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September 12, 2011

Graceland: A Kitschtastic Paradise

By RetroRuth

So…yeah. I have to admit that I was never a huge Elvis fan. I mean, I like his music and I won’t turn the channel if one of his movies comes on, but I’d never gone out of my way to find things featuring him, or even buy anything with his face on it.

Until now.

Now, I love Elvis. I’ve actually purchased Elvis music. I’ve spent hours Googleing him. I’m thinking about reading books about him. More than one thing with his face on it is currently cluttering up my house. Why?

Because I went to Graceland.

I know what you are thinking. “How can this be? How can one person go from feeling ‘blah’ about Elvis one minute and being completely turned around the next just because you toured some house?”

Well, first off, Graceland isn’t just some house.  It is THE house. The kitschiest mid-century house ever. The Disneyland of Mid-Century Kitsch. Kitschyland.

Still don’t believe me?


How about now?


Huh? Huh??


This is the formal living room in Elvis’s house, and I was knocked completely speechless as soon as I stepped into it.


And here is the greatest piece from the living room (besides the stained glass peacocks): A portrait of Elvis himself, painted for his parents, who are in the picture below it. I actually squealed when I saw this.


Even Elvis had a Sputnik light!


The entryway with stained glass and iron scrollwork door.


We weren’t allowed upstairs, but we did get to see the suite Elvis’s parents used, which was wonderfully 50’s, with great lamps and even his mother’s dresses still in the closet!


Umm…a pink and purple bathroom with poodle wallpaper??? Hello!


The dining room, in all its gaudy glory…


…and it wouldn’t be complete without a television!


The kitchen. Can you imagine how many peanut butter and banana sandwiches were made here?


Elvis’s Flair oven!


The “window” in the kitchen overlooks the jungle room…which you will have to wait to see! Come back next Monday to see the rest of Graceland! You too will be converted!

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10 Responses to Graceland: A Kitschtastic Paradise

  1. Becky Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 8:33 am

    My beloved Aunt Pat was an Elvis freak. Whenever I was with her and during a year she lived with us, I was subjected to lots of Elvis. I never liked much more than Jailhouse Rock, and really still don’t.

    But the house…you got me with the pink/purple/poodle bathroom. WOW.

    Family trivia: my aunt lived in Vegas and saw Elvis in concert several times there. One time, she was in the front row and she got a kiss on the cheek from him. I’m pretty sure other than her religious conversion, it was the defining moment of her life. ; )

  2. sablemable Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Bob and I went to Graceland years ago. Back then I wasn’t a MCM freak, so I thought the decor was strange. The most interesting room that I remember was the pool room; the walls, everything was done in a dark paisley fabric.

  3. Beverly Baumann Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Nothing wrong with gaudy. Everyone has to have a chandelier in their dining room! The whole house has a surprising lived-in look to it. Love your blog!

  4. Inky Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I am overcome with envy Ruth!! It is one of my life’s goals to make it to Graceland!

  5. Brini Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

    The range in the kitchen isn’t a Flair. It’s a Tappan Fabulous 400. I know because I’ve been madly studying ranges with stove decks that pull out, trying to decide on one for my kitchen. Tappan made a gas version, which Frigidaire didn’t.

  6. Barbara Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Brini: You are correct! I’ve wanted a Flair, but I like gas, so Tappan would be my choice.

    I’ve seen Elvis’ house on television and I think it’s perfectly horrible. Any MCM he had was completely overwhelmed by his horrible taste.

    But that’s just me.

  7. Lorie B. Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    LOL!!! My Dad was a big fan of the music of Elvis. It is the soundtrack to my life, honestly. He ALWAYS had some Elvis playing.

    My Mom’s parent lived in Madisonville, KY, which is about 4 hours from Memphis…sooooo…go see Grandma…stop by Graceland since we are just SO close. I spent more time in that house than Elvis did, I swear. I haven’t been back in around 15 years or so. My folks make the trip about once every 3 years. They are due again, haha.

    I always got such a kick out of the TV room. It is just SO VERY 60’s mod.

    Favorite Song: His gospel works, his Christmas music or “I’ll Never Love Again”.

    Favorite movie: “Follow That Dream” or “G.I. Blues” (love the cloths in the latter (Edith Head was a goddess, *sigh*)

  8. Sara in AZ Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Elvis is the BOMB!!! I think he had rad style! I mean come on, that Poodle wallpaper is so fantastically awesome I just drooled all over my keyboard!If I ever go to Graceland they will find me curled up on the floor in that very bathroom, refusing to ever leave! 🙂

  9. Camille Reply

    September 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Ohh!! So glad you liked Graceland. I live in Memphis and so many people come and say how they didn’t like it and how tacky it is. Of course, we love Elvis and everything conected with him. Funny story, my parents had the same decorator for their den that Elvis had and we didn’t know this till years later, but that sunburst clock in the living room …… my parents have one just like it. It’s in the attic now and has been for over 20 years but it hung over our fireplace. I guess my parents den was kind of kitshy, but back then it was totally cool. You have made me remember it and now I am going searching for a picture of it hanging in our den. Glad you enjoyed your visit to Graceland.

  10. Charlotte Reply

    September 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I went last August and, yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Did you do the full tour with the planes and cars? We did, and were pretty Elvised out by day’s end! I came home from that trip and lived off fried pb & banana sandwiches for a month!

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