Jonathan Togo interview

'CSI: Miami' actor Jonathan Togo working out at home.'CSI: Miami' actor Jonathan Togo working out at home. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Jonathan Togo, the 33-year-old actor who returns to "CSI: Miami" as investigator Ryan Wolfe when the new season premieres Oct. 3, is bemused by the celebrity real estate racket.

Instead of buying into the hype that he needs more house, more furnishings he won't use and more security in the form of a gated neighborhood, Togo is happy with something smaller and more personal, he says. Two years ago he bought his first home, a 1, 800-square-foot Midcentury pad in the Hollywood Hills, and he asked himself: "What if I got a tiny house and filled it with the best things I love?"

FOR THE RECORD:
Jonathan Togo: In the Sept. 18 Home section, an article profiling actor Jonathan Togo misspelled the first name of boxer Muhammad Ali as Mohammed. —

The question explains what one sees here: an eclectic mix of vintage and new furnishings, an unexpected photography and print collection, and a personal boxing gym in the garage.

Dressed in gym shorts and a T-shirt with a stylized image of Mohammed Ali, Togo leads a tour through the 1958 post-and-beam structure that contains just a few main rooms, including a combined living-dining-kitchen area that occupies more than half the home.

"From my bedroom I can see the Hollywood sign, " Togo says. But the Boston native's road here started at Vassar College in upstate New York, where he graduated from the theater program. He then lived for five years in a Brooklyn doll factory-turned loft. After moving to the West Coast, he initially shared apartments with friends in West Hollywood and Manhattan Beach.

By 2008, Togo found the partially renovated Hollywood Hills house despite an agent who tried to discourage the purchase by labeling the property too small. But Togo was captivated by the canyon, live oaks and eucalyptus trees outside the ceiling-to-floor sliding doors.

"This is like a little tree house, and oddly, it fits me, " Togo says. "The view is everything — it's like a giant piece of art."

His business manager introduced him to interior designer Lory Johansson, but instead of handing over a check and waiting for the results, Togo has involved himself in the selection of Midcentury chairs, in reviving the original outdoor lights with a coat of pumpkin orange, and in repurposing a length of bowling lane as a swivel desk for his home office.

"I think it's so weird that people on MTV's 'Cribs' don't choose their own things — like a grand piano in the living room, " he says.

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