Home AEC Q&A: KTGY Merges With Simeone Deary Design Group

Q&A: KTGY Merges With Simeone Deary Design Group

KTGY Architecture and Planning, Simeone Deary Design Group, Irvine

By Catherine Sweeney

KTGY Architecture and Planning recently announced its expansion into the hospitality industry with the acquisition of hospitality-focused interior design and branding firm, Simeone Deary Design Group. By merging the two companies, KTGY said it sought to create a unique firm in which hospitality is at the forefront of all design concepts. While the announcement came in March, The Registry recently had the chance to speak with both Tricia Esser, the CEO of KTGY, and Lisa Simeone, principal and co-founder at Simeone Deary Design Group, to learn more about the merging of the two companies and how it has already began to shift design concepts and strategies moving forward.

What prompted KTGY’s acquisition of Simeone Deary Design Group? 

Tricia Esser: At KTGY our motto is “The Continuous Search for Better.” Three years ago, as part of the firm’s strategic plan, we set out to become a fully integrated firm not only capable of award-winning architecture and planning, but also esteemed branding and interior design. The acquisition of Simeone Deary Design Group, one of the nation’s leading hospitality interior design and branding firms, enables us to offer our clients the capabilities of architecture, branding, interiors and planning, all under one roof.

Our firms shared a commitment to advance the architectural and design industry by collaborating with clients to deliver unique experiential-driven environments, which made the the decision to move forward together an easy one.

The hospitality industry has struggled immensely amid the COVID-19 pandemic. What led to KTGY’s interest in this industry?

TE: We see the hospitality industry coming back in full force. We feel that together we provide a talented group of architects and designers and our innovative approach will integrate architecture, branding and interiors into the design process from day one as we think about projects holistically.

At the same time, the future of residential design is hospitality-driven. Our architectural teams have heard from clients that the residents of their multifamily communities are seeking unique experiential design replete with amenities that suit their lifestyles. Branding has also become an essential component of residential developments.

How does the joining of these two companies impact KTGY?

TE: Over its nearly 20-year history, Simeone Deary Design Group has built an impressive reputation for its work positioning lifestyle and hospitality brands and delivering high-end luxury and forward-thinking authenticity through experiential design. Their team of 40 storytellers and interdisciplinary thinkers brings a unique set of talents and a conceptual process that will reinforce – and bolster – our work across residential, hospitality, mixed-use and retail developments.

How will the acquisition impact projects and clients currently held by Simeone Deary Design Group? 

Lisa Simeone: Our current projects and clients likely will not be impacted at all. In fact, they might not even notice a difference in the day-to-day operations of Simeone Deary Design Group. We are continuing to honor the longstanding relationships we have developed with many architecture firms, and they will remain on current projects. These relationships have been instrumental to our growth and are highly valued and respected by our team and our clients. 

Looking forward, our clients will benefit from the integrated approach that KTGY and Simeone Deary Design Group can bring to hospitality design.

Will this change the way future design projects are handled? If so, how? 

TE: Yes! While we already work with great interior design firms, there is no denying that having both architecture and interior teams working together within the same company, and being part of the project from the start, will influence the design process and make the projects even better. KTGY can now offer our clients the opportunity to have the two groups collaborate from day one to create holistic designs that are informed from the outside-in and the inside-out.

Are there any projects or plans currently underway?

TE: We are looking forward to expanding our offerings across typologies including residential, retail, mixed-use, hospitality and restaurant.

Currently, we’re working on an art gallery in Morgan Hill, California with plans for construction to start in the first quarter of 2022. The architectural design utilizes Mass Timber to create a simple, warm and artistic façade. Interior spaces are bright and open. We are also pursuing a number of opportunities together, and hope to share details when they’re more concrete.

How will this acquisition benefit both KTGY and Simeone Deary Design Group? 

TE: The integration of our two firms is going to expand our reach, respectively. It opens new doors to hospitality projects for KTGY as it adds branding and interiors to our core offerings.

LS: Simeone Deary Design Group will now be able to offer architecture and planning services to our existing hospitality, retail and restaurant clients who may not already have a preferred architecture firm. We will also be able to diversify across more typologies such as residential and mixed-use and reach more markets nationwide in the areas where KTGY has offices and experience.

How do the visions and goals of Simeone Deary Design Group align with those of KTGY? 

LS: KTGY and Simeone Deary Design Group are both extremely client-centric and believe that  listening to the client’s vision, wants and needs is paramount to a project’s success. Both firms are united in a culture of innovation, as well. Simeone Deary Design Group leverages an innovative approach grounded in psychographic research to deliver authentic, bold creative interior concepts, and KTGY’s R+D studio is pushing the envelope when it comes to residential, retail and mixed-use design. Both firms care deeply for their people and are dedicated to sustainability, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Is there anything I did not ask about this acquisition that you think is important to note? 

TE and LS: Together, we are setting our sights on a bold vision to reshape how people experience space. As both firms leverage our expertise in the way people live, we believe that joining the two firms to create a fully assimilated practice brings extreme value to our clients and the communities in which we live, work and design.