April 1, 2011

Bonnet House tour, Part 2

Yesterday I gave you a glimpse of the buildings and grounds at Bonnet House, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and built the 1920s.  Today I want to show you a few photos of the interior, starting with this beautiful courtyard:

After Frederic's wife Helen died, he eventually married Evelyn (the divorcee of Eli Lilly, of the pharmaceutical co.).  Evelyn and Frederic together transformed Bonnet House, taking it from a basic cement block beach house to a much more decorated, unique home.  During the tour, the guides used the term "whimsical" often to describe the estate, and I think this was accurate.  There is a sense that the house, while filled with treasures, doesn't really take itself too seriously and that the owners loved living here and updating the house constantly to make it reflect their personalities.

Evelyn was very fond of animals, and the couple collected many painted wooden animals from Indonesia, which are positioned around the interior of the courtyard.  Here you can see a large tiger.

Looking across the courtyard you can see the entrance to Frederic's art studio, which was also the location for stairs that led to a tower that used to be the tallest structure in Fort Lauderdale (no more, of course!).  I wish I could show you the art studio, a two-story space where many of his works still hang, along with collected furniture and artwork.  There is even a trompe l'oeil baluster that guest Frank Lloyd Wright once mocked, which led to his never being invited to Bonnet House again!  But really, the style of Frederic Bartlett and Frank Lloyd Wright seems so different anyway!

Another carved wooden animal -- this time a little elephant.  These simple wooden consoles with faux-marble tops were also located around the courtyard.  I love the herringbone pattern brick flooring.

Just one of the many orchids on the property.  At one point the estate housed 1,500 plants.

A black rabbit sculpture sits on a column that has been given a faux marble finish.  Many surfaces in the house were painted decoratively, including ceilings, woodwork, and even an elaborate floor.  In fact, faux finishing the floor may have even led to the stroke that eventually claimed Frederic's life.

Frederic painted three ceilings in the house.  They include this rendition of philodendron leaves:

A tropical scene:

And a net filled with all kinds of ocean creatures (Frederic painted the animals while his wife Evelyn painted all the nets):

Other ceilings in the courtyard were fairly rustic: natural or painted wood beams. 

Arches frame the views of the house and courtyard.

An ornate aviary in the middle of the courtyard.  Many parrots, other birds, and even monkeys lived on the property.

Look at all that custom ironwork and woodwork -- just think how many hours would have gone into this balcony in the mid-1900s!

This shot really shows the color palette throughout the courtyard and on the exterior of the house - lots of primary colors, which balance well with the green vegetation and flowers nearby.

Fun fact: this little grasshopper sculpture is linked to the sign for Martins Bank of England, which became part of Barclays.  (See a photo of the bank sign here.)

Loggerhead turtle skulls hung over the doorways of many rooms as they were a common symbol of luck.  Nowadays these turtles are endangered, so you'd be in big trouble if you tried this at home!

The couple gathered shells on the beach, then pressed them into patterns to decorate the walls here.  Beyond the yellow door you can see the dining room with its wood panelling, blue painted corner niches, octagonal table and walls, and lots of vintage china.

Two little bay windows were added on to the living room to bring more light into the dark space.  Each bay holds a small window seat lit from above with a crystal chandelier.

The veranda outside the living room and dining room, overlooking the slough and the path to the beach

There were several orchid greenhouses on the property, but this one contained all of the plants that were in bloom.

I like the Moravian star pendant hanging from the greenhouse roof.  Together with the symmetrical layout and the empty birdbath, it adds a little style and structure to the space.

The interior of the round "shell museum."  The doors on the right lead to a bar completely outfitted in bamboo, and the doors on the left lead to the orchid greenhouse.

And one last picture of the courtyard to leave you with...

Note: Photography was not allowed in any of the main interior rooms, but feel free to check out the photo gallery on the Bonnet House website to see a few shots of these rooms -- they were spectacular!  I particularly liked the pantry and the living room.

Hope you enjoyed the tour, and be sure to check out Part 1 here.

Have a great weekend!


Mom said...

These Photos are AMAZING! Karen

Nicole @ one half world said...

Thanks, Karen. Glad you liked them!

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