Elvis the King’s Jungle Room has been in the spotlight of late vis-à-vis the buzz surrounding the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film, Elvis.
Certain spaces and certain clients call for over the top flamboyant chic when designing and decorating residential and commercial properties, and not all residential and commercial spaces are created equal.
As it appropriately calls for, there’s spaces and places where understated style simply will not do.
Ostentatious interior decorating and design elements has a standing relationship with grand scale museums, historical homes, architectural marvels, Las Vegas and hooray for Hollywood interiors.
What is it they say about beauty being in the eye of the beholder?
Celebrities love to dial up extravagance in a manner befitting a true Hollywood story and Elvis the King’s Jungle Room.
You live what you know as some would say, and if flamboyant is just another day at the office it becomes the rule versus the exception.
March 29-30, 1977 made hometown history much to the excitement and disbelief of the masses. Elvis Presley scheduled not one but two nights to perform live in concert in Central Louisiana at the Rapides Parish Coliseum.
Papa Places In The Home scooped up tickets for our entire brood (8), and the excitement level was off the charts.
Ours was an Elvis house.
We loved the music, the style, and the voice.
On January 14, 1973 the Curtis Mathes was tuned to Aloha from Hawaii.
For no one in my nuclear family to utter a word for over an hour proved how captivated we were.
Daddy surprised my mother with a trip to Las Vegas complete with her chance to see Elvis live at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Vegas was a different beast in those days, back when $100 bills in the palm of the showroom captain, the original ticket master, got you the best seat in the house.
While waiting to be seated my dad struck up preshow conversation with the couple standing behind them. Two husbands determined to please two wives devised a you put up one hundred and I’ll put up one hundred plan.
Remember it’s 1974.
Two Ben Franklins got them seated “right on the stage” as my dad used to say.
Daddy was more excited for my mother to see Elvis up close and personal than actually seeing Elvis perform.
As the story goes Elvis, with scarf in hand and enough charisma to light up the Vegas Strip, stood in front of mother not once, not twice, but three times for her to respond.
Mesmerized by this larger than life being looking her directly in the eyes, the woman could not move.
Daddy kept nudging her and telling her, “honey, stand up” and although she wanted to she just couldn’t.
Never one to be star-struck before, she insists she wasn’t that night as well.
Over the course of a 30+ year span of trips to Vegas my parents met and mingled with celebrities and cultivated life long friendships with several.
Yes, that’s Dan Tanna himself, the beloved Robert Urich who was one of the aforementioned friends from my parent’s Vegas days.
She really can’t explain it nor does she regret it. It was one of those in the moment moments that came and went with nothing more than a memory for the souvenir books.
Most, if not all, design and décor features at Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, stand in a time capsule- as it should be when you think about it.
From the articles, books and interviews I’ve read referencing the interior spaces of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, his personal design style preferences ranged from his idea of elegance and beauty to flash and kitsch.
Iconic spaces left suspended in a style of the times state challenges the design and decorating side of my brain to a round of how exactly would I redo-remodel-rearrange-reimagine-replace-rethink the design without compromising the original scheme without insulting or diminishing the core concept.
Although my design and decorating services have not been engaged by famous architects, heads of Hollywood studios, hoteliers or the fine folks at Graceland, a decorista can ponder can’t she?
An article on How Stuff Works reveals Elvis purchased the furniture for the jungle room on a spur of the moment whim to stir up his father.
Elvis’ father thought the furniture was the ugliest he had ever seen.
Admittedly I agree to some degree, which brings us back around to today’s royal rethink of Elvis The King’s Jungle Room.
If it’s the 1970s, brown, orange, and green rule the color palette.
Elvis referred to the space as the den.
Jungle Room does seem fitting for a whole host of reasons, décor being one of many.
Tiki tacky crosses the mind, but the rule of what speaks to you is what you should surround yourself with, for whatever reason or season, applies here.
Placement adjustments, furnishings tweaks here and there, subtraction of the outdated coupled with the addition of updated décor pieces go a long way in accomplishing a visually pleasing refresh.
Western International Trading Co. (Witco) carved wood décor and home furnishings in tropical and Hawaiian inspired style was super popular from its beginning in the late 1960s though the late 1970s.
Tiki style was hot at the moment, and continues to this day to appeal to a certain design and décor aesthetic.
Witco furnishings are found throughout Elvis the King’s Jungle Room in all their carved, adorned, and hip for the times glory.
Sabine Brown Leather Victorian Balloon Chair
The King of Rock & Roll.
The King of the Jungle.
Replacing the paneling and the carpet to trend toward today’s offerings would be my first priority.
If you can’t find it, make it or have it made.
Cool cat claw doorstop.
Staying true to the theme while resisting oversaturation respectfully yet tastefully updates the outdated.