Claire de Luna's Vintage Inspired Bathroom

claire_de_lunaFebruary 16, 2007

It's small and utilitarian, not quite finished but close enough. We wanted something simplified that was easy to use, easy to clean. The room isn't opulent and I know isn't to everyone's taste but I like going in there! Like Johnmari, I used a particular picture from Bungalow Bathrooms as my inspiration for the floor, and went from there. We love the doorless, curbless shower, the mantel style ledge for less counter clutter, Toto Washlet and heated floors. Here's the list:

Kohler "Bancroft" fixtures and robe hooks (Polished Nickel)

American Standard pedestal sinks


Toto Toilet with Washlet

Shower seat hardware is from Urban Archaeology

Medicine cabinets from Rejuvenation (BIG MISTAKE/NOT RECOMMENDED)

Light fixtures - N/A (See above)

Hinges and Latches from Antique House of Hardware

Soap dispensers are Holly's of Bath

Floor heat - SunTouch

Ventilation - Panasonic Whisperwarm

Grab Bar is from Ginger (Circe)

Arts & Crafts style border paper is River Frieze - Bradbury & Bradbury

Paint is Sherwin Williams - Hopsack

Tiles - Westminster matte 3x6 subways "Marshmallow"; Classic Collection (Cornice for the baseboard and Ledge moldings at the top);

Santa Regina Terrazzo tiles: Toast Wheat (Antique finish) and Honey Mustard (Sandblasted)

Travertine - mesh pattern (2x2, 1x1 and 2x1) and individual 1x1's for the floor border

Lewellen - Trout Shallows art tile

Here is a link that might be useful: Claire de Luna's small bathroom

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What a beautiful bathroom! I didn't know you could get a Bancroft handshower on a bar - I have been planning to mix Bancroft handles and trim with a Grohe handshower. Have you tried it out yet? Does it give a good shower?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 12:29PM
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Ericaa, if it helps I had to special order the Bancroft handshower (Designer Plumbing Outlet). I spoke with Kyle, who ordered it for me. Does it give a good shower? Well, it's almost the same head as the fixed shower. I do find the angle of the handheld shower arm is different than the shower head that hangs out over you from the wall. If you're just using it as a hand shower or like an extra jet, it's fine. (Using it with the arm, the spray points at you rather than down.) The handheld has three different sprays like the regular shower head. Personally, I think it helps to have both.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 12:43PM
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What a fabulous job! There are so many great details included!
I wish you were here to have helped me. I felt so lost at some times and others felt like I needed a referee to break the tie between me and DH!!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Medicine cabinets from Rejuvenation (BIG MISTAKE/NOT RECOMMENDED)

I love your cabinets! Can you please elaborate?


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 1:26PM
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claire de luna...

you have exceptional taste. your bathroom ties together like a high end designer. you have done a fabulous job. i love the different contrasts, tiles and accents. the white tile pops the darker tiles, when vitage bathrooms can be so monochromatic that you dont see some of the real features since it all blends into itself. i just think this is the best bathroom ive seen so far, on the forum, and on most of the bath sites ive visited. very beautiful.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 1:34PM
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Thanks compumom and maura! Maura, here's the link to my debacle with Rejuvenation. As it was, my carpenter built-in the cabinet between the medicine cabinets so it can be easily done. I think there may be other sources on the link as well. We also bought no-trim cabinets, so he added all the trim.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rejuvenation quality control issues

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 1:35PM
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Lynn, Thank you so very much! (I feel a little warm at the's very cold here so I appreciate it!) I'm very flattered; you all are making my day.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 1:40PM
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I love everything, but especially that floor! Wow!

I've been agonizing over going all white so that it will always go with everything and not get outdated but really wanting some creams and beiges to warm it up. After seeing yours I know I have to include the warm tones.

Thanks so much for posting.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 2:29PM
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Oh my. That is one magnificent room! You have tremendous taste and discipline. We also selected Kohler Bancroft hardware for the remodel of our very small and simple FBR, although the handles on ours are side-to-side. It's a beautiful style for a vintage room.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 2:35PM
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It's lovely Claire. I find it very unique and inspired. It seems like only yesterday you were asking for inspiration photos, remember?


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 3:52PM
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You know, it's funny--last night I was just thinking to myself "I wonder when claire will post her finished pics"...and here they are :)

It looks like it's always been there. Beautiful in its own unique way.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 6:09PM
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Looks great. Dig the Munman print. :-) It's funny that you describe it as utilitarian and not opulent but to my eye it's actually quite fancy! I think it's the travertine deco that kicks it over the top.

Oh, and I covet the Lewellen art tile. Love those things. Hate the price.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 7:56AM
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Oh it is so gorgeous. Now I don't know if I were you if I'd spend more time in my kitchen or my bathroom... :-)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 9:23AM
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Thank You Everyone! Budge, I had the same thoughts in the beginning, and I'm glad that posting the pictures helped. My goal was a light, bright, bathroom although I knew I needed a little bit of color. (I like the floor too!)

Sable, I appreciate that! Did you post any pictures? I'd love to see the Kohler fixtures in your home.

Ivette, I wish it seemed like yesterday to me. (I feel like I've slept since then, and not in my bedroom, which I hope to get back in the near future.) I do remember discussing cream and white bathrooms, which I tried for but ending up having to add a little color. Thanks.

Flyleft, I almost didn't post any pictures...I'm glad it looks like it's been around a while instead of like brand new construction. Otherwise, my ''vintage inspired bathroom'' wouldn't look quite right.

Mari, in my own way of form following function, I was thinking it's not opulent in the way of bathrooms today. It's missing a tub, a steam shower, storage and lots of other things that seem to be more common to bathrooms these days. It feels a little fancy to me too, especially the luxury of two sinks! A good friend of mine told me it reminded her a little of an old fashioned doctor's office which (after thinking about it) I can understand, and a coastal bathroom.

Trudymom, Thanks so much. I feel great about getting to go back and forth...this afternoon I'm making pizza in the kitchen, and will probably have to visit the bathroom to clean the flour off myself!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 11:39AM
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I LOVE LOVE LOVE your bathroom! I want your shower seat.... I've never seen a nicer seat! I've been to Urban Archaeology site and can't find the hardware. What am I doing wrong? Can you help me? I've looked in every category and they don't have a search button (how annoying!).


    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 12:11PM
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Sally, Thanks! Check Bathroom,'s on page 6 I think. They show it with a marble seat. I couldn't justify the cost of their marble so my tile guy used some epoxy to bond two tiles together and I got my matching seat. Let me know if you found it!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 1:29PM
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The price of that seat is horrific, and that's just the hardware without the top. We worked it out by cutting the budget in some areas to make the things we wanted work.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 1:33PM
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claire - it's really beautiful! I wouldn't call it utilitarian at all. You've achieved a fabulous mix of materials. Definitely worth a magazine layout.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 11:16PM
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I agree with Liz - it should be in a magazine. You have done an amazing job!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 10:32AM
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Your bathroom is fabulous. Your Rejuvenation cabinets do look gorgeous in the end, it is awful how much trouble you had with them. I love how you placed the cabinet latch lower than center - mine is too high, cannot be changed now, but it is more practical where you have yours. I love the swing-arm sconce above the toilet, it ties in beautifully with the Arts and Crafts wallpaper frieze.

I love your whole Arts and Crafts look and the planter goes beautifully with the theme. What is the main floor covering? It looks like you have a nice border around the main floor.

Enjoy your beautiful bathroom!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 11:39AM
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Liz and Houseful, Thank You! Houseful has been around since I started agonizing about all of this and I'm grateful to be almost done. I appreciate everyone's kind words.

Tina, I'm glad we could make the Rejuvenation debacle finally fade away. (The finish carpenter made a big difference.) I found myself at the local craft store one day and had some foam core poster board cut to the size of the mirrors so we could back them and be done with it. It was straight anyway! It's working out well so far. The main floor tile is the Sandblasted, Honey Mustard terrazzo tile from Santa Regina. It's lighter than it is when it gets wet, which is nice because you instantly know if the floor is wet because of the color change. I'm loving it so far. It may sound silly but I also love the swing arm reading lamp. Sometimes you just need to see right in front of you.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 1:51PM
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C de L, I don't know if you got my personal email about your beautiful bathroom, so I'll post here too. It's so very relaxing, tranquil and clean (clean as in simple lines and not "fussy". LOL, no matter how hard I try to keep my bathroom renovation "clean", it'll be "fussy" :o And guess what? My subtle approach to get David used to the idea of a letting me buy a Washlet...WORKED Altho, he's "sure" there is a less spendy brand that works just as well. Wonderful job on your bathroom C de L. And I think I have you to thank for this remodel we're fixing to start. It encouraged me to start up negotiation talks again and he agreed!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 4:13PM
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Monica, Congratulations! (and Thank You; I like relaxing, tranquil and clean! Now to just see if I can keep it clean.)

Now tell me please, about your subtle approach so I might see how it works for me...What did you do, and how was it subtle?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 5:54PM
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It's subtle enough that it just stops short of him believing it was his idea...I haven't mastered that technique yet In little short blips here and there concerning the remodel, I mentioned that a *friend* who is also concerned and planning for her golden years, found a product by Toto that combines a bidet and toilet. Then drop it. Then plop it in another conversation, with a little more information and how useful/helpful it would be. So on and so on. Never approached him with the subject. Before I knew it, he was telling me to check into other less costly brands (I still hadn't said "I'm getting one" and last night he said "well you'll be ordering that little jewel by yourself. I won't be in the store with you" Piece of cake! We have a large ceramic cowboy boot in the den. I throw his change in it each evening.
In 9 months I cashed in $212...that was just some more spending money for my best friend's and mine trip to the Grand Canyon last month :) Now it's a "Tapmaster" savings acct :) The way I broke that to him was "since we won't be going on a cruise this year due to the expense of the remodeling, I'm designating the boot money for a Tapmaster for the bathroom". The seed has been planted
Monica (who loves her dear hubby very much)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 7:11PM
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Oh, I love seed money! You never know what it will grow into. With age comes wisdom.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 7:18PM
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Such a beautiful bathroom. Did you match the grout to your field tile color or did you use white grout? Also, is matte finish better looking than gloss? I noticed both you and Johnmari used matte.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 9:04PM
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Thank you mariainny. It wasn't white grout, but closer to the tile color. We started with a much darker grout and that was all I could see, so going lighter was the right decision for me.

Is matte finish better looking than gloss? That's entirely up to you. Johnmari and I both were striving for an Arts and Crafts style, and matte finishes are more appropriate for that.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 12:27PM
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I also used the matte finish because it showed water spots less than glossy - I got sample tiles from Daltile, splashed water on them, and allowed it to dry. Actually, that was more the main reason, the aesthetics came second to practicality for our household.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 12:36PM
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Mari makes a very good point. That's something I already knew, except how to articulate it! Which was also precisely the reason I picked a honed finish for my kitchen countertops.

One more thing; there's No Way I want to see my own reflection...least of all in the tile in the thanks! I prefer a calm environment, which includes reducing stress...not adding to it!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 1:00PM
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claire de luna, I love, love, love what you did with your medicine cabinets. I would like to show them to my GC. Is there anyway I can print a copy? Thanks.

p.s. Great Bathroom !

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Thank you! Can you print by using the File, Print function on your computer? You know, I just showed the carpenter a sketch and he ''got it'' immediately. If you find you can't print, do a simple drawing, and I'll bet your GC can figure it's really simple.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Was able to print - thanks

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 2:47PM
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Claire- your bathroom looks gorgeous! especially the beautiful tile and mirrors-looks klike it's very light reflecting! Thanks for posting those pics!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 11:48AM
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Jannie, Thank You! It's still nice to hear a positive comment; I appreciate it. I'm still loving the bathroom and wouldn't change a thing...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 12:05PM
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Wow! So sorry I missed this the first time around -- What a fabulous design! Elegant, yet understated. Simple, yet detailed and subtle. Truly a masterpiece!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 5:34PM
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Sweeby! Hi! Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 7:57PM
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Clair de Luna,

I just saw this, and I love your bathroom. So classic and beautiful. I'm doing my master bath (12'x5.5' but it tapers at one end to a 3x3 shower). I started tiling, but let the tile guy go (long story won't bore you), and need to tear out what he did and start over. Sometimes fate happens. If my disaster hadn't happened, I wouldn't have seen your masterpiece.

My questions:

1. How large is your shower? Since I'm reinventing the plan, I'd just love to have a curbless shower and run heat all the way in. I'm wondering if 3x3 is too small for curbless. Or maybe curbless with a frameless door down to the floor. Thoughts?

2. Did you get the subway through a designer? Do you know the price. At this point, price is not really an object...just curious. I found the Westminster Ceramics web site, but it sells only through distributors, which I'm sure I can hunt up (I'm in a suburb of San Francisco).

I know this thread is very old, but I saw that you answered a followup on Sept 9, so I'm hoping you see this. Karen

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 4:14PM
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Karen, Thank you! I'm flattered to think that seeing my bathroom was a result of ''fate'' from a disaster! Now for your questions...I don't really know if 3x3 is too small for a curbless shower or not. I wouldn't really think so, as I've seen numerous examples here. As long as the floor runs towards the drain, the most important thing would be to make the walls around it wet proof. My shower (with open doorway) is the size of a normal 5 foot tub, given the curve in the shower wall is a bit wider at that point. (I'm sorry I don't have measurements, and a big project right now is keeping me tied to my garage.) If you google curbless showers under Images, you'll probably find lots of pictures. Bill (our resident tile expert) actually did not recommend running the heat into the shower. My tile guy said one company (Sun Touch) would warranty the product, but you need to make certain your installer knows exactly what he's doing.

Yes, I had to get my tiles through a tile distributor. My tile guy got the tiles at his cost, which helped a lot. It's been a while since the bathroom has been completed and I don't remember the costs. (Everything being relative, I'm certain I just blocked it out of my mind!) Good luck with your project, and don't forget to come back with pictures when it's done.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 5:17PM
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Claire, Bump?

I ran across your thread while searching for something else, but so glad I did. It seems I always need answers "Right Now," and I regret that, but unfortunately, the questions pop up "Right Now!".

I could not even take a moment to read through all the comments, but instead skipped ahead to ask my question. So if it's already been asked, please forgive.

I am struggling with whether to go curb or curbless in my shower. You mentioned that the curbless shower is one of your pleasures ... why so? Additionally the location of my drain is off-center, which complicates my situation, as well as the fact that we have a slab, and a depression was not built for the shower, when the slab was poured. To go 'curbless' would involve some digging out of concrete and other preslope issues that make me weary before we begin.

I have a contractor, but so much of this is new to them. I am trying to become as knowledgeable as possible. Mongo has advised me until I am blue in the face, (and so is he) and I can't decide whether to just 'stick a curb in there,' get a quick preslope and move on. It seems like a lot of effort for me to attain 'curbless,' given my pre-existing conditions, and I wondered if the end result is worth the extra headache. I've been struggling with this decision, off and on, for weeks, now. So, your two cents on the value of curbless? No one in the household is a wheelchair person; it is a future thought, and I think curbless showers are very contemporary in feeling.

Also, my biggest question to you is that (from the photos) your Kerdi drain seems to be 'off-center,' as well (towards the back end of the shower- or is that just an optical illusion?). If yours is off-center, was it difficult to properly slope your mudbed so that the drain is 2" below the floor level (the requirement for a curbless shower)? I wish that you had posted more photographs of the "doorless, curbless entrance." :)

Thanks is advance for any advice, from anyone.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 12:24PM
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Mommielady, I'm in Love with the curbless shower, even a year later! Not only does it have the appearance of making the room seem more open, with no curb to step (or trip) over on the way in/out, it's easy access. My Dad had problems with his hips in his old age, my mom has problems with her knees, and I have at times been physically handicapped enough to know that a shower you can simply walk into is much easier than one you step into. With aging and genetics being what they are, I was going to make it as easy on myself as I could. (If I'm ripping out the rest of the bathroom, well then why not?) Also, water does sometimes go beyond the opening, and a curb would make it seem more of a problem than if I expected it to stay within certain boundaries, especially since there's no door on the shower. I don't plan on being in a wheelchair, but I know how easy my shower is to access for anyone (even to bathe the dog). I would do it again in a HEARTBEAT.

Is the end result of going curbless worth the headache of removing pre-existing concrete? It was for me, absolutely. If your contractor doesn't have experience with this however, I would find someone who does. Removing the concrete seems less problematic to me than getting the right slope on your mudbed so the drain will handle the water in the shower. You absolutely need someone with experience at this, so pick your tile guy carefully.

Yes, the drain is off-center. Being centered, especially with two straight and a bowed wall didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters is the slope of the floor which allows the water to drain. The only way to get that is to build it from scratch. No, it wasn't hard for my tile guy to get the slope, although he had experience. They did have to tear out to the sub-floor so there'd be enough room to run the heated floor into the shower. I particularly love this because it dries the shower floor and I've never had an issue or mold or mildew. Again, setting a heated floor mat into your mud bed can be tricky so you really want someone who is experienced and will assume some liability with the company who manufactures the floor mat (I used Sun Touch). That way if there are problems, you have someone who knows where the problems can arise, and which path to take.

What I saved on keeping the shower doorless (by not purchasing a frame-less glass door) allowed me to use the savings on the heated floor.

I'm sorry, I couldn't back up enough in my small bathroom to get a picture of the entrance with my camera! It's very small, which is why I love so much having the feeling of even a little more open space.

I hope this helps you.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Of course, your input is extremely helpful, it's just that I have been so wish-washy on this issue, that your apparent pleasure in your decision only heightens my dilemma. I really would love to have it curbless, I think that the crux of my problem is my uncomfortability with my impression of the skill level (experience) of my contractor in dealing with my particular situation. And I can't really pick a new Tile Guy because tiling the shower was included in the total of the original contract. How would I find such a person anyway. Place an ad in the paper saying, "Need Tile Guy to Complete Wierd Shower! Prefer Challenging Experienced Wierdo!" LOL

Of course, if Mongo or Bill were doing it, or someone like them, It would be 'no worries.' At this point, I feel compelled to understand every facet of the task; and to know if we dig too deeply, what are the ramifications of weakening the slab? Does my statement above infer that Mongo and Bill are challenging and wierd?

What makes it scary to me is opting for something that I find beautiful and pleasing, that may cause me problems down the road. I'm glad to learn that centering the drain was not a 'big issue.' My shower space is also rather odd-shaped. To move the drain more toward the center would involve digging down THROUGH the slab to soil, repositioning the P-trap and drain line, and refilling the slab with concrete.

When Mongo sent this possible procedure to me in an email, I all but fainted. :) I have at least decided NOT to move the drain, and to have a somewhat unorthodox (angular) preslope. But it's MY shower, I'm the only one that's going to know that the floor has a weird preslope. I'm sure of this ... I think. :)

As I have done all along the way with this remodel, that I have dubbed "Mommielady's Folly," when I get to a hopelessly baffling decision, I simply offer up the Remodeler's Prayer! (In case you don't recognize it [unlike The Lord's Prayer], I made it up changes every day; tile, fixtures. lighting, etc.) :) Like the old song says, "Somebody Up There's Watching Over Me" and it's a good thing, because I sure can't figure things out down here!! :)

Your bathroom is fresh and lovely. Thanks for all your help.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 5:54AM
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