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26
Apr 16

A World of Luxury; The Four Seasons, Park Lane, London

After a recent stay at The Four Seasons on Park Lane, the hotel has certainly become one of my favourites. Loving luxurious things as I do, and working in the luxury market, I can sometimes be hard to please when it comes to attention to detail and the finer points of not only interiors, but also service. My recent experience at the Four Seasons fitted all the criteria and more, for an excellent stay.

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On arrival, the staff were attentive, welcoming and charming, not to mention extremely professional. The hotel’s interior immediately grabbed my attention. It is spectacular, with layers of texture and fantastic detailing throughout.

I was shown to my room which was a newly-designed Westminster Suite; one of only seven which were launched in March of this year. It was light and contemporary, featuring walnut-veneer panels, powder-blue walls and Savile Row check. The bedroom with its king-size bed led to a separate dressing area, a spacious bathroom and Juliet balcony, with the design being a modern-take on Art Deco which I love. The suite feels very much like your own stylish apartment, with all modern comforts to hand, balancing eclectic sophistication with Mayfair’s fashionable history. There were two impressively-large TVs in both the living room and the bedroom, in addition to the bathroom incorporating a small flat screen TV in the mirror!

When you are at the Four Seasons, you sense the feeling of heritage and glamour relating back to the 1970’s when the brand-empire had its defining moment and opened its first hotel in London. This very hotel set the tone for future direction of the company and pioneered many signature Four Seasons services now delivered on a global scale.

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There are certain elements in this hotel that has garnered its success, the highly personalised 24-hour service making everyone feel like a VIP, the authentic and elegant surroundings, the impeccable service, quality and ultimate in luxury, it is easy to understand why the Four Seasons continues to grow in popularity.

During my stay I found time to enjoy the bar; an iconic social hub within the heart of London. Its décor is a mix of strong, deep red fabrics combined with dark-wood and leather creating a relaxing yet intimate feel.

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Dinner was superb, with a menu offering a vast variation of dishes. I have to give top mark’s to the restaurant Chef Eliano Crespi who completely looked after me. I particularly liked looking out onto the terrace, and although I knew I was in central London, this has been well-thought out and designed for privacy with its terracing.

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On this occasion I didn’t have enough time to use the Spa, which is found on the 10th floor. It is a one-of-a-kind rooftop sanctuary including a relaxation lounge, state-of-the-art Fitness Centre and the inaugural Spa. The Golden body glow treatment, where Omorovicza gold sugar scrub is used to polish and buff the skin, followed by an application of luxurious gold shimmer oil is definitely on the list for my next visit.

After a great night’s sleep, I enjoyed a superlative breakfast. The staff can remember their guest’s names which is very admirable and was noted by me, something that just adds that extra touch of respectability, and as I was about to vacate the hotel, they offered help with my transport.  I was very happily chauffeured off into a Rolls Royce Ghost – now that is what I call luxury!

If you’re looking to stay in London I can’t recommend The Four Seasons on Park Lane enough. Please visit their website here


14
Mar 16

Buying Art for the Home

As some of you will be aware, I am one of the main dealers on Channel 4’s Four Rooms and buy a great deal of art amongst other collectibles. You should find this column useful if you are looking to buy art for your home, to work in with a scheme for aesthetic pleasure or purely as an investment.

As it is extremely personal, take the time to work out what you like and what you don’t like. If you want something to look pretty in a scheme, then go for a print on canvas or really interesting prints of black and white photography. You do not need to spend lots of money on this type of artwork as your scheme may well change and thus your artwork. If you are more serious and want an investment, visit some art galleries, do some research online, and find out what is appealing to you and who is the next best artist to invest in.

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Art is subjective so you should only be guided by someone if it is purely for an investment, otherwise if it’s for a room scheme only, go with what you envisage works best.

If you are going to display your art at home, plan your space properly. If you’re looking for artwork to act as a ‘star piece’ within a room it will need to have impact, and even create drama. Make sure if this is the case, it sits alone on a very plain wall which will set it off to its entirety, otherwise you will detract from its depth and the point will be lost. Similarly, if your walls already do the talking your artwork choices should be more sublime. It’s crucial you decide the purpose and space options before purchasing anything.

If you are looking for art as an investment you will need to set yourself a budget. You can have fun with this and you don’t have to be a big spender, rather set aside a sensible number in your head and see what’s on the market for it and where you feel you’re getting the most value for money. Whether it’s £100-£30,000, it’s wise to set a budget and try and stick to it. Another way to understand the market is at auctions; a place where you can learn a lot as you’ll start to understand the value of art and become aware of what’s going up in in the current market.

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Presentation of your art is key so don’t skimp on a great frame whichever route you are taking with your art. Even if it’s a cheaper piece, the frame will “make it” and show it off to its full glory!

If you have any questions please free to ask me via Twitter or Facebook, and I’d love to connect on Instagram

Until next time… Celia x

 


17
Feb 16

Say it with Light; Lighting Tips from Interior Design Expert Celia Sawyer

Celebrity Interior Designer Celia Sawyer tells us why lighting should be the first item on your to-do list when curating a new home

Lighting is one of the most important yet often most overlooked elements in good interior design. Lighting is key as it is the one single ingredient that affects all others; there is little point creating a beautiful home if it is insufficiently lit and your well-thought-out furniture and accessories not represented in the best way. Lighting can be quite technical but it is a wonderful medium to work with.

Never skimp on lighting as it is essential to creating ambience and depth in a room. Great lighting can be used in many ways and should be layered to suit your needs. For example if you have features in your room you wish to stand out and display, or areas you wish to highlight, position recessed ceiling spotlights to enhance these.

Work round the room the way you would walk through; observe how the lighting changes. Are your ceiling lights creating enough impact? How are they hanging? Do you require table lamps? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. An amazing chandelier will give your room the “wow” factor and could be the star feature of your room. Art-deco inspired lighting is a having its renaissance. Think geometric shapes, bevelled glass, gold chintz and reflective surfaces. Typical lighting fixtures include an illuminated ribbon running down the middle or the edge of a recess, which creates a streamlined glow, with a circular light placed in the centre of this area acting as a focal point. The Estadio light is a perfect example of this.
Table and floor lamps will add that extra warmth and dimension to your room, but also with so many beautiful lamps available now, can become a sculpture in themselves.

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If you are looking for chandeliers or made-to-order lamps, you will need to give yourself at least eight weeks lead time. Many companies have a range of stock lighting however if you want something really unique, you will most probably be ordering from overseas or a dedicated fabricator in UK who will need longer lead times.

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Practical lighting is also important, if you need an area to read or work, then you need to plan this accordingly and in the first wave of your lighting design.  I always use dimmer 5 amp systems these days so that throughout the day as the light changes outside, I can adjust the room lighting to suit the required mood.  You can also use different types of brightness, depending on the amount of light that you want to let into a room. Softer light provides a calmer atmosphere, where brighter lights are ideal for schemes that are busy, like an entertainment area. Think of lighting a little like adding a jacket (your wall lights) to your everyday dress (your practical lighting), and then adding jewellery and great shoes, (structural and feature lighting such as positioned spots and table lamps) and if you have the courage, an amazing hat (your star piece chandelier in the centre of your room)

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The above bedroom suite showcases how lighting can be so effective. Various layers of light are incorporated, from spotlights in the ceiling providing a warm glow to LED’s embedded into the shelves by the reading corner. These lights highlight each item on the shelf drawing attention and adding an area of interest. The ceiling spotlights bounce light off the reflective surfaces such as the bronze wardrobe panels, bevelled glass and crystal. Finally the bedside lamps offer practical lighting for reading or similar in bed.

Kitchen lighting is always an interesting topic of conversation. A trio of hanging lights above breakfast bars or kitchen tables are a thing of the past and can quickly look dated. There are a lot of clinical looking hanging lights on the market; avoid these. If you do prioritise lighting from the offset make sure downlights and fantastic spotlights are incorporated into your plans early – this is all you really need in the kitchen.

Directional lighting plays a significant role in the home. This is the science behind your selected lighting; either to provide illumination for the entirety of the room or to highlight very specific elements, even to distract from a certain area in some cases. Track lighting is the perfect example of positional lighting, where you can use beautiful wall lights with adjustable necks pointed at specific elements. Often people use track lighting to highlight stunning artwork or collectables.

Another reason to insist on getting lighting right from the offset is because it affects colours and fabrics. You would be surprised how natural light versus man-made can throw a whole different meaning to your selected tones.

It is clear lighting provides magic and theatre in the home whilst being extremely practical in helping create a visually larger space. Taking lighting seriously will enhance the environment and complement your décor so there’s no excuses, this should be your first priority, and I hope you agree.

 

If you’ve enjoyed reading my tips please say hi via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – I’d love to hear from you!

 

@CeliasawyerTV

Facebook.com/celiasawyerTV

Instagram celia_sawyer

 

Until next time…

Celia x

 

 


5
Oct 15

Autumn Luxury

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE luxury. Whether it be a piece of furniture for one of my interior design projects, an item of clothing or a hotel. The latter being extremely important to me as I travel a lot and appreciate a good hotel that pays attention to the finer details and truly looks after its guests.

Whilst away on business lately I was lucky enough to stay at the Chewton Glen in Hampshire. I highly recommend the Suites here whether you be travelling with a partner, friend or family. There’s more than enough room to accommodate everyone without being on top of each other. Design wise the suites boast a classic, more traditional look than my own style but I appreciate the contemporary fabrics and wall coverings. In particular the panelled walls which offer a cosy and welcoming feel. Wall panelling is making its come back but with a modern twist, so if you are currently re-decorating I would look into this.

Dining at the Chewton Glen is to die for. A must even if you’re not staying at the hotel! The Chesil smoked oak-smoked salmon with chives and crème fresh is wonderful, as are the hand-dived scallops, with truffles, mint puree and all the trimmings.

For those of you who don’t know the Chewton Glen is a privately owned luxury Country House Hotel and Spa located on the edge of the historic New Forest, set in 130 acres of picturesque grounds, so you can enjoy the great outdoors too via the golf course, tennis courts, a croquet lawn and clay pigeon shooting. You’re spoilt for choice!

Chewton Glen Pool

For a touch of something different and really unique stay in one of the hotel’s famous Tree Houses. They are built high-up in the forest, elegantly simple yet reassuringly luxurious, each Treehouse is on stilts, delicately balanced within the valley and tree canopy. You still enjoy the amenities of the main hotel but can indulge in total privacy, whilst enjoying the floor to ceiling glass providing panoramic views for just you. There’s also a hot tub on the balcony and daily breakfast hamper delivered to your Suite!

Chewton Glen Tree House

If you’re looking for a great stay outside of the UK I’d recommend The Four Seasons in Cyprus. A magnificent hotel that accommodates your every need. There are few places I actually switch off and completely relax but The Four Seasons is one of them. From the beautiful loungers to the pools and dining, it’s simply fantastic.

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If you are travelling with children there are two outdoor pools and my son particularly loves the slide in the children’s pool. We always look forward to visiting ‘Colours’ situated at the hotel which sells the most amazing ice cream and cakes.  If you have children they will love it too!

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Running my own business is none-stop so being able to combine business and travel together is lovely, especially when it’s at The Four Seasons. As it is independently owned and operated the staff and owners care all the more; everything is impeccable!

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This five-star resort is the pinnacle of luxury with world class hospitality, book yourself in you won’t regret it.

For more information on Celia’s hotel insights please visit

http://www.chewtonglen.com/

http://www.fourseasons.com.cy/


17
Mar 15

Hotel Shopping for 2015…. Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como is a must!

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It finally feels like Spring/Summer is on its way which I love, so I am researching hotels in which to stay. When it comes to hotels I adore those that tell a story and offer luxury through and through. From the style to the service, there aren’t many hotels that capture my full attention but Grand Hotel Tremezzo does just that.

It is a beautiful luxury resort dating back to 1910. Grand Hotel Tremezzo is one of the oldest luxury hotels on Lake Como and for those who seek luxury during their stay; this is one of the best. The family owned hotel commands one of the most enchanting positions on Lake Como, with exquisite panoramic views of the town of Bellagio, the Riviera delle Azalle and the stunning Grigne Mountains. The hotel setting and views are simply breath taking!

The hotel is an amazing experience, not just for adults, but equally for children. From the moment I arrived, we were greeted with such friendly, efficient staff, and the children were made to feel extremely welcome. At Grand Hotel Tremezzo it’s all about the little touches and finer, elegant details which bring the whole experience to life. For the children, one of these finer details was  indeed the sweetie jar by reception which was visited frequently!!! The children particularly loved the fact that there were three separate swimming pools within this beautiful hotel resort, each offering a very different vibe and style. The floating pool on the lake in front of the private beach, boasts such a fantastic view of Lake Como that you never get tired of looking at it, and here the children loved to swim and sit on the surrounding bean bags. The garden pool bar offered great pizzas which was perfect for lunch and to enjoy in a relaxed and informal setting. During our stay we had great fun travelling across the lake on the hotel’s stylish private boat, stopping off for a nice walk and lunch in the picturesque village of Bellagio.

GHT Boat

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is an absolute favourite of mine; the hotel is architecturally beautiful throughout as it is Art Nouveau in style, mixed with its unique setting it takes a lot to beat. Every luxury that you can imagine is included and my family and I were completely spoilt for choice. At Hotel Tremezzo, nothing is too much trouble, with their customer service bypassing exceptional.

The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is magnificent luxury at its very best! To see more of the hotel please look at http://www.grandhoteltremezzo.com/


30
May 14

Choosing Your Accent Colour

Accent colours form an important part of my interior design schemes. I often advise the simplest way to create a harmonious scheme is by staying neutral but livening up the neutral or monochrome tones with a bright, strong accent colour. By juxtaposing against the neutral canvas you will create a star-piece in a room, especially if its one specific item of furniture created in your chosen accent colour.

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Below: A recent London mansion I designed. The accent colour is Ox Blood and is incredibly striking against the neutral elements of the headboard, bedside tables and other contrasting features.

Another example of this can be found in this central London luxury home. See how the accent colour is not only used on the chaise, but runs through the scheme with cushions and coffee table accessories.

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Similarly, lime green has been worked through this modern kitchen (below). Take note of the colourful chairs and accessories, contrasting against the white and grey kitchen.

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Purples and aubergines are two of my favourite accent colours; I use specific hues in my schemes as much as possible. In this family TV room I offset the purple chairs with artwork and objet d’art that complement the purple accent colour of choice. The purple chairs really stand out against the cream walls and carpet, giving the room that colour burst it needs!

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An example of getting the look with accessories can be found here;  This great velvet cushion by Zara Home comes in many colours to suit anyone’s scheme.

Celia Sawyer x

Twitter – @CeliaSawyerTV

Website – www.CeliaSawyer.com


30
Apr 14

The Importance of Great Lighting

A key element in interior design is lighting. It is one of the most important factors not to skimp on as it is essential to creating ambience and depth in a room. Great lighting can be used in many ways, and should be layered to suit your needs. If you have features in your room you wish to stand out and display, or areas you wish to highlight, position recessed ceiling spotlights to enhance these.

An amazing chandelier will give your room the “wow” factor and could be the star feature of your room. Table and floor lamps will add that extra warmth and dimension to your room, but also with so many beautiful lamps available now, can become a sculpture in themselves.

Practical lighting is also important, if you need an area to read, or work, then you need to plan this accordingly and in the first wave of your lighting design.

 I always use dimmer 5 amp systems these days so that throughout the day as the light changes outside, I can adjust the room lighting to suit the required mood. Think of lighting a little like adding a jacket (your wall lights) to your everyday dress (your practical lighting), and then adding jewellery and great shoes, (structural and feature lighting such as positioned spots and table lamps) and if you have the courage, an amazing hat (your star piece chandelier in the centre of your room)!

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See how this pool area has ambient star lighting to create theatre whilst swimming

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This living room has a light coffer to house an LED strip for a soft, warm effect.

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Add beautiful wall lights to throw light onto the walls to create another layer

These great Ring light chandeliers really make a feature of this dining room. Like beautiful elegant pieces of jewellery, I love the way as the light changes, their shape reflects onto the ceiling.

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Get the look for less!

BHS do some great lights, have a look at this fab pendant light for a glamorous effect  http://www.bhs.co.uk/en/bhuk/product/home-lighting-furniture-2565866/ceiling-lights-2809354/smoke-gabriella-pendant-1075878?bi=1&ps=40

 Remember to follow me on Twitter on @CeliaSawyerTV.

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26
Feb 14

A day in the life of Celia Sawyer…

It’s a really exciting time at Celia Sawyer Headquarters. We are in the final stages of a development project, which is a £26 million property off Bishop’s Avenue in London. It’s been a fantastic exploration of architecture, fabrics and interior design. I have used a lot of bespoke furniture such as tailored chairs and sofas, antique mirrored bedside tables and hand-made headboards, specifically created for my Cool 10 furniture range. They are gorgeous and really add that WOW factor!

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As you know I’m really into my lighting so I’ve had some beautiful lights from Italy supplied for this project by Trudie who looks after me at The Lighting House (www.thelightinghouse.co.uk) For this particular house I used the stunning Estadio lights, which you can see below.

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The Fairways project has focused around lots of crystals, mirrors, lacquered woods, luxurious leathers and silver objets-dart to add glamour and style throughout. We are in our final two weeks and I simply cannot wait to see it all come together and be unveiled to the world!

It’s also been a busy couple of weeks juggling my home life. Due to half-term my two children were off school so we spent a few days taking time out, walking in Dartmouth and enjoying the countryside. I love being with my children, cooking for them, and helping them with homework, so I’ve understood the meaning of being a ‘working mum’ more than ever this last week – juggling family life, work deadlines, keeping fit and all the housework too!

I take my hat off to all working mum’s out there!

When working from my south coast studio I find the sea air and beach views can really inspire me on some of my projects. There is a local seafood restaurant called WestBeach (www.west-beach.co.uk) which I use for my client meetings. It’s a discrete venue so it’s perfect for entertaining high-profile and high-net worth clients to discuss their interior design plans and projects we are working on together. The food, ambience and staff are excellent at WestBeach, which is important for me!

Today, I am meeting a couple brand reps who want to present new collections to me. It’s important to stay ahead of the trends and set them so I love finding out before anyone else what’s coming through for Spring/Summer. I’ve got some exciting PR meetings this week and a visit to a very well known jewellery factory coming up as I have decided to launch my very own jewellery range this year! It is something I have always wanted to do and it will be a reflection of the interior design range; a mix of textures and an element of “cool”. Because of my busy days with the children, keeping on top of my fitness and all the projects I have going on it’s a good job I have Skinade (www.skinade.com) by my side to keep my skin glowing and healthy.

As you can tell it never stops for me in the interior design world but I love what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way. Watch this space for announcements on my jewellery range, you never know what tomorrow can bring… See you in a couple of weeks!

Celia xxx

@CeliaSawyerTV

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17
Feb 14

Eau de Chic

I for one, LOVE candles. They bring a certain something to a room, whether that’s intimacy or warmth I think they are perfect if you’re on a budget and you want to brighten up a room. So I thought I’d treat you readers with my favourite candles this season.

These Floris candles are really lovely and have a great array of fragrances for your home.

http://www.florislondon.com/gbp/floris-for-home/scented-candles.html

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Of course where would I be with out Gucci these are the more luxurious end of the market but smell fabulous and they look great on your coffee table too! http://www.gucci.com/uk/styles/284656J10JT2274#

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These Ralph Lauren candles are elegant and make a lovely gift for someone. Small enough to sit by your bed or bath, with a very Lauren fragrance! http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4319604

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Their signature Rose collection is wonderfully British and smells great. I’d recommend getting their Mirrored Glass Limited Edition Candle (£22, The White Company) to get an elegant feel.

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If you want something a bit different, The White Company has an English Garden range, fancy your home smelling like Fresh Herbs? Then invest in these fun rustic candles.

 Large Candles (£30, The White Company)

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7
Feb 14

Creating Impact at Home

 I love creating theatre in a client’s home. Whether it is with amazing lighting or elaborate mirrors, a fabulous texture, a really strong feature colour, or fantastic artwork. The key is to create a “wow” factor whenever someone walks into your home.

Great designing is about achieving this, it’s very easy to be safe but creating impact cuts the mustard!

It’s also very important not to over design an area with more than one star piece. If you do this you will create confusion and lose the impact completely.

These strong coloured chairs in this cinema room look stunning with a surrounding blank canvas.

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I particularly love these lights which I recently used in a client’s house. They create a real statement above the dining table and two together create a real wow-factor.

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Impact can also come from using something as simple as a pool table but give it strength by using a bold colour.

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I love these wall lights I put in a client’s home recently, they really make a statement. My recommendation for amazing lights please visit www.thelightinghouse.co.uk.

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Don’t forget mirrors are also a great way of adding impact. I often clad a whole wall of a room especially if there is a great view outside or the room is small or dark. Mirrors are a great way to add light and give the feeling of space and glamour.

For really fabulous mirrors such as this Tiffany Mirror below, go to Simpsons  http://www.simpsonsmirrors.com/bespoke-mirrors-collection/venetian-mirrors/

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Remember to tweet me @CeliaSawyerTV and my website is www.celiasawyer.com

Lots of love, Celia x

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