It’s the American way. Bigger houses. Bigger trucks. Bigger burgers. But, is bigger always better? At Living Intent, we don’t think so. In fact, we’re pretty sure that it’s not. We wouldn’t be living in a 200 sq. ft. yurt if we thought so. But don’t just take it from us, the greater tiny home movement is hot these days. In fact, it’s so in, it has its very own reality TV show. That means we’ve finally made it, right?
The glamour and the glory of high end design usually focuses on the palace-on-wheels type tiny home, which can often be so expensive as to negate the whole point of buying, or building, a tiny home. There’s a lot of crossover between the greater tiny home movement and yurts, and people are drawn to both for the same reasons; simplicity, access to nature, and, most importantly in our humble opinion, affordability. In the Instagram Age, it’s easy to scroll through thousands of people living dreamy alternative lifestyles. Vanlife, tiny homes, and yes, yurts, are in, and if rising rents and costs of living are any indication, they’re here to stay. We at Living Intent have got a lot of love for our fellow brothers and sisters in arms in the movement for alternative living, but we’ve got to say this. Yurts rule, wheels drool.
Due to their popularity and newfound presence in pop culture, advice and ideas about tiny home living abound across the web. New blogs spring up left and right, and it seems like everyone has got all the answers about how to live that #authentic lifestyle. At Living Intent, we don’t profess to have all the answers to the deeper questions about purpose or meaning. Nor are we going to claim that all you need is a smaller house, and magically, all of your life’s problems will just melt away. We build beautiful, affordable, and resilient structures that we’re proud of, our clients love, and we ourselves enjoy as homes. However, we think that there’s certain special considerations when it comes to yurt dwelling as opposed to other types of tiny homes. So, we’ve compiled this list of Ten Tips for Tiny Home Living: Yurt Edition, just for you. Enjoy!
1. Take advantage of the Roundness
Q: What’s the main difference between a tiny home and a yurt?
A: The shape!
While we, and many others, find the circular shape of yurts comforting and cozy, organizing your living space in a yurt requires some special considerations. There’s no corners to tuck things away, and no long, straight walls to place tables or beds against. There are, however, some serious advantages to the shape. The greatest advantage being that everything is equidistant from each other. With proper organization, there’s no need for navigating your way around furniture or belongings. Design the interior of your yurt with ease of movement in mind.
2. Minimize Your Possessions
Shedding belongings is hot right now, and like we said before, once something has its own reality TV show, it’s made it, right? Moving all of your stuff into a tiny space might seem daunting if you, like the average American, own quite a lot of things. But don’t be intimidated by the diminished space for objects. Use it as a motivation to think about what you really need, and don’t need, in order to live comfortably. Like, do you need your plush Beanie Baby collection that you’ve been hanging on to for when the price, inevitably of course, skyrockets? Do you really need fifty plates and bowls, or could you get by with just a few in the yurt, and extras stored away for when you have guests?
3. Let the Light In
The best way to make tiny spaces feel bigger is to increase the amount of natural light coming into your dwelling. Luckily for you, we have a number of design features to help you do just that, from half-light and full-light windows, to our fully operable acrylic domes.
4. Utilize Outdoor Space
If you’re living, or thinking about living, in a yurt, you’re most likely imagining some kind of pastoral, rural location. The sun setting over the grassy hilll, front door open to the breeze, Grandma knitting in the rocker telling you about when yurts only cost a nickel… Well, maybe not that. But for so many yurt dwellers, the point, beyond the very big pull of affordability, is the opportunity to live more closely with nature. If that’s your motive, as it is for so many of us, than take advantage of that outdoor space. Include a wrap-around deck in your design, maybe even an outdoor kitchen. After all, if you wanted to spend all your time inside, you’d live in a tiny apartment in a big city.
5. Colors are Key
Similarly to what we said above about natural lighting, the color scheme you decide upon for the interior of your yurt will affect how big, or small, the space feels. We offer our coverings in a number of colors, but ultimately it’s the colors you put inside the yurt that will affect how it feels. For a larger feel, use lighter colors. For a cozier feel, use darker colors. The yurt is your canvas. Seriously though, once the yurt is yours, paint all over it if you want. And send us pictures. We like pictures. Maybe we’ll put it up on the fridge in our shop.
6. Clean regularly
This might seem obvious to those of us that still have Mom’s calls to cleanliness burned into our minds, but it’s important to clean your dwelling space. It can help you feel calmer, and be more productive when your belongings and home are clean and organized. Yurts offer unique challenges, as well as solutions, to this universal issue. Living in a tiny space means that it gets dirty quicker, but it also means that cleaning it up is much, much faster. Staying on top of cleaning with a regular schedule will make the whole process easier, and make your life better. That is a bit of advice we can be sure about.
7. Pay Attention to the Sun
While we do offer insulation packages for our yurts, the reality of the structure is that yurts are going to be more affected by the sun, or lack thereof, than other types of dwellings. When deciding where on the land to put your yurt, take into mind where the sun will travel overhead. The ideal location is one with shade in the summer, and full sun in the winter. Not everybody is going to be able to place their yurt in a perfect spot like this, but thinking about where the sun will pass is a crucial part of making your yurt-dwelling experience as comfortable as possible.
8. Stack Functions
In addition to minimizing your belongings, another idea to consider is objects that can have multiple purposes. A dining table that doubles as a desk, for example, saves a lot of space. Including storage into your furniture, either by DIY or store bought, can help decrease clutter and make your yurt feel more clean, organized, and simplified. That’s what we’re going for after all.
9. Enlist Your Friends
Designing and building a yurt dwelling space can seem like a daunting task, especially to those who may be seeking out this lifestyle as a radical change from a prior living situation. We at Living Intent are happy to offer installation services and assistance as part of a package deal with your yurt, but when it comes to the nitty gritty of making your yurt a home, ask your friends for help. Chances are, you’ve got a friend, or two, who’s pretty handy, and willing to help out with your project. A few free beers go a long way when it comes to construction projects.
10. Relax, It’s a Yurt
The most important tip we can offer about yurt dwelling is just that. Relax, and enjoy the space. The more time you spend in it, or with the idea, the more you’ll realize what you really need, what works and what doesn’t. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your alternative lifestyle. Have fun with it!