accessories, budget decorating, budget design, color, DIY, furniture, home office, inspiration, kitchen, living room

The Finds / Znaleziska

I can’t believe how many great products and designs I’ve seen on my last trip to Poland. The interior design market is changing there rapidly, and there aren’t that many new trends that you can’t find there now; even better – most of them are available at high street retailers, making great design available for many!

But before we go into the New, first let us talk about the Old. First, a find stil bought in the UK, but which I envisage to place in the yellow bedroom I was describing some time ago. For now to keep you in suspense – still in packaging, you will see the final effect when all is ready! This vintage glamour / shabby chic mirror frame cost peanuts and is absolutely amazing; I found it on iBootSale and picked up the next day. As it turned out, it was too big even for my mutant-huge suitcase, so had to ship with DHL. But it was worth it, the new owners are thrilled to have it!

Vintage glamour / shabby chic ornamental mirror frame
Vintage glamour / shabby chic ornamental mirror frame

As we’re with vintage, when we visited my in-laws, I was in heaven. Here are some more finds. First, the sideboards, etc that my husband’s grandfather hand made some years ago (he was even taking carpenter order for those for local people, and funnily enough I saw a very similar one in some other garage when cycling through the village):

I’m planning to sand it, paint in a delicate pastel colour, add a few embellishments and generally keep it shabby chic / country. Whether for me or someone else – I don’t know yet!

Handmade vintage sideboard by my husband's grandfather
Handmade vintage sideboard by my husband's grandfather

This is another beauty, with more bite to it and gorgeous handles… there is also a sideboard top in another shed but in much worse condition – still there is a chance 🙂

Handmade vintage sideboard by my husband's grandfather
Handmade vintage sideboard by my husband's grandfather

Loads of those around as well… I’ve seen some very nice decors of country kitchens with stove door as a decoration on the wall:

Vintage stove door
Vintage stove door

…and finally our finds from a nearby house that is being refurbished – a vintage double shelf and an old radio which I am thinking about converting into a night stand. They were just being thrown away so hopefully they will get a second chance 🙂

Vintage find - old double shelf
Vintage find - old double shelf
Vintage find - old radio frame
Vintage find - old radio frame

And now last truly vintage items. Not obviously planning to do that, and with ideas ranging from ghost chairs to mismatched vintage, we bought 8 chairs 🙂 When we first got into this antique shop, we just came in to browse, and then we came across the two beauties:

…the raspberry-peach louis-style chairs,  eight

Raspberry Louis style glamour chair
Raspberry Louis style glamour chair

…and the black and golden stylized chairs (19th c. Art Noveau style),  six

Black and golden 19th/20th century style chairs
Black and golden 19th century Art Noveau style chairs

I couldn’t decide which ones are better. The raspberry ones worked well with my idea, and I even considered such chairs (with different upholstery); they are also much easier to fit with many styles; glamour, eclectic, shabby chic, etc. The black ones, though, were absolutely original and different to what you normally find, but would not suit our space as they would really require it to be much more upscale than we planned for.

But we couldn’t decide, as both sets were gorgeous. We also had to think through whether they really will work well, how much they will influence other design elements in the house, even what are we going to do with this number of chairs 🙂 At some point we wanted to get both sets, as the black ones were dirt cheap. Having slept over the night dreaming about them, we took a decision – we go again and we buy one set that will work best.

Raspberry Louis style glamour chair
Raspberry Louis style glamour chair

At closer inspection, it turned out that the black chairs were very uncomfortable – what looked as well-formed foam was in fact a nicely shaped plank, or some other piece of wood, and the seats were darn hard. Also, the paint was peeling off at the teeniest touch, and someone actually painted (probably with  spray) over part of the fabric at the back. There were a few other elements we didn’t like either.

Generally unhappy about the quality, we turned to the raspberry set. Gosh, that was comfortable 🙂 Very soft, stable, and sturdy in construction; after being told the shop can pressure-clean them, and having got a super-discount, decision was taken and they are OURS! Of course they need re-upholstering and a new coat of finish (and maybe crystal buttons?), but after cleaning they can even serve as they are for the time-being (meaning: when they are in the shed waiting until we move back to Poland, but no one knows when!).

Raspberry Louis style glamour chair
Raspberry Louis style glamour chair

Their versatility will allow me also to use one for a work desk, and another two can work very well with some retro or modern couch.

My mother-in-law even suggested some fabrics for upholstery from her own collection:

Golden and cream upholstery for the chairs
Golden and cream upholstery for the chairs

OK! Enough of vintage, I will show you what I found in shops next time 🙂

—————–

Az mi trudno uwierzyc ile przepieknych i oryginalnych produktow i projektow znalazlam w czasie mojego ostatniego pobytu w polsce. Rynek wnetrzarski i projektowania wnetrz naprawde jest teraz ciekawy, i niewiele zostalo jeszcze designow ktorych w Polsce nie mozna teraz znalezc. Co lepsze  – dostepne sa w zwyklych sklepach,  nie u drogich importerow, dzieki czemu dostep do nich ma w koncu wiele osob.

Ale zanim o nowosciach, troche o starociach.  Najpierw przepiekna stara rama, na skrzyzowaniu glamour i shabby chic, ktora planuje powiesic w zoltej sypialni o ktorej kiedys pisalam. Znalazlam ja za grosze na iBootSale i odebralam nastepnego dnia. Niestety okazala sie za duza nawet na moja gigantycznie zmutowana walize, wiec poleciala do Polski DHLem. Ale bylo warto – rama bardzo spodobala sie nowym wlascicielom!

Juz w Polsce najpierw odwiedzilismy tesciow. Moja radocha nie miala konca gdy zajrzalam do stodoly, obory, i innych skrytek. Znalazlam na przyklad dwa przepiekne kredensy / komody zrobione wlasnorecznie przez dziadka mojego meza (robil je tak dobrze ze nawet przyjmowal zamowienia od okolicznych mieszkancow, i faktycznie – rowerujac sobie przez wioske znalazlam w innym garazu bardzo podobny kredens!).

Z kremowa lub pastelowa farba i krysztalowymi galkami beda przepiekne 🙂 (choc ta mniejsza komoda sama z siebie ma piekne raczki wiec moze zostana). Jeszcze nie wiem czy znajda miejsce u mnie (w koncu 59m2 ma swoj limit!) czy jednak u kogos innego…

Mnostwo jest takze drzwiczek od starych piecow kaflowych, ktore pieknie moznaby wkomponowac w kuchnie wiejska.

…a na spacerze kilka domow dalej trwal remont, gdzie wsrod wyrzuconych smieci znalazlam piekna podwojna polke i rame starego radia (ktora byc moze stanie sie stolikiem nocnym). Cuda nad cudami 🙂

No i w koncu – ‘niechcacy’ kupilismy krzesla 🙂 no nie moglismy sie oprzec. Zastanawialismy sie nad dwoma zestawami – malinowo- brzoskwiniowymi Ludwikami, oraz czarno-zlotymi z przelomu XIX/XX wieku, w stylu secesyjnym. Przyznaje ze bardziej za serce w pierwszym momencie chwycily secesyjne, choc od razu wywietrzylam problem. Te krzesla mocno narzucaja swoj styl, ktory jest duzo bardziej elegancki niz planowalismy. Z kolei ludwiki jak to ludwiki – pasuja do wielu wnetrz (eklektyczne, glamour, shabby chic, i inne), wygladaja dobrze nawet z nowoczesnymi (szklo, plastik itd)…

…przespalismy sie z problemem, w pewnym momencie nawet uznajac ze moze kupimy oba zestawy. No ale przy drugim obejrzeniu okazalo sie ze jakosciowo te czarne nie sa najlepsze… i mocno niewygodne. Oczywiscie byloby to do zmiany ale juz nas tak nie zachwycaly jak dzien wczesniej. Malinowe (choc siedzenia bardziej w brzoskwinke wpadaja) ludwiczki za to jak najbardziej wygodne, i nawet sprzedawca dorzucil profesjonalne pranie zeby troche ich jeszcze pouzywac tak jak sa. No i je wzielismy 🙂

I tak przyda im sie nowa tapicerka z pelniejszym wypelnieniem, krysztalowe guziczki (moze) i nowy lakier, ale poniewaz na razie i tak stoja w schowku czekajac na lepsze czasy czyli nasz powrot do PL (kiedy? kiedy??…) to moga byc 🙂 Planuje jednego uzyc do biurka, i sa odpowiednio ozdobne by pasowac tez przy retro czy nowoczesnej kanapie. Kochana tesciowka odlozyla juz nawet material ktorego moglabym uzyc na obicie i inne dodatki, ale to juz zalezne bedzie od ostatecznej koncepcji. Juz sie nie moge doczekac!


No! To tyle tego vintage. W nastepnym poscie przechodzimy do nowosci jakie znalazlam 🙂

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bedroom, color, inspiration, my projects

Pink bedroom – part 3 / Rozowa sypialnia – czesc 3

I have read the comments to the first draft of the room – thanks a lot! Before I move on to implementing the comments, let me share with you a few other visualizations which due to some glitch were rendered only today. This means they were still created before feedback so bear with that.

  • This version – with light grey glamour wallpaper – is even more muted than the previous one. Alex suggested she really wants to avoid a dark room, so this one is probably even lighter.
Light grey pink bedroom 1
Light grey pink bedroom 1
  • This is how the other side of the room could look:
Light grey purple bedroom 2
Light grey purple bedroom 2
  • Finally, this is a more chic version – tribute to Audrey Hepburn whom Alex loves and already has some accessories with her image! This time I am not shying away from pink or violet – on the contrary, they are enhanced by bold wallpaper and striking Audrey rug – but because of various textures, they still work well together and say – I know what I’m doing  – I wanted it so pink!
Audrey Hepburn glamour bedroom
Audrey Hepburn glamour bedroom

The next version will:

  • have darker floor (as I was just advised)
  • possibly have different color accents
  • have an armchair as Alex is pretty convinced this is what she wants.

——–

Dziekuje za komentarze na temat pierwszej wersji sypialni Oli. Zanim jednak zajme sie nowymi wersjami, podziele sie z Wami jeszcze dwoma propozycjami ktore powstaly w tym samym momencie co ta pierwsza jednak z powodu jakiegos bledu technicznego zostaly zrenderowane dopiero teraz.

Poniewaz sa to wersje z ‘wtedy’, nie odpowiadaja jeszcze na komentarze. Jedna z nich jest jeszcze jasniejsza niz ta pierwsza (Ola bardzo nie chce ciemnej sypialni wiec byc moze ten jasny szary bedzie lepszy niz wersja z Fornasettim), gdzie wzor tapety i dywan nawiazuja do siebie w stylu glamour.

Druga wersja jest intensywniejsza kolorystycznie niz kazda z poprzednich i nie ucieka od rozu i fioletu – wrecz przeciwnie, powtarza je, ale dzieki zastosowaniu roznych faktur wszystko sie ze soba zgrywa. Ta sypialnia to trybut dla Audrey Hepburn ktora Ola uwielbia i ma juz z jej podobizna kilka dodatkow!

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bedroom, my projects

First draft of the pink bedroom / Pierwsza probka rozowej sypialni

Three posts ago I let you know that I am about to design a bedroom for a 20-year old, with one constant: pink walls with purple accent. I know also what pieces of furniture Alex has and needs to keep and what else she’d like to see.

Important note: This is an attic room. This software does not support slanted walls, though, therefore I only had to assume it in my calculations… the slanted wall is the one on the left of the rendering (where the bed is), not shown. Try to imagine that if it did show, it would finish around 10-20cm from the window.This is why I have not put any wardrobe etc there – as there simply is no space 🙂

Here is the first sample of what I am thinking of:

Alexs bedroom with Fornasetti wallpaper
Alex's bedroom with Fornasetti wallpaper

In this version, I tried to downplay the pinky aspect of the room by glueing the Fornasetti – themed wallpaper on the wall opposite entrance to the room. This way the first impression is of a striking design, and the pink is very much in the background. Since the wallpaper has such muting tremendous effect, I allowed myself to bring pink out again with a few accessories.

I have chosen white as the classic color that goes well with pink; this, paired with crystal wardrobe knobs and stylized chaise strenghtens the room’s femininity.

Here are the potentially contentious items:

  • white furniture; the set at hand is light wood, so either needs repaining (recommended) or can stay as is, but this will downplay the room from the delicate glamour to a more contemporary look. Handles ideally would be changed to crystal in this version too.
  • chaise longue; more expensive than an armchair and also blocks direct access to the window. However, it complements the look beautifully and gives it a relaxed and luxury feel. Will try to use an armchair in the next one, though.

All comments welcome.

———

Trzy posty temu napisalam ze zaczynam wlasnie prace nad projektem sypialni 20-latki. Pokoj ma rozowe sciany z fioletowym akcentem pod skosem. Wiem juz tez jakie meble sa dostepne, i co ma sie w pokoju znalezc.

Uwaga: jest to pokoj na poddaszu, ale niestety program ktorego teraz uzywam, MyDeco, nie pozwala na skosy. W efekcie musialam ten skos widziec po prostu w glowie, ale juz mowie – skosna powinna byc sciana po ‘lewej’ ktorej nie widac na zdjeciu (ta przy ktorej stoi lozko). Gdyby ta sciana tam byla, skos konczylby sie 10-20cm przy oknie, czyli nie da tam sie nic wysokiego postac (w razie gdybyscie sie zastanawiali).

U gory znajduje sie pierwsza probka. W tej wersji staralam sie zminimalizowac wplyw rozu na pokoj, przykrywajac sciane tuz naprzeciw wejscia wzorzysta szara tapeta z wzorem Fornasetti – dzieki temu, ta sciana przyciaga wzrok tuz od wejscia, odsuwajac roz na drugi plan. Tapeta ta jest w tym zadaniu tak efektywna, ze pozwolilam sobie znow wyciagnac rozowy na wierzch dzieki akcentom, jak poduszki.

Pokoj dopelniony jest bialym; dzieki temu, a takze krysztalowym galkom w szafie i stylizowanym szezlongu, pokoj pozostaje bardzo kobiecy.

A teraz punkty potencjalnie sporne:

  • biale meble – w tej chwili meble Oli sa jasno drewniane. Proponuje przemalowanie ich na bialo dla uzyskania odpowiedniego efektu, jednak moga pozostac tez takie jakie sa – wtedy niestety stracimy troche ‘glamour’ na rzecz prostszego wnetrza. Krysztalowe galki dalej na liscie zakupow!
  • szezlong – wady: drozszy oraz troszke blokuje dostep do okna. Jednakze jest tak stylowy i wygodny i dopasowany do ogolnego wystroju, wprowadzajac element luksusu, ze naprawde szkoda byloby z niego rezygnowac. Jednak uzyje takze foteli do innych probek.

Komentarze wszelkiego rodzaju mile widziane.


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accessories, budget decorating, DIY, home office, inspiration, presentations, room of the day

Room of the Day / Pokoj dnia

Ish and Chis super-sweet studio
Ish and Chi's super-sweet studio

How pretty is that! Viv has completely remodeled her studio by converting an unused space in her house into this gorgeous haven of creativity! I live the DIY aspect of it which not only saved the budget, but also immensely personalized the space. Check out the gorgeous butterfly mobile, Eames style chair, painted wardrobe and this antique sideboard on the right! Not to mention the pretty designs over the desk (Viv’s own, and you can buy them in her Etsy shop here).

——

Co za piekne studio! Viv przemienila niewykorzystane miejsce w jej domu w przepiekne, kobiece studio w ktorym tworzy swoje male dziela. ‘Zrob to sama’ to jej motto i dzieki temu przestrzen zostala upiekszona nie tylko tanie, ale i bardzo wyjatkowo. Zwroccie uwage na piekna ozdobe z motyli, krzeslo stylizowane na Eames, pomalowana szafe i zabytkowy bufet. No i oczywiscie obrazki nad biurkiem, ktore sa dzielem Viv i ktore mozna kupic tu.

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articles, DIY, furniture, inspiration

Design on a budget

I’ve decided to update my blog tagline (see above) to include part of my motto –

…how to get the designer look on a budget?



(And be quiet, language purists – of course there is always a budget but I mean the common meaning of this phrase!)

Really, I don’t think it’s difficult to create a great space with lots of money (though, surprisingly, I’ve seen LOTS of expensively made, but terribly designed / decorated spaces). To be honest, the tendency to go for the expensive is very irresistible. Why?

Well, it’s really not about squeezing money out of clients. It’s just that we love good design. And good design is, predominantly, very costly. I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone – after all, to create an outstandigly beautiful and high-quality piece of furniture, for example, has to be costly. In time, ideas, effort, resources (including human of course), machinery and materials. Then – advertising or getting it to the market, etc…

But – one is also paying for the brand, and again rightly so, as those brands ‘high up there’ deserve to be special and exclusive for their role in opening new design horizons for us all. However, if one is willing to search and research, and wait a bit longer, and try out things, and visit auctions and sales, and customize, etc, etc… one can really create an amazing space mimicking pretty well the unattainable designer classics. So what can you do?

1) Buy vintage, customized or knock-off versions.

Sounds simple, well, it is and is not. You will have to invest a lot of time in investigating all options, checking out all the outlets, eBay, online boutiques of hand-made items, local auctions, blogs like this, designers’ stores and online shops, discounts and sales at the shops you love (and they are now everywhere, does anyone buy full-price anymore?), charity shops, car-boot sales, and the local suppliers down the road who are happy to create something for you for fraction of the original’s price.

So, time is the main investment. But this option is certainly most cost-efficient. Apart from those ‘real’ designer classic in vintage, which are sometimes more expensive than new (unless someone doesn’t realize their value and yes, it happens a lot).

And it’s fun, too, especially when you find some gorgeous stuff! You don’t have to be skilled, you just need loads of time, good eye, and good luck. 🙂

2) Customize yourself.

This is the most rewarding way, the real crowning of your achievement. But that requires ingenuity, and is certainly not ‘cheap’ in terms of time and effort. It requires skill. And patience. And good eye. And a bit of experience. So – you just have to ask yourself: what is more important to me? Am I willing to save time and spend money for the great stuff? Or am I able to spend time to research and get inspired and build and create?

Both options are rewarding in different ways. And I don’t think I’ll make a call on which one is better – I love them both. And you can also mix’n’match; buy this sleek Eames chair lookalike, but save on very simple coffee table which you can get at your local supplier and which will look just as good as any (let’s hope). Allow yourself for this gorgeous designer wallpaper, but use it sparingly – on one wall only, or buy just one roll and customise an old cupboard with it.

Bear in mind though… the ‘budget’ version does not always mean dirt cheap. Sometimes you will have to invest in high-quality golden paint, or in gorgeous crystal cupboard handles (and you will notice that accessories are often more expensive than the base item you wanted to customize). In fact, in many cases, you would have been able to buy a pretty high-street item for less than all the materials you need for customizing, and for zero effort.

BUT. Whatever you create will still be cheaper than the classics. More importantly, whatever you make yourself, is absolutely unique. Not only will it look outstanding and special, but will also reflect your personality and taste, and make your house a home.

…so where does the interior designer come into this ‘budget’ game?

Well, you may want to consider their services on two levels:

  • Idea. If you do not feel you are up to creating the layout, the style, the idea for the place – this is the first problem designers can help you with. Depending on your budget and plans, this can be anything from online help (you send photos / floor plans, designer sends back his version), through to one-off consultation at home, then creating the mood board (which will gather your colour / style / furniture ideas and give you a feel for the proposed space), up to the visualisation stage, furniture and accessories suggestions, etc.
  • Implementation. If after that you still are unsure you can find those unique items, or really you’re not up to customizing or simly can’t spend time rummaging through second-hand shops and going to auctions, the decorator can act as your buying agent and source everything that is required for your unique place. Even more so, depending on the extent of their services, they can customize objects for you. Perhaps they sell their furniture and accessories already?

And if you go for the interior design services, remember: ALWAYS be open and frank. You remember the previous article? “The more your tastes are communicated, the happier the outcome.  Also, have a specific budget in mind.  Honesty is always the best policy.” Say that you want customised. Or say that you want know-off. Say that you’re not afraid of vintage. Say that you hate the standard. Or that you love The standard, you just can’t afford it. And so on, and so forth…

…so, good luck with designing on a budget, whatever it is :).

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accessories, art in interiors, bedroom, DIY, furniture, hall, inspiration, living room

DIY IKEA, or how to make the standard – unique

I can’t believe what some people are able to do with some of IKEA classics. If you’re up to it, try this out; some of the projects aren’t that difficult (more time-consuming and nerve-racking) but SO amazing! All of them have been found on the IKEA hacker blog.

  • Malma mirrors made into wall art

From this:

IKEA Malma mirror
IKEA Malma mirror

To this:

Malma mirrors made into wall art
Malma mirrors made into wall art
  • (Broken) Emmabo rocking chair into stylish deck lounge chair

From this:

(Broken) IKEA Emmabo chair
(Broken) IKEA Emmabo chair

To this:

Stylish Emmabo deck chairs
Stylish Emmabo deck chairs
  • Now this is really simple but so stylish! Lack / Vika Fintorp chic entry way / hall table

From this:

IKEA Lack wall shelf
IKEA Lack wall shelf

To this:

Chic and sexy entry way table
Chic and sexy entry way table
  • How ’bout this really simple but prettily customized set of Malm tables aka TV bench?

From this:

IKEA malm bedside table
IKEA malm bedside table

To this:

Malm twin TV bench with grass :)
Malm twin TV bench with grass 🙂
  • And one for the arty types out there: A heavenly wall art / tree mural done with scrappings of IKEA fabrics:

From this:

IKEA fabric scrappings
IKEA fabric scrappings

To this:

Tree mural made from IKEA fabrics
Tree mural made from IKEA fabrics
  • Finally, the best in my opinion: Retro FIRA jewelry cabinet …AND… a shabby chic bedside table

From this:

IKEA Fira mini chest of drawers
IKEA Fira mini chest of drawers

To this…

Fira retro jewelry cabinet
Fira retro jewelry cabinet

To this!! The Absolutely Gorgeous shabby chic bedside or side table is a smashing HIT! Congratulatins on imagination and craftiness!

Shabby chic Fira bedside table
Shabby chic Fira bedside table

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furniture, inspiration

My WishList – part 1 – Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe

Ahhh… if I ruled the world… this is definitely a Number One item I’d want in my flat when I finally come around to properly finishing it (one day!).

Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe
Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe

Created by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition, the Barcelona chair features the pure compositional structure that now epitomizes Modern architecture.

Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe
Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe

This is one fine design masterpiece. Looking deceptively clean and pure, it is hell to make. Especially the frame, made as one piece. This, plus the high-quality, beatifully finished leather, and its place in the creme de la creme of furniture (can you actually call it furniture?…) all make up for the very hefty price tag, starting at around $4.5k for a Knoll piece (the authorized manufacturer).

And interestingly! It seems that a small war is secretly going on around the rights to the design, between the powerful Knoll, and Alphaville Design of Fremont…

Thursday, July 30, 2009 1:16:33 PM

Suit to settle whether Barcelona chair design is protected

Knoll, Alphaville duel over Mies van der Rohe works

Gary Evans — Furniture Today, July 30, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal lawsuit here will determine whether the Barcelona chair and other historic 1920s designs created by renowned designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are in the public domain.

The case involves contract manufacturer Knoll, which claims exclusive trademark rights to the iconic chair, and residential producer Alphaville Design of Fremont, Calif.

The companies have been in a legal battle over the chair since 2007. The court recently cleared the way for a jury trial when it denied motions from both sides to resolve the case short of trial. In the ruling, the court said, “Specifically, the trademark rights will not be valid if the designs have gone into the public domain at any time. …”

“We are delighted at the chance to present our case to a jury,” said Alphaville President David W.F. Lee. “We have no doubt that the designs long ago passed into the public domain. … We feel that historical designs should be accessible to all. If we win, the people win. If we lose, that might be the day when affordable design dies.”

via Legal Cases.

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