What's Inside: The Wilson Home

The short of it:

Favorite item in home: I personally love the bar cart.  But by far our favorite room in the house is our bedroom.  All of our fun things in one place and with 2 teenagers and their friends hanging around we find ourselves "hiding out" there a lot reading and watching movies.

What I am reading:  I'm currently reading Chris Bohjalian’s new book The Sleepwalker.  It's twisty, turny and creepy!  I love it.  I'll have it done by tomorrow so who knows what I'll pick up next...Probably one from the library that needs to be returned soon!  My to be read pile is very tall!  Aaron doesn't read!  He's never read a book in its entirety.

What I am listening to:  I am loving the Avett Brothers.  Aaron listens to literally everything.  From Billy Squire to Iron Maiden and everything in between.

Best food in town:  We like Cruisers cheeseburgers for sure!  It's a special treat.  Last summer we "treated" ourselves so many times we had to cut back!

Favorite thing about Effingham:  We love the small town feel with awesome shopping and plenty of fun to be had!  We love the local art and music scene and the wonderful friends we've made.

Wild card question... What do you want people to know about you?:  We love each other more today than we ever have! 

Ray Niemerg isn't the only What's Inside man who created a greeting for us.  : )

Ray Niemerg isn't the only What's Inside man who created a greeting for us.  : )

The long of it:

^^ I’m moving the furniture around this month.  Going to try something new – get to know the family in words up top and in pictures below.  Let me know what you think. ^^

Their story…

So I think the blog gods were on my side this month in that I found not one but two couples who seem to have this whole marriage thing figured out, which is very fitting for the month of love.  Allow me to introduce you to the Aaron America and Brianne (Miss America, of course) Wilson family. 

These lovebirds have been together since they were in high school and they’re one of those couples who people said would never make it.  They sure showed them.  Having gotten to know them over the past few years I believe one of the keys to their marital happiness is their ability to let each other be who they are as individuals.  He is OUT THERE with his vintage pop culture collecting habits and weird Facebook-posting ways and there she is quietly cranking out gourmet meals and baked goods all while having her head in a book.  They meet in the middle at the thrift store. 

Bri and Aaron have a shared interest in searching for treasures at thrift stores.  I regularly encounter these two out thrifting together.  But they’ve also got their own things going on.  Bri is a mad reader.  She averages 60 books a year (wait until you see their bedroom).  When we did the photo shoot for this issue she was reading the fiction trilogy, One Second After.  And Aaron has his Beat Lab – the little building in their backyard which I’m going to save for a complete other What’s Inside issue.  Stay tuned.  You won’t want to miss it.

In addition to playing in his band, Position 12?, Aaron opened his dream business, America’s Groove Record Store, in the Village Square Mall over a year ago.  Hands down my favorite store in Effingham – think everything from new and used vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes and record players to vintage men’s clothes, 80s pins and toys, vintage kids’ books, locally made incense and art, candy cigarettes and now arcade games.  And a billion other things you just need to go see/touch/hear/smell in person.  Plus he’s getting ready to expand.  It is an experience to be had.  It’s a beautiful thing and I secretly think of this as my alter ego store. 

Bri, in addition to being a nurse at the Surgery Center in Effingham, is his meticulous bookkeeper.  This is where the slightly Type A/organized side of her personality shines and where she stresses.  But don’t let that fool you, you can’t have a conversation with her and not leave feeling great about yourself, grinning from ear to ear and quite possibly feeling like maybe you too should include more curse words in your everyday conversations.  She is awesome.  

They’ve got two gorgeous kids at home, Hannah (20) and Eli (16).  Hannah works at Family Video in Effingham and like her dad is a great painter and a total free spirit.  Her bedroom is beyond boho.  Bri admits that “Hannie” has got the best record player in the house in her room plus records from bands that Bri has never heard of (which officially means we’re old).  You can encounter Eli rocking a fab hairdo as a checker at Martin’s IGA.  He also rides a unicycle and has Type 1 diabetes.  The type where you require insulin in order to stay alive.  Ask Bri all about this life experience.  You can find both of them shopping the thrift stores (separately) and working America’s Groove.  Great kids.  Great family.

Their style…

The Wilson’s have rented their 1950s home on Cherry Street in Effingham for the past 11 years and their décor is ever changing and almost always thrifted.  If it wasn’t gotten at a second-hand store it was found in a dumpster, purchased at Fresh Digs (Bri used to be our Saturday gal), handmade, given to them or gotten while on vacation.  Bri has the wish of every renter in that she’d love to be able to paint the walls funky colors.  I’d love to see that someday.  Check out their style.

Walk into the Wilson home and you can’t help but smile at all of the color and light.  Their love for thrifting and travelling together has filled their home with many retro, found and funky objects.  The green hide-a-bed sofa, rug, coffee table, bar cart and globe all came from Fresh Digs. 

Walk into the Wilson home and you can’t help but smile at all of the color and light.  Their love for thrifting and travelling together has filled their home with many retro, found and funky objects.  The green hide-a-bed sofa, rug, coffee table, bar cart and globe all came from Fresh Digs. 

Bri got this piece of art by Heather Skavlem from Fresh Digs.  The shelf with hooks is a great place to keep important items all in one place.  

Bri got this piece of art by Heather Skavlem from Fresh Digs.  The shelf with hooks is a great place to keep important items all in one place.  

Bri’s felted wool slippers, and those of every member of her family, were made by her master knitter sister, Amber Lindemann.  If you’re into knitting and/or skanky rescue dogs named Kevin then be sure to check out her Instagram feed @yarnhoarder and now her YouTube channel.  I don’t knit, but I love to see her hilarious personality come through in her posts.  Seriously, check it out, she has electronically tapped into the knitting world.      

Bri’s felted wool slippers, and those of every member of her family, were made by her master knitter sister, Amber Lindemann.  If you’re into knitting and/or skanky rescue dogs named Kevin then be sure to check out her Instagram feed @yarnhoarder and now her YouTube channel.  I don’t knit, but I love to see her hilarious personality come through in her posts.  Seriously, check it out, she has electronically tapped into the knitting world.      

Of course they were playing records when we arrived.  Bri was spinning her favorite from her own record collection, Eric Clapton’s Slow Hand, which thanks to her and her thrifting ways I now own on CD.  Somehow this is the only picture we got of Bri that day.  Must remedy that.  She’s a lovely lady with the most amazing porcelain skin. 

Of course they were playing records when we arrived.  Bri was spinning her favorite from her own record collection, Eric Clapton’s Slow Hand, which thanks to her and her thrifting ways I now own on CD.  Somehow this is the only picture we got of Bri that day.  Must remedy that.  She’s a lovely lady with the most amazing porcelain skin. 

Her fave thing is this vintage bar cart that she got from Fresh Digs.  Most of what’s on it are thrift store finds.  I love the gold glass carrier and the gold vanity tray she's using to hold barware.  

Her fave thing is this vintage bar cart that she got from Fresh Digs.  Most of what’s on it are thrift store finds.  I love the gold glass carrier and the gold vanity tray she's using to hold barware.  

The Good Morning card Aaron found while on vacation and it's one of his favorite finds.  The calf picture was gotten at the Pioneer Woman's shop during Bri and her sister's trip to Oklahoma to meet her.

The Good Morning card Aaron found while on vacation and it's one of his favorite finds.  The calf picture was gotten at the Pioneer Woman's shop during Bri and her sister's trip to Oklahoma to meet her.

In the kitchen.  Bri collects plates – some old, some new - and has them on display on a plate rail in her dining room.  On her dining table she's got her vintage fondue pot and skewers and little stack of vintage restaurant ware plates.  She is an avid baker and cook.  In fact she welcomed Tytia and I into her home with freshly made muffins and coffee.  Walking around her home with a warm muffin and cup of coffee in my hand added to the absolute charm of it all.  Aaron is often posting pics of her culinary creations on his Facebook page.  He also posts ridiculous stuff like a pic of him rocking out on his guitar superimposed in the Vatican.  I love it.  And consider yourself warned. 

Bri has fantastic original 1950s kitchen cupboards in which to display her Longaberger dish collection and other dishes - both new and old.  Effingham being the home of John Boos, she's got her two cutting boards neatly stacked on her microwave.  And then we have her Instant Pot.  She LOVES this thing and says it's amazing and cooks food so fast.  Like an old timey pressure cooker but safer and even faster.     

Bri has fantastic original 1950s kitchen cupboards in which to display her Longaberger dish collection and other dishes - both new and old.  Effingham being the home of John Boos, she's got her two cutting boards neatly stacked on her microwave.  And then we have her Instant Pot.  She LOVES this thing and says it's amazing and cooks food so fast.  Like an old timey pressure cooker but safer and even faster.     

She adds fun color to her kitchen with the set of colorful vintage plasticware cups she got from Fresh Digs.  The hobnail salt and pepper shakers were a fantastic garage sale score.  

She adds fun color to her kitchen with the set of colorful vintage plasticware cups she got from Fresh Digs.  The hobnail salt and pepper shakers were a fantastic garage sale score.  

Their bedroom reminds me of the Berenstain Bears book where the kids split their room down the middle, except these two get along.  Bri’s got her side filled with books, books and more books and he’s got his filled with Masters of the Universe action figures, media of all kinds and vintage pop culture memorabilia.  But they meet in the middle under the gorgeous quilt that Bri’s mom, Kathy, made plus pillows covered in Bri’s beloved vintage pillowcases.  The picture of the girl reading reminds Aaron of their daughter Hannah. 

Their bedroom reminds me of the Berenstain Bears book where the kids split their room down the middle, except these two get along.  Bri’s got her side filled with books, books and more books and he’s got his filled with Masters of the Universe action figures, media of all kinds and vintage pop culture memorabilia.  But they meet in the middle under the gorgeous quilt that Bri’s mom, Kathy, made plus pillows covered in Bri’s beloved vintage pillowcases.  The picture of the girl reading reminds Aaron of their daughter Hannah. 

Bri’s side – She painted their bed using our DIY chalk and clay based paint in the color Queen Bee and then she draped the headboard with metal feather garland from Fresh Digs.  See what I mean about her being a reader?  And she checks books out from the library, as well.  And I love the mix of girly stuff like Strawberry Shortcake items.

Bri’s side – She painted their bed using our DIY chalk and clay based paint in the color Queen Bee and then she draped the headboard with metal feather garland from Fresh Digs.  See what I mean about her being a reader?  And she checks books out from the library, as well.  And I love the mix of girly stuff like Strawberry Shortcake items.

Aaron’s side – See what I mean?  Media and memorabilia.  Tailypo is Aaron’s favorite children’s book, so this may be the one book he's read in its entirety. : )  And there's the man himself rocking a $1 thrift store vest.  

Aaron’s side – See what I mean?  Media and memorabilia.  Tailypo is Aaron’s favorite children’s book, so this may be the one book he's read in its entirety. : )  And there's the man himself rocking a $1 thrift store vest.  

Books meet music.  And below we get a taste of Aaron's style with his painting of a creepy clown.  Have I mentioned that he's a very talented guy?  

Books meet music.  And below we get a taste of Aaron's style with his painting of a creepy clown.  Have I mentioned that he's a very talented guy?  

Eli's room.  I wish they still made these Lego man boxes.  And that wallpaper.

Eli's room.  I wish they still made these Lego man boxes.  And that wallpaper.

Like father like son.  The two together collect Masters of the Universe action figures.  And do you spy his pair of handmade felted wool slippers?

Eli also collects vintage gaming systems like Atari and Play Station and he spends most of his time playing online games.  His bed came from a church garage sale and the Record Fair poster above his bed is what lit the fire that led to the creation of America’s Groove.  

Eli also collects vintage gaming systems like Atari and Play Station and he spends most of his time playing online games.  His bed came from a church garage sale and the Record Fair poster above his bed is what lit the fire that led to the creation of America’s Groove.  

Hannah’s room – I could totally live here.  By simply peeking into this room you get a feel for Hannah’s personality – cool and carefree.  The Dream pillow came from Fresh Digs.  Her dad makes the record butterflies.

Hannah’s room – I could totally live here.  By simply peeking into this room you get a feel for Hannah’s personality – cool and carefree.  The Dream pillow came from Fresh Digs.  Her dad makes the record butterflies.

 Light and airy.  The shelves on the wall came from Fresh Digs.  Mister the rabbit is in the cage.   

 Light and airy.  The shelves on the wall came from Fresh Digs.  Mister the rabbit is in the cage.   

Makeup!  Plus she shares her parent’s love for music, her dad’s love for movies and her mom’s cute style. 

Makeup!  Plus she shares her parent’s love for music, her dad’s love for movies and her mom’s cute style. 

Bathroom in marble and pink.  The family share one bathroom and guess what’s in the vintage decanter?  Mouthwash.  : )  And here again she's using a vintage vanity mirror.  

Bathroom in marble and pink.  The family share one bathroom and guess what’s in the vintage decanter?  Mouthwash.  : )  And here again she's using a vintage vanity mirror.  

Now go and check out America’s Groove for yourself.  Hope that Bri is there so you can ask her about the time she and her sister hit a couch while driving to see the Pioneer Woman in Oklahoma.  Like hit a couch with their car.  And then you’ll never want to leave because her personality and the little world Aaron has created will suck you in.

//Next issue:  The Ricky and Josephine Gould Home - There will be cats and a whole bunch of handmade furniture.

Wait!  One last thing... If you've incorporated something you've seen on this blog into your own home we'd love to see your pics.  Post in the comments below or feel free to share to any of our social media outlets.  I've picked up a few myself and will post them. 

 

About the Photographer:  Tytia Habing is an award-winning and highly regarded fine art, family and commercial photographer based in the Effingham, Illinois area.  You can see her work at tytiahabingphotography.com.   

About the Writer:  Joanna Davies is co-owner of Fresh Digs in Effingham, IL.  Fresh Digs sources locally, globally and uniquely made home goods and gifts and displays them in a shopping experience some have said is good for the soul.  We also like to get people together.  Join us.