Catchy Kitchen Backsplash Designs

One of the most nerve wracking moments for a homeowner remodeling their kitchen is designing the kitchen backsplash. 

1) What color tile is best? 2) What kind of tile – porcelain, ceramic, natural stone?  3) What sort of design would look good?  4) Lots of detail, no detail?  5) How much will it cost?

Lots of nervousness and agitation in something that seems so simple.  At least until you’re picking out your own and realizing how permanent it is.  Well, semi-permanent.  It can always be changed……just at a price.  And whatever we select we want it to be something we’ll enjoy for years to come, not grow tired of in a year or two.  The best solution – (well, hire an experienced interior designer) the next best solution – look at lots and lots of pictures and kitchens to get an idea of the look and feel you are after.  Below is a broad – very broad – range of styles in different design patterns and colors.  Take a look and see what style works best for you.

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Here you see neutral tones in natural stone, with a picture frame design over the cooktop using mosaic tiles for a border and etched tiles for the patterned “picture”.  Subtle, but full of impact.

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A Tuscan theme with the gold’s and rusts – staggered natural stone subway tiles (that’s the 3×6 shape)  and painted tiles to create a mural.

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Another look with painted tiles.

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Admittedly, not for everyone, but wouldn’t this animal mural would be a conversation starter?

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Natural stone on a diagonal with 2×2 inserts.  Notice the horizontal row at the bottom outside the cooktop area.

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More natural stone.

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Simple, elegant.

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Incorporating metal tiles and accents with natural stone is always an interesting, fun look.

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Glass mosaics make a striking backsplash.  They come in a multitude of colors:

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Fun and interesting kitchen backsplash for the daring and fun-loving..

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There’s always the new approach to good old white ceramic tiles of the past.  Very clean and timeless.

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And for the more industrial or modern types check these out.

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There are a multitude of styles and colors and patterns to choose from.  Your overall  design style will dictate much of it.  Are you modern, Tuscan, traditional, funky, etc….?  Kitchen remodeling can be expensive and scary so as I said your best defense is hiring an experienced interior designer.  Aside from that I would suggest you peruse magazines, books, wander through home improvement centers, tile stores and model homes – snapping as many pictures as you can to start forming your own style.  You’ll start to notice a trend in the colors, shapes, styles you are drawn to.  And, if you see a look you really like tear the picture out of a magazine or take a picture with your camera and just duplicate the exact same look for your own kitchen.  That’ll ease your mind and you’ll know what you’re getting.  No surprises.

But, take your time and be sure you know what you want.  It’s an expensive thing to fix if you make a mistake.  So take a deep breath, take your time and do your homework before you make those final decisions.  Then have fun and get excited!  You’ll soon be cooking in a new kitchen!  How exciting!

Happy Decorating!

Define Your Style: Could It Be Cottage Cozy?

One of the most appealing styles – one that most people find warm, inviting and cozy, cozy, cozy is Cottage Style.  There is something about the colors, the combination of fabrics and patterns, the wood tones and just the overall vibe of the space that conjures up feelings of warmth and welcomes us like a great big hug from grandma. Cottage Style just makes us feels “good”.

I recently designed a kitchen and family room space plan for a client who loves all things 1920’s Cottage Style.  It’s in the remodeling stages right now, but since it’s fresh on my mind I thought I’d share some wonderful cottage idea’s with you.

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See how inviting this space is above?  Wouldn’t you just love to curl up with a great book and a cup of tea?  The creams and whites with floral pillows, the ruffled skirt and wood tones…..all of it….so inviting and welcoming.

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This cottage space welcomes us with color.

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This cozy cottage space tends to slant towards the French.   Cozy cottage patterns and textures…..but notice the French curves on the table and chairs.  French Cottage – a bit more formal than traditional American cottage, but welcoming and warm none-the-less.

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Here they play up bright lime green to give it a current, modern edge.

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And, I like these rustic walls.

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All creamy white above and below, with ruffles and limited color.

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Creative, cozy little cottage style kitchen.

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This cottage style is a bit more tailored and masculine, but full of color and life.

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Patriotic theme – full of charm.

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Love the florals and the yellow with the rattan and different colored adirondacks.  So happy and cozy!

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Fun look with the rattan, the shades of teal and the floral, ruffled slip covers against the wood floor.  Notice the stripe back and the floral front on the chairs.  Cute!  And, it’s all topped off with that fabulous chandelier.

Good old rockers.  Always great for Cottage Style.

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Tailored, clean look above; Feminine pastels and floral fabrics below.

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Cottage Style just sort of speaks to our hearts and warms our insides. 

Think a moment and define your own style.  Is Cottage Style for you?  Maybe this is a look you’d like to see in your home.   Not just when you hit the beach or your favorite bed and breakfast.  If you love it, why not live with it year round?  Why not bring this coziness to your own space so that it welcomes you home each day with a great big grandma hug.  Especially after a long, stressful day at work.

Remember lots of wallowy furniture, comfy fabrics, a touch of rattan, a mix of patterns and wood.  Throw in great rug and some fresh flowers and your good to go. 

Happy Hugs To You and Happy Decorating!

Wedding Shower Wonderland!

 

Tiz’ the season for weddings and that means lots of wedding showers and planning and happy tears for mom and her friends.  When you’re my age and in a circle of friends who’s kids are all graduating college and embarking on their new lives it tends to bring lots of engagements – which in turn brings lots of engagement parties and showers and excitement and celebrations. And, did I mention a great many happy tears?  Last weekend I attended one of the most elegant, beautiful showers I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to some doozies)  for my good friend, Barbie, and her precious daughter, Madison.  The hostesses spared no expense in their decorating and the festivities.  There’s tons of pictures to see (maybe I overdid it – but I couldn’t stop myself – it was all so magical and pretty)  Take a look and see what I mean….

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This was the entrance into the home.  Lots of wedding white to welcome the guests and set the tone.

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Our good friend, Becky, pretending this gorgeous home was hers. (We want to live there.)

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(I couldn’t resist adding this picture of her sneaking her cute mug into my blog shot.)

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Another view of the welcoming entrance.

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Even this sweet courtyard had wedding white tucked in the mix.

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(These have nothing to do with the shower……I just really like these doors!  Cool, huh?)

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When you enter the home it has the unusual layout of the kitchen on the immediate left.  It’s a large “dream” kitchen…..cozy, warm, inviting and decorated for the occasion to the hilt.

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By the way, how fab is this incredible vent-a-hood?

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This is one of the beautiful tables – it’s displayed in the kitchen.  (Right outside the window is that adorable courtyard you see as walk into the home.)

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Look what they did with the chandelier.

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Just another view of this amazing, cozy kitchen.

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A little blurry (sorry) but, isn’t this a wonderful sitting area?  Wouldn’t that be fun to have right in your kitchen?  Love that!  I want to move in.

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The kitchen mantel was decorated with wedding touches for the event.

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Here’s Barbie, the emotional mom, with her beautiful bride-to-be daughter,  Madison.  (She definitely has that happy wedding glow about her.)

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Every nook and cranny was decorated for the occasion.

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Even the office had touches of wedding white.

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They even dressed up this urn outside the dining room French doors with white for the occasion. 

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See it here at the other end of this gorgeous table?  Beautiful!

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And, would you just look at this stunning ceiling?

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Notice the chandelier in here is draped in white as well.

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How girlie and wedding-esque is this for a table?

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Wedding details were everywhere:

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And,  though it had nothing to do with the shower, I just can’t pass up showing you this adorable backyard courtyard:

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We’ve all been friends for years and watched our little Madison grow up into this beautiful bride-to-be.  We are so happy and excited for her!

For all of you blushing brides and mother’s of the brides – if this shower didn’t give you tons of fabulous ideas then I don’t know what will.

Wish you all a blissfully happy wedding season and of course….

Happy Decorating!!

A Little Bit Rustic–A Whole Lot Of Chic

A Little Bit Rustic–A Whole Lot Of Chic.

A Little Bit Rustic–A Whole Lot Of Chic

 

Being in the field that I am I’ve learned to love and appreciate just about every design style that’s out there.  Every style of design and decorating can have its own appeal and unique contribution to a space.  This post is about the marrying of rustic to chic.  Notice the use of rattan (which isn’t too rustic, but has a casual vibe) with natural wood products.

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See what I mean?  Somehow a coffee table carved out of a tree – with its natural edges and movement – goes from rustic to chic in a flash when placed in this cool setting.  Paired with different styles of rattan chairs and contemporary wooden accessories – super chic.

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I like the bamboo wall hanging here.  Rustic meets chic.

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Interesting lighting and picture frames.

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How’s this for rustic meets chic lighting?  Very cool.

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Lots of natural wood mixed with rattan.  With the cool lighting the overall look actually veers towards the contemporary.

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Tree trunk table and accessories.  Definitely not a look for everyone….but in the right space, paired with the right complimentary pieces can be very interesting, rustic, but also very chic.

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Do you like this twig table?  Too much…..or too cool?

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Everyone has their own look, their own “style”.  If you like rustic, but absolutely must have a chic environment – maybe these pictures will help get you started and give you some much needed direction.

Happy Decorating!

A Little Book With Our Wine and Dinner: Chapter 2

 

I got some fun feed back and interest regarding my last post on the book club I’m in so I thought I’d continue to share them periodically with you..  This book was an older book called “Her Mother’s Daughters” by Marilyn French.  I’d read it a long, long time ago and remembered that I thought the writing was fabulous. And since it refers so much to the food they ate (generations of immigrant women – their lives largely revolved around providing meals for their families) I thought it would be perfect for our kind of book club.  We are all mothers and daughters and our club revolves around cooking from and about the food mentioned in the books we read.

So our hostess for the night had us all bring pictures of our mothers and grandmothers either by themselves or with us as little girls.  She set them up on a table for us all to see.  Very sweet and touching.

But, first we all poured ourselves a glass of wine….. 

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We grabbed some appetizers…..

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Then we talked about the pictures we brought and visited about our families. 

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After sharing for awhile about our mothers and grandmothers it was time to hit the dinner buffet line for a great meal. 

(The hostess had each of us bring food from our mother’s or grandmother’s recipes and then labeled each item with our names, who the recipe was from and what the dish was.) Very clever.

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Very fun to see where each dish came from.

 

And then we sat down at her fabulous table that she decorated with generations of old family photo’s.

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A very creative group in the book club I must say.  It’s always fun to see what the décor will be to promote the theme of the book.  And, can I just say that everything was fabulous!

However, let me add a word of warning just in case you want to read the book.  While it’s a very poignant story and very, very well written it is, to say the least, a very dreary, depressing story.  (A little something I somehow forgot about when I suggested it.)  Not an upbeat sort of read at all.  Some of the women just couldn’t get through it, because of that.   So just be prepared for that and you’ll be okay.  It did, however, provoke one of our most interesting discussions ever, I will say that. 

And, of course, lots of incredible food!

Happy Reading……and, of course, Happy Decorating!

Another Great Look With Wall Coverings That Wow!

 

Are you looking for something new and different to wow up the walls in your space?  Maybe something other than just straight paint or a faux finish on textured walls (which, don’t get me wrong, is still one of my faves)?

Well, I may have just the answer for you.  Take a look at some of these incredible wall coverings.  Talk about the wow factor……..

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I mean, seriously….can you say WOW!

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What an impact this has on the space!  It’s what brings in the personality!

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I’m in LOVE!  I think I need to find a space in my own house for one of these incredible designs!  Don’t you?

Take a look at their website for more info and inspiration: www.vahallan.com

Happy Decorating!!

Cool Candles: Easy Do It Yourself Ideas To Spruce Up Your Space

 

If you are having a party and need some inexpensive ideas for tables, or if you just want to make a few inexpensive changes in your everyday décor – adding decorative candles may be just what you need to spice it up.  Take a look at some of these fun, easy ideas.

Candles from BHG

Using inexpensive votives spray them with adhesive glitter spray and apply a jewel of choice (old earring, pendant, or a jewel from the craft department, etc.)  with a hot glue gun to create these candle holders.  Apply the same technique to a larger votive for an even more dramatic look.

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For this look just fill a jar with water, add a floating candle and the ribbon of your choice.  Ribbons with the wire edging are the best, because the bow can be shaped.

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Coat greenery with adhesive spray, adhere to the jar and trim the bottoms.

This candle display is simply a tray filled with moss and inexpensive candle votives. (The votives can be purchased many times two for a dollar at your local craft store or dollar store.)  Place them randomly on the moss tray or in neat rows.  It’s the cloistering of many of them together that creates the dramatic look. 

repurpose old sweaters of wool socks for candle cozies

A fun use of old sweaters.  Just create snug wraps by cutting to fit and gluing or sewing edges.  You could do this with other fabrics as well.

Place stickers or stencil on votive and spray paint with metallic spray paint.  Peel back stickers or stencil to see the pattern underneath.

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Wrap candle with decorative ribbon or fabric and secure with pearl pins.

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Glue craft paper to match your motif onto candle votive.  Trim edges to fit.  You can finish the edges with ribbon for a finishing touch if you’d like.

wrap with double stick carpet tape and press candy canes onto the tape around candle

Wrap candle with carpet tape and place candy canes or decorative candy of your choice to tape for a fun, festive look.

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Images by BHG

To create a candle bouquet fill a large votive with decorative sand and place multiple candlesticks in a cluster. 

 

See what fun you can have without spending too much time or money?  Now you can use these ideas as inspiration and go get creative with your own theme! 

Happy Decorating!!!!

Festive Cake and Candy Displays That Put You In A Party Time Frame Of Mind:

 

These days everyone knows what festive, fun table displays cupcakes can make for parties of all occasions.  Because they are versatile they are easy to arrange and tweak to the design motif you are working with.  And, although they are easy to prepare, they can also just as easily be purchased at your local grocery store.  In fact at Wal-mart you can buy a dozen of them for $5.00.  $5.00!  I mean, why bother making them when you can get them at that price!  They will prepare them in any color and put them in cupcake holders the color of your choice.  If you’d like they can add sprinkles and offer limited decorations.  I like to have them made and then decorate them myself to fit the function I’m decorating for.  You can find all sorts of fun decorations at your local craft store.

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I made this display for a couples wedding shower.  I used white cake mix, white icing, pearl sprinkles and little doves and rings for the decorations.  I used a three tier plate rack and layered my own crystal plates to form the towers, by using three different sizes separated by small crystal candle holders.   Then I added rhinestone candle votives for the topper and cascaded twisted white ribbon around them.  It made a very soft, sophisticated romantic display for a very elegant event.

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This table above was for a baby shower so of course the colors were tweaked to fit the occasion.  I had the cupcakes made at good old Wal-mart and had them do a mixture of icing colors to match my table.  Then I added my own baby decorations.   I placed one cupcake tower at each end of the table for balance.

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These I made for a family football party that I shared on a previous blog.  I made these cupcakes myself instead of purchasing them and covered them with red sprinkles to match OU’s colors and then added fun football decorations.

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This spooky cupcake display was actually made for my sweet nephew, Austin’s, birthday.  Since he’s an October baby I decided to play up the Halloween theme.  I think it made for a fun birthday cake.  On the bottom tray I added candy eyeballs and chocolate covered pretzels, then surrounded the bottom platter with faux fall leaves.   The topper is a jack-o-lantern candle. 

 

But, if you want to see some really fun, really incredible party displays take a look at these beautiful table decorations by Amy Atlas.  She’s the real pro with her amazing tables and has done many celebrity events.  Check these out for some fun ideas:

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Have you ever seen a more festive, happy display?  Notice the ice cream cone cupcakes?  Too cute!

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Now that’s a fun party table!

Now that you’ve been inspired you can get motivated and creative with your own cupcakes.  The sky is the limit as far as color and theme so have fun with it!  You can make your cupcake display serious, romantic, casual and fun, hip and happenin’ – whatever the occasion you can make it work with cupcakes and candy.

Don’t forget to check out Amy’s incredible website and blog here.  It will inspire and amaze you!

Happy Decorating!

Tin Tiles: Ceilings That Wow And More

 

A great alternative to wow up your space is the use of tin tiles.  They have a unique look, a unique character and volumes of personality.  Take a look at some of these fabulous tiles below and the impact they have on the ceiling and the entire space:

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Love these integrated with the wood.

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See the personality they bring to a space?

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And what about putting them on a bar front like this:

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Here’s a glimpse at some individual tiles with their own unique character:

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I love the colors in this tile above.

 

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Imagine this in a Garden Room, or an Old World, Traditional or Victorian space. Isn’t it beautiful?

 

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These would be great in a shabby chic atmosphere.

 

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This would work well in a Neo-Classical, Old World or Traditional space.

 

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And for those of you who like color and aren’t afraid to use it there are colorful tiles to choose from, too.

Tiles would be fun to dress up a bedroom, dining room, kitchen, family room……any space that you want to make unique, unusual and special.

Happy Decorating!

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