You’ll Want to Move into This Modern, Foliage-Filled Yurt
You can even build one yurtself
Zach Both spent three years traveling the country in his self-converted camper van, doing film and creative production work out of his mobile studio. But you may know him from his site The Vanual, which he created as a one-stop shop for all the top resources for those looking to adopt a similar itinerant lifestyle.
After three years on the road, Both and his girlfriend, Nicole Lopez, decided to build something more stationary: a yurt. “We’re both fascinated by alternative-style homes,” says Both. “The yurt’s rich history and unique construction inspired us to take on the challenge of building one ourselves.”
He also just launched a similar project-focused website to offer yurt resources to others, this time called Do It Yurtself, after building his own.
Their yurt, located just twenty minutes outside of downtown Portland, is an Eagle Yurt by Rainier Outdoor, measuring a little more than thirty feet in diameter. The structure usually features 730 square feet of living space, but Both and Lopez added a bedroom loft for an extra 200 square feet.
The prefabricated yurt makes it easy to construct quickly, even if you have little experience with yurts. “The actual yurt was built during a single weekend with a group of friends—most of whom had barely picked up a drill before,” says Both. “Granted, Nicole and I, with some help from my dad, spent two weeks beforehand building the platform the yurt sits on.”
Once the exterior was built, it was time to tackle the yurt’s interiors. “Nicole and I stumbled through everything from running plumbing and electrical lines to framing walls with sheetrock and resurfacing our salvaged wood flooring. It was our first time attempting any of it,” says Both. “The yurt acted as our construction laboratory where we could experiment and learn many new skills that we’ll carry into future projects.”
“Tell people you’re building a yurt and they will immediately envision a rustic interior akin to a primitive log cabin,” says Both. But he and Lopez set out to surpass expectations by pursuing a modern, contemporary aesthetic to the yurt.