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Why this is architect Mark Burkart’s favourite room

Chris Bolin/The Globe and Mail

As one of the principals of McKinley Burkart, the interior design and architecture firm honoured with a Prairie Design Award for Calgary's sculptural M-Tech building, architect Mark Burkart has overseen his fair share of residential projects since founding the firm 16 years ago. The century-old Elbow Park bungalow that he moved into three years ago with his biologist wife and their two school-age sons wasn't exactly screaming, however, for his help. A previous restorer of the 1914 home had done such a good job of updating the structure that Burkart found himself admiring the house from the sidelines. The 14-by-14-foot master bedroom was so well refurbished that all he did was add a couple of coats of paint. "It feels fresh and optimistic," Burkart says of its white-on-white palette. "It makes waking up feel good."

The bed

"The whole bed, headboard included, is from Restoration Hardware. We ordered it in white velvet. We love how it goes with everything. It also has a wonderful texture that's warm to the touch."

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The bookshelves

"These came with the house and originally I considered tearing them out. They were maple coloured, according to the original wood, and I wasn't crazy about the scrolled ends. But after we painted them white I ended up loving them. They feel quite sculptural to me."

The wheels

"These were salvaged from a hidden dumb waiter that we found while renovating. They are like a piece of history from the house."

The suitcases

"My wife, Julie Burkart, loves vintage suitcases. She collects them. They are all over the room. They are beautifully made and have a nice texture to them. I enjoy the craftsmanship."

The baby-head candle holder

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"His name is Joseph, and he was made by the artist Maxim Velcovsky. We bought it at Liberty of London. It looks odd, but we love it."

The console table

"It's from a company called Roost, a trades-only business in the U.S. I liked the raw nature of it and the way it set itself off from the white."

The throw

"This is a luxurious faux-fur throw from Restoration Hardware that we ordered online. If you haven't experienced a cold Calgary winter then you might not appreciate how essential a throw like this is."

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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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