The Mattress Factory

The Mattress Factory

Happy Friday Y’all!  Today I wanted to share some photos from a trip we took.  A little while ago, Tim and I boarded a plane and headed to Pittsburgh.  The purpose of the trip was to attend an ARDEX training class so we could learn more about the product that we already love.  While we were there, we wanted to explore and see what Steel City had to offer in terms of design inspiration.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I really loved Pittsburgh.  I thought the outlying suburbs were so picturesque and cozy- like something you see in the movies.  Then, when you go through the main tunnel and come out on the other side of the mountain, you are met with a lively inner city that has some great architecture.

While in Pittsburgh, we heard about this art museum called “The Mattress Factory.”  It was supposed to have displays similar to Anthropologie.  Needless to say I was super excited to go check this place out.  As we walked up to the doors, we spotted this outdoor garden area that had a little fence made from old woven hoses. Very cool idea, right!?



This unique garden display gave me high hopes for the rest of the place.

After going through the whole thing I can say, “The Mattress Factory” is like most museums I go to.  It had pieces I really liked, other installations that left me saying, “I just don’t get it,” and still more displays that made me think some artists are weirdos and messed up in the head!  Haha!

This was a room of mirrors with glowing dots on the floor.  We had fun doing a little disco, but didn’t find the installation to be artistically inspiring.  Another room housed orange dots and naked mannequins.  Once again, I didn’t quite get it.  But we went ahead and took the photo opp. 🙂


Another room had this interactive installation.  The process was to write your wish/dream on a ribbon and attach that ribbon to a balloon you found on the ground.  You then were supposed to leave your balloon floating in the room.  Next you grabbed a balloon with someone else’s wish on it and set it free outside, essentially “launching” that person’s dream. . . helping it to come true.


I do think it’s a fun interaction and I like any exercise that causes us to think about our dreams, but I’m not sure I like the idea of leaving the launching of my dream up to someone else.  However, I know others have been instrumental in helping me achieve my past dreams. . . and I hope to be a person that inspires and helps fellow dreamers to reach their goals.  So, overall appreciate what this installation was about.


These bird houses below were made from repurposed pieces of wooden lathe.  I love their rustic nature.   Humm. . . maybe this is what I could do with some of that left over lathe I had from covering the living room wall.


I especially like this little house that resembles a turtle shell. . .


I thought this umbrella turned chandelier was clever and cast a lovely glow.  I’m sure some of you could figure out how to DIY this!


The deconstructed look has been pretty popular these past few years.  Restoration Hardware even came out with a whole line dedicated to the deconstructed look.  Well the idea below isn’t furniture, but it does take detailed deconstruction and makes it a form of art!


I’m a huge fan.  What do you think?


Do you love the sound of trickling water?  My dad has always loved fountains and I know a lot of people find the sound of water soothing.  Well, if you want to get creative and not go for the typical outdoor fountain or “soothing sounds” CD, you can create a water feature in your stairwell banister!  I heard the water well before I figured out where it was. Great idea!


This installation caught Tim’s eye.  He likes that the creator was able to take a simple & inexpensive material (plywood) and make a display that seemed very high brow.



The last display we saw literally looked like this. . .


No, your computer is not messing up.  That is a black square you’re staring at.  Just outside of the room, there was a sign that said to carefully make your way through this winding hall and that you would soon reach a landing where you were instructed to stay for 15 minutes.  The room that you were in would be completely dark, but if you waited patiently, your eyes would eventually adjust revealing the art.

Well, I lasted about 2 minutes and forced Tim to take out his phone and use the flashlight on it.  Turns out we were in a completely bare room. Not a piece of furniture or picture in site. . . . . . . . I guess I’m not sophisticated enough to see the artistic value of a completely dark & totally bare room.

Maybe the idea was to get people’s imaginations going?  To sit with your thoughts without visual stimulation to distract you?  I’m still stumped.

Anyway, if you’re in the Pittsburgh area, I wouldn’t recommend The Mattress Factory as one of your first stops, but if you have a few days to get lost, you might want to mosey over and see what new installations are there.  We found a few things worth remembering! 🙂

This article has 7 comments

  1. Handbags*N*Pigtails

    Hahaha…wow. And here I was thinking “oh great…they’re gonna show us somewhere we could go the next time we’re down there.” Guess not. But its good to hear an honest review so thank you:)

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