An Oregon couple built this spectacular houseplant-filled yurt, and are offering a detailed online guide for free.
Yurts have come a long way since their beginnings in the steppes of Central Asia. Growing up in California I saw my fair share of hippie yurts dotting the hills and meadows, but more recently, yurts seem to be growing up, style-wise. Case in point: This lovely modern yurt built in Oregon by Zach Both and Nicole Lopez.
At 730 square feet, it's large enough to have room to stretch, but still on the petite side relative to the standard American fare. They bought the structure at a yurt store, noting that all together it took six months to complete.The basic gist of the design features a central column that includes a private bathroom as well an alcove for the kitchen; the column supports a loft bedroom on top. Ringed in a garden of houseplants, it's a dreamy spot that someone around here (me) would never want to leave.
The houseplant theme is echoed throughout the house. Both explains in New Atlas:
“We previously lived in the desert which made growing any kind of big green plants virtually impossible. So we went all out in the yurt. Lots of the basic vining plants that are difficult to kill: different varieties of pothos, philodendrons, a few prayer plants and curly figs. Downstairs we've got monsterras, figs, ferns, and a wall of succulents in some DIY hanging planters made from PVC pipe caps.”
Surrounding the central core are a comfy-looking living room, an inviting reading chair, and an office. Everything is bright and open, thanks to the windows that wrap around the structure. Meanwhile, the monochromatic palette works wonderfully with the geometric patterns to create a dynamic that is super engaging and fun yet modern.
The front double doors open wide, making for a fabulous view from the lounging area. If one did manage to get out of that bed, I am not sure how they make it past the couch!
The bathroom has storage under the sink, and mirrors slide open to reveal closet space. And since everyone loves talking toilets, theirs is a composting one.
“We were also really intrigued by trying to use a compost toilet and have found it quite enjoyable (not to mention septic adds a lot more cost and complexity),” says Both. “Because our solid waste is now separate and composted outside of the yurt in a compost container, we only have grey water which is mixed with the rest of the grey water from shower and sinks that feeds into a dry well."
The nuts and boltsThe yurt is just over 30 feet in diameter. They use water from a well and have running electricity; heat for the winter comes via the wood stove.
New Atlas gives a rundown on costs, which all together came in around US $65,000 to complete, including $32,000 for the yurt kit.
“$65,000 plus is not a small chunk of change by any means and was far outside of my budget as a 25-year-old, so a lot of the cost was offset by bartering and corporate partnerships,” says Both. “You could build a smaller, super bare-bones yurt for under $10,000 if you buy the yurt used.”
And now the icing on the cake? They have created a website for all things yurt, callled, wait for it, DoItYurtself.com, to share the wealth of knowledge they gleaned along the way. The site includes instructions, photos and videos – from the platform and framing to adding the houseplants – as well as being a comprehensive guide of yurt resources.
“It’s been incredible to adapt a structure with a history that stretches back thousands of years,” said Zach Both. “It was our attempt at building a modern yurt for the 21st century."