Coconut Grove is a tropical village in Miami where you are never far from the ocean and you are more likely to see an ostentation of peacocks (yes, that is what you call a group of peacocks) than a traffic light. In this paradise, the bougainvillea grows tall and wild, hiding architectural gems, which are celebrated in Beth Dunlop’s new book, The Tropical Cottage: At Home in Coconut Grove (Rizzoli).
Along with photographer Claudia Uribe, Dunlop highlights the eclectic, albeit petite, cottages hidden behind the Grove’s verdant landscape. The idyllic village maintains a nostalgic quality with no sidewalks and effective word of mouth—one of the cottages in the collection was bought before it could even hit the market—cementing its mystical, Secret Garden appeal. In addition to explaining the village’s evolution from “when much of Florida was underwater and layers of sediment” to the Grove’s continual attraction of artists and “winter visitors of national importance” in the present day, Dunlop and Uribe investigate all manners of cottages—ranging in colors, styles and interiors—in the whimsical landscape. The Tropical Cottage celebrates the wonderfully strange architectural rhythm of Coconut Grove and will likely make you want to run away and retire by the sea—sooner rather than later, though, please and thank you.