Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Going to Graceland

"At Graceland, there is no chintz, no fringe tassels, no Staffordshire dogs or sisal rugs, no tiresome Colefax and Fowler-esque testament to good taste. No. Graceland is a midnight house. The ultimate bachelor pad. Even Bruce Springsteen once vaulted over the wall and tried to race up the driveway to introduce himself to Elvis. With over 600,000 visitors a year -- second only to the White House -- Graceland is an amazing place to visit... a 70's style phenomenon caught forever in sepia, and a testament to one man's dream."

-- Pamela Keogh

A few of Vassar alum Pamela Keogh's books are on my shelves (Jackie Style, Audrey Style) so I was intrigued to learn that the author also turned her attention to a very different icon in the nicely art directed, Elvis Presley: The Man. The Life. The Legend.

Elvis' beloved residence, Graceland, isn't a place I turn to for decorating inspiration but it is nonetheless a fascinating National Historic Landmark, and a testament to Jonathan Adler's philosophy that home should make you happy. I asked Keogh and Southern Accents' wunderkind Senior Editor, Clinton Smith, who visited Graceland as a child, for comments.

Smith explained to me, "Regardless of what the arbiters of style dictate, home is where personal style rules. Whether that is an ancestral antebellum mansion or a sleek, urban loft, Southerners surround themselves with people and things they love, especially during this time of year."

A Charlotte Moss-designed dining room epitomizes the classic style usually seen in stately Southern homes; Elvis did it his way.

Keogh added, "As a poor boy born in a shotgun shack in Tupelo, MS, Graceland was Presley's dream -- the sign that he had truly 'made it.' Elvis took great pride in his home, decorated it largely on his own (because really, what other straight man would have the courage, or the vision, to conceive of the Jungle Room?), strictly forbid any wives or girlfriends (of which there were many) from touching the place, and hightailed it from the road, or LA, or wherever he was on tour or making movies, to come back to Memphis. 'Graceland is the one place where I really feel at home,' he said."


Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - that cover of SA is a Tulsa home - Megan (BB8) and I went to college with the owner's sister, whose home was in this last month's Veranda (design by Charles Faudree.) just fyi

The Peak of Chic said...

Very interesting... I've never been to Graceland before. Maybe I'm missing out on something??

Style Court said...

I've never visited Graceland either but I was so fascinated that the author of Audrey Style also wrote about Elvis' personal style. Especially his younger years are interesting. Also, I saw a documentary or something about his 1960 special and its innovative visuals.

I thought it would be worth mentioning once.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I find Elvis style a lot more interesting and complex and just human than Charlotte Moss' style.

Fairfax said...

I've actually been to Graceland... It's hideous beyond belief. We were driving cross-country and happened to stop for the night in Memphis and thought why not?