Claude Villeneuve, from the Saguenay region of Quebec, Canada, was surprised to discover that someone had stolen two of his barn's walls on Wednesday. "I started to, like, laugh," Villeneuve said. "But my wife, she said 'We've had two walls stolen. That can't be.'"
The planks of wooden barns have become a hot commodity in the antique and craft markets. Design magazines and websites are replete with suggestions about how to put reclaimed wood to good use, from headboards to tables to backsplash.
Barn wood can sell for as much as $11 per square foot in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area.
"Barn wood is really trendy," said Caroline Leclerc, owner of Rose Bon Bon, an interior design store in the Saguenay.
"It really adds life to decorations. But it's very difficult to find barn wood."
Villeneuve estimates the thieves made off with about $2,000 worth of wood.
He said he's been approached several times by prospective buyers interested in the planks that used to compose the sides his barn.
He had always rebuffed them, given that his farm still makes use of the barn to store hay. But now Villeneuve is considering taking down what remains of the barn to salvage the wood.
"At least they left me one wall," he said, laughing.