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Why the breakfast room is architect Bill Mockler’s favourite

Bill Mockler's favourite room.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Soon after joining Drawing Room Architect Inc. in Toronto 11 years ago, Bill Mockler purchased a dilapidated century-old semi on the edge of the city's Rosehill Reservoir and immediately began a full-scale renovation. "I couldn't help myself," says the designer, who specializes in home restoration. When he bought the house, it was being used as offices for a software company and there were computers everywhere. Now it serves as a three-bedroom home for Mockler, his wife, Lori, a retired University of Toronto school of dentistry graduate-program director, and their two grown children, when they visit. The breakfast room overlooks the reservoir, which is covered with verdant parkland, and is his favourite place to be in the home. "Everything in life happens there, all the important discussions," Mockler says. "It's where we eat as a family."

The table

"This sturdy pine table, which I bought at Sears many years ago, came from our previous home. It's traditional and fits with the architecture here."

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The chairs

"I think these came from Elte and are French country. They [work] with the exposed brick and the informality of the space. It is a breakfast room, after all."

The mirror

"I bought this Gothic-inspired former confessional door at Horsefeathers. I loved the thickness and the exquisite carving. It came with the mirror in it. I put it up so that everyone can see the brilliance of the reservoir out back. [It's] an old restaurant trick. There is no bad seat in the room."

The exposed-brick wall

"While we were renovating I walked in on the contractor when he was plastering over the brick and I yelled, 'Stop!' I cleaned the plaster dust off and, voila. The wall has never looked better."

The chandelier

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"I bought this on sale and then later found out why it was on sale when I bumped my head on one of its pointy spikes. I solved that problem by getting some bead balls from Morningstar on Yonge Street and attaching them with epoxy. I also added the shades because I don't like bright lights."

The prints

"These are architectural prints from John Tiranti & Co. in London. They were a housewarming gift from a dear colleague. They depict small buildings in Italy, circa the 18th century. I put them in IKEA frames, using the cardboard packing as matting."

The lamps

"I found the pair at the St. Lawrence Market's Sunday Antique Market. They seemed strikingly original to me. The figure reminds me of the Statue of Liberty lady. I had the shades redone at Romela, on Yonge Street."

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About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

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