I’ve just made the pilgrimage to one the worlds most famous houses, Graceland. Home to Elvis Presley from 1957- until his death in 1977. Elvis bought this house when he was just 22 years old. They say he gave his parents a budget of $100,000 to find a ‘farm style house’ and they found Graceland.
Located on 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the Whitehaven area, which is approx. 9 miles from downtown Memphis (where Beale street and Sun Studio are located). The mansion and grounds now serve as a museum and memorial for Elvis fans, who like me want to see for themselves how the King lived with his Mum; Gladys, Dad; Vernon, and grandmother; Minnie Mae.
Whether you arrive by car or taxis you have to park on the opposite side of the road (parking is $10 for the day). We pre booked our tickets which you can collect from the ticket office (Adults are $38.75 for a mansion tour, or $47.50 if you want to see the mansion and his two airplanes) . We were then given our audio headset and iPad’s ready to board the shuttle bus to cross the road to Graceland.
So let’s talk about the interior, because let’s face it that’s probably why you’re reading this and that’s a big reason why I wanted to go.
The living room
The entrance Hallway
Graceland’s decor is obviously 70's, it was last decorated in 1974, and the lounge and dining room are incredibly formal compared to other rooms in the house. There's hints of Hollywood glamour throughout with the help of floor to ceiling mirrored walls in the lounge, staircase and even a fully lined mirrored staircase to the basement TV room and billiards room which gives you a circus style 3-D reflection.
Brass, marble and glass accents feature throughout the house in picture frames, painted spindles and lamp bases adding more grandeur.
Gladys and Vernon's Bedroom
The sweetest ‘poodle print’ wallpaper hangs in the ground floor en-suite bathroom. We’re told Elvis’ mother selected this and the décor of their bedroom which looks homely and quite modest compared to the rest of the house.
The kitchen is a stark contrast from the glamorous dining room with Its dark wooden cupboards and geometric printed carpet filling the large space. It almost doesn’t look like a celebrity kitchen? But then again, I’m sure Elvis didn’t have to do much cooking?
The Jungle Room
At the back of the kitchen is one of my favourite rooms; the Jungle room. Yep Elvis had a flipping JUNGLE ROOM! The floor and ceilings are covered in green SHAG PILE carpet, with house plants hanging from the ceilings in wicker baskets. This room is so novelty you can’t help but love it. It was said this room was used for entertaining larger informal groups and watching TV. (If you notice anything, note the amount of TV’s you’ll see in these pictures. I was told Elvis had 17 at Graceland, with at least one in each room, and even a room downstairs dedicated to TV.)
The furniture in the jungle room is all hand carved, and upholstered in cow hides and animal prints keeping in the jungle theme. It makes you wonder if this was where his daughter Lisa-Marie once played, but then you notice the carved wooden bar to the side, and remember it’s a grownup’s play room.
The mirrored stairwell to the basement
The TV Room
Downstairs are two more adult play rooms.The first is a TV room. This was decorated predominantly in yellow and blue, with the use of chrome and glass materials. On a wall is a painted yellow, white, and blue is a lightning-bolt design which Elvis used in conjunction with his TCB logo. A panel near the bar opened to reveal a movie projector, which was operated from an adjoining projection room. Elvis had a collection of featured films and home movies, as well as 16mm prints of all his own films. Next to this room is the billiards room. The walls and ceilings are covered in printed paisley drapes to create a bohemian boys club, and the sofas are covered in chunky mustard corduroy. You can only imagine the smoke clouding up this dark boy’s room.
The Billiards room
The Racquet Ball room
Outside are several outbuildings which housed Vernon's office (Elvis' dad) office, a gym/ games room (with bar), a shooting room, and a squash court which is now a museum filled with costumes and gold discs. There’s a large pool and patio area with a diving board, and behind here is now a fountain and memorial to mark the graves of Elvis, his parents, grand mother and his twin brother who was still born.
The grounds at Graceland
The grounds still have horses roaming the fields, and a working stables. Our tour mentions that the Presley family still occupy the house and use the upstairs which is closed to the public and press for obvious reasons.
I’ve wanted to go to Graceland for as long as I can remember listening to my dad's Elvis LP'S, and it certainly didn't disappoint on the glamour and novelty factor. Unfortunately, you can’t go upstairs as the family keep it private, but you do get to explore the ground floor, basement and surrounding grounds. I hope this inspires you to make that journey, and if not, at least enjoy it from these photos.
(FYI If you want any more info on Memphis about hotels etc, then DM me, and I’ll try and give you some pointers!)