. The project encompasses the concept of quality of life in general.

Kitchen – Snaidero
Dining Group – Ulivi Salotti + Rolf Benz
Sofa Zone – Tosconova Unique
Bedroom – Tosconova Unique
Cabinet – Ulivi Salotti
Nursery room – Halley, Dolfi
Lighting – Flos, Foscarini, Delta Light, Panzeri, Fabbian Illuminazione, Vibia
Plumbing – Jacuzzi, Rexa, Duravit
Doors – F.lli Longhi, Lualdi Porte
The total area – 330 sq.m.

The interview for Vogue Home Ukraine

Today a trendy interior is a smart interior. Technologies that control the modern home should also be stylistic component. As for the decor, according to the Pantone Corporation, the main color of 2015 – is the noble wine shade “Marsala”. For designers and decorators this is more food for thought: the color of the season can be applied globally – in the design of the walls, and you can use it in forming dots – in decor and details. However, in our profession the client’s requirements are paramount. Perhaps the fashion colour is not to the the client’s taste and it is necessary to create a personal trend – a living space in which the preferences, nature and style of life of this person can be recognised and interpreted.

Working on the project, the designer acts as a trendsetter, because their task demands a set of skills that create an interior that remains relevant, comfortable, and technologically appropriate for years to come. This is true in both industry in general, and for individual clients. To do this, you must consider a variety of new items – furniture, lighting, textiles, decorative materials, speakers, home appliances. Choosing products for the project means I need to collaborate with colleagues from different industries. I give preference to products of proven brand standing with a well researched history and impeccable quality. Of course, some elements of design I entrust to high-level Ukrainian masters.

When it comes to more global interior fashion, the last International Furniture Salon in Milan is a world leader. The retro theme is still relevant: new items appear as if they have lived a long life. Brushed metal, tree textures displayed on maximum, cloudy glass “with a touch of time” – all this is now the height of fashion. Lots of colour, complex natural shades are also in vogue.

Most brands are guided by an intelligent luxury: even collections of the most “elegant” classical factories are becoming more relaxed.

My projects are often described as neoclassical or luxury-minimalist.

Download in :

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Interview for the “Salon” magazine

What is the nature of new ideas in your opinion?

New ideas in design, in my view, appear when the current needs of society connects with designer emotion. They arise as a result of imagination, talent and a designer’s outlook to solve a particular problem.

What should be the ratio of the rational and natural in the work of the designer?

If we talk about design of the space and objects, which are intended for use by other people, I think that the rational should still be greater. Of course, if the designer is not “clamped” by conditions and restrictions, the flights of fancy can be wider, and the result will be more interesting. However, when the designer wants to exercise his thoughts spontaneously, no one can forbid this. Such examples can be seen in young designers’ exhibitions, whose works in most cases, are based on the decoration of their own studios and, as such will never go into production.

What inspires you to create?

My family – husband and children, success in work and positive feedback, as well as a good rest inspire me.

Electronic version of the article in the magazine:


Interview for the «Constructive» magazine

History of Ukrainian breakthrough in design

On November 30, 2012 Natalia Bolshakova, Ukrainian interior designer, won the prestigious award from British Design Association - SBID International Design Awards 2012. The SBID rewarding ceremony was held in the House of Lords, located in the Palace of Westminster, London. The winners of the twelve categories were awarded with Crystal statuettes. The competition attracted applicants from twenty-seven countries and five continents.

Pasquale Natuzzi (jury member, founder of the Natuzzi company):

"The project "House of the Sea "by Natalia Bolshakova was selected among many other projects, because the design was laid out in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape, filled with uncompromising elegance of clear lines and minimalism. The design combines a high level of architecture, with real functional needs for a comfortable modern family life."

"Komsomolka, sportswoman, and simply beauty" Today we talk with Natalia Bolshakova, talented designer and a charming, innovative woman:

The mass media is full of stories about your victory in the prestigious competition. Natalia, our readers are interested in learning about your part in this, the jury and the participants - share your impressions with us. How did it all happen?

There are many impressions. Everything started from the selection of the contest that was open for receiving entrants in 3D. My final choice was an annual contest held by the Association of British design. Its main advantage is that designers from anywhere in the world can try their hand. The only requirements are a sense of desire and the Internet, through which documents are submitted. As for the panel, gathered here are the most eminent judges. My category was judged by Pasquale Natuzzi, head of the Italian furniture concern Natuzzi. The Best Product Category was judged by Jimmy Choo, the world-famous designer. One of the residential sector categories was judged by Nerio Alessandri, the head of Technogym brand. Entries were distributed into different categories based on criteria such as, the project cost, destination and others. Examples of projects were: Bentley Head Office, London Roca Gallery (from studio Zaha Hadid), Business Centre (Korea), Mercedes Benz Autohaus (USA) who all took part in SBID International Design Awards 2012. Can you imagine the award ceremony was held in the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster? It was nice to be in the group of winners and other guests headed by Vanessa Brady, the president of the British Association of Designers. And, at the same time, it was exciting, as I was the only representative of our country.

“House over the sea"- is real-life project. How did the client react to the fact that the project of his house was entered for the competition?

Positively. When we started to work on the project, the customer had a strong desire to win the competition!

Reputable firms and well-known architects attended the competition. Was it scary to compete? Or were you confident of victory?

It was not so scary to compete, as all participants were treated with respect. It was actually the opposite and the realization that I decided to do this and found the time was nice. We often find ourselves in a cycle of daily work and do not have an opportunity to escape, to find the time to implement our deepest ambitions. Of course, deciding on this adventure there were a lot of thoughts and reflections about how worthy my work was. One should try to correlate the level of the project and the level of competition. I hadn’t confidence in the victory, in fact SBID International Design Awards have an international status, and all the companies who participate have a great responsibility.

Looking at your projects, we notice that the "minimalist" and "constructivism" styles are close to you. Is it easy to find customers who are ready to invest in a discreet chic?

I really like these styles; it is interesting to work with them. "House over the Sea" slightly favours the "cold" performance, but it was a demand and preference of the homeowner. Minimalism can be different, and a "warming effect" is also possible. Therefore, many modern people like this style. As for finding clients – those people who like designer’s projects appeal to the designer. Accordingly, if the project was carried out in the "minimalism" style, you don’t have a need to convince the person to like this style. On deciding to invest money in their space, the customer is already aware of the virtues of a particular style. Any style will appeal, if the professional works closely with the client on a project.

How do you characterize the role of an interior designer? Whether they are necessary at all?

Sometimes, we are confronted with such a thing as a lack of understanding of the functions and tasks of an interior designer. Choosing colours and objects that complement each other in style and purpose is closer to the problems of decorators. Designer functions are not limited to making a place "nice and with taste!" It is important to provide an engineering element to the project, to adapt it using a designed interior, oversee the development of smart home systems, security and fire systems and so on. In addition, the appropriate organization and sequence of work using related organizations, control of the delivery of materials and other goods in general, the entire project management is vested in the designer. Often, people do not have a structured understanding of what they want. This is another designer’s role - to ascertain the details, help to create a composite "image", to reproduce the desired space. From my personal observation, the cost of the finished project is about 5-7% of the total spent on the repair / construction budget. So does money saved on the project really cause so many problems, among which one of the main ones is the loss of precious time?

There has been a growing movement to build "eco-homes" In Europe for a long time. Natalia, do you use any energy-saving and environmental practices in your projects?

Honestly, I would like to use them more widely.This phenomenon is not so popular in Ukraine. Perhaps this is due to the fact that these systems are designed for the most part in countries with a milder climate than ours, so they are often not fully adapted to our conditions. Our manufacturers have not yet “captured” the market. In any case, the final decision on the installation of various systems takes the property owner – and who does not want to live in a house where everything is tested by time, where everything is running smoothly. I consider that our companies-suppliers and manufacturers have a lot of work in the field of the promotion of new technologies in the market of Ukraine and gaining consumer confidence.

3 years ago, in one interview, you mentioned, that you are going to enter the European market. Now this is happening.What plans do you have now?

Yes, I recently re-read this interview. (Smiles) I plan to penetrate the Western market. In my opinion, Ukrainian designers are quite competitive. Ultimately, it is necessary to expand horizons and gain new experiences. It is unacceptable to dwell at the same level,and definitely not stop!

The magazine will be released on the eve of the New Year. What would you like to wish Constructive readers in the coming 2013?

I wish all readers and all all the Ukrainians to have more confidence! Our country has a very strong potential – we have many talented people. We live in a place with supposedly restrictive conditions and this gives us more strength and desire to achieve something. It seems to me, that often it becomes our advantage against many neighbors. I’d like to deal with the stereotype “everything we have – is bad, and in the West – all is well.” This is not true! If people try to do their job on the highest level, the country as a whole, will become better too. Set only the highest goals – otherwise they will not be reached! And, of course, the well-being for all your families!

Electronic version of the article in the magazine:

Nataly Bolshakova interview_Contructive
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