Creating a Happy Place: Cozying Up The Guest Bedroom

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt


Dear Sleepyhead,

Ask my boyfriend, I am pretty bad at falling asleep. Bedtime normally involves me wiggling around for hours and hours thinking about all the things I did wrong today, all the stuff I forgot to do, and being filled with dread about all the ways I’ve ruined my life over the course of the day. My neuroses are amplified by laying down to go to sleep. So I was excited when Cocoon by Sealy invited me to create a Happy Place to sleep in honor of the release of their new Cocoon by Sealy line of ship-to-your-door mattresses.

First of all, what is “Cocoon,” aside from an 80s alien movie with Jessica Tandy in it? It’s pretty simple. Kids these days aren’t going to stores to buy mattresses. Instead of going into a scary showroom where someone pressures you into buying a mattress you can’t afford, many people are opting for mattresses they buy online that are delivered directly to their homes. Cocoon by Sealy is that. It’s basically the easiest way to buy a mattress without leaving your house. You can do it from the comfort of your sofa, while eating a pizza and being as lazy and disgusting as humanly possible. Or you could do it from your phone while you’re on the treadmill at the gym being as non-lazy as possible. Or you could do it at your office while you’re pretending to work. There are literally millions of options.

To celebrate the arrival of their fun new line of mattresses, Cocoon by Sealy has asked a number of bloggers (including me!) to create a happy place in their homes. Knowing my guest bedroom was in desperate need of help, I chose to concentrate my efforts there. We have guests quite often and the guest bedroom (and its disaster closet) were totally inhospitable. Below are my tips on creating a happy place for your guests.


This assignment from Cocoon by Sealy got me thinking, what exactly makes a bedroom “happy”? For me, the following items helped transform the bedroom into a softer, cozier, and thus happier place: Cocoon by Sealy Soft Mattress, Blu Dot “Dodu” Platform Bed from AllModern, White Linen Duvet Cover from Parachute, Herringbone Blanket from Serena & Lily, Bath Robes from the Ace Hotel Gift Shop, Gymnasia Candle from Scenthouse, and a plush Grey Rug from RugsUSA.


Okay, so first things first. The mattress. I have to make a confession here and tell you this is the first new mattress I’ve ever owned. My last apartment was filled with hand-me-downs and vintage furniture and I got my last mattress from a friend who was upgrading his mattress. I’m actually not that sensitive to bad mattresses, but I laid down in the guest bedroom a few weeks ago (as I often do, this room is so relaxing and bright and happy because of the pretty wall color – Sleigh Bells by Benjamin Moore) and noticed the mattress in there was super hard and uninviting. It made me feel guilty my poor, defenseless guests had basically been sleeping on concrete for the past 9 months.

So I said goodbye to that mattress (actually I gave it to a friend for her guest bedroom) and waited for the new mattress to arrive. When it got here it was in a crazy tiny box and I could not understand how an entire queen mattress was inside there. Basically, me opening that box was that part in Mary Poppins where she pulls a giant lamp out of a bag. I’m still shocked there was a whole mattress in there. Years from now, on my deathbed (maybe THIS VERY COCOON BY SEALY!), I’ll be like “I still can’t believe there was a whole bed in that box!”


The mattress takes a few minutes to actually fully fluff up, so don’t be scared if you take yours out of the box and it’s flat and pancakey like this for an hour or so. Once mine was fully expanded I spent a few minutes jumping on it and it was pretty fluffy and awesome.


Don’t you just wanna smash your face into that cushy mattress???


A fun fact that not everyone knows is that most mattresses these days don’t require the use of a box spring. I’m obsessed with the platform bed I got from AllModern which has slats that pair nicely with the cushy softness of the mattress. I have an upholstered bed in my bedroom as well and it makes a big difference in creating a soft, cozy bedroom where you want to snuggle with literally everything.


Another way I added some comfort to the guest bedroom was by adding something familiar and handmade. About a year ago, I was visiting my parents when I noticed some beautiful linen pillows covered in adorable, happy birds. I was like “WHERE’D U GET THEM PILLOWZ?” and my mother was like “I made them duh!”  So naturally I forced her to make some for me.


I ordered some of the Lemming Dove Linen she used online and she sewed me from pillows. LET THIS BE A LESSON TO ALL OF US THAT IT PAYS TO HAVE A MOM WHO SEWS.

Since this is a guest bedroom and I wanted to make it comfortable and inviting, the disaster closet HAD to be dealt with. When we moved in, we threw in some random shelves we had from my old apartment, which quickly filled up with props, art supplies, and garbage. So I got rid of them, went through all my garbage and gave a lot of it away, added a few tiny dressers on one wall, and built-in shelving on the other.


There isn’t a lot of clearance in there, so I found the shallowest dressers available at Ikea (11″ deep) and used two of them. They also function as a place to put down your suitcase so it doesn’t have to go on the floor in the middle of the bedroom.


The wall shelves were WAY easier than I thought they’d be to install (I had to use those crazy butterfly anchors). I also installed a hook on the back of the door so I could hang our Ace Hotel Robes, which are super comfy and soft and made of sweatpants material (whatever that’s called). Oh, it’s called terry cloth. You’re welcome.


The coziness doesn’t stop at the Cocoon by Sealy mattress and the robes. My guest are always enthralled with my linen duvet and sheets from Parachute. I love linen a lot and it makes me happy to wake up in it every day (I have the same sheets on my bed). My boyfriend is from France and always screams things like “UGH THESE REMIND ME OF THE SCRATCHY SHEETS WE HAD GROWING UP!” Apparently France has been on its linen game way longer than America. But for many Americans like me, linen is still such a fun luxury. I literally want to go into the bedroom right now and bite the duvet with my mouth I love it so much. [1 minute elapsed time]. Okay, I did go into the bedroom to bite the linen duvet. It was worth it. I’m back in the dining room writing this again. WHERE ARE YOU?


During the renovation, we added drapery by Decorview all over. Drapery serves a double function of softening the room by adding texture and shielding you from the rays of the sun if you’re feeling particularly vampirey. I’m also a huge fan of plants everywhere, so I have tons of succulents that I rotate throughout the condo. Basically, succulents hate living inside, so I keep them inside for a week or so then put them back outside for a few weeks so they can get full sun and recover from my abuse.


Art is another great way to add warmth and coziness. I hung this amazing Japanese screen I found at the flea market. I actually took it apart because one of the panels was completely janky, but I think it looks better with a little breathing room.

Finally, for no reason, here’s a GIF of my bed being made, step by step:


I’ll be sharing more of the guest bedroom next month when I finally share the rest of the Orcondo renovation here and on Homepolish Magazine. And stay tuned for more guest bedroom styling tips in the second “My Happy Place” post.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to roll all over my bed, wallowing in my happy place.


PS: BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Cocoon by Sealy wants you to create your own happy place! They’re giving me two of Cocoon by Sealy mattresses (whichever size you need!) to give away. All you have to do to enter is post a comment and two winners will be chosen by a randomizing internet robot (that exists!). Winners will be chosen Monday, May 2 at 12 Noon PST so make sure to enter before then. No purchase necessary.

IMPORTANT UPDATE! The giveaway is now CLOSED! Congrats to winners Cece and Andrew!

This post is sponsored by Tempur Sealy. All opinions are my own.

165 thoughts on “Creating a Happy Place: Cozying Up The Guest Bedroom

  1. I would love it o try a mattress I. A box! Lol. The guest room is coming together and of course I will have to borrow some id as when I redo mine in the next few months.

  2. Love all of your posts. I’ve loved following the OrCondo reno! (fingers crossed for the mattress!)

  3. Ooh! We totally need a new mattress and we totally do not need a run in with a creepy mattress vendor!

  4. I think that I, too, will be on my deathbed wondering how they fit an entire mattress into a BOX. I wonder – are they a foam that traps heat and makes you all hot and sweaty? We had a foam mattress once and it was like sleeping on a pee sheet – it didn’t breathe and you could be sweating and freezing all at once! Gah!

  5. I’ve missed your amazingly hilarious (and yet, oh so informational) posts! Yes, please, to one mattress. Our guest room has our old master bedroom mattress and I thought it was tolerable until we slept on it recently while doing some painting. OMG! By the 2nd night I wanted to kill myself and/or my husband because I had slept so horribly. I’m so embarrassed that I’ve made family and friends sleep on that terrible thing!

  6. Gah! I need a new mattress so badly but have been afraid to try the whole mattress-in-a-box thing!

  7. I might get arrested by the mattress police for admitting this, but my mattress is over 30 years old. I’d love to sleep in your guest room on your new Sealy Cocoon! 😉

  8. I love your style! Your design style and your writing style! Would loooove a new mattress for our master bed. Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. I would so love a new mattress. My significant other, me, and our dog Ida somehow manage to sleep on a full size bed, and we’ve been wanting to upgrade to a queen forever.

  10. Bed in a box – so fancy! I actually need a new mattress desperately but can’t afford it right now. Would love a new Sealy and the opportunity to wake up refreshed and not back achy again. Thank you both for the opportunity!

  11. I’ve been dying to upgrade to a King mattress in my master… but I keep finding other things to spend money on for the house! 🙂

  12. A new mattress would be great! Thank you so much for the giveaway! And you definitely need to blog more!

  13. Can’t wait to see the finished room. I’ve been very curious about those mattresses. Mail order mattress. What a Von pet!

  14. The death bed reference was too much! Love your wild and wonderful writing.
    Boxed mattress. What will they think of next!?
    Powdered milk?

  15. I love your blog, everyone should give you free products to check out because I’d read your posts about them every time! And I’d love a new mattress!

  16. Ha, I’ve just bought a house and I will have a guest room to offer people for the first time… ever. I’m so excited!

  17. I love the gif! What size and material is the throw at the foot of the bed? I like that it’s long enough to run down the sides of the mattress, but not super bulky.

  18. Such a huge fan of you and Emily Henderson!! It was Secrets from a stylist and your blog that helped me develop a unique style all my own… Don’t ever stop what you do because it’s been an inspiration to me… Plus why would you when you obviously love it and are fantastic at it!! Lol

  19. Hey now, I stayed at a fancy pants hotel in Paris and was so blown away by the layers of linen there. It was all comfy and cool and 0% scratchy. I ordered a linen duvet cover as soon as I got home. Heaven!

  20. Yes, please! Our 14 year old mattress has the distinct shape of twin hammocks shoved together…we are now shaped like twisted human burritos. It’s a pillow top so there’s no “flipping” it, just a few counter clockwise moves, and countless lost slumber fits climbing to that center peak. FUN!

  21. Your posts are always both inspirational and fun to read! (Especially love what you did with the Japanese screen in this room…)

    (And would be great to get one of these mattresses to give my mother, she really could use a new one).

  22. I hope the randomizing internet robot picks me. Otherwise I might have to call it’s motherboard ba dum tss

  23. Your guest room looks so relaxing! Mine looks more or less like the disaster closet, but we plan on fixing it up this summer! So thanks for the inspiration

  24. Looking gorgeous! The pillow fabric is so lovely. I really need to get on with my guest room. My poor guests are currently staying in abject horror.

  25. Having a mom who sews is great, unless she’s trying to hand-make all your clothes in the 8th grade… Then it’s traumatizing!

  26. Shazam! I love that platform bed! I love the idea of a mattress gifted to me by Orlando/Sealy even more.

  27. Linen sheets sound dreamy! Love this guest room and can’t wait for the renovation reveal. Thanks

  28. I am soooooo happy that your posting regularly again, Orlando! I miss reading your very thoughtful and very funny posts. Your new place looks fantastic, btw. Good job, like always.

  29. I can’t wait to see more of Orcondo. I’ve loved following your progress and think you should do a video tour! That sleigh bells by Ben Moore looks beautiful, I’m wishing I had chosen that color for my now-painted-not-Sleigh- Bells-bedroom. I dig where the mattress biz is heading because I like to order anything online especially big things that show up in small packages and made it so I did not have to feel awkward pretending to sleep in front of strangers. I would love to win that mattress!

  30. Great looking room, and so many ideas! I would roll around on a pile of leaves if you made them look nice. Might try this mattress instead.

  31. Your guestroom looks so cozy! I would love to make my master that cozy with a new mattress! 🙂

  32. Our guest bedroom doesn’t even HAVE a bed in it anymore !! OoO
    Would love a nice inspiration mattress…..

  33. Guest rooms always seem to get the cast offs! That’s true in my house too. A nice mattress is a great jumping off point to improve the space. I love that you don’t have to go to a store!!!!!

  34. Love your writing style – makes me want to pinch your cheeks, lol. Would love to test a mattress — we are re-doing my teenager’s bedroom this spring!

  35. The room is so pretty! With two little ones we need a bigger bed! Fingers crossed…the cocoon looks amazing!

  36. Fingers crossed for the a new mattress over here! The new guest room looks beautiful, what lucky guests you’ll have.

  37. I would love a new mattress! And my little boy is ready for a real bed. So a bed in a box would be a life-saver!

  38. Love this Sealy mattress! I had no idea that a mattress could be shipped to your home in a small box. Looks really comfy too!

  39. What a beautiful guest room! I really love the lamp on the bedside table and of course the pillows. You are my fave insta account. Thanks for brightening my mornings!

  40. Je voudrais one of those! We’re moving out of our gross dungeon room and re-claiming our guest bedroom (If the guests sleep in the basement, they’re less likely to stay for 2 weeks, right?). We would love to have a real grown up mattress instead of two twin beds with a piece of foam over the crack. I wish I were kidding.

  41. Love the room and the mattress. But always love your style and entertaining, hilarious words.

  42. this entire room is perfection & that bed – the mattress and the upholstered bed – ARE NEEDED!! amazing.

  43. Yes, please to a new mattress. Just moved and finally have room for a king sized bed (yay) and could make that happen with a new Cocoon mattress!

  44. I have mixed emotions reading your posts. I love you, but they also remind me of all my gay friends I left behind in Chicago. Feel bad for me now? K good. Gimme dat mattress!

  45. My Parachute duvet is currently mortified at the state of my 8 year old (fine, 12 year old) mattress. Frankly, it makes the ceiling fan look gooooood. The horror.

  46. What a beautiful way to make the most inciting guest room ever! The mattress is truly the heart of the room and a room is nothing without a comfortable place to relax! Bravo!! And it would be great to have a cocoon of my own! 🙂

  47. There is nothing worse than a mattress showroom. (OK, maybe a few things.) So, I’m loving this box idea. Also, thanks for the pics of your guest closet transformation; it gives me some new motivation.

  48. I would love to win! I’ve outgrown my old Ikea foam mattress and need a new one, but my stairs are so steep, I can’t buy a box spring. This would be perfect!

  49. Came here for the mattress deets, stayed because that closet clean out is so good. Thanks for sharing your opinion on the mattress-from-a-box! I’m weirdly impressed that Sealy (old money/establishment of the mattress game) is on it with this. Hoping to win!

  50. PICK ME!!!! Pick me!!!! My 2 daughters have mattresses that I bought on Amazon that are too short for their beds! Lame mattress!!! Their stuffed animals fall off. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!!! Pick me!!!

  51. LOL. My duvet is not linen so no biting here. Perhaps a splurge with a new cocoon! You are the best

  52. Gah! I need a new mattress! Ours has a huge dip in it but my boyfriend is convicted it’s fine… Help!

  53. I am going to win the mattress. I am going to win the mattress. I am going to win the mattress! ????????????

  54. We’ve just moved into our house and are looking to fill our guest bedroom with a lovely bed! Help us out, Hommemaker!

  55. You know how demanding grown children can be, they want a new mattress when they come to visit.
    Your room looks great!

  56. A Cocoon mattress giveaway?! Yes please. I imagine it feels like the warm embrace of Wilford Brimley.

  57. I’m gonna seduce the internet robot by offering it a night with me on my new mattress ouhhhh

  58. I’m seriously in love with your style! And the bed sounds like a dream.

  59. I’m so overdue for a new mattress! It’s crazy how hesitant we are to spend money on something we spend so much time using!

  60. I love your blog and Instagram, and I love you and hope you live forever! Also, I would love to win one of those Cocoon mattresses. You did a great job of making it look super fancy, and now I want my bed to be super fancy too… But that’s kind of difficult to do since I don’t have one of those Cocoon mattresses. I hope I win so I can move the mattress I have now into the guest bedroom and keep the Cocoon mattress for myself because I’m a selfish garbage person but at the same time my birthday is coming up and Mother’s Day is coming up and gosh darn it “Treat yo’self” has never been more applicable to me *crosses fingers* #victim

  61. LOVE the guest room and your whole style in general. Can’t wait for the reveal of the rest of your place. And I’ve always wondered as well … how in the heck can an entire mattress fit in such a small box?!??!?

  62. What a cozy room and bed. The organizing weirdo in me loves the closet too. Have enjoyed following your reno and would love to try this new mattress!

  63. I loved reading this and seeing how the style of your blogging has changed over time yet still maintains its quirky charm. That mattress looks great but I wonder if it’s too soft for bad backs?

  64. I’m so glad that mattress shopping has moved to the internet. We got our last mattress before internet mattress shopping was the thing, although I was already looking there for closeout foam mattresses, and when I took my spouse to a real mattress store because he has to see and touch the real thing and doesn’t trust the magic of the internet we tried out a few mattresses (that I planned to buy online) and in the end I was pressured to buy a mattress from the mattress store right there that day.
    I regret my purchase and in my heart believe that my internet mattress choice would have been better and cheaper and I wouldn’t get anxious every time by spouse partner sits on the side of the bed and it makes me roll to the center of the mattress.

    My guest bed mattress is a hard rock that I got second hand from a friend replacing his guest mattress but I threw my old 3″ memory foam topper on it and it’s as good as my old Montgomery Ward mattress was (with a 3″ memory foam on top).

  65. For the love of all things holy (including my mattress), PLEASE pick me!!!! When my 2 boys were babies (they’re now 9 & 10) my husband and I “invested” in a king sized Stearns & Foster mattress because we were suffering from severe sleep deprivation and, allegedly, arrived to work wearing a black shoe and a navy shoe. Fast forward to current day: Our mattress is a disgusting crater that has seen way too many pee pee accidents and “mommy/daddy, I feel sick…blehhhk”. I know, disgusting. I finally encased it in a zippered mattress version of a hazmat suit. Now it gives new meaning to the words crunchy sweat chamber. I am fearful that someone will enter our bedroom and discover our dirty little secret. Please, please, Mr. Random Robot, pick me!!!

  66. I identified with your hard-as-a-rock guest room mattresses. I am looking into these Cocoon mattresses. It would be worth the price to watch it come out of the box and become a mattress!

  67. I love how you paired wood tones with the cooler grey in the room. I’m still trying to find that balance in my own bedroom. I love this guest room! So cozy. I’d love a mattress to give to my mom, hers are ancient and awful and the lady needs a nice place to sleep!

  68. We desperately need a new mattress. We’re brand new foster parents waiting on our first placement and the little cherub will need a place to lay his/her sweet head!

  69. This is the best, love how cozy this is. First time commenter, but love the blog. Also really curious about these mysterious mail mattresses, would love to try one!

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