Mickey Rourke slept here. And it was up to designer Alan Price to make sure the 50th floor penthouse at the Vue condos in uptown Charlotte was fit for the eccentric movie star when he was in town this summer shooting an independent film. The end result was a design aesthetic that is equally eclectic, rugged and just plain fabulous. We’re talking a 1969 Aermacchi Harley Davidson in the middle of the living room, an airstream trailer fashioned into a sofa and an old handsaw repurposed as a breakfast table/workout center.
Price, a Greensboro based designer who works on prototypes for upscale furniture companies like Crate and Barrel and Hancock and Moore, was brought in after childhood friend Scott Remmel, the owner of Stay Furnished, got the call from the movie producers looking to house Rourke. Stay Furnished offers upscale, fully furnished temporary housing for high-end Charlotte area clients and was looking to make the Rourke apartment a signature space.
Price spent just two weeks conceptualizing his vision and filling the apartment that offers floor to ceiling windows and spectacular views of uptown and beyond with one of a kind pieces. “The goal was to get a feel for the person that would be staying in the space and what he had a passion for and just put things in the space that would recharge him at the end of a long working day,” Price says of designing for the movie star and former boxer.
A quick study of Rourke helped Price settle on what he calls a theme that is a mix of Grand Prix racing, Louis Vuitton art deco leather, and Italian motorcycles with an industrial influence. That’s obvious from the moment you walk in the door where there is a series of giant leather panels lining the entryway. In addition to the vintage Harley, the living room features a club chair made from an old Ferarri seat and a coffee table that is quite literally, a coffee table. Price took an old wooden pallet that used to transport coffee grinds, put legs on it and made it a statement piece that sits in front of the airstream sofa.
Price says he just followed his guiding design principle: “Home is a garden of the soul and you should put into it what makes you grow and weed out what doesn’t.”
If you want to live like Rourke, you can. Some of the pieces will be available at the High Point Furniture Market in October.