FAREWELL MEL NORTON: You were the best we ever had.

Farewell Mayor Norton

For the last four years we’ve been privileged to have a Mayor whose leadership redefined our city and, thereby, our very selves. In the course of his tenure, he embodied what it means to serve in the strongest sense of that word; he exemplified what it means ‘to be in service.’ So when a few days ago Mel shared the news that he wasn’t going to re-offer in the upcoming election, I wept.

Mayor Norton is one of the few people I know whose inner eye
is constantly scanning the near and far horizons in search of opportunities to serve, and to serve better. And what I’ll especially miss is how humbly and selflessly Mel went about his – and our — business, more often than not far from the glare of media attention.

Among the host of his many qualities the one I most admire is the level of attention he instinctively offers his community, a community that begins with his immediate family and friends, and naturally widens out to include the entire city in a complex of active and vital circles of concern.

There is a lot of about Mayor Norton that the general public may not know. We all saw evidence of his strong work ethic in person and in the media, but there was a private and personal side to Mel Norton that made him not just an effective Mayor but a complete and committed citizen.

For example, if you ever notice the unholy time signature on certain of Mel’s emails or tweets, you’ll know how early the business of being Mayor Norton typically began. 5 a.m. wasn’t an usual hour at which to receive communication from him. This, one might argue, could be put down to his being an ‘early riser’. But then you’d have to explain the fact that the stream of communication issuing from him often flowed unabated until midnight, often as not seven days a week.

My friendship with Mel and Stephanie dates back to 2000. Over the past 15 years I’ve watched them both, via their careers and through their volunteerism, working very hard to make Saint John a better place. I’m convinced Saint John is a more prosperous, hopeful and enlightened city today because of Mel’s (and Stephanie’s) commitment to serving the citizens of Saint John over the last four years.

Mayor Mel Norton, thank you. Thank you for showing us what true leadership can accomplish. We owe you so much. Please accept our gratitude and appreciation.

If at some point in the near or distant future you change your mind, I have no doubt the better part of this beautiful – and aptly christened – Renaissance City would welcome your leadership back with open arms.

Judith Mackin with Robert Moore

Peggy Bown Dentistry gives new meaning to “Extreme Makeover.”

Typically when we create ‘Before & After’ posts for our completed interior design projects they involve a run-down of what was going on in the space before hand — what the space had going for it and what wasn’t working. It most cases the previous ‘before’ were almost inevitably in dire need of change and a severe makeover.  With this particular commercial client, we believe it gives new meaning to the term “EXTREME MAKEOVER”.

Dr. Peggy Bown, a dentist well known (and respected) within the greater Saint John area decided that she was going to go out on her own and not only start her own Dental Practice, but push the boundaries of how it was going to be designed.  She looked at dozens of potential locations for her new Dental clinic and after months of planning landed on what would be likely described by most as ‘unpredictable’.  But Peggy, an energetic and fierce entrepreneur, called me one day and said, “Judith, I want you to come see my new location for my new Dental clinic…the old Harvey’s on Rothesay Avenue!”

The rest as they say is – after, of course, a year’s worth of intense renovations and determination – History!

Peggy opened her doors to her new Dental clinic this past spring, and the transformation in her space is truly remarkable.  We were honoured to work with Peggy to help her vision for her new clinic  — clean, airy, modern with a twist of Scandinavian influence — to fruition.

Let’s begin at the beginning.


A few pics of how the abandoned Harvey’s looked when Peggy got the keys to her new space!  It was clear from the beginning that this would be a complete gut!

Harvey's before



Peggy and I have worked together on various projects in the past.  Specifically, she gave me a mini-makeover on my front teeth and I gave her home a mini-makeover. You can read that post here.  Peggy then asked for our team to work closely with her on the ‘front of house’ for her new dental clinic, specifically the patient lounge area, the entrance and the inside seating area. Her sister an architect, Heather Bown, worked on all the remaining locations in the clinic. (Please note: a complete list of the collaborators are listed at the bottom of this post)

We made recommendations to Peggy on materials, cabinetry, layout, lighting, furnishings and materials, all the while attentive to the new brand, courtesy of Lise Hansen at BonFire Communications.

Here are the results:



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Walking through the front door patients are immediately put at ease. The clean lines, light wood, and plenty of white evoke a tranquil Scandinavian vibe. The herringbone pattern on the floor adds elegance and texture, and elements of Peggy’s new logo on the wall of the entryway is a great focal point. Herringbone tile from Shaw Contract Flooring, logo designed by Lise Hansen at Bonfire Communications and printed by InColor Inc.; countertop and water station built by CM Woodcraft; furniture, lighting, and water filtration system from Tuck Studio.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 6.22.27 AMThe waiting room is luxurious and serene. Patients have a choice of two leather chairs, two handsome steel and wood chairs or a bench that just happens to be made from Recycled Milk Jugs! Bench by Loll, Drake Coffee Table and Fruit Trough by Gus* Modern,  Acrylic Magazine Table by Umbra. All furniture, lighting, and water filtration system from Tuck Studio.

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Loll furniture is great for the environment and for kids! This furniture can be used indoors or outdoors, is super easy to clean and basically indestructible! Shown here in white but it comes in various other colours. No. 9 Sofa by Loll outdoor furniture company, Acrylic Magazine Table by Umbra, cushion from Pony Rider, all from Tuck Studio.

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The waiting room ceiling is an unexpected and vibrant surprise.  The recess is lined with gold metallic wallpaper that reflects the constellation of lights from the two sputnik style light fixtures. Lighting from Tuck Studio.

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The sleek modern reception desk continues the ethereal and airy vibe of the lounge. Counter built by Christof Malinowski of CM Woodcraft.  The reception area has adequate storage for files all concealed behind minimal push release cupboards. Sayl Chair by Herman Miller. Decor from Tuck Studio. A special acknowledgement to Geof Ramsay for his help on the counter design.

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The lighting repeats into the hallway and a grey accent wall anchors four more chairs. Umbra Shield Mirrors add a touch of regal elegance and reflect natural light into the hallway. Three Trinity Chairs and Umbra Oh Chair featuring artwork by Amy Ash from Tuck Studio.

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The Trinity Chair from Tuck Studio is comfortable, durable and adds dynamic modern shape to the space when contrasted against the grey feature wall.

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This chair titled “Dear Saint John, I love you more with every remembering” was created by Amy Ash for Tuck Studio’s inaugural “OH OCTOBER” fundraiser for the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation. Seventeen artists were given a white Oh Chair which they turned into one-of-a-kind artworks auctioned off on October 2nd at Shadow Lawn Inn. Find out more about this event here.

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An alcove off the hallway has become a private area for payment consultation.

Bown [facebook]-27Vinyl lettering on the wall inspires both employees and clients with Peggy’s vision for her dental practice.

As with any project, it takes a team: Peggy wishes to thank the following:

Architecture: Heather Bown and James Bugden
Interior Design: Judith Mackin and Tuck Studio
Photography: Kelly Lawson
Cabinetry: Christoph Malinowski – CM Woodcraft
General Contractors: ICR – John Hickey
New Wave Electric
McKay Plumbing
Dowd Roofing
Wacky’s Flooring

Interior Signage: Alan England InColor
Exterior Signage: Creative Services
Exterior Painting/Refinishing: Tim Desmond
Interior Painting by Dynamic Painting (Dave Hershey)
Logo design/Branding: Lise Hansen / Bonfire Communication
Brochures & Website: Frank Legere Flight Graphics
Dental Supply Companies: Sinclair and Henry Schein
Computer Services: McLean Micro

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Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for your chance to win some Mini-Makeover Money from Peggy Bown Dentistry! It includes a complementary cosmetic consult and $200 to be used towards any recommended dental treatment. Draw will take place at noon, Tuesday January 26th, 2016.

Please view more photography here:


Brush up

Tuck Studio, Saint John’s premiere furniture, lighting and décor studio, is heading ‘Uptown’. Early in the new year, owner and designer Judith Mackin and her team will be moving Tuck Studio from its current north end location, 40 Autumn Street, and setting up shop at 124 Prince William Street, in one of the city’s most historic properties, the Palatine building, constructed after the Great Fire in 1877-8.

Mackin’s sister company, PUNCH INSIDE, a design firm specializing in residential and commercial interiors, will also be moving its offices into the 2,300 square foot space. To read more about this expansion, please click here.

With the expansion comes the need for more team members!

BEFORE APPLYING: applicants should familiarize themselves with the range of endeavours in which Punch Inside and TUCK Studio is currently engaged:
See www.judithmackin.ca
see www.tuckstudio.ca

This entry-level position will suit a candidate with a passion for interior decorating and design, along
with experience in (or aptitude for) furniture and/or décor retail (i.e., sales).


– Experience with interior, industrial and/or graphic design (efficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, CAD, InDesign an asset)
– Recent graduation from any accredited college or university degree program
– Creative approach to problem solving
– Adept at multi-tasking
– Excellent communication skills
– Retail + Sales Experience
– Access to your own vehicle + Laptop (Mac preferred)
– Keen understanding and proficient use of social media
– Highly personable; must enjoy working with people and strong work habits
– Photography experience an asset
– Marketing, public relation or event planning experience an asset
– Possess strong work habits (hint: striving to exceed everyone’s expectations)

Those interested should submit a resume or vitae accompanied by a covering letter (your chance to demonstrate some of those highly-developed communication skills) outlining the various ways in which your background, experience, interests, and aptitudes make you the ideal candidate for this challenging, demanding, but relentlessly interesting position.

Currently the position is 30 hours per week. Remuneration based upon experience, but some indication of your salary/compensation expectation would be appreciated.  Please note, there may be several part-time positions available also.  Please indicate which position you are applying for.

Please apply via email to judith@judithmackin.ca on or before 5:00 pm Wednesday, January 27th, 2016.  Subject line: “Job Posting: Entry Level Jr. Design Consultant and Studio Coordinator.”

Only correspondence sent via this channel will be considered; no phone calls, Facebook inquiries or texts please.  
Although we appreciate any expression of interest, only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.

Please feel free to share this post with any candidates you feel might be suitable.

Thank you!



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