The Old-Fashioned Firehouse

Sometimes, function follows form.  

Not long after I’d started working on my Cozy Cottage style birdhouses, I had the urge to change things up a bit.

I was actually looking for something simpler, a no-frills alternative to the detail intensive cottage birdhouses I’d been working on.  

Beginning with the tried and true nesting box design I’d already perfected, I began experimenting with new roof designs, looking to flatten it out in hopes of creating a shorter profile.  I also wanted to move the clean-out door to the front, and to make it larger than the, original “window box” design from the original run of Cozy Cottages.

The result, however, felt a tad utilitarian for my taste.  and so I set the design aside.  Some experiments just go nowhere.

Or so I thought at the time.

Weeks passed and I’d all but forgotten about this little experiment, when I happened to run across a batch of photos of old-timey firehouses online.  These were not the classic brick and mortar city stations, but rather very early small-town stations, little more than clapboard buildings, painted red and white, with a door in the front just large enough for the horse drawn fire wagon and a handful volunteers to fit through.

And just like that, a dead design rises from the ashes!

It still took me a while to work out all the details.  A red building box with white trim and a black roof was a no-brainer.  I decided to run the simulated clapboard vertically, to both giving a greater illusion of height, and a more rustic feel.

The little details came next: an old fashioned water pump and bucket stationed out back, a spare ladder mounted to the side of the “building”, and yielding at last to what felt like the ultimate cliche,  a faithful Dalmatian, standing at attention.

The final touch was a hand painted fire department emblem on the firehouse door.

My initial goal of creating a less detail oriented design had, of course, fallen by the wayside, but the resulting Old-Fashioned Firehouse Birdhouse was a fun addition to my inventory.

With so many other projects demanding my attention, I have set aside regular production of this particular design, but I do plan to produce a new batch every so often.  Feel free to check out my Etsy shop to see if I currently have any available.  And you can always send me a message they’re expressing an interest in this design.  If I feel like there’s a demand, I’m more likely to bump it up in my schedule.

I still have the original hanging in my backyard, and from time to time I feel like it’s urging me to see what more I can do with this weird little design.  These things really do have a life all their own.