Linda Thompson: From Elvis Presley’s Girlfriend to Designer of Graceland’s Most Iconic Rooms

The king of rock and roll’s former girlfriend had a hand in creating his mansion’s aesthetic, but always deferred to his taste.

Linda Thompson was Elvis Presley‘s girlfriend for four years and became one of his closest confidantes. The king of rock and roll trusted her judgment as one of the key interior designers of his Memphis, TN, home, Graceland; her influence remains within the house today. While you may know some of her more iconic touches to the estate, there is more to Linda’s story in giving Graceland a retro feel.

Elvis Presley trusted Linda Thompson to help create the look of some of Graceland’s most iconic rooms

Linda Thompson was a special guest during Elvis Week 2023. In a lengthy interview, Linda discussed her life with Elvis and her design influence within his Graceland estate.

In a fan-captured clip from the event around the 14-minute mark, Linda revealed how much redecorating she did within Graceland. Elvis trusted her judgment, and many of their ideas and collaborations remain part of the home’s interior.

“I basically deferred to Elvis’ taste,” Linda began. “I just tried to help facilitate his wishes.”

She continued, “Including the Jungle Room. We actually went to Pier 1 and purchased a lot of that interior there. Bill Eubanks helped us make the dream come true by getting little trinkets and things and helping with the fabrics.”

Linda explained, “In the pool room, I had seen an ad in a magazine. It looked like a Moroccan room with a tented ceiling and the fabric on the walls gathered.”

“I thought it was so dramatic,” she claims. “And Elvis-esque, so that inspired the pool room.”

Linda Thompson also helped design the TV room

The TV room is one of the most brightly colored and mesmerizing in Elvis Presley’s Graceland home. Decorated in yellow, white, and black, the area is dominated by three televisions.

Linda Thompson revealed she had a hand in the design of that room, where Elvis relaxed and watched television and movies with his family and friends. This is what she had to say.

“The TV room had such a low ceiling. I suggested we mirror the ceiling to make the room look higher and brighter,” she revealed.

“The lightning bolt [on the wall]; all of those were my suggestions,” Linda admitted. “Bill Eubanks helped to implement those.”

Elvis Presley’s bedroom and living room were decorated ‘very rock and roll,’ Linda says

As for Elvis’s private sanctuary, his bedroom, Linda revealed he wanted his favorite colors represented. These hues were black, red, and gold.

“Those were the colors Elvis loved: red, black, and gold,” she admitted. “The bedroom is still those colors. Very dramatic, very rock and roll, very Elvis.”

Subsequently, after seeing how well the decor looked in his bedroom, Elvis wanted the same colors used in the formal front living room. It is the first room to the right of the front door when entering Graceland.

“He said, ‘Let’s do the living room in red. I want red shag carpet, red velvet sofas.’ So it was deferring to his taste, which was questionable, maybe?” Linda joked.

“It made him happy, and we jokingly said it looked a little bit like a bordello. It was his taste, and it was him.”

Linda acknowledged that many Elvis fans wished the room had remained as it was when the king of rock and roll lived at Graceland. It no longer retains that dramatic look of the 1970s.

The white, blue, and gold colors in the living room today are a look back to the time of Graceland’s purchase. The room likely never looked exactly like this when Elvis lived there, but Elvis owned every piece of furniture and items throughout his life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mick Jagger John & Yoko’s Elvis Presley & Priscilla Presley