As the masterminds behind the San Francisco Bay Area's Peninsula-based firm Evars + Anderson Interior Design, Nancy Evars and Dimitra Anderson are always striving to create projects that are fun, fresh, and one-of-a-kind. Blending bursts of color with unexpected touches of classic design, the business partners and seasoned style pros lead a team dedicated to designing distinctive spaces for their loyal list of clients. When they're not garnering national attention with features in national publications like Better Homes And Gardens, Evars and Anderson are dutifully answering our Designer Crush questions. Check out their answers below!
1. Who is your biggest role model?
Dimitra: My mother for her selflessness and dedication to our family. Her work ethic was incredible given the many obstacles she had to overcome as an immigrant.
Nancy: I feel lucky to have had so many strong female role models throughout my life starting with my mother and godmother (confident and fierce southern women). I also count my closest girlfriends (and business partner) as significant influences, I admire them for their work ethic, sense of humor, vulnerability, and loyalty…qualities I try to emulate each and every day.
2. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?
Nancy: Something’s Gotta Give (The Hamptons…that house!).
Dimitra: About Last Night with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. I must have watched it over a 100 times and remember loving Demi’s sense of style in the movie.
3. What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project?
We feel we are a pretty good judge of character and are always telling each other to “go with our gut.” It rarely fails us and we can usually tell from the beginning if there is going to be a strong personality fit coupled with mutual trust and respect.
4. What new design trends are you excited to integrate into your work?
We’ve always been pretty fearless when it comes to color, but over the past year, we’ve been working on bringing more pattern and textures into our designs as well (we’re loving all the modern florals out there right now!). We’ve also seen over the recent past, a move towards more layering…combining different furniture styles, mixing metals and more pattern on pattern. We’ve also seen it totally overdone so are sensitive to finding the proper balance!
5. How do you completely unwind?
Nancy: Sitting on my back patio with my husband, fire burning, country music playing, and a cocktail in hand!
Dimitra: Reading the New York Times with a cup of tea.
6. If you hadn't become a designer, which career would you have pursued?
Dimitra: I would have pursued a career in fashion. Right before moving to California, I was working in the fashion division of Chanel in New York City. To be part of such a luxurious fashion brand was truly intoxicating.
Nancy: I spent almost 15 years in PR/marketing and event planning before becoming a designer. I love fashion almost as much as design so I’d like to think I would be representing luxury lifestyle brands, perhaps throwing fabulous parties every week!
7. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?
Nancy: One of my early jobs in New York City was managing the news desk at an investor relations firm. I had to be in the office at 7am to send out all the press releases. I was 25 living in Manhattan, so was out most nights…the 6am alarm was not my friend! Ps. I was also “encouraged” to wear more skirts instead of pant suits…yikes!
Dimitra: Right out of college, I worked in the financial industry. Selling Bloomberg terminals in the '90s to financial institutions was not one of my passions, to say the least.
8. What’s your favorite recipe?
Nancy: My aunt’s seafood gumbo recipe…I grew up most of my life in New Jersey, but am originally from New Orleans and my cajun roots run deep when it comes to food. I make gumbo every Fat Tuesday for friends, but I can’t share the family secret!
Dimitra: Chopped kale salad. Here's the recipe:
- 2 bunches of lacinato kale
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- sliced roasted almonds
- good feta cheese
- 2 Tbs chives
- 1 Tbs dill
- olive oil
- Maldon salt
- Remove rib from kale. Chop the leaves into small bite size pieces.
- Toast almonds
- When almonds and quinoa are completely cool, add to kale.
- Add currants, feta, chopped chives and chopped dill. Mix together.
- Add dressing which is 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil, salt, and pepper flakes.
- Mix really well and let the salad sit for half an hour or so. Enjoy!
9. Create your perfect playlist for us.
Nancy: Over the past couple of years, I have gone almost completely country! But I love all genres including all the pop music my three kids sing at the top of their lungs in the car.
10. Would you rather shop new or vintage?
Nancy: A mix of both. I enjoy designing a new custom piece of furniture for a client, but also love discovering antiques in our local shops or on Chairish. When new and vintage end up in the same room, that’s a bonus!
Dimitra: Also a mix of both. Growing up on the East Coast has given me an appreciation of antiques. Hunting for one of a kind antiques at local shops or 1stdibs is one of my favorite past times.
11. First celebrity crush?
We both were crushing on Rob Lowe and C. Thomas Howell in The Outsiders.
12. What’s your hidden talent?
Nancy: I am a completely open book, so not much is hidden…hah! As for talents, I am pretty good at creating floral arrangements and can even turn a bouquet from Safeway into a dinner party-worthy display.
Dimitra: I consider myself a good cook. I can take random ingredients from the pantry or fridge and turn them into a crowd-pleasing dish!
13. Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?
For both of us, it is Flea Street in Menlo Park. They serve only local and organic ingredients and the menu is so fresh and creative. A must try is their Lavender Lemon Drop cocktail!
14. SF or LA?
Nancy: After 15 years in the SF Bay Area, I’m still in awe of how much there is to do in a 50-mile radius and love stumbling across new little places each year. But LA is one of my favorite cities to visit for design and fashion inspiration and, of course, shopping.
Dimitra: LA for sure! I love the vibe and energy of LA. The shopping for home goods and fashion is unsurpassable.