Old imperfect wood finds new perfect purpose

One of the hottest trends in interior design right now is barn wood.

Benzie County, MI (WPBN) --One of the hottest trends in interior design right now is barn wood. It's a look that you can find reproduced at home improvement and furniture stores all across the country. But if you really want an authentic piece of barn wood, you have to find material that has been sitting out in the elements for more than a century. The good news is your search for that authenticity may end in a Benzie County backyard.

Joe Harrison runs his business Lake Ann Barnwood out of this backyard workshop. Stacked in neat and sorted piles are hundreds of feet of beautiful barn wood. Looking out over it, Joe reflects on the booming trend, "10 years ago no one cared, 10 years from now you won’t be able to find it." Joe gets calls from around Northern Michigan, from folks looking to have their barns taken down. Some of the barns are falling down, others pose a liability to the owners, but all of them have something Joe is looking for. He says "the imperfections are the perfections, every ding, every nail hole has a story to tell."

Joe salvages the wood and then sells it. It's more work than it sounds, and Joe says it’s certainly not a get rich quick plan. But he says he gets a great deal of satisfaction out of seeing the century old wood start a new life. Joe says "this stuff has so much history to tell, I'll keep going as long as there is something in if for everybody. I love taking this wood and spreading it across the country."

To see what Joe and has customers do with the wood, please watch the accompanying video. To learn more about Lake Ann Barnwood, click here.

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