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Designer Dish: Evette Rios, Design on a Dime Co-Chair

Designer Dish: Evette Rios, Design on a Dime Co-Chair

Design on a Dime 2015 is just one month away! One of our favorite parts of our annual shopping benefit is getting to know the incredible supporters who come together, year after year, to help us raise money for New Yorkers in need. An added bonus? Free design advice! We recently chatted with three-time Co-chair Evette Rios about design inspiration, shopping tips, and why she gives back.

Housing Works: This is your third time Co-chairing Design on a Dime (thank you!). What brings you back?
Evette Rios: I grew up in a working class family in public housing in Brooklyn, NYC and there I saw first hand how important affordable housing was to create communities and rehabilitate families. I can not imagine how difficult that road must be when you are also coping with health issues like HIV/AIDS, which although is no longer always life threatening, requires you to be able to afford a whole host of life saving medications and treatments. Housing Works directly helps people get into a home and get back on their feet so that they can create colorful vibrant communities like the one that I grew up in.

HW: You’re the host of CBS’ Recipe Rehab and but also have worked on numerous home improvement and interior design-based shows. How do your duel passions for cooking and design inform your approach to interior design?
ER: I think that you can create beautiful spaces regardless of what your budget is. Style and good taste does not have a label or a price tag. Places like Housing Works are GREAT for getting gorgeous pieces of furniture at a price point you can afford.

HW: Editor-at-Large called Design on a Dime “the “one can’t-miss design event of the season”. In your opinion, what’s the secret to its staying power?
ER: I couldn’t agree more! We all go to (and participate in) so many show houses and those are of course, gorgeous and fun but what other event can you go home with the treasures? That is what makes this event unique. And because we all know the incredible work Housing Works does we know that every dollar we spend goes to helping someone who really needs and deserves a second chance. Makes you feel THAT much more comfortable spending twice as much as you might have!

HW: For all of our supporters who live in smaller spaces, what’s the one small space decorating tip you swear by?
ER: Multifunctional furniture. When you live in a small space you can’t afford to have anything just sit there. Ottomans need storage and coffee tables need to be dining tables.

HW: Any shopping strategies you can share for those attending the benefit for the first time?
ER: Make sure you case the joint. Go around and take a good look at the installations, it pays dividends to attend the opening reception because you get a head start on your shopping. Especially if you are in the middle of renovating or redecorating, getting there nice and early and combing through all the incredible installations will really give you a good idea of what is available. You will find INCREDIBLE things!!!

HW: You’re also doing a room vignette this year, what’s your inspiration and, more importantly, what’s in store?
ER: Ha. Bull in a China Shop, that’s all I have to say

HW: This year our event theme is the idea of bringing something home. Whether it’s an object such as a painting or an armchair, or the knowledge that your support will build a house for HIV-Positive New Yorkers in need. So fill in the blank for us:
ER: This Design on a Dime, I’m bringing _dining together _home.

Watch Evette every Saturday morning on Recipe Rehab. Meet her in person (and shop her vignette) at the Design on a Dime Opening Night Reception. For more design and recipe inspiration, follow Evette on Twitter.

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