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How Ian Somerhalder's Vampire Diaries Goodbye Will Clear the Way for a Family with Nikki Reed

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Ian Somerhalder is reaching Mystic Falls’ city limis.

As The Vampire Diaries cast prepares to bid farewell to the show, the actor tells PEOPLE he’s ready to close this chapter of his life in order to open a few more.

“It’s the end of a very cool era,” says Somerhalder, 37. “It will be quite an incredible feat to shoot that last scene and know that we’re completing almost eight years of work on a television show.”

Graduating from love triangles and neck bites, Somerhalder shares he’s “very much looking forward to creating and producing more stories” with wife Nikki Reed.

Dave Mangels/Getty
Dave Mangels/Getty

The pair, who tied the knot in April 2015, just launched their production company, Rare Birds, under Warner Brothers, and Somerhalder says the decision to wed their personal and professional endeavors has only made their relationship stronger.

Now that they’ve raised a company together, how might another family expansion fit into the mix?

“It’s just about scaling down,” Somerhalder says. “You have to manage, you can only do so much at one time. Once I’m not on set for 15 hours a day, five days a week, that frees up a lot of time. I’m excited about it!”

He adds of the years he’s happily spent on TVD: “It’s been nearly a decade. It’s time to turn over new leaves and really put our energies into other stuff.”

The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays (8 p.m. ET) on The CW.