How Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed Built Their Life Away From Hollywood

Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed left that onscreen vampire life behind for the sprawling farm they share with their two kids and all sorts of animals.

By Natalie Finn Dec 08, 2023 12:00 PMTags
Watch: Ian Somerhalder Gushes Over Beautiful Wife Nikki Reed

No one needs to tell Ian Somerhalder that the Hollywood grind is way overrated.

Lots of good clean dirt, however, is where it's at.

He and wife Nikki Reed are "farm people" these days, the Vampire Diaries alum told E! News last month, describing the back-to-the-land life they're leading with their 6-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son (plus horses, dogs, goats, etc.) miles away from Los Angeles.

"We produce most of our own food, I live in my cowboy boots," added Somerhalder, who's turning 45 Dec. 8 and has more irons in the fire than ever—from producing environmentally minded documentaries to the Brothers Bond Bourbon label he started with Paul Wesley—despite having put acting on the back burner several years ago.

None of which would be as rewarding without his bride of eight years by his side.

Stars Who Quit Hollywood

"I have never met a more resourceful human being," he said of Nikki in 2022. "I think together, with our combined skills, we could live forever on an island. You can drop us on an island, and we would be okay."

Presley Ann/Getty Images for The Art of Elysium

But two actors don't just walk away from their beachside home in Malibu if they're not on the same recycled-paper page about what they really want out of life.

"To be fully transparent about it, I really did not want to be in the public eye anymore," Nikki, who founded her sustainable jewelry line BaYou With Love in 2017, told Santa Barbara Magazine last year. So she was onboard with retreating up the coast a bit, noting, "California has the ability to offer seclusion, but you can also be in driving distance to these major cities at the drop of a hat."

And when she and her family hit the road, as they like to do in their tricked-out Fleetwood RV when wanderlust strikes, the destination hardly matters so long as it's off the grid.

"If I could like tell you my dream," Reed said, "it would be to achieve total food autonomy, to have zero connection to a supermarket, to city water, to anything like that—to be able to live without relying on any system. So, you know, we're not too far off from that."

Keep reading for scenes from the road Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder have been traveling together for almost a decade:

Nikki's First TikTok

Nikki and Ian pay tribute to their Twilight and Vampire Diaries characters in the actress' first TikTok, shared Jan. 18, 2024.

New Year's Eve 2023

The Vampire Diaries actor wrote on Instagram Dec. 31, "Yeahhhhhhh 2024!"

Giving "Gratitude"

The Lost actor praises his wife for helping him get "out of a terrible business situation" that left him in the hospital. "This woman here decided that she didn't want to see her husband ruin his body/mind/spirit and pulled up her bootstraps and got down in the trenches assembling a team to get to the negotiating table to find a way out," he shared. "She devoted her life to getting me out of that mess and it almost killed her along the way. I am where I am BECAUSE of this woman. Brothers Bond Bourbon is actually here today because of this woman. I was able to start my life over because of this woman."

Birthday Boy

In December 2020, Nikki shared a sweet birthday tribute to her husband, writing, "Happy Happy birthday to this man right here. The most creative, certifiably genius, deepest thinker of anyone I have ever known with the most giving spirit."

Rainforest Sips

Ian and wife Nikki celebrated spring (and being married four years) by sipping on bush chai in the rainforest in April 2019. 

Pure Bliss

The actor shared this romantic photo, along with a sweet caption about his lady love on their fourth wedding anniversary in 2019. "I'm completely blown away by you...," he began, adding, "Whether dancing at our wedding, swimming across the seas, cuddling one of our furry creatures, jumping on airplanes around the world, snapping beautiful photos or sitting hand and hand looking at the ocean with a beer: we do it all together. It's been nothing short of amazing to breathe the air of the bright blue sky all over this planet with you."

Defying Gravity

This duo's love is one that clearly defies the laws of physics.

Precious Peck

The lovebirds really like locking lips with each other!

Sweet Snuggles

In this throwback picture from 2015, the precious pair enjoyed some not-so-covert makeout time.

Cute Carry

In another flashback photo—this time from 2014—the Vampire Diaries actor whisked his wife right off her feet!

Romance in the Rain

During New York Fashion Week, the cute couple shared a sweet smooch in the rain.

Flawless Family

For Father's Day, the CW star threw it back to this adorable moment where he planted a peck on Nikki's growing baby bump.

Fun in the Sun

The two showed off their fit figures while out on the water in this photo. And clearly, they couldn't keep their hands off each other!

Crazy Kiss

The actress loves doing acrobatics and her hubby loves supporting her (literally!).

Polaroid Perfection

This precious photo was posted in honor of the couple's third anniversary and we can't get over the cuteness.

Valentine's Day View

Aw, how romantic. The lovebirds smooched under the setting sun on Valentine's Day.

Awards Show Smooch

Aren't these two so cute sharing a kiss at the Golden Globes?

Greener Pastures

The animal lovers look so cozy laying on the grass next to some beautiful horses in this snap.

Black-and-White Bliss

The couple loves their PDA.