As the owner and Creative Director of Weddings + Events, Candace Kalasky is constantly immersed in great style. This Omaha girl knows the ins and outs of events, creating thoughtful details with precise execution that has garnered a loyal fan base and admirable reputation. Her attention to detail floods into other areas of success, and as a result – we know a slightly different side to Candace. She is our Web Coordinator, and the go-to gal to make sure all things Rue are running smoothly. We’ve spent many a late night (and equally early morning!) working with her and perfecting every little technical detail on our website’s back end. To put it simply… we’d be utterly lost without her.

Candace recently ventured into home-ownership with her husband, Rich. Together, they picked out the perfect location and the not-so-perfect house – with the intent of a complete overhaul. Poring over her favorite resources, Candace dreamt up her dream home. With a little patience and a lot of hard work, the once-imagined space is slowly becoming a reality. First up? The living room. Candace took us on a tour, offering wise advice every step of the way:

Is this your first time owning a home?
Yes. We wanted to purchase our forever home in Westside (a neighborhood in Omaha that Rich grew up in), so we spent several months searching.

A renovation seems overwhelming. Can you break it down for us? What were the very first steps you took to get it started?
We did all of the renovation ourselves, so it was even more overwhelming than a traditional home reno project that utilizes contractors.

I spent a lot of time creating mood boards of flooring, artwork, paint colors and furniture options, so I could see how all of my choices worked together. Once I was happy with my boards, I moved forward with selections. As I was developing my moodboards, we worked on demo. My dad ripped out the green and red slate from the entry, and we tore out the drywall to add insulation. The entire process took about 4 months.

Soon after the living room was complete, I started stressing about all of the other projects we wanted to tackle. When we purchased our home, we knew we would eventually renovate every room in the house, so we recently hired an architect to master plan our entire home. They created a blueprint of each construction project including structural, plumbing, and facade changes as well as new additions. Knowing what the house will eventually look/function like allows us to work on future projects in a more strategic way. We’re currently gutting our kitchen, but using the master plan, we’re also prepping for the master bath renovation that will happen in a few years.

Is there anything you would do differently next time?
Wear a mask when drywalling!

Ha! Wise words. Now, let’s talk about the decorating! What was the look and feel you were going for?
I love traditional design, but I also wanted the space to feel personal and a little playful. We painted the walls my favorite color of gray, and I spent a lot of time sourcing accessories and filling in with personal touches like old family photos and our wedding photos. I purchased a scarf that features landmarks of San Francisco to remind me of my trip there a few years back. I framed it, and used its soft purple and peach tones as a reference for the other colorful accessories I brought into the room.

Did you have any “a-ha” moments?
Our media console from Horchow was a defining piece for me. It was simple in structure, but I love the carvings on doors. It helped carry the textured monochromatic look throughout the living room.

It’s beautiful! Did you own any of the furniture before or is it all brand new?
We purchased almost everything new for the living room. Rich and I had lived together for three years before purchasing our home, and during that time, I patiently waited to buy furniture knowing that our living situation was temporary and anything I purchased might not work in our future home.

That is such a smart technique! Did you learn any decorating lessons along the way?
As I’ve learned through event design, when choosing accessories, always purchase multiple options to see how they work in the space and with your other styling pieces. Even if that means I have to spend more time hunting and sometimes returning items, I’m more confident when I’ve explored multiple options.

Decorating for both a guy and a gal can be tough. Did you and Rich have any difficulty agreeing on things? If so, how did you overcome that?
Rich was skeptical about working on our formal living room as our first project, but it was a relatively easy renovation. It’s also the first room you see when you walk into the house, so he was appreciative once it was done. He also wasn’t initially keen on the white couch, but he’s admitted that it’s actually really comfortable.

Now that we’re working on the kitchen (his favorite room in the house), it’s a more collaborative process.

What has been the hardest part about this process?
As anyone can guess, working on the renovation ourselves has its own set of challenges. My in-laws and parents have spent many weekends and weeknights helping us complete this project. My job requires that I work during those hours, so it was hard to not be available to help as much as I would have like to.

And what has been the best part about this process?
Having a hand in every detail and decision and documenting the before and after photos is so rewarding. I smile every time I walk into our living room.

Finally, what is your favorite piece in the room?
I love the built-in fireplace we designed. It adds so much character to the space, and it’s such a transformation from the initial fireplace.

It’s one of our favorite elements, as well! Next up on Candace’s to-do? A functional office for her bustling business. Check back on Thursday when she opens the doors to the gorgeous new space.