For the Birds

Contemporary birdhouses by a former furniture-maker

The birdhouses look like showpieces. But Mark Ellis assures his customers that these contemporary, stylish residences are move-in ready for wrens, finches, and bluebirds. The former furniture maker, who grew up around wooden speedboats in Michigan, draws inspiration from his past for his birdhouse-construction business called Kool Birds. Ellis uses scrap wood from a hardwood-flooring manufacturer and mixes varieties to produce dark and light hues on a single house. He builds the houses in his Dilworth basement, using waterproof glue and polyurethane stain. Eight designs, $140 each,

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