Home Is Where the Yurt Is

Somewhere between a tent and a hut lies a curious little structure known by a single ungainly syllable: yurt. A yurt--also known as a ger, if that sounds any better--is a small, round, roofed structure that looks like something Bilbo Baggins might have used as an outhouse. But it has become the trendy choice for do-it-yourself shelter.

Yurts were invented thousands of years ago by Mongolian nomads, and the basic structural elements haven't changed much since then. A yurt has a circular lattice wall topped by a round roof that comes to an adorable little point. The simple design belies its...

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