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My Favorite Room: Cheryl Burke's pal Leah Remini did dining room makeover

My Favorite Room: Cheryl Burke's pal Leah Remini did dining room makeover
Cheryl Burke of “Dancing With the Stars” has become a homebody since friend Leah Remini gave her house a makeover. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Would you trust your bestie to redo your house? Two-time "Dancing With the Stars" champ Cheryl Burke did, and was thrilled with the results.

Burke loves to dance, but she didn't always love her L.A. hills home near Studio City. After seven years, she became bored with the house and considered selling it — until her close friend actress Leah Remini stepped in.

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The "King of Queens" star, who also did a stint on "Dancing With the Stars," worked on key room makeovers for free. That balcony looking into the neighbors' yard? It became a cozy oasis with a privacy wall, bench and fire pit. The underutilized dining area? It's been transformed too.

As the house changed, so did Burke.

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"Instead of wanting to travel so much, now I'm a homebody," she says.

Well, almost a homebody. Burke will be in Japan this summer to debut a live dance show she created called "Love on the Floor."

What is your favorite room?

Right now my favorite room is the new library/lounge area. It used to be my dining room, but I would never go in there. So Leah basically redesigned everything; interior design is her passion. She redid the whole room for me and made it into a room where I can sit with my friends, entertain and relax.

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Dancer Cheryl Burke's new library/lounge area features lots of books, carpet, a custom-made couch and a coffee table.
Dancer Cheryl Burke's new library/lounge area features lots of books, carpet, a custom-made couch and a coffee table. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

What makes the room special?

We added pictures of my family, lots of books, carpet, a custom-made couch, a coffee table. We put up wallpaper and all of these black and white photos of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Tina Turner and Carmen Miranda, too. My house has a lot of great views of Universal City and the hills, so we put up a mirror. Now the view is reflected in that. We put new lighting in, but at night I usually just light candles.

Did you design this room?

Leah and I designed it together because I was gone for most of February. Leah was sending me designs, but I'm more visual; I needed to see it happen.

Is there another redone part of the house that speaks to you?

My balcony. I haven't watched TV in a long time, because I just like to go outside and sit and chill or write in my journal.

Leah got the whole balcony done in three to four days.

Any funny things happen during the renovations?

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When Leah and I were shopping for books for the library, we went to Barnes & Noble. I kept telling her to be quiet because we were in a library. She said, "No, Cheryl, this is Barnes & Noble." But I had never been there! I also went to Ikea for the first time.

Do you practice dance moves at home?

Now that we have a big space between my family room and my library, I dance all the time.

I also helped ["DWTS" ballroom dancer] Tony Dovolani with his Argentine tango out on my balcony.

During the renovation we added carpet out there, so I don't feel like my shoes will get stuck in the cracks anymore.

Who's your favorite dance partner?

I had 18 of them on "Dancing With the Stars." I would say Drew Lachey; he was my first partner, and we won. I also won with Emmitt Smith; we're still close like family.

Also Jack Osbourne and Rob Kardashian.

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