Bonnet House was built as a casual beach retreat; private and rustic in comparison to the other homes then being built in South Florida. It was not built as a showcase home, as were the homes built by wealthy men like Vizcaya in Miami, or Whitehall in Palm Beach. The house cannot be singularly described, but its design is well adapted for the climate. It’s an eclectic structure; distinct to Mr. Bartlett’s style… pay close attention to various repeated themes throughout, such as animals, architectural motifs like obelisks, bright colors, and details.
Most thresholds in the museum have a slight step and some doorways have ramps (marked with yellow tape), please watch your step as you go in and out of the rooms.
As you enter into the courtyard you will see the lush tropical garden. This is the contrast the artist created for entering from the desert garden on the outside. Turn to your left and proceed around the Courtyard to the Studio.
The tables around the courtyard were designed by Frederic Bartlett to hold the carved animals that his wife loved to collect. The benches were also designed by Mr. Bartlett so guests could enjoy Florida’s beautiful winter weather—the only time of year when the Bartletts were here.