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Comfort and tradition comes to show home
Writer:Joanne McPhail

Mark Wanzel photo
Cheryl Bowler Natural Elements by Ron Bowler and Mary Dobson of Mary Dobson Designs

This week I wanted to talk about a wonderful woman - Mary Dobson, of CityLine TV fame.  When we came up with the idea of doing a design show home, I just happened to be having dinner with some friends, Christine and Brennan Kahler, and I mentioned the show home plan and started talking about our grand idea to get the Browns to allow us to use their home as the venue.  At this point, we had not had our first meeting with the Browns nor had I ever met them!  I sort of jokingly asked Christine and Brennan if they knew any famous designers that we could get involved in the project.  Christine replied "Well, I know Mary Dobson - I go shopping with her all the time..."  This was very exciting and surprising news - I had watched Mary on City Line religiously for years and I could not believe that she was now actually living in Barrie.  Christine quickly agreed to hook me up and next thing I knew I was having lunch with Mary and she was thrilled to be involved with the project.  This has turned out to be a key aspect of our success with the project so far, as not only did we get Mary to design a room, she also agreed to sit on the Steering Committee, bringing with her a host of connections to augment our plans.  As we got deeper into the project, Mary hooked us up with companies like American Standard and Rubbermaid and she has lined up CityLine to shoot aspects of the design transformation for Home Day!  Mary has agreed to take on not one but three rooms in the home - the master bathroom, the laundry room and the garage.  Luckily she has the help of Ron Bowler of Natural Elements Renovations.

Her design concept for the ensuite bathroom is to connect the two halves (his and hers) but still maintain distinct and separate spaces.  The "her" side will be pretty and soft while remaining somewhat contemporary.  She will be incorporating soft shades of watery blue through wall coverings from Blue Mountain and fabrics from Pride of Paris. American Standard plumbing fixtures add soft cream and are accented by dark wood, polished chrome and mirror. The original marble tile floors will remain but will be complemented with a cream marble countertop from DiPietre Design.  "His" side will be in stronger tones of the same blue applied in bold horizontal stripes. The focal point will be the vanity wall with a rich dark brown wooden vanity from Cabinet Smith, topped with chocolate brown marble, again from DiPietre Design, and a glass vessel sink from American Standard. The shower will sport a gleaming new glass door from Barrie Glass and Mirror.

She is also taking a his and hers approach to the garage. This large, three bay parking area will be outfitted by Rubbermaid with a sleek black organizing system to create loads of storage. One side will be dedicated to his hobbies and one side to hers. The walls will showcase an innovative wall covering system from Blue Mountain and the floor will be epoxy coated for shine and durability. It is meant to be fun with shades of red and orange as well as a few surprises, I understand!  We can't give it all away!

Mary's personal style is comfortable and somewhat traditional. The Estate on the Bay is a home that has a bit more of a modern flavour so Mary is finding it fun and challenging to work toward that direction. As always, she endeavours to make her design approachable, showcase new products and throw a little something unexpected into the mix. Mary says, "This project has been a real delight for me in terms of getting to know more people in my new home town and helping out with such a worthy cause as the United Way."  We are lucky to have you, Mary!