katie in graceland


Over a long weekend, I ventured out of Chicago’s city limits southward to Memphis to listen to blues, eat the best fried chicken in the world, and visit the legendary tourist epicenter Graceland.

Elvis’ beloved home is easily the ugliest house I’ve ever been in. From the thick green shag carpet covering the ceiling of the Jungle Room to the terrifying monkey statues inexplicably standing sentry in more than a few rooms, Graceland is a snapshot of all the interior design trends from a scary time in its history. The Billiard Room is just above. Please note that the couches are covered in the same material that the walls are covered in. Subtle is not an option in Graceland.

The Peacock Room is the perfect place for all those stain removal commercials to be filmed. White furniture, white carpet, white walls: it’s a busy-mom-with-a-family-of-four-and-a-golden-retriever’s nightmare without the proper cleaning products. They should start renting it out to Procter & Gamble for commercials. Check out the rest of the tacky bounty after the jump! — Katie D.


Out of all the rooms in Graceland, I dig Elvis’ basement bar the most. The painted wall is boldly graphic and the sparkly pillows reminds me of his iconic rhinestone jumpsuits. If it wasn’t for the freaky bug-eyed monkey on the coffee table, I’d move right in! As it were, I’m having trouble sleeping after being in that monkey’s presence. It haunts my nightmares like some terrible porcelain succubus. (Also: There. On the TV. Is that…Tiny Tim?)

Is it just me, or is this room actually somewhat tasteful?

Of course, maybe the surroundings are warping my perspective a bit.

Jungle Room: Let’s have a moment of silence for the time in interior design when shag carpeting was all the rage.



If you’re drinking a 40 oz., now’s a good time to pour some on the ground in loving memory.

Of course, even in the most ambitious decorating schemes, there is nothing more important than a tribute to family.

Well, except a shooting range.

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T Bone

truly the king. if i had that kind of money id have thirteen monkey rooms.


Sad you don’t have a picture of the stairwell lined with green shag carpet from floor to ceiling. My friends and I joked that it felt like you had been eaten by Oscar the Grouch.

Sarah C.

Great pics! I’ve never been so this is a nice little preview. Perfect visual preparation!

Megan B.

I kinda love that Peacock room, just sayin’.
Great pics, Katie! Makes me want to take my own pilgrimage someday….

Sara V.

I with Megan B., I love the Peacock room, at least the stained glass windows.


I had fun when I was there, but I definitely had similar reactions when in most of the rooms too. Craziness!


All I could think of while looking at the pictures was “remember how I always said I wanted a giant oyster shell bath tub? And how i always wanted a billiards room with life sized camels?” This is the house from “The Jerk” and for that reason I love it.

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I totally agree about the crazy over-the-topness (but actually in a totally good way, IMHO–I mean, hey, it’s Elvis! Those monkeys did creep me out, though) of Graceland, but it was an unexpectedly poignant experience for me, somehow. Once you get behind those gates and up that driveway, the house itself feels like, well, someone’s house (not a “mansion,” in other words), and it made me aware that Elvis actually did live there, and not that long ago…I mean, I loved Mt. Vernon, but I didn’t feel as if George Washington could come down the stairs at any moment! Anyway, a fun post…makes me want to go have a Krispy Kreme and get in line at Graceland!

Ok I just thought to myself “I could live at Graceland”. I mean he LOVED his house enough to name it. When I finally buy my own house I am totally going to give it a name.

truly the king. if i had that kind of money id have thirteen monkey rooms.

Katie D

Marissa- Interestingly enough, Elvis did not name the house Graceland! I thought that too- it’s such a perfect name I just assumed he came up with it. According to my tour guides, the couple that owned the house before Elvis had named it “Graceland” after the wife, Grace. Elvis loved the name so much he kept the it.