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The Meaning of a Mattress

This post is brought to you by Leesa.
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When my boyfriend of five years and I broke up last year, I had a lot to consider. We’d lived together, sharing expenses and household purchases, for the previous four years. While much of what we owned would have to be divvied up, the bed was wholly his—a pricey item he’d covered due to needing a specific type for his bad back.

It might sound hard to believe, but having to buy a mattress for myself—for a new place and a new life—was the most stressful thing on my mind at that time. It kept me up at nights as he began moving his stuff to a new apartment, while we continued to sleep on the bed we’d shared for years.

When it comes to moving/living somewhere new, a mattress is probably the most basic and fundamental purchase. You need one, on night one, and probably because of what it represented emotionally—sleeping alone for the first time in so long—the task felt overwhelming. When I was given the opportunity to work with Leesa, the sense of relief I felt was enormous.

The ordering process is seamless—no need to take time off work or the weekend to go mattress shopping, everything is done online. If you don't like the mattress, they offer a 100-night in-home trial and full money-back guarantee (which is insanely customer-friendly). Because they cut out the middleman, costs are lower, and it arrives compressed in a box that makes it easy to handle.

When I signed a lease on my own one-bedroom, the joy I felt was immense. The mattress concern had been the one thing holding me back from looking forward to living alone. Because the bedroom is so dreamy and light-filled, I wanted to keep things white, airy, and fresh, so I purchased crisp linen bedding and kept the vibe simple and serene. Keep scrolling for some details on my bedroom.


I love the fact that the mattress looks chic and stylish even in its naked state. 

I've always been drawn to art and photographs on the floor—I prefer the move-in and move-out phases when these things are casually leaned against a wall. I think it was some editorial shoot with Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, where she talked about how she keeps art and books on the floor, that I realized I was 'allowed' to actually leave them there intentionally. Hang some, leave some.


There's nothing prettier than a hanging banana leaf plant. I was introduced to the breed by our friends at Pop-Up Greens when they came and outfitted the Cupcakes and Cashmere offices. I love how this one ended up looking in our office kitchen, and knew it would be the perfect variety for this pastel planter in the corner of my room.

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This is a colorful tassel my best friend Kat tied to a giant bottle of champagne for my 30th birthday. She's a crafty, gift-wrapping genius and the whole display was so beautiful. Seeing this little memory from that weekend makes me happy every day. Emily is the one who thought of putting it on my door handle—she's a styling genius that way. I'd previously had it on a hook on the back of my door, way less festive and visible than here. It's the perfect little home for it. 


My father took this photograph of me when I was seven-years-old in D.C. I think it's so arresting and beautiful. There's a whole black-and-white series from this day—you can see another mini one off to the right. My hair has never looked better. The pink piece is a piece of art by him as well. I love that the hue is the exact shade in the striped planter, and that all the flamingoes in it are pink except one random green guy (which is just visible in the bottom-center).


When I moved in, there simply wasn't enough closet space. But, there was this empty little alcove directly next to the closet for a dresser. I knew instantly that I wanted to build an external closet there, extending out from the built-in one. I had the vision, and thankfully, the man-power in my dad, who is extremely handy with these kinds of things. It's relatively simple, sure, but he executed it better than I could have imagined. 


Clothes and scenes like this have always been very important to me; but I work in fashion, so a girl's got to have a visually-impressive closet. I'm thrilled with this set-up.

I wouldn't have known this, but my dad explained that the built-in closet is made for the heavier things like coats, etc. The walls are specifically engineered to handle weight; whereas walls that aren't officially a closet aren't, so we moved all my lighter pieces (which happen to be the prettier ones), to the outside bar; and then the inside one keeps things like jackets and coats. I had these two shoe baskets that fit perfectly on either side of the dresser. I'm obsessed with the symmetry. The dresser was a magical find (source below). I use the shelf on top to house sweaters and bags. I love a good sweater stack. 


I cherish this chair, which was a purchase that I got in the breakup (we amicably split up everything that had been co-bought). My ex-boyfriend and I joked for hours about which color to get—I was pushing for a cornflower blue compared to this handsome, grounded, adult gray. He would not allow it and we brought in my friend Kat to decide. She was diplomatic but wouldn't have allowed the cornflower blue either. I'm covering my head in shame just thinking about what a terrible decision that would have been. Thanks, you two.

The chair is a little plain-looking without anything on it, so I got a blue vintage textile to drape over the arm. It adds personality, complements the blue-gray upholstery, and picks up the tribal pattern and blues of the basket down below. I sit in this nook and have phone conversations a lot. 


My current boyfriend picked out this perfect light peach-colored planter at a thrift store in Ojai for $6. Some people just have that ability—I'm generally terrible at thrift stores. I'm a germaphobe so I see nothing but horror for my hands. I was walking around trying to be one of those people who finds diamonds in the rough and saw him holding this up and inspecting it. It might be my favorite thing in the room. You don't find pretty pale peach glazed pots like this every day. I got it planted with desert-y red rocks and a single cactus. 


After a slight transitional phase, it's so nice to be settled in my own place for the first time in my life. My bedroom is a tranquil escape and the bed is the center of all. It's the comfy-coziest spot in the whole apartment and I sleep soundly every night on my plush mattress. After many nights sleeping on it, I can say it's truly the most inviting, cushy surface—all I ever want is to be in my bed. 

If you're interested in purchasing a Leesa Mattress, they're offering $75 off any mattress with the code cupcakes75. Happy shopping!


Leesa mattress | Black and marble table (Fairfax Flea Market originally, similar here) | Basket (Home Goods originally, similar here) | Pastel planter (CB2 originally, alternative here—I think this neutral black stripe situation is extremely chic and would buy this as my next planter!) | All Bedding (vintage linen collection) | Framed wall photograph (West Elm originally, similar here) | Gray shelving unit | White bed frame | White 6-Shoe storage cube | Dresser | Mirror above dresser | Shoe baskets (Home Goods originally, similar here) | Vintage brass vase (similar here) | Leather tray | Candles (various) | Arm chair | Vintage indigo textile (similar here) | Blue basket (Trina Turk originally, similar here) | Large floor mirror (Ikea originally, similar here) | Peach planter (thrifted, similar here) | Little brown stool (similar here) | Shoes 

Products purchased through this post may earn us a commission.