High-school sweethearts Will and Casie Wilson have always loved real-estate. It’s no surprise that their early dates of imagining their way through open houses led to renovating a unique dream home and coveted Airbnb listing.
When Casie felt the itch for a creative outlet to compliment her love for the SAHM life, a shared passion made vacation rental ownership the natural choice. Filled with enthusiasm and certainty, the two searched for a dreamy mountain property. Their stunning A-frame cabin is at once chic and whimsical and rests in idyllic Lake Arrowhead, CA.
Get the details of Casie’s inspired vision and journey to entrepreneurial bliss:
How did you know this property was “the one”?
I kept telling our realtor, “I want to find one with a moment!” Ha! She probably thought I was crazy, but I was looking for something special. We must have looked at about 10 cabins that first day. A few nights later, I saw this cute re-listed A-frame. I had noticed it earlier, but it was snatched up right away and went into escrow before we could tour it. Miraculously, it fell out of escrow, so we made an offer SIGHT UNSEEN! I still can’t believe it was accepted and the cabin is ours!
Where do you live when you’re not at the cabin?
We live in San Diego, CA.
What inspired you to create this space?
Part of me just wanted to see if I could do it. For so many years, I’d watch people design these BEAUTIFUL spaces. In the back of my mind, I’d think, I want to do that, I could do that, I was MADE to do that! But then, I’d hear another voice, “No, not you, you can’t. Don’t even try!”
What’s your favorite part of this space?
Hands down, all the LIGHT! Windows span the entire front of the house, and the back of the loft. The whole home gets flooded with natural light! I instantly feel joy from the moment we walk in!
Why was it essential for you to make it kid-friendly?
We have 3 kids, so I KNOW how hard it can be to bring 3 little kids on vacation. I wanted our guests to KNOW without a doubt that their kids were welcome in our home! In designing The Wilson Haus, I imagined what a dream cabin-stay would look like if I was a child, then I put all of those things into our cabin. I firmly believe if kids are happy, parents are happy, especially while on vacation.
If this house were a song, what would it be?
I got this one from a friend… “Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle.
From where did you draw design inspiration?
It started with Mandy Moore. I was obsessed with the kitchen Sarah Sherman Samuel designed for her home. I wanted to recreate it, but with a “mountain” vibe. I chose green cabinets, white terrazzo countertops, and a pink rug to serve as our jumping-off point for the whole home. Once I had the kitchen finishes chosen, I just went full-blown “boho-cabin” with furnishings and textiles.
What is one thing we wouldn’t know about the space at first sight?
The downstairs bathroom was the worst room in the house! It was a sad, dark space, and it had to change. I wanted to create a place I could be excited about, so we covered it with our infamous Bunny Wallpaper, and painted the vanity to match the kitchen cabinets. We used a leftover slab from our kitchen to replace the countertop and paired it all with brass finishes. We turned the dungeon of a bathroom into one of my favorite spaces in the cabin!
If you had to pick one, what design element stands out as your favorite?
The rugs! The rugs! The rugs! My husband jokes that I bought a cabin for an excuse to buy rugs… and he might not be wrong! I’ve spent HOURS sourcing and choosing the perfect ones, and it was worth every second! The colors are fun and vibrant, and the textures bring such a cozy vibe. I LOVE them all!
What was the biggest decorating struggle?
Measuring! Haha. I measured EVERYTHING wrong, and we lived 2 hours away. We had to reconfigure the entire kitchen on the fly because our cabinets were the wrong size. I ordered a bed that was too big for our master bedroom and blocked the patio door from opening. We actually built an entire king-sized bed and had to take it down and pack it up the same night. Ah. Measuring is not my strong suit.
What makes a space beautiful, in your book?
The memories made in it! Not everything needs to be Pinterest-perfect to create a beautiful home. A home is beautiful because of the people in it. I love that so many have chosen our home to be the backdrop of their best memories.
What makes this space feel like home to all who visit?
We show our guests how happy we are to have them, taking care of them so they can relax and enjoy their time together. Each guest arrives to a welcome basket full of goodies with glow sticks for the kids, snacks, coffee, and a bottle of wine. We also leave them with an Instax camera and film to enjoy a little freedom from phones, while still getting to take photos.
What are your favorite things guests have left behind?
We’ve had the sweetest guests so far, and quite a few of them have left things for us. One guest left a Domino Book of Decorating, which was a surprising and thoughtful gift. Most of them leave behind art they’ve made as a family. That is my absolute favorite because they were all together, working as a family, making fun memories in the process.