Though Michael Vlamis’s rustic garage has evolved from man cave to think tank to screening room, one thing remains the same: the more people, the merrier.
Vlamis — who stars in the CW network’s “Roswell, New Mexico,” a reboot of the 1999 WB series “Roswell” — shares his 1,642-square-foot West Hollywood home with three roommates, plus “more people coming in and out,” he said.
“I have a very loud, always on the move, Greek-Serbian-Lebanese family. I’ve been used to having people around my whole life to bounce ideas off of,” said the actor, 28. “Everybody in this house has collaborated in some way or another.”
The detached garage — located behind the house in a large, overgrown backyard featuring a fire pit and picnic table — has a very clear purpose: “community and collaboration.”
“I wanted a place that doesn’t feel stuffy. You can put your feet up and not worry about anything except the good ideas,” Vlamis said.
This community has left its mark on the garage. There’s the 20-foot area rug “that has seen a lot,” including a friend’s brother “who puked all over it” (it’s been thoroughly cleaned since), and a painting of one of his old roommates, musician and internet personality Steven Spence, “drumming in the woods with his shirt off.”
The space also features a print of the Santa Monica Pier hanging crookedly from the garage door, a tool area with a miter saw, rakes, brooms and shovels and a large, bed-sheet movie screen.
“That’s the garage: a bunch of really weird, old pieces that come together and have a story,” Vlamis said.
“I wanted a place that doesn’t feel stuffy. You can put your feet up and not worry about anything except the good ideas,” Vlamis says of his detached garage.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Power tools have a place in the Vlamis’ garage.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
A globe sits on a shelf.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
“That’s the garage: a bunch of really weird, old pieces that come together and have a story,” Vlamis says.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
A microwave is used for heating up snacks during screenings for friends.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Dartboard and skateboard share space.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
The detached garage — located behind the house in a large, overgrown backyard featuring a fire pit and picnic table — has a very clear purpose: “community and collaboration.”(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Vlamis says he uses a projector and a white screen to show movies and television shows to friends in the garage of his home.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Why is your garage your favorite room?
It’s gone through a lot, but one day we decided we could do a lot more with it, so we turned it into a screening room. We have this pretty crazy rigged projector and this huge sheet that we bought and cut to fit perfectly. For a while, we were doing Sunday movie nights, but now this garage is pretty much dedicated to “Roswell, New Mexico.” We have a little space heater that we bring out here if it gets cold, a popcorn machine inside and a cotton candy machine that’s probably too dirty to bust out.
This room used to have another name.
We referred to it as the Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak room. [Apple got started out of a garage.] We came in here and developed and wrote a lot of movies. We’ve shot a lot of short films and sketches in here, too.
How would you describe your aesthetic style?
Eclectic. If I see something really funky, I want to buy it. I’ve learned over the past two years that you can’t have a room full of just eclectic stuff because then nothing comes together or makes sense. The women in my life have been teaching me that I need to have some pieces that bring everything together.
Favorite memory in here?
In 2017, I had my “golden birthday” party, and we were hanging out in here. It was the first birthday I threw where I didn’t invite the world. I matured from being a chicken without a head in this town, trying to do everything — write, direct, produce — and I kind of alienated myself from everybody. I was at rock-bottom, but that birthday, instead of worrying about networking and connections and all that, I invited my 30 closest buddies. Everyone brought their junk food of choice. It made me realize you don’t need everybody in your life, you just need the people in the core group, and since then I’ve kind of been in that mindset.