The result is a home that's full of bold colors, creative combinations and a spirited sense of style that's contagious. Biondo calls the result "world fusion," a lively mix of décor from different countries, schools of design and even eras."It was a process," Biondo said. "But I thought to myself, this will look really cool or it will look like a carnival."
Or perhaps one really cool carnival. The picture of the octopus in the bedroom is only one example of Biondo's design sensibility at work: Biondo used the piece as inspiration, taking the turquoise tone and swirling appearance of the picture as a jumping off place for the entire room.
Here, a faux white tiger skin rug seems right at ease with a black-and-white Balinese print bedspread. Biondo created the Asian-inspired headboard himself, framing out the black-and-white paisley print wallpaper behind the bed with wood strips and painting them high-gloss black to create the impression of an actual piece of furniture.
Behind the bed are turquoise painted walls. Biondo said the color is one that took him days to select and perfect. He taped paint swatches to the room's sliding glass doors and would look at them at different times of day to compare them to the color of the pool that's just beyond the bedroom. Eventually, he got it just right.
"It truly is the color of the pool when the sun is shining," he said.
The bedroom also shows how Biondo likes to mix old and new pieces, breathing fresh life into them in the process. An ornate mirror that traces its provenance to the 1970s was repainted white and paired with a sleek settee that he also recovered in white.
"I love to combine things like this — Baroque-type pieces with very clean, mid-century modern type pieces," he said.
Finding such pieces to put together in interesting ways isn't always easy, but Biondo was up for the challenge, he said. He said he looked at 4,000 rugs online one night, staying up until 4 a.m. to find just the right piece for the home's living room.
"I have to concentrate on exactly the thing I need, and I'll find it," he said.
Craigslist was a source of infinite treasures, many of which — such as the buffet table in his dining room — arrived at Biondo's home only to be sanded, sprayed and reintroduced in some dramatic new form. Originally maple, the table is now satin black with an ebony finish and silver polished chrome hardware to give it a contemporary look — all done by Biondo.
Home Goods also provided many of the pieces in the home, including the plush chartreuse chairs that ring the dining room table. But as any Home Goods shopper knows, it's often difficult to find a matching set at a discount home retailer. The same happened to Biondo as he sought his chartreuse chairs, but he wouldn't be defeated: He called stores throughout Florida until they were all located and brought home.
"I'm looking for two more," he said with a laugh. "It's been a year. I want seating for six."
The dining room also exemplifies Biondo's ability to design on a dime. With a glittering crystal chandelier over the table and ceiling-to-floor fuchsia curtains, the dining room has a rich, luxurious feel. Yet Biondo found the chandelier at Overstock.com for $250; he and his partner put it together by hand one night while they were watching television.
The fuchsia curtains, which appear to be raw silk, are a polyester blend and were purchased from Ikea for $14.99 a panel.
Biondo said the saris worn by women in India inspired the curtains.
"I looked at all different saris, and then I custom-matched colors to different saris and fabrics," he said.
As Biondo pulled a wide range of colors and fabrics into the home, he would find a way to draw them all together from room to room. There's a turquoise vase on the mantle in the living area and another, similarly turquoise vase on the kitchen table; a frame of the mirror in the living room complements the color of the walls in the bedroom.
That's design advice he would give to anyone who is thinking of adding what Biondo called a "color extravaganza" to their own home but isn't sure how to begin.
"Everything ties into another area," he said. "Then it doesn't seem so crazy. It's expected."