The Selby Makes Me Feel Bad About My IKEA Lifestyle

| February 25, 2013
  • Email Post

In January I tried to host a holiday party but panicked at the last minute and desperately un-invited everyone via email. Not only did I not have a Christmas tree, but I suddenly noticed my pathetic apartment was not worthy of hosting a party. My molding windows, the stacks of magazines piled high and leaning on the floor, my sad plants and IKEA furniture just didn’t cut it. Even though my friends all said it didn’t matter, it seemed criminal asking them to come eat some food on mismatched, unremarkable plates, knowing everywhere else there were apartments lovingly decorated and equipped with hip, space-saving ideas, or at least full of unexpected displays of ironic found objects. I couldn’t let anyone know just how mundane my lifestyle really is. And I blame The Selby.

This is Todd Selby, from theselby.com. I hate this!  I hate that he wears an ironic cat shirt with funky socks with loafers when I would wear the same shirt with LOVE.

This is photographer, Todd Selby, from theselby.com. I hate this! His whole outfit in dripping with irony, from the cat shirt with purple pants to the funky socks with loafers. I would wear the same shirt with LOVE.

From The Selby: Artist, Hunt Slonem's, uniquely quirky NY interior.

From The Selby: Artist, Hunt Slonem’s, uniquely quirky NY interior.

The selby.com is a lifestyle blog. It’s basically beautiful photos of interesting people’s interiors, a photo blog shot by Todd Selby in the vein of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” for the creative set. Like The Sartorialist meets MTV Cribs. On top of the regular shoots, it also features videos and corporate collaborations with companies like Zara, Coach, Louis Vuitton and Hennessy, using Todd Selby’s light-infused photography, his knack for eyeing details, and his wacky little watercolor drawings, to take the fantasy of someone else’s life and apply it to a brand. It’s fantasy on fantasy- pictures of fascinating people wearing buyable clothing. You might have seen the book published recently, The Selby is in Your Place, or the articles Mr. Selby does for the NY Times on food porn now, but that is for another article.

Fashion designer, Wolfgang Joop, in his AMAZING Berlin mansion, flanked with Collier Schorr photographs.

From The Selby: Fashion designer, Wolfgang Joop, in his AMAZING Potsdam mansion, flanked with Rineke Dijkstra photographs.

2_17_11_NinaPohl13964

From The Selby: Berlin artist Nona Pohl’s modernist nightmare. Where does she put anything? Does she have a junk drawer?

I’m not into home decor. I know my apartment building is crappy. Looking at amazing loft spaces is not going to change where I live or make me feel better about what I can’t afford. Also, I think of home decor as sort of a sad woman’s activity. As in, “I don’t have any creative outlets, so I’m going to spend the weekend painting my living room vermillion”. Somehow, though, I keep going back to The Selby. Because the photos often feature people I admire, or am vaguely fascinated by, the voyeuristic appeal of seeing what someone like publisher Angelika Taschen has in her fridge makes me put away my “I don’t do curtains” manifesto.

From The Selby: Restauranteur, Stephan Landwehr's, Berlin home featuring a jail-style open toilet.  Is this true design?  Does he just like pooping in front of his friends?

From The Selby: Restauranteur, Stephan Landwehr’s, Berlin home featuring a jail-style open toilet. Is this true design? Does he just like pooping in front of his friends?

From The Selby: Even the poor stuff looks cool (from NY artist, Hrafnhildur Arnardottir).

From The Selby: Even the poor stuff looks cool (from NY artist, Hrafnhildur Arnardottir).

From The Selby: The home of New York artists, Gray Foy and Joel Kaye.  I can put a bunch of crap on the wall, too.

From The Selby: The home of New York artists, Gray Foy and Joel Kaye. I can put a bunch of crap on the wall, too.

There are also people my age featured, young artist-stylist-model-musician types who do have creative outlets and their houses are still photogenic. This is what upsets me. It gets me looking around, sipping my morning coffee, looking at my half-assed walls hung with art in the wrong size frame on a random place on the wall. My lack of creative organizing. My lack of tchotchkes. Where is my wall of records? I only have enough for one shelf-full! I start pulling out hooks and nails and trying to think how to better organize my jewelry while I’m still holding my coffee mug. I go into a panic.

From The Selby: New York graffiti artist, Curtis Kulig, in his unbelievably well-lit loft.  Do you know how much that must cost in New York?  I can't take you and your terrible art and your Cannibal Corpse t-shirt while you burn sage in your beautiful loft!!

From The Selby: New York graffiti artist, Curtis Kulig, in his unbelievably well-lit loft. Do you know how much that must cost in New York? I can’t take you and your terrible art and your Cannibal Corpse t-shirt while you burn sage in your beautiful loft!!  Ahhhh!

From The Selby: Auckland stylist, Charlotte Rust's, awesome metal rooftop home makes me wonder why I'm not cooler.

From The Selby: Auckland stylist, Charlotte Rust’s, awesome metal rooftop home makes me wonder why I’m not cooler.

Charlotte Rust's candle decor particularly upset me.  Why couldn't I think of that?  I'm going to burn candles everywhere and just make a mess like I don't "care".

Charlotte Rust’s candle decor particularly set me over the edge. Why couldn’t I think of that? I’m going to burn candles everywhere and just make a mess like I don’t “care”.

Then I think, I don’t want to be impressed with your adult toy collection. It’s annoying to look at the walls covered with band fliers and stolen street signs, or your obsessive way of ordering your books in color combinations. And then I hate myself for worrying about it in the first place, and I put all my tools away and let the magazine pile stay slumped over on the floor. I also look at these two amazing antidotes to the cool-kid ironic decor, and I feel better about myself and my lack of decor-inspirado.

Unhappy Hipsters

Just knowing this exists makes me feel better.  All the images feature modernist architecture photos from sources like Dwell Magazine with new, better captions.

Caption from site: "Her letter to Santa read four simple words: Bring me a door".

Caption from the site: “Her letter to Santa read four simple words: Bring me a door”.

F*** Your Noguchi Coffee Table

I know, there’s serious swearing on this site. Don’t go there if you’re a kid. Like Unhappy Hipsters, this blog features more home decor images from interior design sources and then angrily captions them, pointing out their annoyances to people like you and me. The best part is the way these seemingly original home decor efforts are categorized, as in “Terrarium Tuesdays”.

Caption from the site: "F*** your bossy decal".

Caption from the site: “F*** your bossy decal”.

Caption from the site: "F*** your birds nests on cake stands".

Caption from the site: “F*** your birds nests on cake stands”.

So I’ll invite you to my party, but you better not look disappointed when you get here.

Related

Explore: , , , , , ,

  • Email Post

About the Author ()

I'm an artist, not a writer. Also, sometimes I pee my pants a little.
  • RroseSelavy

    I don’t mean to be nasty, because I am in deep sympathy with the sentiments expressed on this page, but for the love of god, please learn proper comma use if you’re going to be a semi-journalist. It’s not “Berlin artist, Nona Pohl’s, modernist nightmare,” it’s “Berlin artist Nona Pohl’s modernist nightmare.” Where, indeed, is her junk drawer? Or is she too cool for that tube of superglue and the pizza menu?

    • http://www.facebook.com/lizzy.acker Lizzy Acker

      Totally valid comma point! We are always working to be better at commas around here. Fixed!