Highlighting history through handcrafted works of art

Born from his love of architecture and the outdoors, Barns Into Birdhouses provides an opportunity for John Guertin to repurpose 19th century barns into handmade works of art.

From a studio in the basement of his Heritage Hill home, Guertin is able to showcase his passion for woodworking and nature.

Inspired by northern Michigan or Canadian fish shanties — Guertin is originally from Toronto — this birdhouse features a handcrafted, fully functional weathervane.

Guertin is currently working on a similarly styled birdhouse that has yet to be finished.

These birdhouses are modeled off the San Luis Rey mission in California.

For their Baroque Birdhouse, the front is modeled off the F holes and sound hole found on the face of stringed musical instruments such as guitars, violins and cellos.

Inspired by an English Cottage from the Queen Anne, Victorian Style, is Barns into Birdhouses' Queen Anne Birdhouse.

The company also creates a version of the Queen Anne as a bird feeder.

One unique item of note within their birdhouses is the small ring inside of the "door" hole, which is actually meant to safeguard the bird’s homes and eggs from sparrows. In particular, English Sparrows are invasive and destructive to other birds by disrupting their nests and cracking eggs.

In addition to designing and creating birdhouses, Guertin carves out time to enhance his home. He is currently working on the cabinetry and woodwork in his kitchen to restore the historical accuracy of his home. Though it is taking countless hours, he is doing all of the work by hand. Additionally, Guertin does work with the local museums to recreate historically accurate pieces.

To learn more or shop their collection, visit the Barns to Birdhouse’s website.

Photos courtesy of Tyler Herbstreith

About Tyler Herbstreith: Tyler Herbstreith is a local photographer, musician and part-time bartender. After traveling and working in all 48 contiguous states, he finds himself back home in Grand Rapids. His photography typically focuses on, but is not limited to, the diverse local live music scene and capturing delectable food and beverage images.

About Leandra Nisbet: Leandra Nisbet, Owner of Stingray Advisory Group LLC and Co-Owner of Brightwork Marine LLC, has over 15 years of experience in leadership, sales & marketing, and graphic design. She helps businesses grow and assists with: strategic planning, marketing concept development/implementation, risk management, and financial organization. She is actively involved in the community, sitting on several Boards and committees, and has been recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in Grand Rapids.

Contact Leandra Nisbet by email at [email protected]!

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