Elaine Cecconi and Anna Simone are two interior designers that together have a company named Cecconi Simone.
As founding partner of Cecconi Simone Inc., Anna Simone has presided over numerous, award-wining projects worldwide in the retail, corporate, hospitality and residential sectors, ranging from large-scale, multi-unit condominiums to spa-resorts and boutique hotels to private residences for distinguished luminaries. Anna has been guest lecturer and keynote speaker at Humber College; Georgian College; the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD); IIDEX/Neocon Canada; The Interior Design Show, Toronto; The Vancouver Home + Design Show; AIA Florida, a chapter of The American Institute of Architects; and the Annual Conference & Case Competition for Out on Bay Street. She has served on the executive board of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and has acted as juror for the Canadian Bombay Sapphire Designer Glass Competition, the “Design with Liebherr” Kitchen Contest and the Sukkahville Design Competition, presented by the Kehilla Residential Programme. Anna is co-founder of the Pug Awards, The People’s Choice for Architecture in Toronto. The Pug Awards encompasses Pug Talks, a speakers’ series of leading architecture, design and planning practitioners, and Pug Ed, an educational initiative engaging senior elementary school students in architecture, design and urban development. Anna and Elaine Cecconi, her business partner, were key players in HGTV Canada’s Design Interns, currently in syndication in the United States.
As founding partner of Cecconi Simone Inc., an award-winning interior-design practice based in Toronto, Canada, Elaine has led countless, high-profile projects in the retail, corporate, hospitality and residential sectors over three decades. Residential projects designed by Elaine ¿ in Canada, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and China – comprise a significant portion of Cecconi Simone’s portfolio.
The firm has designed more than seventy high-rise residences in Toronto alone, a sizeable number of which have been helmed by Elaine. Elaine also has spearheaded groundbreaking urban-infill townhome communities and has designed private residences for many distinguished luminaries. Elaine and her work have been featured in a broad range of print and electronic publications around the world.
Knowing Better – Elaine Cecconi
What inspires you professionally?
Good design in any form, be it interiors, architecture, graphics/communications, fashion, art, public spaces, visual arts, music, cinema and cuisine. Travel inspires me; it provides exposure to different cultures, cuisine and new ideas. It changes your perspective from local to global.
How do you keep fresh ideas and concepts coming out of your office?
Cecconi Simone is inherently ‘fresh’ in that we challenge ourselves to be innovative and original. Not solely for the sake of doing something ‘new’, it is important that innovation is relevant and economically viable. Our clients are banking on this. We consider complacency the death knell of any person or company.
What is the most memorable milestone for you in your career and/or for your firm?
In my career, it would be the decision to practice interior design as opposed to pursuing work in the field of architecture. This was a game-changer which created the opportunity for Anna Simone and me to create Cecconi Simone.
For Cecconi Simone, we’ve had many milestones that have either taken us into a new direction or projects that were landmarks in the industry. The Merchandise Building launched our firm into multi-unit residential design, in which we paved the way with our designs for small-space, urban dwelling units, units that are highly efficient and smart in their use of cubic feet, not simply square feet. Many of the concepts we introduced at the time  – in-board bedrooms, sliding walls, project-specific kitchen/bath designs – have become standard in the market in urban centres in North America and internationally.
How would you describe working with Lifetime Developments?
We have the highest regard for the Lifetime group. They’re an experienced team yet every project is approached with enthusiasm and a desire to create something unique that’s specific to the site and the neighbourhood in which it is located. They have all the qualities you want in a client: integrity, professionalism, intelligence and a respect for design. And, as an added bonus, they’re fun. It’s really exciting for Cecconi Simone to be part of their team.
What makes Lifetime different from some of your other clients?
It’s fascinating to watch the evolution of Lifetime, an established development company, and how it transitions into the new generation. There’s the transfer of knowledge, wisdom and experience all the while keeping the core values and vision of an organization, those upon which its reputation has been built. The new generation brings energy, new ideas and concepts. It’s the sum of the parts that make Lifetime a truly unique development company.
What does “Creating, Defining, Inspiring” mean to you and how does it relate to Lifetime?
Creating, Defining, Inspiring.
There are developers who build what we consider to be commodity product: conservative, safe, predictable. Then there are developers who see their projects beyond that, the ones that are pushing architecture, urban design, landscape design and interior design. It’s not simply building condos, these are the developers who understand that they’re impacting our urban landscape and the people who choose to live in the City. They want to do things better and they want to do things right. This is an immense responsibility and every project is treated as an opportunity to create something that is defining and inspiring. Lifetime doesn’t have to work at this; it is embedded in its DNA.
The Company – Cicconi Simone
Cecconi Simone Inc. is a multi-disciplinary interior-design practice based in Toronto, Canada, privately owned and operated by Elaine Cecconi and Anna Simone. The firm currently employs about 40 professional, technical and administrative staff.
Established in 1982, Cecconi Simone has met with continued success, creating award-winning interiors for the retail, corporate, hotel-hospitality and residential sectors in Canada, the United States, Anguilla, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, India and China. The firm has designed about seventy-five condominium communities in Toronto alone.
Cecconi Simone’s wide-ranging work is central to its “whole design” philosophy; the belief that a cross-pollination of design experience leads to a deeper understanding of how people live their lives and the design needs that arise from those lifestyles.
Landmarks for Ciccone Simone
Alfred Sung – 1984
Canadian Citation Award 1985
ARIDO Awards 1984, Canada – Designer of the Year
ARIDO Awards 1984, Canada – Gold, Retail Store
- Cecconi Simone designs the first Alfred Sung retail store, in Hazelton Lanes
- The firm designs Alfred Sung’s wholesale showroom and other retail outlets for Monaco Group.
- Cecconi Simone now on the map
Sung Sport – 1985
Hershy Weinberg Sales
Dupont Antron Design Award 1985, Canada
ARIDO Awards 1985, Canada – Silver, Showroom
- Cecconi Simone designs the Sung Sport wholesale showroom
- Strategic lighting elements and custom fixturing dropped into the raw space
- Notable design achieved on a shoestring budget
- Winner of the Dupont Antron Design Award alongside high-budget projects
Tatar Alexander Gallery – 1994
ARIDO Awards 1996, Canada – Gold, Retail
- First Cecconi Simone project incorporating moveable fixtures for a completely flexible and interactive space
- Custom-designed, sliding, panel-on-panel design doubles display space
- Custom-designed hardware, including adjustable rails, track system, and ladders
- One of the first galleries to incorporate an industrial aesthetic
- “Artichoke Wall” introduces an element of whimsy, creating a talking point for visitors
- Pioneering gallery with a digital artwork databank
- Databank viewing station made into a focal point by the designers
- Real-estate development industry takes notice of Cecconi Simone’s unique approach to interior design
Merchandise Building – 1996
NAHB Award 1997, Canada
ARIDO Awards 1996, Canada – Silver, Marketing Centre
- Groundbreaking project for interior design industry
- First time interior designers develop suite layouts and standards for partitions, kitchens, baths and storage; previously, interior designers designed only common areas and amenities
- Cecconi Simone approaches space-design in square-feet as well as cubic-feet
- First “inboard” bedroom set back from the windows
- New level of sophistication and customization in residential design, incorporating many design breakthroughs from the Tatar Alexander Gallery, including moveable partitions and ladders
- First mass-market residential project designed with project-specific elements
- First loft conversion in Toronto
- Largest residential loft conversion in North America
Oni One – 2002
ARC Awards 2004, Canada – Best New Retail Concept
IIDA Interior Design Competition 2003, United States – Best Retail Design
- Outgrowth of Cecconi Simone’s experience in condo-suite design
- Pioneer in condo-sized, space-conscious, multi-functional furnishings
- Groundbreaking 4000 s.f. retail environment presents custom furnishings in complete vignettes, as informed by Cecconi Simone’s extensive design experience with condominium sales centres and model suites
- Innovative “drapery” partitions allow for flexible, changeable retail displays
Phoebe on Queen – 2003
ARIDO Awards 2000, Canada – Silver, Marketing Centre
- First new-build condominium project for Cecconi Simone
- First customized kitchen island in a standard condo suite
- First inboard bedroom in a new-build, condo project
- First full-concept sales-centre and model-suite experience
- First sales centre conceived as a stand-alone retail store, with a glass storefront, prominent exterior signage and marketing and branding incorporated throughout
- Sales centre features an early example of a video wall
Lippincott Living – 2010
Sales Centre & Model Suite: Town Layouts & Standards
Wood WORKS! Awards 2011, Canada – Multi-Family
DX Awards 2009, Canada – Gold, Interior Design, Temporary or Portable
ARIDO Awards 2009, Canada – Award of Excellence, Marketing Centre
DX Awards 2009, Canada – Honourable Mention, Visual Communications, Brand & Identity; Blurredge Group
- First in-house development project
- Cecconi Simone’s condominium-design sensibility transferred to townhome format
- Precedent-setting contemporary townhome project in a market dominated by traditional
- First fully-customized living environment at an affordable price-point
X – The Condominium – 2010
Home Builders Awards 2008, Canada – Best Suite Design Under 750 S.F. (“The Sterling”)
ARIDO Awards 2007, Canada – Award of Excellence, Marketing Centre
GTHBA Awards 2007, Canada – Best Model Suite (“The Breuer”)
GTHBA Awards 2007, Canada – Best Suite Design Under 750 Square Feet (“The Breuer”)
DX Awards 2006, Canada – Silver, Temporary or Portable
- First fully-branded condominium project; Cecconi Simone is integral to creating the project’s branding strategy
- “Nightclub” sales centre targets specific demographic
- First fully-customized Cecconi Simone kitchen and bath
- First custom kitchen-island with extendible dining surface
- First custom “millwork wall”
Designs and Realisations
Cicconi and Simone work in projects related with townhomes, single familiy homes, private residences, retail showrooms and other kind of projects.
Take a look on the next images with some realized projects of Cicconi Simone.
Single Family Project
Private Residence Project
Retail Showroom Project
Top Projects Gallery