Guest Post :: Living in the Round – We Love It

I’d like to give a big huge thank you to Erin Kelly of Blue Yurt Farms for today’s special guest post! While considering “living in the round”, Erin and I found each other online. I even bought her eBook on yurt living (geez… I need to do a review on that) which answered all the questions that had been bugging me. So this post is extra exciting for me since we have been following her blog for some time now. Please welcome Erin of Blue Yurt Farms!

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Living in the Round: We Love It

In the almost two years since we’ve moved into our yurt, and started a homestead, we’ve fielded just about every possible question about our home. From “do you have real floors, or just dirt?” to “so, that’s plastic around the whole thing?” and “isn’t that thing going to blow away?”, the questions range from educated and informed to laughably ridiculous.

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How has our decision to live in a 30 foot fabric yurt changed our life?
Well. We’ve been turned down from rescuing a dog because we live in a yurt. Home insurance agents laugh in our face when we ask about insuring our yurt. Our neighbors were convinced we wouldn’t make it through our first winter (we did), and told us so. Fitting furniture and appliances made for square homes into a round one has been interesting.

With the good comes the bad, as they say. And when you choose a non-conformist home, that is especially true.

Despite the struggles, we’ve enjoyed the flexibility and openness that comes with life in a yurt. We’ve met some amazing future yurt dwellers that got in touch with us via our blog. And, we’ve become far more in touch with the seasons and daily weather than ever before.

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Plus, thanks to our open floor plan, we’ve hosted beer tasting parties with 15 people comfortably, we’ve had guests stay overnight and not want to leave, we’ve rearranged our furniture more times than I can count…just because, and I’ve even taught a four person yoga class in the middle of our living room.

Our home has been subject to speculation and doubt, starting with the county inspector and our conservative neighbors (and our parents!) and continuing with a never-ending parade of rubber neckers (and we’re OFF the road). However, the inevitable response when someone walks into the yurt is…

“Wow. This is COOL!!”

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And, we agree, it really IS cool. We have a giant dome skylight that lets the sunlight in, and where you can view the weather changing. Snowflakes falling on the dome are mesmerizing. For exterior care, all it takes is a few wipes on the fabric walls with a damp cloth. The interior walls simply need a vacuum every once in awhile.

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The yurt stays toasty warm in the winter, thanks to our soapstone wood stove, which is our primary source of heat. In the summer, we throw the windows and french doors open and enjoy the cool mountain breeze that flows in. On the really warm days, we have window A/C units that keep it comfortable in here.

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Our yurt, with the full wraparound deck, brand new appliances, permits and all, cost us $56K. I tell people we did it the most expensive way possible, with all of the work handled by a contractor (rather than our own two hands) and store bought appliances. We had reasons for doing it that way, but know that is a HIGH price for a yurt…you can certainly build one for much less.

The great thing about yurts is their amazing flexibility. You can put one on top of another structure (basement, or first floor) and make a double decker. You can connect a few smaller yurts to one main hub yurt, so everyone has their own private space. You could use a yurt as a farm store, or a B&B yurt rental (which we’re considering!).

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination, and with the wide variety of yurt companies sprinkled around the country and rental yurts for you to test out, the real question is…

Why WOULDN’T you want a yurt?

***
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Erin Kelly lives in a big blue yurt on 22 acres with her husband, Mike, and a whole host of farm animals. They have a blog about their adventures living in the round at Blue Yurt Farms blog, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/blueyurtfarms.

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