How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to Todd Selby


Skateboarders, creative directors, chefs and hip designers are all captivating subjects for photographer Todd Selby, who has traveled the world for more than 20 years, capturing creatives at home for his blog, the Selby.

“I have always been interested in outside-the-box people who live in vibrantly colorful homes,” Selby says. “When I was growing up in Orange County during the 1980s, the most interesting person in my world was a classmate who used to draw Garfield at lunch every day. He’d ask me, ‘What do you want Garfield to do?’ To me, he was a hero in a cliquish school.”

After he became a father, Selby’s interest shifted to how other parents managed their chaotic domestic life. His latest book, “The Selby Comes Home: An Interior Design Book for Creative Families” (Abrams, $65), is a testament to this curiosity. It features a diverse array of families — 41 — from Echo Park to Tokyo. Among them are a family of four residing in a one-bedroom apartment in Kawasaki City and a family of five tending to ducks, chickens, a dog and donkeys on a 20-acre wilderness retreat outside of Portland.

sunday funday infobox logo with spot illustrations in blue, yellow, and green

In Sunday Funday, L.A. people give us a play-by-play of their ideal Sunday around town. Find ideas and inspiration on where to go, what to eat and how to enjoy life on the weekends.

Selby says traveling the world has given him an appreciation for Los Angeles. “L.A. is so spread out, and there are so many cities and they are all so different,” he says. “It’s an interesting place for a person who likes to explore.”

Selby travels less than he used to so that he can be at home with his two children, 6 and 8. Below, he details his ideal Sunday itinerary in which, like his subjects, he juggles family and home life, interspersed with some time for himself.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length and clarity.

5:45 a.m.: Online shopping under the covers

My luxury is waking up really early and hiding under the covers to do some silent online shopping and then going back to sleep. I’ll read my buddy Laurel Pantin’s Earl Earl newsletter and buy the silky men’s scarf she recommended from Etsy. Or I’ll log on to Wayfair and snag a two-seat camping chair. I am a camping chair aficionado. I have five of them just for me, for different occasions and backups. Full disclosure: I have directed a bunch of Kelly Clarkson for Wayfair commercials, but I am a big-time fan of the brand and camping chairs!

6:15 a.m: Go back to sleep

After a little more sleep, I’ll wake up at 7 a.m. and go downstairs for coffee and breakfast with my wife, Danielle, and our kids. I make coffee the night before in my beloved Chemex with Groundworks beans. I always buy 5-pound bags of their Black Magic Espresso as I am afraid I will run out, which I have never done. Then, in the morning, I pour the room-temperature coffee over ice and add some extra creamy Califia Farms oat milk.

7:15 a.m. Test jewelry

My wife usually gifts me a piece of jewelry to test for her jewelry line, Sherman Field. Today, it will probably be a 25-inch Double Chain Medium so I can rock two chains like one of my top musical influences, 2 Chainz. I’m an official wear tester, meaning you wear a sample and ensure it functions.

7:45 a.m. Game of Life with the kids

I’ll continue the Game of Life with my kids at our dining table. The classic board game chooses your career path and loans from the bank. The more babies you get, the more money you get, which is confusing.

8:30 a.m.: Do a back workout for photographers

After Life, I’ll do my photographers back workout developed by Jason Whitman at Positive Physical Therapy. One of the exercises involves lying on a psoas ball. It’s like a big puffy yet firm ball on your stomach, and somehow, it makes your back feel amazing.

9 a.m.: Bike ride with the Cobrasnake

I’ll do a quick bike ride with local photography celebrity Mark Hunter, a.k.a the Cobrasnake. We are both “old school bloggers” and like riding our bikes down Ocean Avenue. I have a beach cruiser with a coconut drink holder. We will pass 21st Place and 21st Street in Santa Monica on our bike ride. I always wonder why there is both a 21st Street and a 21st Place.

11:15 a.m.: Order the secret sandwich at Lady & Larder

Then we’ll stop by Lady & Larder for a Scribe rosé pinot noir, colorful candles and crackers. We like to support local small businesses. They are famous for their cheese boards. Sometimes, I may even order a secret sandwich. Why is it a secret? I have no idea — that’s just what they call it. But who doesn’t like a tasty secret?

11:45 a.m.: Piggies and play at the Mar Vista farmers’ market

Around noon, the whole family will head to the Mar Vista farmers’ market to buy our fruits and veggies for the week and play with Steve’s Machines. He has kid-operated cranes and wild robots. We usually buy some “piggies” (as my daughter calls them) — pig-shaped red bean dumplings.

1 p.m.: Hit the birthday party circuit

We usually end up at one or two kids’ birthday parties during the weekend. The kids often head straight in to pound as many treats and fruity beverages as quickly as possible. I will check out the food options; usually, it’s Fresh Brothers Pizza cut up into small squares. I will eye the pizza, think about skipping it, and then eat it.

2 p.m.: Paint in the art studio

For a long time, the kids were totally uninterested in my art studio, which is a special place. At one point, I told them they weren’t allowed to go into my art studio, and the next day, they were all about my art studio. They love doing watercolors with me. I am trying to get them to do the “paint by numbers” in my new book, but they haven’t been interested. We usually paint kitties, unicorns or other creatures with “cutie eyes.”

3 p.m. Pick up dinner at the Tehran Market

We like to go to the Tehran Market, a great Persian grocery store in Santa Monica, to pick up dinner and some groceries. On Sundays, they have people out back grilling in the parking lot. You place your order, and then you can shop it up inside. I usually load up on labneh while I wait for my huge grilled salmon and vegetable plate.

4 p.m.: Lifeguard

I’ll sit in one of my camping chairs and lifeguard while the kids swim.

5 p.m.: Cook dinner together as a family

My youngest daughter is a hard-core sushi lover, and she rolls it herself with fish we buy at Eataly and Santa Monica Seafood — Eataly has great salmon eggs. My younger daughter will hand-roll some salmon egg sushi, and my older daughter will help make some mac and cheese. Both kids help make kale chips for the whole family. Then our family and some friends will eat our Tehran Market takeout.

7 p.m.: Read library books

We read to our kids with books from the library. I am a huge Los Angeles and Santa Monica library system fan. You can request any book you want, and they ship it to your local library for pickup. Even DVDs. Our family currently has 51 titles out! I stop by a library every week, drop off books and pick up new ones. That way, the books are always fresh for the kids, and we can follow their interests daily. Currently, we love reading the Isadora Moon series and the Real Pigeons series. Isadora Moon is about a kid that’s half fairy and half vampire.

8 p.m.: Bloons and bath

After the kids are asleep I will play a bit of Bloons TD 6 — a video game where little monkeys throw darts at balloons — on my iPad. It captivates me. I don’t know why. Then it’s time for a Lush bath bomb and a soak.

9 p.m. Books and Zs

Currently, I am loving “The Lost City of Z.” It was a rumored city in the Amazon rainforest, and all these people went to find it, and they didn’t come back. I’m on the third round of people who don’t come back. I’ve been to the Amazon with my dad, and we went for three days, but we didn’t see any pink river dolphins. I feel fortunate that I didn’t disappear.





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