In the Puget Sound west of Seattle lies the rural enclave and countercultural hotspot of Vashon Island. Known for its quiet beauty, Vashon is a popular destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a bit of small-town charm. 

Carlee Casey in Puget Sound.

For twenty-six years, Carlee Casey and her family have made their home on two and a half acres at the southern end of the island. Once she retired, she began to feel the need for more space at home. After seeing yurts popping up around the island, Carlee wondered if it was time to build one of her own. 

We caught up with Carlee to chat about how she made her yurt dreams come true, and what those interested in the yurt life need to know as they get started.

Why More Glampers Are Choosing Yurts

rapid fire round with three questions and answers.

For Carlee, seeing yurts around Vashon is nothing new. But as the years go on, she’s seen more and more pop up. “I think they’ve proliferated over time,” Carlee says. “It’s one of those phenomena where you see one and you go, oh, that’s an interesting solution. And the ones that I see are now all Pacific Yurts.” 

We asked her what she thought was behind this popularity, and she identified three key ways in which yurts stand apart from alternatives:

  1. Extra Space Without Breaking the Bank
    When her family knew they needed more space, Carlee first considered a traditional home renovation. “We had talked about adding onto the house, but it would have been prohibitively expensive,” Carlee says. “This felt like a cost-effective way to get us the space we needed. I had spent time in yurts before, and so ultimately, it was just a no-brainer for us. Our yurt is a little over 200 square feet, and the square footage cost is really great. Compared to a stick-build addition, it was much more feasible.”
  2. A Great Middle Ground for Nature Lovers
    For outdoorsy folks looking for a balance of adventure and comfort, yurts are the perfect solution. “Yurts offer a rustic space without discomfort,” Carlee says. “You can be warm in a yurt. You have lights and electricity. You’re more secure in it – it isn’t just a piece of flimsy fabric between you and the world. It’s insulation and hard cloth and a roof with a dome.”

    At the same time, Carlee emphasizes that there’s a reason she has seen more yurts popping up not just on residential property, but at many state parks as an alternative to tent or RV camping. “There are lots of people who really do love nature and want to be out in it, but just don’t want to have to drag a tent and all of that.”
  3. A Design That Inspires Serenity
    Carlee also found the design itself freeing: “I think humans respond to the circle in a particular way. There are no hard angles here, and there’s something freeing about having this big round space with no awkward or inaccessible corners. I find myself relaxing in a way in this space that I don’t often in other spaces.”

What to Look for When You’re in the Market for a Yurt

When it comes to choosing a yurt, Carlee says Pacific Yurts provided the ideal experience. She offered a description of this experience as a roadmap for what first-time yurt buyers should look for. 

A Perfect Partnership

At first, Carlee had plenty of questions about the parts of her yurt, how to source power, and beyond. “But my anxiety disappeared thanks to the availability of the Pacific Yurts team to answer my questions and the thoroughness of their printed instructions,” she says. “They were so friendly and helped me get my bearings and understand exactly what to expect. They made me fully confident that I had a team to help me should I encounter any issue.” 

Quality Materials

Carlee also emphasized the impact that the quality of materials can have on the overall yurt experience. “The quality of the wood is just beautiful,” she says. “The way Pacific Yurts has laid out the yurt is incredibly clever. It’s just phenomenally well-considered and well-executed. A lot of thought and care has gone into what you’re assembling. It’s not going to wobble once you put it up.”

Customizable Design & Easy Setup

Because she planned to use her yurt as a home gym and yoga studio, Carlee considered installing a floating floor. She says working with Pacific Yurts to bring her vision to life was a breeze. “As soon as I mentioned the floating floor, Tammy from Pacific Yurts sent me the information and the instructions. It’s like they have an answer handy for any idea you could have.” 

Once the platform was built, “putting up the yurt itself took maybe six hours,” she explains. “I just couldn’t have had a better experience. There was not one glitch in the whole thing.” 

Create Your Own Custom Yurt

How would Carlee sum up her advice for first-time yurt buyers? “There’s a vibe at Pacific Yurts that they want you to love yurts as much as they do,” she says. “Any company you work with should have that vibe.”

In five minutes, you could be looking at your dream yurt. Give our 3D yurt-building tool a whirl and start designing your personal yurt today.