Credit: Thayer Allyson Gowdy and Food Network Magazine

Alison Sweeney may be a West Coast girl, but her interior decorating style is definitely more Connecticut than California.

Sweeney, best known for starring in Days of Our Lives for more than 20 years, shares her equestrian-theme kitchen in the latest issue of Food Network Magazine. She reveals to the mag that the design was largely inspired by summer trips she took to an aunt’s house out East.

“My aunt was a great interior decorator and had a huge influence on me and my home style,” Sweeney, 40, says.

Credit: Thayer Allyson Gowdy and Food Network Magazine

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Featured design elements include a coffee counter and large farmhouse sink, which are ideal for whipping up meals (and easy clean up). A full bar nearby makes shaking up cocktails a cinch when entertaining: “We can be part of the party when we’re mixing drinks,” she says.

Red walls behind the open shelving, dark countertops and stools, and a proudly displayed drawing of Sweeney’s childhood horse, Apparition, add warmth to the Los Angeles home. She and her husband David’s favorite feature, however, turns up the heat even more.

“We leave it on even when it’s not cold out,” Sweeney says of the gas fireplace near the dining table. “It makes the room feel so cozy.

For more of Sweeney’s sophisticated space, pick up the November issue of Food Network Magazine, on newsstands now.