Yurt living is a creative lifestyle from the start. Just by choosing a yurt, our customers are already thinking out of the box, quite literally. However, necessity is the mother of invention, and invention plus a little imagination is just what is needed when deciding how best to maximize space in a yurt.
Just like those who choose a boathouse, a tiny house, or even a small urban apartment, modern yurt dwellers must get inventive with their use of space. Unless you want a lot of clutter, you must consider how to create storage anywhere you can. Over the years, we’ve seen some truly creative ideas from our yurt-loving friends. From them, we offer these five tips for maximizing space in a yurt house.
#1: Look for Storage Below
When it comes to finding storage space in a yurt, the first place to look is down. For those who choose to build on a taller platform, the space under it can be extremely useful for stowing anything that is not needed for daily use.
Our customers store everything from seasonal sports equipment to hand tools in the space under their platform. That space can be enclosed and customized with locking doors for increased security as well. Yurts built on a hill, with the platform on leveling posts, benefit from even more space under the yurt on the downhill side. Some really beautiful yurt homes have been built on top of garages, too. In those cases, the storage options are endless.
#2: Build Storage Above
The second tip is to make use of the spacious high ceilings in a yurt by building a loft area. A loft is a freestanding structure on partition walls or posts, usually over the kitchen or bathroom in the yurt. For those that include a loft in their yurt plans, a number of new storage solutions become possible.
First, there is the loft itself. The space created is semi-private and is often used for sleeping, television viewing, or relaxing. Many people also make use of the stairs leading up to the loft and build in storage under or even within the stairs. Under the loft, the partition walls provide additional creative storage options. Some of our customers build floor-to-ceiling shelves on one side, which have the added bonus that the open storage draws the eye upwards and gives the illusion of even more space. Built-in storage is also sometimes created utilizing the area between the joists on the underside of the loft. The partition walls can have built-in retractable pantry drawers to store small appliances or a hidden pull-out vertical shelf from the side. A loft also provides a ceiling for whatever is below it, which comes in handy for hanging pots or other items on hooks.
#3: Try Some Furniture Tricks
Furniture storage hacks provide some of the most inventive ways to maximize space in a yurt house. Cushioned ottomans with removable tops can be used to store away remotes or magazines in the living room area. Shelves turned on their sides and topped with a long cushion can do double duty as seating and storage as well. An armoire can organize and hide clothes, coats, and shoes, and a fold-up table can be hung on a rolling wall to make for a dining room transformation anywhere on the main floor of the yurt.
Other popular options for yurt living are Murphy beds built into partition walls or any kind of bed that doubles as seating, such as a futon. Shelving built between rafter supports or cubbies built above window frames are small touches that provide big solutions. It’s important to note, however, that furniture that is light and low will take up the least amount of visual space in a yurt, which brings us to our next tip …
#4: Use the Light
As we’ve seen, space can be created by storing things away in inventive ways. But a sense of space can also be produced by using the power of light. Dark places feel less spacious, whether they are or not. This is why we recommend making use of the wonderful natural lighting in a yurt, coming in from windows, doors, and of course the beautiful central skylight.
We’ve probably all heard that a sense of space can be created by multiplying the light in any room with the use of mirrors. This certainly holds true in a yurt. But a sense of space can also be increased by minimizing the use of pieces that block light. Many yurt lovers will use open room dividers that separate a space without blocking the light to it. Examples of these are open shelves (bonus for the extra storage) or thin, light-colored screens. Gauzy curtains are also helpful to divide a space and give a sense of privacy without losing all the light.
#5: Take it Outside
Our final tip for maximizing space in a yurt house is to create outdoor living spaces around the exterior of the yurt. Wraparound decks are popular additions to yurt plans, and many people enjoy a fire pit with lots of seating adjacent to their yurt. Outdoor kitchens and showers are popular ways to maximize yurt space in appropriate climates. And because the boundary between indoor and outdoor living is more easily blurred in a yurt house, the outdoors can very easily become a gorgeous extension of your living space.
For more ideas on how to maximize the space in your yurt, visit our downloads page, where you will find sample yurt floor plans and lots of inspiration for lofts, kitchens, and bathrooms. Plus, click here to download our helpful checklist below.