27 Types Of Bar Stools (Design Styles & Materials)

This gallery showcases the types of bar stools including the different design styles, materials, and tips on how to choose, measure, and make a bar stool taller.
Cushioned bar stools with white leather seats and curved metal styleA bar stool is a type of chair, particularly a stool, that is taller than standard stools and allows individuals to sit at a bar for a drink or eat a warm meal.

Bar stools have gained great popularity in restaurants as well as bars, but nowadays, they have become increasingly prevalent in houses with kitchen bars, which is why sometimes, they are referred to as counter stools. Aside from their height, bar stools and counter stools seem to be very identical.

Numerous homes now have higher kitchen bars and counters, thus there are lots of bar stools available in a variety of sizes to suit both business and household use. As a result, the terms “bar stool” and “counter stool” are commonly used interchangeably.

Bar Stool Styles

Wood and plastic stoolsHere are the most popular types of bar stools and some of their benefits and functionality. 


Swivel stools with black, white and silver designSwivel bar stools contain a technology that allows the seat to rotate 360 degrees. These are great for entertainment purposes because you can quickly rotate around to face various people or look in various directions.

Moreover, swivel bar stools allow you to easily adjust your angle without needing to get out of your seat, you just have to pick it up to rotate it around, and take a seat again. These bar stools can be of any design, but pedestal barstools are the most widely known for featuring the swivel functionality.

If you have kids, you should eschew swivel bar stools since they can mess with their balance and lead them to fall. They can also be bothersome when youngsters learn to swivel proficiently and refuse to sit properly during meal periods.

Generally, swivel bar stools are available in two heights: fixed and adjustable. Indeed, the major feature that unites the swivel bar stools is their 360-degree mechanism, which enables the seat to rotate 360 degrees.

Of course, one of the advantages of these bar stools is that they are enjoyable to sit on while communicating with others and relaxing.

Fixed height swivel stools offer the benefit of not having an obtrusive gas lift system. Adjustable swivel bar stools, on the other hand, are much more adaptable in a way that several members of the family will be able to sit conveniently at the kitchen bar. 

However, in the end, when choosing a swivel bar stool it all comes down to your household’s needs, the layout of your home, the bar dimensions, and your particular design choices.


Pedestal stools with low profilePedestal bar stools feature one solid supporting pole beneath the seat that connects to a base. The base is most typically round-shaped, but it can have any shape. To guarantee proper balance, the base will be roughly the similar size as the bar stool’s seating.

Furthermore, pedestal bar stools are often designed with a swivel mechanism and the option to modify the seating position. Because they do not have any legs, they do not get tangled up with each other underneath the bar, although the bases do occupy more ground space than those with legs. 

Such bar stools can be rather heavy and awkward to move. In addition, they are not able to be stacked, not like the other standard bar stools that can.


Adjustable stools with shiny metalBar stools with adjustable seats are a preferred feature since their shifting heights make them quite adaptable. Several bar stools with adjustable seating height can be scaled back to serve as additional seats surrounding the kitchen table.

Since they have an adjustable seating height, they can function with any bar height, making them an excellent alternative if you move as you can be certain that they will function with any bar you may have in the future.

These bar stools provide comfort to people of all sizes since each individual using the bar stool can change it to a level that matches their body and allows their knees to be relaxed to a suitable degree. These stools work by moving a lever that permits air to circulate in and out of a valve.

Aside from that, the passage of the air in the valve of the bar stool causes it to rise and descend. These kinds of bar stools are also referred to as gas lift bar stools, which pertain to how the stools work.

Bucket Seat

White bucket seat stoolsA bucket bar stool is a cozy seat that looks like a tub, and it comes with a bar or counter-height seating elevation. The deep seating allows you to burrow into the cushions and relax due to its low supporting backrest.

These seats are unique chairs with a curved design and a relatively minimal seating space. A bucket bar stool, like any other chair, has a seating area, armrests, a soft backrest, as well as legs.

Bucket bar stools are uncommon in homes and offices. These bar stools, however, are popular in pubs and restaurants since they have a solid construction that can endure more wear and tear than others and are simple to clean.


Backless stools in kitchenA backless bar stool is a simple bar stool with a flat seating surface and no backrest. If the seat is fully level, this model of stool is ideal since it may be used from any position since there is no front or rear.

If your bar stool does not swivel, a backless barstool will suffice because you may rotate your body to head in another direction rather than rotating the entire stool.

Furthermore, backless bar stools are prevalent in taverns and classic bars since they provide a very relaxed seating choice. Certain backless barstools have curved seats, but they prevent them from being operated from any direction.

Additionally, backless bar stools are much less expensive than ones with backrests, even though they are not ideal if you prefer bar stools with back support when sitting at your counter. They are also particularly unsuitable for kids because they may tilt backward and tumble.

Low Back

Stools with a low backA low-back bar stool usually includes a backrest that is only several inches higher on the back of the stool. These are an excellent middle ground between a bar stool with no backrest and one with a complete back.

Although a backless bar stool provides minimal back support, a high-back bar stool, on the other hand, will obtrude over the surface of the counter, which certain individuals will find unsightly.

A low-back bar stool provides some backrest while being low enough to not be visible from the other side of the bar or counter.  Even though you cannot completely lean backward on a low-back bar still, it still protects you from falling off the rear side of the bar stool.

High Back

High back stoolsIf you consume a lot of hours at your kitchen bar, a high-back bar stool would be a fantastic choice since it provides maximum back support. This is beneficial for your posture and will assist in preventing back and shoulder strain.

A high-back bar stool, like standard types of dining chairs, will feature a full-size comfy backrest. This also allows the individual to lean backward on the bar stool and relax thoroughly.

High-back bar stools can either be made out of metal, plastic, or wood, and they can be upholstered as well for additional comfort and seat protection. If you have youngsters in the household, such types of bar stools will provide them with a bit of greater support and balance, preventing them from tumbling.

High-back barstools, nevertheless, have backrests that can be visible beyond the top of the bar or counter, which can impede establishing a neat open area, and as a result, they are not preferred among minimalist home designs.


Blue armless stoolsArmless bar stools are noticeably smaller, yet most of them are meant to seem aesthetically expansive and simplistic. When looking along with a series of stools with arms from the side, they can appear considerably bigger and more cluttered than those without arms.

Hence, armless bar stools are often seen in houses with minimalist decor. Because there are no arms to bother with, armless models may be conveniently stowed beneath a bar or worktop for storing. With less to them, these layouts will, expectedly, take fewer bumps and scratches.

Since most of these bar stools do have backrests, armless bar stools are still common. They maintain a subtle minimalist style while being ergonomically designed to deliver that necessary comfort.


Cushioned arm chair stoolsArmchair bar stools are a style of bar stool with armrests. These are commonly seen on low-back or high-back bar stools and generate a sheltered area for the individual, making them experience comfort and relaxation.

Armchair bar stools are more sophisticated than armless bar stools and are usually encountered at high-end pubs and diners.

These styles of bar stools are especially appropriate for children’s usage at home as there are limited chances for them to slide and fall off since they are enclosed by the bar stool’s three sides. For added comfort, the armrests can also be movable or solid, as well as covered with fabric and cushions.

Armchair bar stools are excellent for the convenience and enjoyment of spending quality time at the bar since they provide a place to rest your arms apart from the bar itself.

They are a little wider than other types of bar stools, so you may need to limit the number of stools you can place at your bar or counter if you choose these. Aside from that, the armrests must be sufficiently low to allow the stool to be stowed underneath the counter or bar whenever it is not in use.

Otherwise, they might hinder the way and start posing a hazard or wasting significant floor space. One disadvantage of armchair bar stools is that you are not able to stack them for convenient storage or cleaning. 

Bistro Style

Red bistro stools, glossy cabinets, and under counter lightsThe bistro-style bar stool is a widely known bar stool design that is typically used in break rooms or cafés. A café or bistro-style bar stool usually boasts a sleek hardwood seat and back, as well as an iron framework. It blends in with most décor styles and is simple to maintain.

Bistro-style bar stools are available in practically any design, material, and color conceivable. Bar stools made of wood with carving or intricate details, aluminum, stainless steel, which puts off a modern aesthetic, and durable cast iron are the most prevalent selections.

Pub Style

Pub stoolsPub-style bar stools are ideal for use in restaurants and bistros. The vinyl-made or leatherette seat is quite easy to maintain, and the stools’ height is very ideal for counter height bars and tables as well. These bar stools can either be backless or low-back and they are often made out of sturdy wood.

Extra Tall

Small kitchen with high stoolsExtra-tall bar stools, also referred to as spectator-height stools, usually feature a seat height of 33 to 36 inches from the ground. These extra-tall bar stools are designed for counter or bar heights ranging from 44 to 47 inches. 

Counters of this height, meanwhile, are the least prevalent. As a result, they are not widely used in the majority of homes and restaurants.


Simple kitchen with minimalist tripod stoolsA tripod bar stool includes three legs that are spaced at equal distances to sustain the seat. These bar stools are originally made out of wood and are a typical element in taverns since they are robust and stable while remaining affordable. They usually, but not always, have a circular seat with no backrest.

The three legs in this type of bar stool will be linked by horizontal frames that are roughly two-thirds of the way down; these will help to enhance the stool’s design while also serving as a footstool for the user.

Tripod bar stools are frequently stackable, which implies that they can be conveniently stowed. It also helps make cleaning the floor easier because the stools can be stacked on top of one another to clear up flooring space, eliminating the need to move the cleaner around all of the legs.

Ladder Back

Outdoor area with ladder back stoolsThe ladder back bar stool is a conventional industrialized steel-tube type of bar stool. With its horizontal frames as well as gentle and modern appearance, this bar stool has a ladder-like shape. The ladder back is also available with wooden or upholstered seating.

The slats on a ladder back bar stool are typically fashioned in subtle arcs, which provide a beautiful touch to the stool’s classical appearance while also providing pleasant lumbar support.

Sturdy crossbars that also function as footrests enhance the sturdy and boxy legs. The broad seat is curved for added comfort and features rounded corners.

Furthermore, certain ladder back bar stools come with a swivel bar so you can angle them effortlessly, and most of them combine a vintage style with the attractiveness and durability of solid wood.


Cushioned backed stoolsA cushioned bar stool can either be adjustable, swivel-enabled, stationary, low-back, high-back, armless, or backless. It can also feature a wooden or metal framework and legs. However, the only thing that makes it distinctive is its cushioning or upholstery.

Cushioned bar stools are very comfortable to sit on. Their exterior surface can either be fabric, leather, or faux leather. Cushioned bar stools provide comparable convenience to upholstered dining chairs, but with longer legs to place you at a higher level.

These bar stools are ideal for socializing since they are comfy enough for visitors to lean backward and unwind, and you can spend a lot of time dining or socializing with them without getting uncomfy.


Foldable stoolSee this foldable stool at Amazon [sponsored link]

Foldable bar stools are pretty nice since they simply shrink in size and can be packed away when not in service, giving you more space whenever you need it. Foldable bar stools are perfect as well for having on hand when you have more people arriving for lunch or dinner in your house.

You might very well use your foldable bar stools to add extra seating around the kitchen bar or counter and then store them when you are finished.

Such stools are usually backless and composed of metal. Whenever you unfold or refold them, be mindful not to get your fingers caught in the mechanics. Therefore, it is preferable not to allow youngsters to handle them.

Stool Materials

Bright kitchen area with cushioned faux fur stoolsThe type of bar stool materials will have a big impact on the look and feel of your chair. Here are some of the common types and what décor and design styles they work with.


Kitchen space with wooden bar stoolsWooden bar stools are a classic material option that complements any architectural theme, whether contemporary, modern, rustic, minimalist, etc. When it comes to material composition, wooden bar stools are long-lasting and affordable, making them a favorite pick.

A round wooden bar stool is common in bars and cafés, but it is also widely known in homes. The rustic finish and simplistic design harmonize well with the kitchen or dining space, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

The wooden surface, on the other hand, is a bit hard, making it ideal for sitting for a limited duration only. However, soft cushions can be added to the seat for additional comfort.


A high leather stool with arm rest, and cushioningLeather bar stools come in a multitude of styles that may complement practically any décor. They are indeed long-lasting and simple to clean up after mealtime. Several leather options are available in faux leather or vinyl, which decreases the price but may sacrifice the quality.

A leather bar stool, without a doubt, appears more expensive and stylish than any other type of stool. Its distinct beauty can be used to adorn your breakfast bar or coffee counter while also catching the attention of your visitors.

Numerous leather bar stools are heavily cushioned, with padding on the seats as well as the backrest, to provide you with maximum luxury and comfort when seated.

If you select a less cushioned leather stool, the seat could be rigid and incapable of providing adequate benefit to your body. This material is appropriate for contemporary, modern, as well as rustic themes.

Faux Leather

Faux leather bar stools may be a cheaper alternative. Although they are not genuine, they also appear costly, resembling real leather. Various types of plastic are utilized in the creation of faux leather, and the particular type dictates whether it contains any eco-friendly properties.

Faux leather is a word that is widely used to describe the application of this material for furniture upholstery, particularly bar stools. Alternative names for this material include leatherette, vegan leather, and eco-leather, to mention a few.

This bar stool material is frequently substantially less expensive than genuine leather bar stools. This is due to the fact that it is made from synthetic components.

Since faux leather is a man-made bar stool material, it can also be manufactured in a handful of fashionable colors, designs, textures, and patterns, very much like genuine leather.


Minimalist kitchen with metal and black cushion stoolsMetal bar stools are indeed durable and simple to maintain. They can also frequently be stacked while not in usage, making them ideal for a kitchenette. 

However, if you are searching for a comfy bar stool, the hard seating that a pure metal bar stool offers might not be the best choice since it might create soreness in your butt cheeks after a long period of sitting. Hence, metals are mostly designed for bar stool frames and legs only.

Nonetheless, if you want to utilize metal in your bar stools because of its durability but want enough comfort, you can always add cushioning to make it more comfortable.

Moreover, metal bar stools are ideal for industrial and retro-style spaces, but they can also be used in almost any type of home or restaurant architecture.


Spacious kitchen with brass stoolsBrass is a very durable and long-lasting bar stool material because it is made from a combination of zinc and copper. Any bar stool that uses either solid brass or brass finish will be rust-proof and waterproof. Plus, it is not that costly. However, brass bar stools are not widely used.


A series of chrome finished stools with red cushioningChrome bar stools are more likely to be found in retro-style houses, diners, or other commercial areas. Chrome is often employed in industrial interior architecture sometimes.

The benefit of this bar stool material is that it reduces the risk of corrosion and reinforces the base material’s durability. Furthermore, it is less expensive than metal, although being less durable.

In terms of design, chrome is quite shinier than metal, making them more eye-pleasing. This bar stool material is well-known for its appearance, but not so much for its longevity.

Distressed Metal

Kitchen with distressed metal brushed stoolsDistressed metal bar stools have the appearance of being weathered, aged, and antiquated. The shimmering luster of raw sheets or frames of metal can appear to be devoid of charm, uniqueness, and style at times.

Thus, to lend a vintage feel to various forms of metals, you can use fine abrasives such as sandpaper and steel wool to make it distressed.

Bar stools that are made out of distressed metal are typically found in vintage-style restaurants as well as nautical interior décor. They are a one-of-a-kind material choice, making them great for individuals looking to experiment with their bar stools.

Upholstered Fabric

Luxury bar with upholstered stoolsUpholstered fabric bar stools are a terrific choice for people who value relaxation and luxury. The surface of an upholstered fabric can be very soft, skin-friendly, and permeable, especially if it is made out of cotton, velvet, or linen.

Furthermore, most fabric bar stools have padded seats, and the majority of them have padded armrests and backrests as well. This type of stool material allows you to sit for a longer period while being comfortable.

Fabric bar stools appear more professional and sophisticated in comparison to other bar stool materials, making them ideal for modern, classical, as well as ancient-inspired living areas.

Nevertheless, the fabric finish can be easily discolored and challenging to clean thoroughly. If you have children or pets, you should contemplate carefully before buying. 


Kitchen with tufted stoolsTufted bar stools are made by sewing buttons or stitching through cushioning or padding, generally in a diamond-shaped arrangement. This method is both attractive and practical as it is intended to keep the padding from moving or wrinkling.

In addition, tufted bar stools may enhance a minimalist aesthetic while yet maintaining a welcoming and pleasant ambiance. This could be all you need to make your modern kitchen more presentable.

Tufted bar stools are delightfully comfy. The cushions stay smooth and voluminous without having to be regularly realigned, and choosing the proper fabric for your bar stool will undoubtedly make it seem softer and more comfortable.

Acrylic & Plastic 

Kitchen with acrylic stoolsAcrylic-made bar stools are gradually becoming trendy these days and for an excellent purpose. This bar stool material is extremely sturdy, easy to maintain, and UV-resistant, which implies that it will not discolor even when exposed to sunlight. 

Acrylic bar stools are also non-toxic, making them less detrimental to the ecosystem than plastic. It also appears that scratches and stains on the acrylic bar stools are much easier to eliminate than on wood or other bar stool materials.

Acrylic bar stools are great since they do not impede your sight in any manner, which is something you should take full advantage of. You can find bar stools that use transparent glass-like material on the market. Just in case you are wondering where they are made from, well, they are made out of acrylic.

Bar stools that are made of plastic, on the other hand. are unarguably less expensive than other materials. They are also tough to shatter despite their lightness. A plastic bar stool is also available in a variety of styles, shapes, and colors, making it easy to complement the mood of your space.

When subjected to spillage, a plastic-based bar stool, the same as acrylic, is resistant to scratching, color fading, and smears. It is also easy to clean with light rubbing or wiping, resulting in lower maintenance costs.

Furthermore, this bar stool material could be easily shaped into appealing and user-friendly designs that can be customized for your home and capture the interest of your guests.

Rattan & Wicker

Kitchen with wicker stoolsRattan or wicker bar stools are constructed from rattan vines that are braided together to form the framework, and they are widely used in farmhouse or rustic interior designs. Rattan can be naturally derived or man-made.

Rattan bar stools are also an excellent alternative, owing to their appealing appearance. The traditional woven rattan texture is easily identifiable, incredibly refined, and will remain fashionable for many coming years.

The design, which seamlessly blends rustic elegance and a modern theme, provides a hint of artistry to any kitchen with an earthy aesthetic.

How To Choose a Color

Kitchen with grey stoolsHere we share the best tips on how to choose a color for bar stools.

Take a glance at the colors in your kitchen carefully. Prepare your pen and paper. Determine the answers to these questions: which colors stand out in your kitchen? What are the colors that do not appear striking? Consider these when choosing your bar stools to generate contrast.

The very same guidelines hold if you have wooden elements in your kitchen. On the bar stool, you can select a single color or a two-toned mix (same colors for the seat but different colors for the legs). Furthermore, the same idea would follow for selecting padded seats (colors should be contrasting).

When choosing colors, it is indeed a great idea to start by drawing some colors from your counter or bar and incorporating them into your bar stools, whether on the metal surface or fabric.

A hanging lighting fixture just above the middle of the bar or countertop can sometimes be coordinated with the design of the bar stool. Stylish pendant lighting might complement an embellished bar stool. Similarly, minimalist lighting can complement minimalistic bar stools.

If the kitchen does have a lot of chrome or metal appliances, metallic or steel finishes on bar stools might be a beautiful accent to the space if they are not too near each other.

The flooring beneath the bar stool must be a contrasting color to the bar stool. A bar stool made of wood or metal must not be in a similar tint or color as the flooring. If the bar stool is in just the same color as the flooring, it may appear bland and non-contrasting.

How Many Stools Do I Need? 

Kitchen with wood veneer stoolsBefore deciding on how many bar stools you will need, you should know first the length of your kitchen bar or counter since this measurement will be the one that will determine the number of stools you will need for your area.

To ascertain the best possible bar stool placement, each bar stool must have around 21 to 24 inches of space.

To put it another way, there should be around 26 to 30 inches from one stool’s middle to the middle of the stool beside it. This allows you to eat and drink without bumping the person near you.

To figure out how many stools you need, measure the overall length of your counter or kitchen bar, then divide that number by the amount of room you want to set aside for each stool.

How Much Space Between Stools?

At the kitchen bar or counter, your bar stools must be approximately 8 inches apart. This enables you to move freely and easily in and out.

Nonetheless, if you believe you will require more space than a typical individual or if you have a tiny home, you should expand this distance. However, it will be entirely up to you, but we suggest at least 8 inches.

How Many Stools Per Foot

Kitchen with chrome stoolsHere we share some tips on how many bar stools should be per foot.

How Many Stools for 6 Foot Island? 

If you have a 6-foot counter, you can fit 3 standard-sized bar stools. If you have a 6-foot kitchen island, nevertheless, you can fit 6 standard-sized bar stools.

How Many Bar Stools for 7 Foot Island? 

If you have a 7-foot counter in your kitchen, you might fit 4 slim bar stools, although you can fit 4 standard-sized stools, the space might be cramped. If you have a 7-foot kitchen island, on the other hand, you can fit 6 slim-sized bar stools.

How Many Bar Stools for 8 Foot Island? 

If you have an 8-foot counter, then you can fit 4 standard-sized bar stools. If you have an 8-foot kitchen island, nonetheless, then you can most certainly fit 8 standard-sized bar stools.

How Many Bar Stools for 9 Foot Bar? 

If you have a 9-foot counter in your kitchen, you might fit 5 slim-sized bar stools, although you can fit 5 standard-sized stools, there will be less wiggle room and arm space. If you have a 9-foot kitchen island, however, you can fit 10 slim-sized bar stools.

How To Measure For Stools

Home bar area with countertop, ceiling lights, and white stoolsHere we share the different tips that will help you measure for bar stools.

The height of your bar should be measured from the flooring to the top of the surface.

Decide how much space you want between your lap as well as the bar.

Subtract the value obtained in step 1 from the number obtained in step 2.

Determine how many bar stools will fit by measuring the bar from end to end.

What Is The Standard Stool Height?

Bar or countertops are typically 40 to 42 inches high. For this reason, the standard height for a conventional bar stool is approximately 28 to 30 inches tall.

How Wide Are Stools?

The most typical widths for bar stools are 15, 17, and 21 inches. The seating width of a bar stool, on the other hand, has a significant effect on how many stools you can accommodate in your area. When looking for stools, you should measure the width of your counter or bar and bear this figure in mind.

We recommend keeping 26 to 30 inches between the centers of every bar stool, as previously mentioned. This provides at least 6 inches between each bar stool, allowing you to comfortably move in and out of your seat without colliding with others.

Wider bar stools must have even more space between seats, with 8 to 10 inches between 19 to 22-inch-wide stools.

How Tall Should Stools Be? 

Modern kitchen with center island, countertop, and stoolsThe usual kitchen bar or countermeasures are between 40 and 42 inches in height. Using our bar stool height guide, we need to subtract 9 to 13 inches from the counters or bar’s height. This leads us to the conclusion that the typical bar stool height must be between 27 and 33 inches.

However, there are some exceptions to this principle since customized bars are becoming more frequent these days, hence you should always measure the height of your bar or counter for which you are purchasing bar stools.

How Deep Are Stools? 

The majority of bar stool seats are around 16 inches deep, thus they will not push to the other side of your counter or bar.

Counter Height Vs Bar Height Stools

Counter stools must be at least as tall as a standard restaurant table. In general, the average height for a counter height is 36 inches above ground level. A counter stool seating will, as usual, measure 24 to 27 inches from the bottom up.

A bar height tabletop, on the other hand, often measures 40 to 42 inches from the ground. Hence, the seat height of a bar stool must be around 29 to 30 inches from the flooring. 

How Much Counter Overhang for Stools? 

A suitable seating area must have an overhang of 10 to 12 inches. This will allow for appropriate knee movement and space between the counter or bar’s edge as well as the individual sitting. Thus, as the depth of the overhang rises, so does the bar’s functionality and comfort.

How to Make Stools Taller 

Beautiful kitchen with stools, and exposed ceiling beamsAdd a Cushioning: A good-quality seat cushioning with cotton pads aids in getting out of the bar stool whereas also giving a layer of coziness on the surface for pure relaxation. This is also the simplest and most reliable method of increasing the height of a bar stool.

Install DIY Furniture Leg Extenders: Indeed, one of the most effective and proper ways to increase the height of bar stools is to make your own furniture leg extenders. You may accomplish this by flipping the bar stool over and placing one leg extender on each leg. 

Be certain that you do it correctly so that the extenders do not slip off. You can make an extender using extra wood pieces. Just make sure that all of your extenders are in the same measurement so that the bar stool will be balanced.

See more related content in our article about spectator height bar stools on this page.


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Written by Khaycelyn - Author

Khaycelyn Dimaano is a Bachelor of Science and Information Technology graduate who pursues her dream to work from home as a skilled interior design writer.

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