An Up North NurseryDec 27, 2022 08:13AM ● By Meghan Townley
Photo by Bill Sitzmann.
When the time came for expectant parents Katy Spratte Joyce and husband Skip to transition Katy’s home office into a nursery, the couple took to an “At the Lake” design theme—hook, line, and sinker.
Jacque Christensen of Jacque Christensen Design was a natural fit for Baby Bob’s nursery project, having just finished a kitchen facelift in the couple’s historic Morton Meadows home. Christensen also knew the outdoorsy theme would be a sentimental nod to their mutual family ties to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”
Katy is from Minnesota, and Skip’s family owns a cabin in north-central Minnesota next door to Christensen’s family cabin. “We love Aunt Jacque,” Katy affirmed, planting a kiss on the head of Baby Bob, born late August 2022. “She just understood everything that I wanted without my having to articulate it.”
Family traditions are especially important to the Joyces. (Baby Bob is named in honor of grandparents on both sides, Skip’s dad being the first Bob Joyce.) The lake is their favorite place to share family time, and memories of Fourth of July celebrations spent by the water with all the cousins (wearing matching patriotic outfits, no less) are cherished. Paying homage to that family tradition with the nursery theme seemed ideal.
Christensen’s favorite part of the project was being able to work with a family friend. “To be able to stay close to Skip’s family and to show my love through my art was very meaningful,” she said. “Hopefully that transpired a little bit in how the room turned out.”
Christensen gave the Joyces two design options, and the deciding factor was the wallpaper—“Wild Blue Yonder,” a pattern from the Summer Breeze collection by Abnormals Anonymous. “It was just the coolest thing I’d ever seen,” Katy said. “It’s just kind of vintage-y and has character.” It depicts retro images of boats, waterskiing, pine trees, and geese. “It looked so much like the landscape that we had been going to…and that our grandparents had been going to…and that everyone has this deep love for,” Christensen said.
A decorative boat paddle from Bob’s baby shower, and a Minnesota pennant from the shop 50 States of Beauty, now adorn the nursery walls. Bob’s crib from Restoration Hardware—a treasured hand-me-down from the couple’s nephew, Harrison—takes center stage. A Pottery Barn Kids glider rocker with spill-resistant performance fabric sits in the corner.
Katy travels internationally for work and wanted to include some decorative nursery decor from around the globe. The crib mobile, found on Etsy, is from New Zealand. The corner woven baskets are from France. The Campaign-style 1960s dresser/changing table was bought while resale shopping in Chicago, where Katy’s mom grew up.
The nursery is a collage of elements relating to family and meaningful places, and many items were purchased secondhand. “Katy is a thrifter, and likes that curated look. We put some history in there,” Christensen said.
The vibrant, geometric rug was found at an Indian shop, Manvi Exports. The lamp is from Anthropologie, and the side table came from Wayfair. “I like a mix of high and low retailers,” Katy said. Kathleen Connor, with the custom sewing workshop Among Other Things, created the custom blackout curtains.
“The curtains are Threads Fabric with Schumacher trim, and Kathleen did the [curtain] hardware in a brushed brass,” Christensen said. “You don’t realize how important custom drapery is until you have it done.”
Skip and Katy, who just celebrated five years of marriage, first met each other’s families and also became engaged while at the lake. “Having a nursery with this theme is a fun way to bring in the favorite parts of our childhood and some of our special memories as a couple,” Katy said. “Our hope is that this tradition will continue, and Bob will create memories with his cousins up at the lake every summer. I hope Bob likes it up there as much as his parents do.”
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2023 issue of Omaha Home magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.