Arik Levy’s Paris

The multidisciplinary designer’s “techno-poetic” style has inspired projects as varied as chandeliers for Baccarat and myriad furniture for Ligne Roset

Image: Léa Crespi

Saturday is the only day I allow myself to sleep past 6am. We live next to a church in the 20th arrondissement, and the bell is like an integrated alarm clock. Our two young daughters [Avasnow, seven, and Paz, four] know they can’t wake us until it strikes nine.

Breakfast is a big event. I’ll eat Greek feta on toast, washed down with Thé Vert Marco Polo from the tea emporium Mariage Frères. I’m a feta fanatic and have discovered the perfect variety at a specialist grocery store called Alimentation Orientale/Mervan in the Rue de Bagnolet. I am particular about my toast too: it must be from day‑old baguette so that it’s crunchy on the outside and soft in the centre and made in my old Moulinex toaster, which has noble dimensions and no plastic. I’ll read as I eat, catching up on the things I tear out of newspapers and magazines during the week. I particularly like the Courier Unesco because it has no political agenda. Then, when I have depressed myself with the news, I’ll read art books. My most recent purchase is Taschen’s magnificent limited-edition monograph Ai Weiwei, which is a comprehensive examination of his life and work. Like so many Chinese artists, he uses everyday objects to make his work. I can relate to that.

Then my wife Zoé and I will take the girls to our local market, Marché Charonne, to buy sea bass that really tastes of the sea. I only ever buy fresh food that is properly free-range. Afterwards we usually stop at Café Lino – an ordinary neighbourhood place with a wonderfully laid-back atmosphere – and watch Paris go by over a coffee and a simple tartine.

We live in a townhouse and I find doing basic household repairs relaxing, so I’ll take one of the girls to the DIY store Castorama. It’s filled with all sorts of bits and bobs and I always end up buying things I don’t need. If I really can’t justify a trip there, we’ll go to the Palais de Tokyo. I think it’s the best contemporary art gallery in Paris – it has such vast dimensions and there is always something new to see.

At some point in the afternoon I’ll go to the Piscine Georges Vallerey. Water is my element and because this pool is 50m long and has an open roof in summer, I feel as though I’m swimming in a big expanse of water. As I do my laps, I’ll dream of surfing.


I’m away a lot, so Zoé and I try to eat out together on Saturday evenings. We usually end up at Lao Siam close by, which I first discovered 20 years ago. It serves traditional Thai food like rare-beef salad with citronella, chicken satay and coconut ice cream. I find it difficult to eat well during the week because I’m constantly jumping out of taxis and onto aeroplanes, so this is a great way to refresh my palate.

Sunday morning starts early as the girls go to Hebrew classes. I was born in Israel and we speak Hebrew at home, but I think it’s important for them to hear other people speak it too.

My son Reem [20] and I are building a skateboard so we’ll go to the studio while the girls are out. I’m reviving an old interest – I used to be a really keen skateboarder – and it’s fun to be making something that’s just for me rather than a client.

We’ll all get together again for a lunch of yesterday’s sea bass before setting off on our bikes for the Vincennes forest. The great thing about living in the 20th arrondissement is that nature is so close by.

We’ll often go to the Max Linder Panorama cinema [pictured] in the evening. Dating back to 1912, it is like stepping into a different era.


But whatever we do, I’ll always go and paint for a while in my home studio after everyone else has gone to bed. I paint in my head all week, and on Sunday nights I can just go and do it.

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