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.
You might not expect one of television’s hippest and most recognizable interior designers to admit to being a fan of the Valley — that’s right, the San Fernando Valley — but that is partly why “Queer Eye’s” Bobby Berk moved from New York to Los Angeles.
“One of the things I love about L.A. is how outdoors-centric it is,” Berk says. “The weather allows you to be outside as much as possible. I was in New York for 14 years, and that was not my experience.”
As a creative director, interior designer and television host on the Emmy-nominated series on Netflix, Berk has always tried to make home decor accessible to everyone. “I want to democratize design,” says the 42-year-old designer and author of “Right at Home: How Good Design Is Good for the Mind,” which will be released Sept. 12.
“My book is about the intersection of mental health and home design,” Berk says. “The book delves into not just how to make your space pretty but how to figure out what makes you happy. What is your favorite clothing? Vacation? You should work those things into your home because they will make you happy. Your home is like your phone charger. If you don’t charge it, your phone won’t make it through the day, and it will die.”
When not traveling the country for “Queer Eye” or his inaugural book tour — he will be signing his book at Barnes & Noble at the Grove in Los Angeles on Sept. 15 — Berk likes to relax in L.A. by spending time with his husband, Dewey Do, and their mini Labradoodle, Bimini.
Berk’s Sundays usually begin at the gym in Studio City and end with dinner at home with Do and friends like comedian Atsuko Okatsuka. Here, he shares how he typically enjoys Sundays in L.A.
Berk, a SAG-AFTRA member, was recently nominated for an Emmy for his work as a host on “Queer Eye.” This interview was conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
7 a.m.: Walk Bimini around Lake Hollywood
The first thing we do when we get up is feed our mini Labradoodle, Bimini. Then [my husband and I] usually walk around Lake Hollywood or hike one of the trails that lead up to the Hollywood sign. We are obsessed with getting our steps in.
8:30 a.m.: Spin class in the Valley
I have to force myself to go to the gym. If I don’t book a class, I’ll take calls or read emails, and then I won’t go. If I commit to something, I will do it. So I will either take a spin class at Heimat on La Brea — it’s as if SoHo House and Equinox had a baby — or I’ll book a class at the Equinox at the Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. The funny thing is, before I moved to L.A., I would think, “The Valley? Ewww!” But now you have to twist my arm to get me to go into L.A.
I go to Sherman Oaks and Studio City for everything. The Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge has an Equinox, Erewhon, Fred Segal, Kismet — and there’s parking! I usually work out after spin class, so if I took a class at 10, I wouldn’t leave until noon or 1.
10:30 a.m.: Grab a coffee in Burbank
After I hit the gym, I usually grab a coffee at Coffee Commissary in Burbank.
I love supporting smaller coffee shops. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m out of town for work I’ll hit Starbucks because I know what to expect, but I prefer to support small businesses when I’m home.
Noon: Shop the Rose Bowl Flea Market
If it’s the second Sunday of the month, I’ll go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. If I am looking for something specific, I’ll go early, but usually I just purchase regular admission. For me, it’s more about having fun. My tip is not to go in with any expectations. If I find something, I find something.
Whenever I’m looking for something specific, I don’t find it. It’s a flea market after all, everything is unique. But if I go for fun, I find the most amazing things, like a beautiful Midcentury Modern credenza I have kept for years and years. I am constantly changing things but have kept it in three different houses. You can always call Task Rabbit if you need a truck pickup.
2 p.m.: Brunch in Silver Lake
Our dog goes with us everywhere, so we go to places where we can all sit outside.
We like to have brunch at Bacari in Silver Lake. It was beautiful when it was Cliff’s Edge, but they have made it even more beautiful. And the food is terrific.
3:30 p.m. Ice cream in Los Feliz
We love ice cream — especially salty and sweet flavors — and I love me some Jeni’s. I usually get the Everything Bagel [sweet cream ice cream schmeared with sesame, poppy seeds, onions and garlic], which is my favorite. I became obsessed with Jeni’s when we filmed the first season of “Queer Eye,” and there was one next door to where we were staying in Atlanta. There’s usually a line, but you don’t have to wait if you buy a pint. My tip: Buy way more ice cream than you need, so you don’t have to wait in line.
4:30 p.m.: Chill and play fetch with Bimini
One of my favorite things about living in L.A. is how chill it is. I laugh at myself when I say that, by the way. When I lived in New York, a good friend and I rented a house in the Hamptons one time, and when my best friend and business partner came out with his husband, they kept talking about how “chill” it was in Los Angeles. As a New Yorker who was definitely not chill, I would start twitching whenever they said the word “chill.” But now, I say it too: We like to chill at home and play fetch with the dog on Sunday afternoons.
6 p.m.: Al fresco dinner on the deck with family and friends
On Sunday evenings, we catch up on our shows and have dinner on our deck, often with my friend comedian Atsuko Okatsuka and her husband, Ryan Harper Gray.
Hosting a small dinner party at my house with friends is my favorite thing to do on a Sunday evening. We mostly eat vegan and pescatarian at home, and my husband cooks. I can cook but don’t like to, so Dewey cooks. And we all clean up together. Our friends are good about cleaning up. Dewey loves to cook and experiment. He doesn’t have a signature dish because every meal is different.
8:30 p.m. Catch up on TV shows
I love sci-fi, so we enjoy TV shows like “Silo” or “Foundation,” which just released a second season. “High Desert” is something we have been watching too.
“Stars on Mars” is so stupid, but I love it. It’s basically “Big Brother” on Mars. The celebrity contestants are sent to the Australian Outback, which has been designed to simulate Mars. Our friends [Olympic figure skater] Adam Rippon and comedian Natasha Leggero are on it. William Shatner is the host. I am usually not a big reality show fan, but any time my friends are on a show, I have to watch it.