That old joke rings true: Houseguests are like fish. They should be tossed out after three days when they start to stink. Unless you have the right setup for them, that is. We're not talking about your average guest-room situation. We're talking about a backyard yurt. Because everyone is better off with more privacy and prefab guest houses can be costly and time-consuming to build, the simplest solution—a yurt—is the best one. A luxury yurt is a great use of your outdoor space that will make every visit more comfortable.

We spoke with interior designer Stefania Skrabak, founder and principal at New York City–based AHG Interiors, about all the benefits of backyard yurts and why she decided to set one up at her Rhinebeck, New York, escape. Read on for five reasons she loves it, plus her recommendations on how to install one and style it to perfection. The next time friends and family invite themselves over, you can say "the more than merrier" and really mean it.

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Beverly Kerzner turned an open clearing at the edge of her property into a dreamy guest room with this semi-permanent yurt.
Bjorn Wallander

1. Backyard Yurts Are Easy

        Installing a yurt is a much easier job than building a prefab tiny house or converting a shed into a guest house. A yurt can be assembled in a day (roughly in four hours, if you know what you're doing); they're light and airy; they can be taken down and moved elsewhere as needed; and, best of all, there are way fewer legal zoning hoops to jump through since they're temporary structures. Technically, you're supposed to take them down in the winter, depending on where you live.

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        One caveat: You might want a pro's help with the base, especially if you choose a round yurt, Skrabak tells us. That's because they require a ton of plywood and, to state the obvious, carpentry skills. The platform provides the foundation for the structure and is usually where electrical wiring is installed.

        2. A Yurt Is Weatherproof

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        Bjorn Wallander

        A yurt can host houseguests all year. You just need to change up how you furnish it. "The yurt is a unique design alternative because it's one of the few structures where the walls move and the atmosphere changes with nature," Skrabak tells us. "It also can transition from a cozy cabin feeling in the winter with a wood-burning stove to the walls being pulled up in the summer for a breezy loft feeling."

        3. A Yurt Lets Nature Surround You

        "Another reason it's a unique alternative is that since the walls move you hear mother nature," Skrabak says. "Next to our yard there's a natural pond with a waterfall, so guests can fall asleep listening to the trickling sounds of water."

        To get the most out of your yurt, pay extra attention to its placement. Get your guests well positioned on a sturdy platform with a nice view, give them a porch or generous front steps, and make sure they have some shade so they don’t get too hot and a breeze if possible.

        4. A Yurt Can Be Any Design Style

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        Lisa Romerein

        "The yurt is a timeless design in that it has varying styles playing on current trends and classic designs, such as midcentury, safari, or traditional. This can be seen in the furniture choices and the patterns in all the textiles," Skrabak explains.

        Pretty much any design scheme can look stylish in yurts, but they're particularly well-suited for more pared-down, rustic, and bohemian pieces with a more polished twist. To make yours extra comfortable for guests, add everything you'd typically find in a dreamy guest room, including bedside tables, good lighting, a sitting area, and maybe even a mini-fridge, if you're feeling generous.

        5. A Yurt Is Just a Click Away

        You can order a yurt kit online (there are tons of sizing options to choose from) and then recruit a plus-one to help you assemble it. If you go with a high-end company, pricing starts at around $5,000. You can also opt for one from Amazon if you're looking for a budget-friendly price point.

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