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Mountain House Reveal: The Upstairs Guest Bath That Used to Be a Closet (and a Peek Into the Bedroom)


MOUNTAIN HOUSE REVEAL #5. We’re in the home stretch now, having revealed the living room and entry, the downstairs guest bed and bath, the upstairs loft, kids/hall bath and now…

Welcome to the upstairs guest bathroom (with a peek into the bedroom that isn’t quite finished yet). This bathroom is the smallest, but boy do I love it, with only two things that I would have done differently (keep reading). Let’s get into it:

First, to place you in this house, here’s a floorplan of where we are:

Originally, this bathroom didn’t exist at all. It was a massive closet, which we felt would be better used as a bathroom. How lovely is it that each guest has their own bathroom? VERY.

Emily Henderson Lake House Before 51 With Copy

Emily Henderson Lake House Before 52

The Goal of the Room:

Well, it was to create an en-suite bathroom with some luxuries for our guests. Since it’s on the smaller size, I wanted to keep it bright, simple and quiet. You won’t see it in today’s reveal, but for anyone wondering, yes we replaced the closet as I wouldn’t leave a room without one. Because this was always intended to be used for guests, there was no need for such a large walk-in closet, so instead, we built out a smaller more traditional “reach-in” closet on the wall next to the entry door of the room (more on that to come in future posts).

Upstairs Guest 01

If you want all the process and the story behind each decision, read this process post. I REALLY love how it turned out and it’s far more “me” than the sexy black bathroom downstairs (which I also love). Here’s how we went about this redesign.

We Chose the Materials First:

The stone slab tile floor from Bedrosians felt so “mountain” without it being slate (which we used in the master). It’s so warm and yet modern, with an amazing colorway and texture. The countertop is Sky White slab marble from Bedrosians that we had leathered because it was polished (but honed would have been great in here, too).

HOT TIP: If you want more of a “modern rustic” feel, opt for matte surfaces. In general, that’s what we did in this house (including the window frames from Marvin, all flooring/cabinetry and all stone). While I’m NOT opposed to shiny surfaces (I love how they bounce the light around), it just reads as more “glam” and sometimes that’s not what you’re going for stylistically.

Upstairs Guest 07

We complemented the floor stone with this incredibly special handmade tile from Pratt and Larson that we installed in the “double stacked and staggered” pattern (thank you Julie!). It’s a super simple 1×8 matte white, but how we applied it makes me so happy. I’m really proud of this tile because it accomplished exactly what we wanted in this house: simple but special. It has so much movement, reflects the light beautifully but is so quiet. We went for it and did it on the entire vanity wall and shower surround. We even rotated it on the bottom half of the shower to be horizontal, under the wall to wall ledge (which we opted for over a traditional shower niche). I think these kinds of details make this room feel so custom. Will everyone notice these details? NOPE, but as a design team, we are really proud.

Upstairs Guest 03

The faucet suite might be my favorite in the house (and my favorite modern faucet in general). It’s the Purist line from Kohler in their flat black finish (but you can get it in several other different finishes). I love a cross handle and always will. And I know that the wall-mount faucet/under-mount sink combination was something I hadn’t seen that much around so I was nervous that it wouldn’t work, but GUESS WHAT? It’s GREAT. It’s so minimal and feels so modern and fresh.

For the vanity, we chose the Tresham 36-inch because I liked that it gave this room more of a clean country vibe, contrasting the modernity of the rest of the pieces. It warms it up a bit and had a Scandi vibe to me.

Upstairs Guest 04

You might notice that there are no handles in the shower. Before you jump to the conclusion that we made a terrible mistake (ha), let me talk about why. We used the smart line from Kohler that uses a remote prompt to turn them on called a DTV panel. We put one in easy reach in the shower and another outside the shower, which lets you turn the shower on and get to temperature BEFORE you step into it. It’s very impressive to our guests and works great. You can set the exact temp that you like and of course adjust if you need while in the shower. If you’re interested in all the features of the DTV, we outlined them in this process post.

Upstairs Guest 05

The DTV panel requires that you put the electrical components in the bathroom so we used this as an excuse to build a custom cabinet that houses them on the bottom (like 8″ deep and 12″ wide, so not very big).

Upstairs Guest 10

We commissioned Ross Alan to make it (they did all the custom woodwork throughout the home) and Julie executed the design. It’s BEAUTIFUL. We house all our extra backup soaps/paper towels for the whole house here.

Upstairs Guest 12

I love the glass panel breaking up the heaviness of the wood, and the simplicity of the hardware. Great job team!!! Ross Allan obviously did a wonderful job constructing it. The wood seriously warms up this room.

Upstairs Guest 08

No bathroom is complete without a toilet, so here is the other side of the room. We chose Kohler’s simple Corbelle toilet because I think it has a timeless design, with flat sides for easier cleaning. We also used this in the hall bath upstairs and the powder bathroom downstairs. Honestly, “cool” and “toilet” typically are not words that go in the same sentence, but for real, this is a pretty great piece. It’s one of Kohler’s newest toilets and has something called ContinuousClean technology (this fights germs, stains and other yucky stuff) and CleanCoat technology which together actually and visually keeps the toilet cleaner longer. Every time you flush, ContinuousClean dispenses a small, consistent dosage of your toilet bowl cleaner tablet of choice that’s housed in the tank away from kids and pets. Because it’s special and optimized, each tablet can last more than a year (instead of dropping one into your tank and running through them within weeks).

What Would I Change?

Now, I’m not sharing all the things I’d change in every room to seem dissatisfied. I LOVE this house and how things turned out, but there are little things here and there I think would be smart for me to share with you in case you go into your own projects and it could be helpful. Here, we didn’t realize that the mirror hanger (by Moebe) and the light fixture (from Allied Maker) would hit each other, visually.

Upstairs Guest 02

I love both of them so much, but the stem of the light is RIGHT in front. Also, I thought that we ordered the pendant in black, but nope, we went with gold and I wish it were black (FYI, this model is discontinued, but this is a similar one, plus we got it in a custom width and drop which they’re able to do). I might take it down and get it powder-coated, but it definitely doesn’t bother me enough to prioritize it into my life right now. Nor will I likely change out the mirror because I love it, and the hardware is white so literally no one would notice this except us. We put off sourcing the mirror until like two weeks before the shoot because it seemed to be an easy thing to find so we didn’t put it in the SketchUp rendering. Had we done that, we would have caught this.

But LITERALLY no one notices except me.

Upstairs Guest 09

Lastly, the shower enclosure debate.

Upstairs Guest 03

I LOVE this for the following reasons:

  • It goes floor to ceiling. We don’t even have a dam or bridge at the bottom.
  • It’s so simple and modern and reduces the number of lines that your eye sees (both on top and bottom).
  • It’s fully encased in black steel which mimics the window, faucets and just looks so modern and edgy (plus by putting steel on the edge, you don’t see the green of the tempered glass which I don’t like).

Now, I haven’t personally taken a shower in here, but will predict the following issues: it’s likely cold because it’s not fully encased in glass. We knew this, we were amply warned by our contractor and chose to do it anyway because it’s a guest bathroom that wouldn’t be used THAT often and we wanted the look. And no, we didn’t heat the floor in here to save money. But you should know that not having a full enclosure might be cold. We did so much research to find a floor to ceiling glass track solution, but couldn’t. We could have done a door, and honestly, we know that this is something you can add later so we figured we’d do the half wall for now and if our guests complain in the winter, we could customize and add a door.

Additionally, if you are reckless with your hand shower, yes it can get the bathroom floor outside the shower wet. I LOVE how it looks without the bridge, but yes, it can be slightly messier. The flooring slopes down to the linear drain in the middle so if you are a sophisticated showerer, you’ll be fine, but without a full enclosure or a bridge, you have a couple of risks.

But enough about that stuff…I LOVE this bathroom. It’s so quiet and modern, but it really does feel customized and so intentionally designed.

Upstairs Guest 01

On to the bedroom…

Hb Upstairs Guest Bed 01

For the House Beautiful shoot, we ordered this bed from Thos. Moser (my favorite bed ever) in a king, but it wasn’t going to arrive in time so we borrowed the queen.

The problem is that to center the queen bed to the room properly, it would hit the windows super awkwardly so we only shot 1/2 the bed, cheating it over. That’s all to say that the full reveal is coming soon as we just got the king bed and it looks soo good. In fact, as of right now we have both beds in there and it’s going to be the most gorgeous bunk room ever. That sconce by One Forty Three is awesome, that bed is a dream and all the bedding and chair is from Target’s new fall line that’s being released August 25. The window treatments are Hunter Douglas (and on remote, it’s wonderful) through Decorview and that vase is by Sheldon Ceramics.

Stay tuned for the full reveal.

And finally, I’ll end this with some satisfying before and afters.

Upstairs Guest Bath B&a 1

Upstairs Guest Bath B&a 2

Upstairs Guest Bath B&a 3

Bathroom Resources


Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | Vanity Countertop Sky White by Bedrosians Tile & Stone | Flooring in Allure Marble by Bedrosians Tile & Stone | Wall Tile & Surround in Custom 1×8 in PUWM by Pratt & Larson | Grout Color 


Brass Pendant by Allied Maker (similar)

Furniture & Decor:

Reclaimed Beechwood Cabinet by Ross Alan Reclaimed LumberMirror by Moebe | Gray Oil Diffuser by Target | White Vase by West Elm | Towels by Parachute | Ring Cone by Muji | Soap Dish from Urban Outfitters | Wire Baskets from Target | Canisters by CB2 | Unisex Perfume by Target | Body Wash by Native | Pumice Stone | Loofah Pad | Art and Apothecary Jars (vintage)

Fixtures by Kohler:

Vanity | Faucet | Sink | Shower Head | Toilet | P-TrapHandshower | Ceramic Valve | Thermostatic Valve | DTV Prompt Digital Shower Interface


Toilet Paper Holder by Kohler | Towel Ring by Kohler | Towel Bar by Kohler | Robe Hook by Kohler | Vanity and Cabinet Knobs by Schoolhouse | Cabinet Pull by Schoolhouse | Pocket Door Hardware by Rejuvenation | Switches and Outlets in Antique Bronze by Forbes and Lomax | Glass Shower Wall (custom)


Matte Black Fiberglass Ultimate Casement Narrow Window Frame by Marvin

Bedroom Resources


Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | Treemont Stria Carpet in Linen by Stark Carpet


Potence Style Otis Light by One Forty Three

Furniture & Decor:

Bed by Thos. Moser | Side Table by CB2 | Ceramic Bowl by Ben Medansky | Vase by Sheldon Ceramics | Sherpa Chair by Target (coming soon) | Beads (vintage)

Bed Linens:

Duvet Cover by Target | Shams by Target | Sheets by Target | Velvet Quilt by Target (coming soon) | White Lumbar Pillow by Target (coming soon) | Pink Lumbar Pillow by Target (coming soon)

Windows & Doors:

White Oak Ultimate Casement Narrow Window Frame by Marvin | Window Treatments by Hunter Douglas through Decorview

Thanks again to my incredible design team—Julie, Velinda and Grace de Asis. These spaces were styled by me with Emily Bowser and Erik Staalberg. Our contractor was Jeff Malcolm and our architect (that we used at the beginning of the project) was John Lyles.

***Photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Check out the rest of The Mountain House reveals here: The Kitchen The Kitchen Organization | The Kitchen Appliances | The Powder Bath | The Living Room | The Downstairs Guest Suite | The Loft | The Hall Bath | The Kids’ RoomThe Dining Room | The Family Room

Fin Mark


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Love the bath, but agree with you that the sconce in black rather than gold is probably the way to go.


Agreed. Golden is clashing with everything else!


Also agree on light issue. Great opportunity to save money by taking it down and spray painting it yourself! Taking it for powder coating is overkill. I’ve transformed several light fixtures with a $5 can of spray paint, available in gloss, matte or satin. You’ll have it down, painted and replaced in one hour. No need for electrician, but if so, they can do another little job while you paint and get it right back up…one quick trip!


Agree with this. Matte black spray paint would totally work especially as you’ll never really touch the light fixture so durability of the paint isn’t really an issue.


I don’t agree with the sconce issue. Black one would be too matching, I always prefer to break the unified look with something different, like here – it adds more character, even unintentionally.

OOh yah. that is what i’d likely do. We did that with our master bathroom fixture (our contractor painted it because he said the same thing – don’t spend the money on powder coating). it turned out great.


You need a “used” in the title instead of “use”.
Beautiful bathroom.

Ha. i just noticed that, too but then I was like ‘maybe it is suppose to be use?’ (see what I did there?).


Noticed that immediately when opening the post. ?


Omg. Really?


When I saw the cabinet in the corner of reclaimed wood and black I thought “Yes! This is what the bathrooms are all missing!!”. Looking back at yesterday’s reveal I feel like vanity in that wood would help tie it all together. The white vanities seem so generic and like the have nothing exciting to add, but reclaimed wood vanities would tie it all together and bring these bathrooms back to the mountains. I think these bathrooms are beautiful and no doubt something special, but just feels like you got the stone element down, now you need more wood To warm it all up.


Agreed. Such gorgeous stone/tile/wood in all of these bathrooms! But really, I would’ve loved to see ready made vanities that actually fit with the stated style of the mountain house. To me, the Kohler vanities don’t feel like the right fit. ?


I feel exactly the same. All the vanities seem to be letting the bathrooms down big time. They feel so boring and generic. Maybe they are better in person but they feel very underwhelming in the pictures. Other elements are lovely.


Yes I totally agree. White shaker seems so not mountain house to me! If the vanity was similar design as that AMAZING cabinet it would have been next level.


I like the vanities, they look fine.


I think that’s the problem with these vanities–they just look “fine.” They’d look fine in my bathroom, they’d look fine in your bathroom, they just look fine here. They’re not Scandinavian, they’re not mountain, they’re not modern. That cabinet by Ross Allan is a showstopper, and to have a vanity with a similar style and made from the reclaimed wood would have really warmed this up and made it feel more special and more Scandinavian to me. These Kohler vanities, which seem to be a sponsored/gifted item, feel like a missed opportunity to do something unique and creative (again, like the beautiful wood cabinet).


Ambient Lighting Interior Design

Loveley of

This is gorgeous. And such a great use of space.
that stacked tile in the shower is soo good!
And, agree about the gold vs. black light. That surprised me when i first saw it.


Ready to see this new Target stuff. That velvet quilt on the bed is a-ok!


The bed is lovely, but looked very uncomfortable to lean against. No reading in bed here.


I like the gold light fixture, I think it brings together the floor and wood and picture frame, also breaks up all the black.

Emma Pitt

I agree!!!

Karen T.

My favorite bathroom to date! I’m totally onboard for the half wall in the shower–it’s stunning and was absolutely the first thing I noticed. We have something like that now in our master (although nothing near as gorgeous as yours) and it hasn’t been an issue during our cold Chicago winters. I’ve LOVED this week of reveals btw!!


Beautiful! We did a glass wall in our shower, it’s kind of a scant 2/3 of the entire opening. We also haven’t been through a winter with it, so the jury is still out.


My favorite room(s) so far! I love love love that bed. John and Sherry at YHL did an open shower in their beach house remodel and I think they’ve said it is not cold at all. When it’s snowing in the winter it might be a different story I guess, but it’s so gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiration- we live in Idyllwild and it is so great to see some modern mountain design I can apply to my own, full time home.

OOH, we’ve looked in Idyllwild forever and actually looked there before lake arrowhead for a mountain house, but we never visited and had friends that had cabins here so we came here instead. But I get real estate notices all the time 🙂

Sarah D.

We have a family cabin in idyllwild – so jealous that you get to call it home all year round!


Oh my gosh! I think this is my favorite reveal so far! But since I say this every day, who knows? ? I agree with you about the light/mirror issue but it’s such a minor thing. Emily, your home is stunning, just stunning.


I love this bathroom so much that it’s favourited for when I tackle my master bath reno!

I actually love the light fixture, it’s that surprise element that provides the perfect amount of edge to the design. Not everything should be matchy matchy.

We turned a powder room into a bathroom with a curbless shower last year. We didn’t have room to put in glass doors because of the positioning of the door into the bathroom and where the shower is located so we installed a custom made cedar panel (much like an outdoor shower) to section off the shower from the rest of the room and to hold in the heat. It works perfectly and let me tell you we live in the cold (Canada).


Amazing! Would you mind sharing the dimensions of the bathroom/closet space? I’d love to do something similar.


Neat and pretty much perfect. I like the “clash” of gold against white.

I have however realized all these bathrooms cause me slight dissonance because of the vanities. So I went to the Kohler site and realized, they just don’t *do* the kind vanity I might like. They are neither rustic nor modern nor elegant enough for me – they occupy a middle ground that’s great for many but not my style. Love the fixtures though – especially the black ones over the sink.


LOVE that floor tile! and the custom cabinet is gorgeous, too! Can’t wait to see Target’s new bedding line, because I love that rust quilt.


Beautiful! And I love an open shower. People are so uptight about them! They’re awesome!


I love how this bath and bedroom turned out! Everything you’ve shown this week has been beautiful and inspiring. I’m sad mountain house week is over 🙁

Technical question – What shade style did you use? (Is it Roman, vignette?)


This isn’t quite on topic, but I appreciate the length of your posts and the minute detail you go into. It’s so helpful to understand the how and why of your designs, which makes the designs better, more meaningful.

[…] post Mountain House Reveal: The Upstairs Guest Bath That Use to Be a Closet (and a Peek Into the Bedroom) appeared first on Emily […]


LOVE this bathroom. Do not like the light. Please change, LET US KNOW 🙂


This is a crazy comment but the floor looks like the peel and stick vinyl my dad installed in our family home in the 70’s. 🙂

It is a gorgeous bathroom!


“A sophisticated showerer” haha that is too funny 🙂 I love that you incorporate things from Target, so anyone can buy it to add a little style. I can’t wait for the Target line to come out… I feel like I’m going to buy ALL of it! When do we get to see your breakfast nook and kids playroom?!


I want to be the Henderson family’s new best friend and get to use said guest room (and all of the house for that matter). It is absolutely perfect. All of it. Bravo, EHD team!

Jordan G

I love it! Just wanted to say that I will 100% be installing a wall ledge in my master bathroom instead of a niche. Love the look and function of that idea! Thanks for pointing out that detail.


I love this bathroom–simple and elegant, but the floor tile looks a bit dated.


Wow, this post is SO perfectly timed for me. We are doing a reno on the master and have gone back and forth on a shower door vs keeping it open. Did not think AT ALL about it being cold without the door…and the contractor never mentioned it. We don’t have heated floors in there and it’s north-facing, so we, I think, will strongly consider adding a door onto the shower now. This is so pretty!!! Like the rest of the house…quiet, minimal, and very serene.


I think I remember that artwork of the handsome Canadian tuxedo guy being something Orlando did? I screen-shotted it and had it for my phone background for awhile years ago. Needless to say, I love. Orlando- hook a girl up with a print?


My designer did the wall mount faucet and undermount sinks throughout my house and I LOVE the look. Mine is what I call “farmhouse modern”, so not terribly different from your mountain house. And I love the sconces in this bedroom. Definitely copying this idea in our master!


Does anyone (Emily, EHD, readers) know how water spots, etc…. fair on the black fixtures? Its a gorgeous look, but I worry about hard water stains or dried water drops.


Yes! We have black fixtures and super hard water (in Los Angeles). I am still considering a water softening system, but in the meantime, wiping them down weekly, and a white vinegar rinse if they look bad works fine to keep them looking pretty. I noticed it the most on the plugs in our sinks (since water just sits on them). It had been a year, so they needed more than a wipe-down.
To clean those I just plugged the sink, covered them in white vinegar and let them sit, and then wiped them down.


We remodeled our whole house two years ago and installed matte black fixtures in the kitchen and both bathrooms. It’s been two years and we have had no issues with hard water stains or noticeable dried water drops. We LOVE the matte black! We had chrome in our old house and man, those showed ALL the dried water drops. Much happier with the matte black! (We live in Arizona with hard water, but have installed a water softener.) Hope that helps!


I am here for the white tile, the velvet duvet and that bed! Amazing!! Dying to see more.

The mountain kitchen is still my hands down favorite- dying to see what you did with the dining area!! Plus the green leathered marble and black sexy bath- I am here for it!!


Love the tile orientation on the wall!! It makes the simple tile seem so much more special and I’ve never seen it done exactly this way before. The shower ledge rather than a niche is perfect.
I just wish the vanity was made out of that beautiful reclaimed wood, then again this isn’t my house.
Since we’ve all had such a say in this process does that make it “America’s mountain house”?? haha. Add it to the list along with America’s couch and America’s patio….haha


I feel it’s visually very lovely and calm. However, from a practicality perspective the electronic temperature system in the shower just seems like one more thing that will cost a fortune when (not if) it breaks. And while I love love love the look, the messiness of the water spilling out of my already cold shower is killing me!


I have a curbless, open shower and LOVE it. My contractor was paranoid about water getting out, so we also installed a floor drain in the center of the room. I’m glad we did, because the shower has clogged, as they do, and water has overflowed. That’s not likely to be an issue in a guest bath though.

It’s so easy to clean and makes the room feel bigger. Our shower area is small, so I don’t notice it being cold. We also have a hydronic towel warmer at the opposite end from the shower which probably helps.


not the biggest fan of this floor because it looks like a cheap linoleum/vinyl floor in these pictures but I’m sure it’s a LOT nicer in person. LOVE that cabinet though!

Kate Hollingsworth

This is my favourite bathroom so far! It’s light and calm and perfect. xx


I’m in love with the tile in here, I also love the cle tile from yesterday’s reveal. I hate to be negative, but I’m totally not feeling the white vanity in here, the details seem so craftsman and not mountain to me, and I really don’t like either the stone used on the floor in this room or the green bathtub from yesterday. I wonder if it’s just that is hard to shoot a small space like a bathroom and a reflective material like stone? All in all I think my favorite rooms are still the kitchen and the kids tented room. These recent reveals seem like a little bit of a letdown for me if I’m being honest, but that bed is truly beautiful and I’m like looking forward to that reveal.


Just picked up copy of House Beautiful with the fabulous spread on mountain house. Congrats!


Love the black hardware! Wish it was in the other bathrooms. Definitely spray paint the light black!

Paige Cassandra Flamm

The bold black hardware is my favorite! It’s perfect!



Emily pleaaaaaaase tell me why no-one in the US seems to use wall-mounted toilets? It makes the bathroom look so much airier!


I think they are starting to be more common, but labor for the installation is VERY expensive here. I don’t know if that’s because contractors aren’t used to them, or if retrofitting the framing to support the weight is what costs so much. Redoing the plumbing is also not cheap. I thought it was worth the money, because my NYC bathroom is so tiny, but I was shocked when my contractor prepared the estimate for the work.


What’s the total square footage of the bathroom?


Looks gorgeous. I can only dream of a walk-in shower.
I’m curious what the thought process was on selecting a tech-y shower fixture for a guest bath. Is it entirely self-explanatory? Or do guests have to read a manual whilst wrapped in a towel and trying to get in a quick shower? Hot water takes a while to get to my guest bath so I’m imagining guests pushing all the buttons in the interval and then being scalded when it finally arrives.


I’d be really interested if you did some posts on inclusive design. Nothing wrong with this bathroom but some of the choices made me think. The taps are not inclusive as they’re more difficult to use with arthritis and similar, but the shower is because it doesn’t have a step/lip and could fit a shower seat.

Obviously not changing the mountain house, it was just that which prompted me to ask.

We’re thinking about what we need to do in my mum’s new place to future proof it but I’d be really interested in how you would make what are often completely naff and plastic aids into something stylish. Nate and Jeremiah did an episode for a couple and the bathroom had supports to look like towel rails etc, and that’s the sort of thing I was thinking of.


We redid our master bath with an open shower and a large fixed sheet of glass, no door. The floor is heated (but not in the shower) AND we live in North Carolina but there are no issues about feeling cold. I also think that the open shower allows steam to dissipate more easily. Don’t worry about the opening!


This is the EXACT layout of my master bathroom (and size unfortunately)…thanks for the inspiration! I will definitely enclose the shower due to the cold.


I LOVE your mountain house too. So glad you are going to keep it and live in it. You will continue to learn as you do. This week has also been my summer vacation and I felt like it was a little gift that I could soak in your weeklong reveal while also enjoying a lovely cottage on a Michigan lake. Anyway, I am posting here (hopefully you aren’t done reading these comments) because I’ve also been thinking about the gorgeous open shower door = no warm shower concern. What many of us northerners do is put in a warming light fixture. They aren’t all yellow and they make a HUGE difference. Just a thought before you add more door because right now, it is PERFECTION.

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