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My Favorite Room: Dan Bucatinsky's kitchen is a down-home 'family room'

My Favorite Room: Dan Bucatinsky's kitchen is a down-home 'family room'
"I’d have to call the kitchen the family room," says the Emmy-winning actor. (Michael Owen Baker / For The Times)

Actor Dan Bucatinsky's Beverly Hills house is a decent approximation of a traditional Tuscan villa, with wrought-iron balconies, a courtyard and stone and tile detailing.

Bucatinsky and his partner, screenwriter and director Don Roos, bought the roughly 5,000-square-foot home nearly two decades ago — before Bucatinsky won an Emmy for his stint on "Scandal" and wrote his book "Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?"

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"At the time, I had not been to Italy. It was just a big house with a beautiful kitchen — a big step up for us," Bucatinsky said. "The kitchen is one of the main reasons we bought the house."

The actor is currently filming the Fox show "24: Legacy" and producing the series "Who Do You Think You Are?" with Lisa Kudrow. He and Roos have two children together.

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Why do you love the kitchen so much?

I'd have to call the kitchen the family room — it's where the kids play their board games, where I make them pancakes every morning, where Don and I drink tea sitting in the corner chair. There's a fireplace, an island, a dog bed. There's everything in there except a bathroom.

How'd you decorate it?

None of my showbizzy stuff is in the kitchen. For years, we had a fridge with wood paneling on top of it, so we couldn't use magnets. But we had a big floor-to-ceiling mirror with a thick, beautiful wood frame standing against one of the walls. We'd put the kids' artwork and New Year's resolutions in the crack between the glass and the frame. It's a sweet thing to see when you walk in.

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There's a plate the kids made at Color Me Mine for our 20th anniversary, and another plate we bought as a memento in Vermont back in 2004 for our civil-union ceremony. And there's a framed caricature of the family that hangs in the kitchen as well.

Your dining table is very unique.

It used to be Don's table for him to write his movies on. There are desk drawers that come out of every side, filled with the kids' stationery and a bunch of Nintendo games. It's definitely a table of a family with children.

And it has a bit of a farmhouse vibe, with the long bench on one side.

I love the farm ideal, even though there's nothing in my life history that would explain it — I grew up in Manhattan and now live in Beverly Hills. But now we even have three chickens.

So what's on the menu usually?

I have celiac disease, so I try all kinds of gluten-free recipes. I'm shooting in Atlanta right now, but I can't have fried chicken and biscuits, so my most recent obsession is trying to make gluten-free fried chicken and biscuits.

Why the affinity for the Tuscan look?

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We bought this as a spec house. There was a lot about it that was prefab. The fireplace looked like stone but felt hollow and cheap. Many corners had been cut. We put new molding and wood doors everywhere, finishing plaster on the walls, real mantles imported from Europe for the fireplaces.

A lot of celebs like to move around. Think you'll be here a long time?

Don said, "This is the house I'm going to be buried in."

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