The word eclectic is much overused in the field of decorating and home furnishings, but if ever a Florida condominium deserved the term it’s the one owned by Tom Cinquini on south Marco Island.
From a gleaming kitchen and a master bath with Jacuzzi to a happy profusion of Victorian furniture and artwork, the home artfully displays the collections of a lifetime.
Colors range from peach and pink to light plum, deep rose and maroon. These shades are echoed in rugs, mats for artwork, pale Oriental watered silk draperies and valances for windows. For contrast, green and blue are accent colors, sometimes even carried throughout entire rooms.
After a career in health-service organizations in Massachusetts, Cinquini retired to Florida two years ago. He brought most of his furnishings with him from New England, he says, and then added new purchases with the help of local decorator Barbara Laurent.
Cinquini enjoys gardening, and various potted plants greet visitors when they step off the elevator at his door. On the wrap-around balcony at the rear, more ornamentals and many herbs in large containers add color to the view.
“I love to cook for my friends,” Cinquini says, “and you can’t beat fresh herbs.” With his background, he is partial to healthful foods, but can whip up a wonderful chicken cacciatore or English trifle for guests.
He upgraded the kitchen with cabinets of driftwood maple in palest pink; touch on/off counter lights; a backsplash of Italian tiles in gray, rose and russet, and off-white Corian counters. To supplement the existing storage space, Cinquini added a large rolling cart with wooden top. There’s a generous pantry too.
Floors throughout are also off-white tile for easy upkeep, with medallion inserts leading from the front door to the balcony. The open plan, including 10-foot ceilings, melds dining and living rooms, but Cinquini made each one distinct with his choice of décor. His rugs from the north fit perfectly into the new home. The dining-room rug has an Oriental Ming design in muted greens, and the living room a multicolored floral Aubusson with mauve background.
“Because I entertain so much, I had to have a large table,” Cinquini explains. The mahogany set normally seats six, but has two leaves to expand it. The table is a family heirloom, but the large mahogany breakfront filled with china and crystal is a modern acquisition that matches perfectly.
Flanking the table is a tall Oriental screen in black-and-green bird designs, and above it is a print featuring a tableau of gold Mandarin figures on a black background. Over all is a Waterford crystal chandelier that Cinquini brought home from Ireland years ago.
“My decorator thought we achieved just the right mix in here,” he remarks.
Mixing to match
Further into the living area are a variety of family pieces, combined again with brand-new items. A case in point is the Suzuki miniature grand piano in gleaming black lacquer.
“I enjoy playing and it was too good a buy to pass up, but my friends always used to tell me to keep my day job,” Cinquini jokes.
The family sofa was reupholstered in pale ivory silk and is complemented by a grouping of two re-covered Martha Washington chairs and an accent table topped with silk Renaissance cherubs under glass. The Stiffel lamps are family heirlooms.
“In this room, we really went all out with wall treatments,” Cinquini points out. Opposite the sofa is a grouping of framed prints, a hammered copper tray, a shadow box with antique stickpins, gloves and a hat from a bygone era, a Japanese fan and a modern wall sculpture of Florida birds.
Below this collection is a steamer trunk from the 1920s that belonged to his mother; it now serves as a table. Beside it is a wrought-iron wine rack for 10 bottles and four glasses, with Pucci crystal flutes arranged on top. These are not just for decoration — Cinquini often serves champagne with his carefully crafted dinners.
Off the living room is the master bedroom, with its coffered ceiling. The wall color of pale plum is an echo of New England where Cinquini had a mural depicting a fishing village.
“I don’t have the mural anymore,” he explains, “but we tried to copy the original wall paint, which was taken from the roof colors in the village, depending on my memory.”
In this room the tones are repeated in the spread and headboard, custom made locally. The entire room has an Oriental flavor, with pieces from New England adapting smoothly to their new home.
Other rooms make a departure from the general scheme. The office Cinquini created in one of the smaller bedrooms is done in tones of peach and has a matching bathroom adjoining it.
Across the hall is the guest room, where the multistriped bedspreads have many colors to coordinate: beige, white, dark leaf green, pale avocado, burnt orange and light tangerine. The decorator picked up a very light green for the walls and Cinquini’s furniture from up north worked for this small room. The star of the show is an antique secretarial desk and ladder-back chair with rush seat. Other pieces match these two, and the bathroom again is designed especially in tones of green, from light to dark to harmonize with the bedroom.
“Everything in here is almost intact from my home up north,” Cinquini says. “We just revamped the spread, headboard and window treatment.”
The powder room has faux painted walls in gold tones, done by Thomas Hardesty of Naples. The effect is to give the small room great visual depth.
The balcony, with its view of the Gulf of Mexico, holds both the garden and patio furniture, and is often used for cocktails before dinner. Cinquini and his toy poodle, Noel, also spend time there in the mornings with coffee and newspapers.
There are other special touches throughout the home: bar stools in Japanese lacquered fish designs from Kokopelli in Naples, a claw-foot table handmade in New Hampshire years ago, a special table holding an English bracket clock made for the family.
“I overwound it recently and it quit on me,” he confesses. “When I get time, I need to find a clock repair shop to get it fixed.”
Chef, gardener, musician and collector — this is already a description of a busy retiree. Cinquini also finds time to volunteer for the local historical society at elections; to be a member of Sons and Daughters of Erin and the Naples Opera Society; and to serve on the board of the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts.
Cinquini has plans to make a few more changes.
“I want to bring the chandelier from my bedroom into the entry hall,” he says. He also wants to have an electrician install pencil spots to focus on artwork in the living room.
Other than that, he’s content with his retirement home — and certainly deserves to be, after a job well done.
• Location: Marco Island
• Built: 2004
• Size: 2,050 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3½ baths