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Garden Trends and Ideas for Spring 2024

Garden trends and ideas for spring 2024

In 2024, garden trends are redefining outdoor living as a year-round experience, while emphasising planet-friendly practices and biodiverse planting techniques. From cosy balconies to sprawling country gardens, enthusiasts are crafting multifunctional havens that seamlessly blend sustainability with style. Embracing the ethos of environmental stewardship, gardeners are incorporating native flora, drought-resistant plants, and pollinator-friendly species into their landscapes, fostering vibrant ecosystems that thrive throughout the seasons. Even the smallest outdoor oasis can offer boundless possibilities for connection with nature and sustainable living. By maximising every inch of available space through innovative design and clever utilisation of vertical elements, the concept of outdoor living is evolving beyond mere summertime leisure.

Planet Friendly, Biodiverse Planting

Whether you ask a garden designer or just your average “hobby gardener”, they will say that gardening trends are shifting to focus on eco-friendly changes that encourage local flora and fauna to thrive. Cottage style gardens with mixed flower beds, edible plants and medicinal plants are extremely popular due to trends in natural wellness and self-sufficiency. Even those with limited space can incorporate containers of garden herbs or potted fruits and veggies (tomatoes are a great choice for container cultivation!).

Garden trends and ideas for spring 2024

If you want to make your garden a beautiful and interesting place to be, encouraging more life, movement and variation is essential. Gardens that support local wildlife such as birds, insects, invertebrates as well as the animals that rely upon them are rising in popularity. For instance, if you have the space for a pond or flowering tree, these are fantastic for creating biodiversity. Berry-bearing shrubs and pollinator friendly plants are also great options if you can’t swing something quite so substantial. Moreover, spring pollinator plants such as lilac, crocuses and lilies of the valley are not only easy to get your hands on at any local garden centre, but fit into almost any style or type of garden.

If you really wish to lean into the wild and natural aesthetic, wildflowers such as bluebells, foxgloves, wild thyme and poppies add vibrant pops of colour to long patches of grass. Moreover, a less manicured lawn means less mowing! However, if you prefer a cleaner look, creating a wildflower border still promotes biodiversity whilst keeping your space sleek and simple. 

Water Saving Ideas

A great way to promote biodiversity, encourage critters and create a peaceful atmosphere is installing a water feature into your outdoor space. Self-circulating water features keep your water bill low whilst providing a water source for birds and small mammals.

Garden trends and ideas for spring 2024
Scupper Water Feature

Drought- resistant plants are also a trending gardening idea. Resilient plants such as succulents are not only eye-catching and unique but are also perfect for drought resistant bedding. If you’re looking for eco-conscious and water saving plants that can thrive in sand and gravel rich soil here are a few ideas: 

  • Aloe
  • Aeonium
  • Delosperma cooperi
  • Drosanthemum
  • Crassula 
  • Lampranthus
Garden trends and ideas for spring 2024
Aeonium, Drosanthemum and Aloe

Outdoor Living Year-Round

Making the most of your home inside and out is particularly important in a day and age where housing costs an arm and a leg, especially if you are lucky enough to have a garden. Therefore, comfortable living and entertaining spaces that can be used year-round are going to be even more popular in 2024. All-weather quick-dry furniture can be costly, but quality seating is a good investment for an enjoyable outdoor experience. Additionally, incorporating outdoor kitchens into these entertaining spaces are rising in popularity, accompanied by weatherproof pergolas and fire pits for extra warmth.

Garden trends and ideas for spring 2024
Luna Firebowl

If you’re looking to make your outdoor space more multi-functional, integrating “well-being zones” such as cold plunges and saunas may be for you. Cold water exposure is often used to improve your mood, immune system, reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. Heat therapy tools such as saunas are also great for aches and pains in your joints and muscles, as well as stress management, cardiovascular function and improving blood circulation. They don’t have to take up much space either! If you are looking for some at home self-care whilst saving space, try immersing your cold plunge or sauna within your planting areas. This will keep a cohesive look to your garden and create a peaceful surrounding whilst you relax.

Garden trends and ideas for spring 2024, saunas
Thermalux Sauna

Although the dark and gloomy months are nearing their end, English weather is never predictable. So, why not brighten up dreary days with some colour? The neutral aesthetic has been popular for a long time and although it is understated and elegant, colour is vastly undervalued in outdoor spaces. We are not advocating for a neon yellow accent wall by any means, but blues, peach tones, and purples will complement your plants and make your space pop. However, if you’re not into colourful walls, tiles, or furniture, try some colourful plants! Tulips can come in dozens of colours, Continus Coggygria are a royal purple tone, Zinnias are a stunning lime green and African daisies are not only multicoloured but drought resistant! 

Making the Most of Small Space

If your garden space is limited there are still plenty of options to maximise what you have. Visual interest can be added through the use of elevated decking, raised beds or hanging baskets. Also, standing plant pots and repurposed containers are great eco-conscious ways to give your balcony, patio or garden a facelift. If your outdoor area is partially or fully shaded, Azaleas and Camellias are fantastic flowers to brighten up your space. They can either be planted in containers, small gardens or even used to fill gaps in borders (note that they work well together as they both prefer acidic soil).

Additionally, fire pits and water features are great space-saving ways to add a focal point to small areas. For instance, our Hemi 26 is the smallest fire bowl in our Hemi series, perfect for apartment living.If you don’t have access to your own garden, community gardens are also a rising trend for 2024. Shared spaces like this can provide community and a social space for those with a green thumb, giving you all the benefits of being outdoors without having to take care of an entire backyard by yourself!

Garden trends and ideas for spring 2024, patios and balconies

In conclusion, the gardening landscape of 2024 is a testament to the evolving relationship between humans and nature. Garden designers are embracing sustainable practices and biodiverse planting techniques to create vibrant ecosystems that thrive year-round. Whether you’re transforming a sprawling country garden or maximising a cosy balcony, the emphasis on planet-friendly gardening is evident in the incorporation of native flora, drought-resistant plants, and pollinator-friendly species. The concept of outdoor living has evolved beyond mere leisure, with the integration of all-weather furnishings, outdoor kitchens, and wellness zones like cold plunges and saunas. Even in the smallest of outdoor spaces, innovative design and strategic use of vertical elements offer boundless opportunities for connection with nature and sustainable living.

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Angela Two Stars’ Ockiyapi at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Ockiyapi by Angela Two Stars at The Walker Art Center

Ockiyapi – Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, The Walker Art Center

 

Solus Decor was very pleased to be incorporated into the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and proud to be a part of Ockiyapi, a thought provoking sculpture representing the beauty of Dakota culture. 

Okciyapi (pronounced OH-key-YUP-ee) was designed and inspired by the talented Angela Two Stars. The Native American artist and member of Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, completed the commission and unveiled it to the public in the Fall of 2021. 

 

Ockiyapi at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden

 

Previously, the site was occupied by the sculpture “Scaffold”. However, this piece was deemed insensitive as it trivialized a significant and traumatizing part of Dakota history. Originally conceived as a commentary on capital punishment, Scaffold depicted the gallows that were the site of the largest mass execution in US history in which 38 Dakota men were hanged following the Dakota-US war in 1862. Ultimately, the presence of this sculpture and its tactless concept made the sculpture garden an unwelcoming space to the Dakota people.

The project, consisting of seven sections of custom-cast concrete seating, gracefully encircles the Solus domed water feature to resemble the ripples a drop makes. These seven sections represent the Oceti Sakawin – People of the Seven Council Fires, or The Great Sioux Nation, each inscribed with Dakota value words. In an effort to encourage further interaction, visitors can use their phones to immerse themselves in the stories of tribal elders in English and Dakota, fostering a deeper connection to the culture. 

Ockiyapi’s Inspiration

 

Inspired by the artist’s grandfather, Orsen Bernard, a noted scholar and teacher of the Dakota language, Two Stars imbued Okciyapi with profound symbolism. The integration of Dakota words and phrases not only honors the culture, but underscores the importance of the language’s revitalization. Moreover, it displays how Two Stars intended Okciyapi as a metaphor for her grandfather’s teaching of the language throughout the community. 

 

Ockiyapi at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden
The Artist, Angela Two Stars

 

Every element of the sculpture serves to weave together the fabric of Dakota tradition and identity, foraging a bond between land, water and language. For instance, the central water bowl is a reminder that the name Minnesota derives from the Dakota phrase; Mni Sota Makoce (the land where the water reflects the clouds). Just as the bowl’s gleaming metal disk and the water that runs over its surface allow us to reflect upon this thought. Even the gravel around the structure serves to absorb light during the day and glow blue in the dark to resemble a surrounding pool of water. Furthermore, the surrounding landscape adorned with medicinal plants such as prairie dropseed and sage, evokes a sense of healing and renewal that mirrors the Dakota language as a form of medicine, healing those that enter the space.

Okciyapi stands not only as a testament to Angela Two Stars’ remarkable talent and vision but also as a site of progress in the heart of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Through her profound understanding of her Dakota culture and commitment to honoring its traditions, Two Stars has transformed a painful chapter of history into a space of beauty, reflection, and unity. Okciyapi invites visitors to engage with the Dakota language, to immerse themselves in its stories, and to connect with the land in a deeply meaningful way. In its design and symbolism, Okciyapi serves as a reminder of the resilience of indigenous communities and the power of art to inspire dialogue and understanding.

 

References:

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Finding a Trusted Gas Engineer to Install Your Fire Pit: Your Guide to the Gas Safe Register 

The Importance of Using a Trusted Gas Engineer From the Gas Safe Register to Install Your Fire Pit  

The Importance of Using a Trusted Gas Engineer From the Gas Safe Register to Install Your Fire Pit  

When it comes to enhancing your outdoor space with warmth and style, nothing beats the allure  of a garden fire pit. But before visions of cozy evenings under the stars with your very own fire pit  table take over, there’s a crucial first step to consider. Enter the Gas Safe Register, your go-to for finding accredited gas engineers across the UK. This essential resource ensures your fire pit doesn’t just look good but is safely installed, giving you peace of mind alongside those gorgeous  flames. 

The Importance of the Gas Safe Register 

The Gas Safe Register is the guardian of gas safety and was established to protect us from the risks of unsafe gas work. It is the only official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work  on gas appliances. Installing a gas fire pit is complex and requires precise handling and knowledge of gas systems. Here’s why enlisting a professional gas engineer is a non-negotiable step in creating your outdoor haven: 

Safety First: Gas engineers are trained to handle the intricacies of gas installations,  ensuring that every connection is secure and every safety protocol is followed. Their  expertise minimises the risk of leaks or malfunctions, protecting you and your home.

Compliance with Regulations: The UK has strict regulations governing gas installations in  outdoor spaces. A certified gas engineer will ensure your fire pit installation complies with all local codes and standards, avoiding potential fines or legal issues. 

Optimal Performance: Beyond safety and legality, a professional installation guarantees  that your fire pit operates at peak efficiency. Proper setup ensures consistent flame height, optimal fuel usage, and longevity of your fire pit. 

 

The Importance of Using a Trusted Gas Engineer From the Gas Safe Register to Install Your Fire Pit  

Selecting the Right Gas Engineer  

Check Credentials: Ensure the engineer is Gas Safe registered, a mandatory certification  for anyone installing gas appliances in the UK. This certification is your assurance of their  skill and knowledge. 

Seek Recommendations: Word of mouth can be a powerful tool. Ask friends or family for recommendations, or consult with your fire pit provider for preferred partners known for their  expertise in outdoor installations. 

Review Previous Work: Experienced engineers should have a portfolio or examples of  previous installations. This will give you an idea of their expertise and the quality of their  work. 

The Solus Decor Assurance  

At Solus Decor, we understand the importance of safety and quality in every aspect of our  products, from design to installation. While we craft modern outdoor fire pits that epitomise style and functionality. We also emphasise the critical role of professional installation by offering guidance and recommendations for gas engineers to become familiar with our products. Thereby ensuring that your fire pit is not only a focal point of contemporary beauty in your garden but also a symbol of safety and reliability. 

 

The Importance of Using a Trusted Gas Engineer From the Gas Safe Register to Install Your Fire Pit  

Conclusion: A Safe, Warm Glow  

The journey to enjoying a warm, inviting outdoor space, anchored by a modern gas fire pit, begins with the expertise of a qualified gas engineer. Their role is indispensable in ensuring that your fire pit is a source of joy and comfort for years to come, rather than a concern. With the right 

professional, your fire pit will be more than just an addition to your garden—it will be a safe,  efficient, and stunning gathering spot that lights up countless evenings. 

Remember, when it comes to installing an outdoor gas fire pit, don’t compromise on safety or quality.  Choose Solus Decor’s contemporary fire pits and ensure proper installation by a certified gas engineer to enjoy peace of mind along with warmth and ambience.

You can find more information about the gas safe register at www.gassaferegister.co.uk

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Navigating the World of Gas Fire Pits: A Buyer’s Guide  

Navigating the World of Gas Fire Pits: A Buyer’s Guide  

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Gas Fire Pit

There is a world of options out there when it comes to gas fire pits, each promising to bring a spark of joy and warmth to your outdoor space. But how do you choose the right one? With over 25 years in the business, Solus Decor’s expert insights will help you find a gas fire pit that not only meets your expectations but exceeds them. 

Sizing it Right  

The size of the fire pit you choose should be influenced by the dimensions of your outdoor space  and the number of people you typically entertain. It’s about striking the right balance between intimacy and accessibility, ensuring everyone can comfortably gather around the fire. Additionally, the size of the fire pit can determine the amount of heat it produces, gas fire pits can range from 30,000 btus to 120,000 btus. So if you live in a colder climate, you may want to consider a fire pit with a higher output. 

Small Spaces: For more compact areas, a smaller fire pit, such as the Hemi Fire Bowl 26”,  provides the warmth and ambience of a fire without overwhelming the space. It’s perfect for creating a cosy corner in smaller gardens or patios. 

A Happy Medium: If you’re looking for the perfect fit for an average suburban backyard, a 36 inch fire pit is often a great choice and permitted by most local fire departments/authorities with no need for permits. If you’re looking for more heat, look for a gas fire pit that offers 60,000 btus or more to keep you toasty.

Large Gatherings: If you often host larger gatherings, a more substantial fire pit like the  Tavolo Fire Table offers ample space for guests to mingle around, set down a drink or two, or even a few appetisers! It becomes not just a fire pit, but a piece of functional furniture around which conversations and laughter flow freely. 

Navigating the World of Gas Fire Pits: A Buyer’s Guide: Sizing and shape

Functionality Meets Innovation  

When you are shopping around, look for user-friendly ignition systems, adjustable flame controls, and options for natural gas or propane for versatility. A modern gas fire pit is often preferable because they are easy to use and lower maintenance than wood burning fires. This means more time enjoying the warmth and less time fussing with controls or cleaning up. Furthermore, some modern fire pits offer accessory options to make your appliance more functional. For instance, tabletops can create space when your fire pit isn’t in use and glass windshields can add safety and keep your flame from going out in windy conditions. 

Safety & Sustainability: Non-Negotiable  

With great fire comes great responsibility. Safety features are paramount, and Solus Decor fire pits  excel with integrated safety designs and adherence to stringent safety standards. Furthermore,  environmentally conscious manufacturing and fuel efficiency reflect Solus’s commitment to  sustainability, ensuring your fire pit choice is one you can feel good about. Oftentimes manufacturers of modern concrete fire pits are left with scraps of concrete or defective products that simply get thrown away. This is not only terrible for the environment, but a waste of completely usable material! At Solus we recycle all of our unused concrete through a local company that uses it to fix roads. Additionally, any products we don’t consider grade-A quality or have been previously used in our showroom don’t get discarded, but sold at a significant discount, keeping the environment and our customers happy.

Conclusion: Your Perfect Match Awaits  

Embarking on the journey to find the perfect gas fire pit might seem daunting, but armed with the  right knowledge, you’re well on your way to making an informed decision. Remember, the best fire  pit is one that brings warmth, beauty, and joy to your outdoor living space, embodying the Solus  Decor promise of quality, design, and innovation.

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Fire Glass vs. Firestone – Factors to Consider

Fire Glass vs. Firestone - Factors to Consider

There are several factors to consider when comparing fire glass with lava stone for gas fire pits. For instance, aesthetics, heat distribution, maintenance, and cost. This article will explore these points while highlighting the cautionary note that fire glass can trap propane, necessitating careful consideration when using it with propane fuel:

Fire Glass vs. Firestone - Factors to Consider

Aesthetics:

    • Fire Glass: Fire glass, also known as fire beads or fire crystals, is available in various colors and shapes, creating a modern and elegant appearance. It reflects and enhances flames, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a contemporary and decorative look. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution when using fire glass with propane fuel that propane is heavier than air. If one layers on too much glass you can effectively trap the propane should one have a leak as it sinks into the fire pit and trap the propane, risking ignition.   Natural gas is lighter than air and as opposed to propane it does not sink. 
    • Lava Stone: Lava stone provides a more rustic and natural look, available in earthy tones like black, brown, and red. While it may not offer the same variety of colours as fire glass, lava stone can complement outdoor and rustic settings well.

Heat Distribution:

    • Fire Glass: Fire glass does not absorb heat and efficiently and therefore does not reflect the heat produced by flames until the unit has been on for some time.. Once glass is heated up it tends to “hold” the heat for an extended period after the fire has been extinguished. This means you have to be wary of using fabric covers until you are assured that the fire pit is cold to the touch to avoid burning your cover.  
    • Lava Stone: Lava stone absorbs and retains heat, providing a gradual release over time. While contributing to a cozy atmosphere, it might not distribute heat as efficiently as fire glass and it will cool down faster than fire glass. 

Maintenance:

    • Fire Glass: Fire glass is generally low-maintenance, producing no ash, soot, or debris. Cleaning is relatively easy, involving rinsing or wiping down. However, caution should be exercised when cleaning around propane connections.
    • Lava Stone: Lava stone may accumulate ash and debris over time, requiring regular cleaning to maintain its appearance. While it may demand more effort compared to fire glass, it’s essential to exercise caution with propane connections in both cases.

Cost:

    • Fire Glass: Fire glass is much more expensive than lava stone, with costs varying based on type, color, and brand. Despite the higher cost, many find the aesthetic benefits and low maintenance worthwhile. 
    • Lava Stone: Lava stone is generally more budget-friendly than fire glass, making it a more economical choice.  
    • In summary, the choice between fire glass and lava stone depends on personal preferences, budget, and the desired aesthetic. Exercise caution with fire glass and propane fuel, taking necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

Fire Glass vs. Firestone - Factors to Consider

 

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Enhance Your Outdoor Space using Lava Stone and Firestone with Gas Fire Pits

Enhance Your Outdoor Space using Lava Stone and Firestone with Gas Fire Pits

Lava stone and firestone are extraordinary materials that enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your outdoor sanctuary. Elevating your experience and creating a more cohesive look is important to many, particularly if you wish to spend your evenings gathered around a fire pit, enjoying the warm glow. So if you are looking for a practical and subtle way to change up your exterior design, consider lava stone and/or firestone.

Lava Stone: Nature’s Gift to Outdoor Heating

Derived from volcanic eruptions, lava stone, also known as volcanic rock, has become a staple in gas fire pit design. Beyond its visually striking appearance, lava stone possesses unique qualities that make it an ideal choice for outdoor heating. Not only do they disguise the burner and ignition elements, but they also finish off the fire pit, regardless of its construction material.

The porous nature of lava stone allows it to efficiently absorb and radiate heat, creating a consistent warmth that extends your outdoor enjoyment. Prioritising safety, lava stone’s ability to withstand high temperatures ensures a secure and reliable heat source. Its diverse colour palette, ranging from earthy tones to vibrant hues, offers a plethora of design possibilities, making it easy to customise your fire pit to harmonise with your outdoor aesthetic. However, it’s crucial to note that the porosity of lava stone can be a weak point, especially if it’s wet during ignition, potentially causing the stone to “pop.” To address this, Solus Decor also employs firestone.

Firestone: Sculpting Flames into Art

Enter the realm of firestone – specially crafted refractory stone kiln-dried at 600 degrees Celsius, designed to withstand the intense heat produced by gas fire pits while adding an artistic flair to the flames. Beyond its functional and safety purposes, firestone serves as a canvas for the dance of the flames.

Carefully selected and manufactured, firestone is strategically arranged to accentuate the beauty of the fire. This dynamic display transforms your gas fire pit into a sophisticated focal point, creating an ambiance that is both elegant and captivating.

Enhance Your Outdoor Space using Lava Stone and Firestone with Gas Fire Pits

Design Freedom and Arrangements:

Lava stone and firestone offer boundless design possibilities, inviting you to unleash your creativity and personalise your outdoor retreat. Whether experimenting with circular arrangements, mosaic patterns, or a combination of colours, these stones provide the freedom to craft a fire pit that resonates with your unique style.

The versatility of these stones extends beyond their visual appeal; they provide a tactile experience, inviting you to touch and feel the natural textures. As you design your gas fire pit, consider how the stones can enhance not only the aesthetics but also the overall sensory experience of your outdoor haven.

Low Maintenance, Long-lasting Beauty:

Practicality meets beauty with lava stone and firestone. These natural materials are not only durable but also low maintenance. Their resistance to wear and tear ensures that your gas fire pit remains a stunning focal point season after season. Periodic cleaning and inspection can keep the stones looking natural and organic, allowing you to enjoy the magic they bring to your outdoor space for years to come.

Incorporating lava stone and firestone into your modern gas fire pit design is a transformative journey that turns your outdoor oasis into a haven of warmth and beauty. As you gather around the fire, let the enchanting glow of flames on these natural stones create moments that linger in your memory. Embrace the magic, and watch as your outdoor space becomes a sanctuary of comfort and style.

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Reimagining Hotel Spaces: The Art of Repositioning in a Cost-Conscious Era

Repositioning your hotel/hospitality business without redesigning or relocation

In the ever-evolving landscape of the hotel industry, the pursuit of creating inviting and memorable spaces for guests that don’t break the bank is an ongoing challenge. Recent times have seen hotels navigating through economic uncertainties, prompting a shift from grand redesigns and relocations to more resourceful and cost-effective methods of repositioning. Enter the Solus Decor fire pit – a small, yet transformative addition that can revamp a hotel’s space without costing a fortune.

The positioning of your hotel will define your brand and the benefits your hotel provides its guests, highlighting how it stands out from the rest. These highlights allow better branding and advertisement of your business and provide engagement opportunities for your marketing and social media team. Focal points such as a sleek, modern fire or water feature are a fantastic way of creating social hubs within your hotel that provide an edge in this competitive industry.

 

The Age of Cost Cutting

The past year has witnessed a significant focus on cost-cutting strategies within the hotel industry. As hotels adapt to economic challenges, the emphasis is on finding creative solutions that deliver maximum impact with minimal investment. Instead of opting for complete makeovers that demand substantial financial resources, hoteliers are exploring smaller, high-impact enhancements that redefine the guest experience. This is particularly pertinent to smaller hotel businesses that can’t afford to reimagine their spaces to the same extent as large corporate brands. 

 

The Advantages of a Contemporary Gas Fire Pit

  1. Enhanced Ambiance:

A modern gas fire pit brings warmth and sophistication to any outdoor area. The mesmerising dance of flames creates a captivating ambiance that encourages relaxation and social interaction, redefining the guest experience. This will not only optimise your customers’ experience but also increase the profitability of your hotel’s restaurant, bar or café by lengthening the amount of time they spend in your amenities.

  1. Cost-Effective Upgrade:

Unlike extensive renovations, incorporating a contemporary fire pit is a comparatively low-cost investment. It allows hoteliers to achieve a significant visual and experiential upgrade without draining their budgets. 

  1. Year-Round Appeal:

The adaptability of gas fire pits makes them suitable for year-round use. Whether guests seek a cosy spot to unwind on a chilly winter evening or a gathering place during the summer, these fire pits offer versatility that aligns with seasonal variations. Solus Decor’s fire pits are handcrafted in Vancouver, Canada and built to withstand the toughest of weather conditions. Their durability is unmatched by our competitors, with the best warranty in the business, making them a worthwhile investment for years to come.

  1. Easy Integration:

Solus Decor fire pits can be seamlessly integrated into existing outdoor spaces. Their polished and modern design complements various architectural styles, making them a flexible choice for hotels looking to enhance their aesthetics without a complete overhaul.

 

Repositioning your hotel/hospitality business without redesigning or relocation

 

Conclusion

In the current landscape of cost-conscious repositioning within the hotel industry, Solus Decor fire pits emerge as the perfect solution to revamp spaces without compromising on style or atmosphere. As hotels navigate through the challenges of the times, this small but impactful addition can make a significant difference in guest satisfaction and overall appeal. Embrace the art of reimagining, and let the inviting glow of a fire pit redefine the narrative of your hotel’s spaces.

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Attracting Solo Travellers as a Hotel or Hospitality Business

Attracting solo travellers to your hotel, restaurant or bar business

 

As a Rising Demographic, How Do You Attract Solo Travellers to Your Hotel, Restaurant or Bar?

Solo travel is on the rise, and hotels are adapting to meet the unique needs and preferences of this growing demographic. The majority of solo travellers are women over the age of 50 who are looking for hotel based, or locally based activities that are safe after dark (such as using hotel amenities). One way to enhance the experience of your solo travellers is by creating warm and inviting spaces within your hotel premises. One of the most effective additions to achieve this is a contemporary gas fire pit that creates a focal point for your guests to gather around.

The Solo Traveler’s Oasis

Solo travellers often seek more than just a place to stay; they crave an experience that resonates with comfort and a sense of community. A top complaint of this demographic is paying for a larger room than they require, stating that better amenities are more attractive and make the room’s price worthwhile. A modern fire pit can transform your hotel’s outdoor spaces into a cosy oasis, providing solo guests with a place to unwind, reflect, and connect with others. Therefore your business will stand out in comparison to your surrounding competitors. 

 

Attracting solo travellers to your hotel, restaurant or bar business

The Allure of Outdoor Ambiance

Picture this: a solo traveller, after a day of exploring the city, returns to your hotel and discovers a beautifully designed outdoor area featuring a flickering fire pit. The warm glow, the crackling sound of the fire, and the comfortable seating invites them to linger and enjoy the ambiance. It’s a perfect setting for solo travellers to meet fellow guests, share stories, or simply enjoy their own company in a serene environment.

Social Hubs are important to many solo travellers and fire pits can serve as focal points for social interaction. Arrange seating around the fire pit to encourage guests to gather and strike up conversations. This communal space is not only appealing to solo travellers but also provides an opportunity for your hotel to create a unique and memorable atmosphere.

Year-Round Appeal

One of the great advantages of a gas fire pit is their versatility. Whether it’s a cool autumn evening or a brisk winter night, these fire pits can extend the usability of your outdoor spaces throughout the year. Our fire pits (Solus Decor) are handcrafted in Vancouver, Canada and have been tried and tested through the harshest of Canadian conditions for decades. This adaptability and durability ensures that solo travellers can enjoy the outdoor ambiance, regardless of the season. Additionally, it will increase the length of time guests spend at your hotel bar or restaurant and thus the profitability of your business. 

 

Attracting solo travellers to your hotel, restaurant or bar business

Aesthetic Elegance

Solus Decor fire pits are not just functional; they are also stylish additions to your hotel’s outdoor design. Their sleek and contemporary aesthetic adds a touch of sophistication to your space, elevating the overall atmosphere and leaving a lasting impression on your solo travellers. According to Tracey Nesbitt, (the owner of https://solotravelerworld.com/about/tracey-nesbitt/) the majority of solo travellers are affluent, and there has been an 80% increase in those spending over $4000 on trips over a year. Therefore, a luxury modern fire pit could be an opportunity for hotels to drag in affluent clients looking for quality amenities.

Conclusion

Incorporating a contemporary gas fire pit into your hotel’s outdoor areas is a strategic move to enhance the appeal to solo travellers. By creating warm, inviting spaces that encourage social interaction and relaxation, you’re not just providing accommodation; you’re offering an experience that solo travellers will remember and share. Elevate your hotel’s charm and make it a top choice for solo adventurers seeking both comfort and connection.

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Chelsea Flower Show 2024 – An Exclusive Look

Chelsea Flower Show - an exclusive look

 

The Chelsea Flower Show 2024, held in the vibrant heart of London, continues its legacy as a pinnacle of horticultural excellence and innovation. This illustrious event draws garden enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe, eager to witness the latest trends in garden design. As we explore the highlights and captivating displays at this show the Chelsea Flower Show once again proves to be a melting pot of creativity, sustainability, and groundbreaking garden aesthetics. It is an event Solus Decor is proud to be a part of and has been a source of inspiration, encouraging collaboration with numerous designers and clients. Consequently, it has enhanced our ability to deliver the ever evolving wants and needs for functional and beautiful products that the Chelsea Flower Show covets.

 

Exploring the Show’s Highlights

The 2023 show was particularly notable for its celebration of diverse gardening styles and the restorative power of gardening. From the meticulously manicured traditional English gardens to bold, contemporary installations, each exhibit offered a unique perspective on garden design. A significant highlight was the emphasis on sustainability, with many designers showcasing eco-friendly approaches to landscaping, including water-saving techniques and sustainable practices.

 

The Gardens and Exhibits – A Spectacular Display

The range of gardens displayed at Chelsea is always a feast for the eyes. Last year, Harris Bugg Studio, Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg designed Horatio’s Garden (https://www.harrisbugg.com) which was a standout, with accessibility being a key focus of their design. Meanwhile, Rosemary Coldstream’s, Feels Like Home (https://www.rosemarycoldstream.com) showcased a beautiful garden inspired by New Zealand. Carefully choosing plants and colours that reminded her of the natural landscape as well as her childhood garden.

 

Chelsea Flower Show - an exclusive look

 

In-Depth with Garden Designers

The garden designers at Chelsea are the stars of the show, and their insights provide a deeper understanding of the art and science behind each garden. These conversations often reveal the inspiration behind the designs, whether it’s a personal story, a particular landscape, or a global issue like climate change. The designers also share their challenges, from dealing with unpredictable weather to sourcing rare plant species.

 

Trends and Innovations

Trends at Chelsea often set the tone for the gardening world in the coming year. Last year, we saw a surge in the use of native plants, reflecting a growing awareness of the importance of supporting local ecosystems. Another trend was the integration of outdoor living spaces within the gardens, blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors and reflecting a lifestyle that embraces nature. This falls within Solus’ expertise as we strive to provide warmth and ambiance with modern gas fire pits that extend the usability of a garden throughout the year.

 

Focus on Sustainability

A significant aspect of the 2023 show was its focus on sustainability. Gardens showcased creative ways to reduce environmental impact, such as using drought-tolerant plants and creating wildlife-friendly spaces. This focus aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and promotes gardening practices that are not only beautiful but also beneficial to the planet.

 

Chelsea Flower Show - an exclusive lookThe Art of Garden Design

Another highlight was the sheer artistry displayed in garden designs. This year’s show featured gardens that could be considered outdoor galleries, with intricate layouts, stunning color palettes, and innovative use of materials. These designs pushed the boundaries of traditional garden aesthetics, offering visitors a fresh perspective on what a garden can be.

 

The Role of Solus Decor

At Solus Decor, the Chelsea Flower Show is more than just an event; it’s a source of inspiration that influences our fire pit designs and product offerings. We take cues from the show’s trends and innovations to create outdoor fire features that resonate with contemporary gardening and outdoor living styles.

More information on the Chelsea Flower Show can be found here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show

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Exploring the Artistry of Gardens: A Nod to the Society of Garden Designers

Exploring the artistry of gardens - a nod to the society of garden designers

 

In the realm of exquisite outdoor spaces, the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) stands as a beacon of creativity and excellence. At Solus Decor, we understand the transformative power of a beautifully designed garden and how a contemporary fire feature can complement any outdoor space. It is our pleasure to celebrate the work of SGD members, who are reshaping our landscapes into works of art.

 

The Society of Garden Designers, rain chain
Solus Decor at Chelsea, the Rain Chain water feature

The Society of Garden Designers: A Brief Overview

Established over three decades ago, the Society of Garden Designers is the UK’s professional body for garden design practitioners. Boasting a diverse membership of new talent and seasoned professionals, the SGD is committed to maintaining high standards of practice in garden design. Members undergo a rigorous accreditation process, ensuring that they meet the Society’s esteemed criteria for excellence and creativity.

Why Garden Design Matters

Gardens are more than just outdoor areas; they are extensions of our homes, reflections of our personalities, and spaces for relaxation and rejuvenation. The work of a skilled garden designer can turn a simple backyard into a sanctuary, blending elements of nature with bespoke design to create an environment that complements both the architecture and the spirit of the place.

SGD and Sustainable Practices

In today’s environmentally conscious world, SGD designers are at the forefront of sustainable garden design. They incorporate eco-friendly practices, such as water conservation, use of native plants, and organic gardening techniques, ensuring that our gardens not only look good but also contribute positively to the environment.

 

 

Award-Winning Designs

The SGD Awards, an annual event, showcase the crème de la crème of garden design. From small urban spaces to sprawling country estates, these awards highlight the innovation and artistry of SGD designers, offering a glimpse into the future of garden design.

 

Collaboration with Solus Decor

At Solus Decor, we share the SGD’s passion for exceptional garden design. Our range of modern outdoor fire pits, water features, and accessories are designed to complement the visionary work of garden designers. Collaborating with SGD members, we strive to add that final touch of elegance and functionality to their stunning garden creations.

 

Conclusion

The Society of Garden Designers represents the pinnacle of garden design expertise in the UK. As enthusiasts and professionals in the realm of outdoor aesthetics, we at Solus Decor are excited to support and collaborate with the talented members of SGD. Together, we aim to transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary gardens that leave a lasting impression.

More information can be found on the Society of Garden Designers here: www.sgd.org.uk

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Top 6 Essential Considerations for Installing a Gas Fire Pit in the UK

Top 6 essential considerations for installing a gas fire pit

 

The desire for a cozy, inviting outdoor space is at an all-time high in the UK, and contemporary gas fire pits are leading the way in many gardens and patios. Whether you choose propane, natural gas, or bio-ethanol, each type of fire pit adds a unique element of warmth and style. Let’s explore the key considerations for installing the best gas fire pit for your home.

 

Fuel Type: Propane or Natural Gas

Selecting the right fuel type is crucial. Propane fire pits can be easier to connect the Natural gas as they don’t have to be connected to your gas meter. Natural gas fire pits offer a constant fuel supply and are cost-effective in the long run. Both fuel types are compatible with Solus Decor fire features ensuring ease of use whatever you set up.

 

Installation Space: Safety and Placement Considerations

Choosing the right location for your fire pit involves safety considerations. The fire pit should be placed on a stable surface and it’s important to adhere to specified clearances from overhead and adjacent structures. Ensuring enough open space around the fire pit is essential for safety and to fully enjoy its warmth.

 

Top 6 essential considerations for installing a gas fire pit

 

Size and Style: Selecting the Perfect Fire Pit

The size and style of your fire pit should complement your outdoor area. From beautiful, modern fire tables to classic fire bowls, select a style that enhances the aesthetic of your patio or garden. The right fire pit becomes a central feature, making it the best choice for your outdoor setting.

 

Maintenance and Care: Ensuring Durability

Proper maintenance is essential for the longevity of your gas fire pit. Each Solus fire feature comes with a durable, all-weather fabric cover to protect it from the elements. Although routine cleaning is recommended, a yearly servicing can ensure your fire pit remains in top condition.

 

Top 6 essential considerations for installing a gas fire pit

 

Creating Ambiance: The Art of Fire Pit Design

A fire pit is more than just a functional element; it’s a design feature that enhances the mood of your outdoor space. Incorporating tasteful decorative elements can significantly enhance the ambiance, turning your fire pit into an enchanting focal point renowned for its exceptional warmth and style.

 

Fuel Efficiency and Environmental Considerations

When choosing your fire pit, consider fuel efficiency and environmental impact. Gas fire pits are clean-burning, providing a safer alternative for you and your family with minimal impact on surrounding air quality, unlike your classic wood-burning fire pits. 

In conclusion, selecting the best gas fire pit for your UK home involves careful consideration of fuel type, installation space, style, and maintenance. By taking these factors into account, you can create a safe, stylish, and environmentally friendly outdoor area that you and your guests will love.

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Discover Serenity: Transforming Outdoor Spaces with Solus Decor’s Water Features

Discover serenity - transforming outdoor spaces

 

Welcome to the world where water meets art – Solus Decor’s water features. These pieces are not just outdoor elements; they are transformative creations that bring serenity and elegance to any space. In this exploration, we delve into the art of outdoor tranquility through our stunning water feature designs.

The Art of Water in Landscape Design:

Water has been a symbol of tranquility and elegance in landscape architecture for centuries. Solus Decor elevates this tradition by integrating modern design with the timeless appeal of water. Our diverse range of water features including sleek, minimalist designs adds a touch of sophistication to any outdoor setting.

 

Discover serenity - transforming outdoor spaces

Why Solus Decor Stands Out:

Craftsmanship and Quality: Each water feature by Solus Decor is a product of superior craftsmanship, made with durable Ultra high-performance concrete to weather all seasons.

Innovative Designs: We blend aesthetic appeal with modern functionality, offering designs that complement both traditional and contemporary outdoor spaces.

Simplicity in Installation: We value your time and ease. Our water features are designed for straightforward installation, seamlessly fitting into your existing landscape.

Commitment to Sustainability: Our eco-conscious approach ensures that our water features are not only beautiful but also responsibly made, with efficient water usage.

Enhancing Wellness with Water Features:

The presence of water in your garden or patio isn’t just visually pleasing. The sound and sight of flowing water have therapeutic benefits, helping to reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being. Discover how a Solus Decor water feature can become a sanctuary for peace and relaxation in your home.

Designs for Every Taste and Theme:

Understanding that each individual has unique tastes, Solus Decor offers a range of water features that cater to various styles and themes. From beautiful, contemporary designs that resonate with modern aesthetics to more classic, timeless pieces that exude traditional elegance, there’s something to suit every preference. Our contemporary water features can complement a minimalist and modern garden just as beautifully as they can enhance a more rustic or nature-inspired setting.

 

Discover serenity - transforming outdoor spaces

Integrating Water Features in Small Spaces:

Introducing a water feature into a small space can dramatically change the ambiance of the area. The gentle sound of water adds a serene and calming effect, creating a tranquil retreat right in your home. It’s a simple yet effective way to transform a confined outdoor area into a peaceful sanctuary, where you can relax and unwind amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Maintenance and Care for Longevity:

To ensure your water feature remains a timeless addition to your garden, we provide guidance on maintenance and care. Easy to follow tips will help you keep your water feature in pristine condition year after year.

Conclusion:

A Solus Decor water feature is more than an addition to your outdoor space; it’s an investment in tranquility and style. Visit our website solusdecor.co.uk to explore our exclusive range and take the first step in transforming your outdoor space into a haven of peace and beauty.

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Why Some Fire Pits Cost More Than Others

Why some fire pits cost more than others

 

The cost of modern gas or propane fire pits is variable and can range for several reasons. Therefore it’s essential to consider a number of factors when comparing different brands and models, particularly when it comes to the quality and longevity and warranties of the product. This can depend on the materials used to construct the appliance, such as the type of concrete or metal used for the container and  the burner components. 

 

Factors to consider when purchasing a fire pit:  

 

Materials:  The type and quality of materials used in the manufacturing of a fire pit can significantly impact its cost. Fire pits can be made from a variety of materials such as concrete (either UHPC or GFRC), brass, steel, cast iron, aluminum, copper, or even brick. Higher-quality materials or intricate designs may contribute to a higher price.

Labour:  On the surface it may appear less expensive to build the fire pit from stone or pavers but the cost of labour depends on the complexity of the build and the material itself also adds up.  

Size and Design:  Logically, larger fire pits or those with more intricate designs may cost more due to the increased material requirements and the complexity of manufacturing. Additionally, custom or artisanal designs can command higher prices.

 

Why some fire pits cost more than others, sizing

(Solus Decor Hemi 26” vs Hemi 48” firebowl)

 

Brand:  Established brands with a reputation for quality may price their fire pits higher. The brand’s reputation, warranty, and customer service can be factors in the pricing. Some brands, like Solus Decor manufacture their products in North America, while less expensive brands are made overseas primarily in China. 

Warranties:  Lessor brands have lessor warranties (often 1-2 years).  This is indicative of materials that should not really be considered for an outdoor fire pit which needs to withstand varying climates such as freeze-thaw cycles, rain and extreme temperature variances. 

Features and Accessories:  Modern gas fire pits and fire tables can come with various features such as all weather covers, glass windshields, metal or wood table tops and drinks rings, cooking grates, spark screens and lids. There are also generally options for different fire pit toppings, such as lava rock, fire stones, fire glass or fire logs. The inclusion of these features can contribute to a higher price due to greater functionality, safety and aesthetic appeal. 

 

why some fire pits cost more than others, accessories

(Solus Decor Ipe Hardwood Tabletop and our Metal Drinks Ring)

 

Fuel Type:  The type of fuel a fire pit uses can affect its cost. Modern gas fire pits, for example, might be more expensive than wood-burning ones due to the added complexity of the gas components and certification. 

Certification:  To certify modern gas fire pits as an appliance is expensive in not money but time.  Certification requires ongoing testing of burners and active testing of the burners before it leaves the facility.  However, this is not the case with an off the shelf burner installation. 

Ease of Installation:  Wood fire pits don’t require any installation, so they are generally favoured when clients don’t want their fire pit to be a permanent piece of garden furniture. Whereas gas fire pits do require professional installation, and the complexity of installation can influence the overall cost. 

Location and Regulations:  Local building codes and regulations may impact the design and construction of a fire pit. Modern gas fire pits or fire tables ( LPG or NG ) are designed to comply with specific regulations and this costs more. Certification as an appliance (not just the burner) is becoming more and more a requirement of individual states and provinces.  As an example Massachusetts requires approval by the local council prior to the installation of permanent fire pits.

Heat Output:  Higher quality modern fire pits are designed and calibrated for maximum heat and output.  For example, many fire pits lose heat to the bottom of the firepit due to heat sink and poor design.  This is often indicated by a fire pit’s inability to be put on a wood deck or combustible surface.  However, Solus Decor designs its burners to project heat up and out, allowing the bowl to remain cold, meaning no heat is lost to the bottom.  You can place Solus fire pits directly on wood decks or any other surface.  Although higher quality fire pits tend to have a high heat output, there is a point where too much heat can pose a problem.  An average furnace to heat a home is between 80- 100,000 btus. Reputable companies would not produce a product with a 200,000 or 300,000 btu burner, as it is a ridiculous amount of heat.  Burners like this exist but are totally impractical not to mention dangerous, they are for bravado, not for brains. Not to mention that the propane or gas bill that would accompany this burner would be astronomical.  

To conclude, when comparing fire pits it is crucial to consider your specific needs, preferences, and budget. For instance, what are your expectations for the longevity of the product and the quality of its finish? How do you expect it to look 5, 10, or 15 years from now? It is critical to understand what features are essential for your use, and balance those against your budget to find the best value for your requirements.

 

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Maïtanne Hunt’s Pro Landscaper Outdoor Lighting Award 2023 and Solus Decor

The Pro Landscaper Outdoor Lighting Award 2023: 

 

Surrounded by the iconic London landscape sits a rooftop terrace in Kensington that has been expertly crafted and thoughtfully designed. Aptly named “Sky Entertaining”, this stunning rooftop terrace has been reimagined to provide plenty of ambiance and warmth by the award winning garden and landscape designer, Maïtanne Hunt. As the nights grow colder and longer, outdoor lighting and warmth is a design essential and this is where Solus Decor’s fire features shine. 

 

Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscape and Solus Decor fire pits

(Photo credit: Marianne Majerus Garden Images & Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscapes)

 

The clients of this project were keen art lovers with a vibrant social life who wanted an inviting space that provided an intimate setting for parties, whilst emphasising London’s skyline. Maïtanne’s inspiration for the design came from the client’s bold art collection, incorporating two uniquely sculptural trees that linked the interior artworks with the exterior terrace. Cleverly considered lighting was key to her design, a gently flickering Hemi fire bowl created a soft glow and warmth to the space. Along with skilful lighting design, the terrace became a work of art in its own right, adding extra dimension and emphasising the play of light and shadow.

 

Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscape and Solus Decor fire pits

(Photo credit: Marianne Majerus Garden Images & Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscapes)

 

However, this exposed rooftop garden was not always so cleverly constructed. Located on the seventh floor of a Victorian red-brick building in Kensington, London, the terrace was neither welcoming nor beautiful. Largely grey, it seemingly merged with the London skies, lacking shelter from the elements and dotted with irreparable furniture and decor. Revamping this space was no easy feat either, with the only access to the terrace being a 7-flight metal fire escape that every material and item of furniture had to traverse, including a Solus concrete fire pit. Nonetheless, with the help of our excellent team, a beautiful Hemi fire bowl found its home nestled amongst London’s rooftops. 

 

Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscape and Solus Decor fire pits

(Photo credit: Marianne Majerus Garden Images & Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscapes)

 

Although outdoor areas with limited space such as this terrace may not seem like ideal candidates for a fire feature, Solus Decor creates fire pits to suit every need. For instance, this project divided the space into three separate areas (dining, entertaining and relaxation). Consequently, this limited the amount of space available, which made our Hemi 26 fire pit the most suitable choice. Within our Hemi series we have 26”, 36” and 48” fire bowls, allowing our clients to have the style they desire that can suit a variety of projects. In addition, we offer a range of 12 colours, ranging from understated and neutral, to bright and fun. This along with a choice of finishes, tailors the fire pit, fire bowl or fire table to your specifications and is a primary reason many of our clients return to us specifically.

 

Since Maïtanne Hunt’s intervention, the terrace has been completely transformed from a dull, and neglected platform into a verdant oasis with spectacular views. Her hard work and spectacular outcome recently paid off earlier this month and won Maïtanne the Pro Landscaper Outdoor Lighting Award. Solus is not only proud to be a part of this project but we would like to congratulate Maïtanne and her team on their well deserved accomplishment. This project not only reshaped the functionality of the clients’ home but created a haven for them to enjoy year-round. Therefore, if you are looking for a way to add a cosy atmosphere and substantial heat to your outdoor living area, Solus would love to help.

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Glass Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) vs Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC)

 

In this post we compare Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) to Glass Reinforced Concrete (GFRC). Differences in compressive strength, finish quality and longevity are important when considering purchasing a modern outdoor fire pit, fire bowl or fire table

 

“Typical “ concrete that you may find on a gymnasium floor or on a driveway is NOT suitable for outdoor fire and water features. However, GFRC manufacturers will often compare it to their concrete in an effort to emphasise its attributes.  The type you might find on a gymnasium floor or typical construction site would measure its compressive strength somewhere between 2,500 – 4,000 psi. Although GFRC is typically stronger, the same visible level of quality is often apparent. For example, chunky and rough hewn appearance is common amongst many fire pit manufacturers.  Companies such as Elementi, American Fyre, Wayfair and many others are GFRC providers.  In fact, most “concrete “ fire pit and fire table manufacturers are GFRC. 

Solus modern fire pits and water features are not made of common concrete or GFRC.  Our products are made of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC).  In this article, we will delve into a comparison focused on the compressive strength of these types of concrete, highlighting their respective attributes. Additionally, we will explore the finish level (the aesthetics) of the UHPC concrete itself.

 

Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete, vs Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Understanding Compressive Strength:

Concrete technology is vast and the American Standards Testing of Materials (www.astm.org) and is an international standard for the testing of concrete amongst many other construction materials. More specifically, we test to ASTM C39 standards that involve a compressive strength test. This test measures the compressive strength of the concrete and its ability to resist penetration of fluids. Logically, this is very important when it comes to designing modern outdoor fire and water features.

Compressive strength is a critical property of concrete, indicating its ability to withstand axial loads or forces pushing the material together. Therefore, it is key to determining the concrete’s durability and suitability for various applications particularly in outdoor applications where freeze thaw cycles are common.

Solus Decor’s Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC):

Compressive Strength:

Solus UHPC is renowned for its exceptional compressive strength, often exceeding 10,000 psi (pounds per square inch). This remarkable strength is attributed to its meticulous formulation, which includes a high concentration of fine materials and fibers. Moreover, ASTM C 39 standards have been confirmed and tested at Metro Labs Burnaby British Columbia Canada. https://metrotesting.ca/

Finish Quality:

The finish quality of Solus UHPC is equally impressive and has been called inimitable by many of our clients, as it is what they see that matters most to them. Our concrete boasts a smooth, refined surface that enhances the aesthetic appeal of our products’ architectural and design elements. Fine aggregate and precise manufacturing contribute to a polished and sophisticated finish almost like a well worn leather.  Due to precise molding, we are able to create a mirror finish of the original mold.  Of particular note are the rims of our fire bowls and the edges of our fire tables.  These are crisp and sharp, without exposed aggregate like GFRC or construction concrete.  In addition, our fire features are cast in one casting ensuring the colour is uniform, without mottling and large pitting 

GFRC on the other hand is a layered approach.  The outer layer is sprayed or rolled in place and then additional layers are applied. Furthermore, GFRC often fails in the field as these layers can peel off or shale (dislodging from the surface). Especially in climates that go through freeze thaw cycles. Moreover, the edges of these GFRC fire bowls are often chunky, rough, pitted and the surface is frequently patchy or mottled.

Applying a surface layer of patching after the GFRC product has been taken out of the mold is never as good as casting it correctly the first time.  Consequently, GFRC is more suited to architectural elements that aren’t subject to outdoor wear and tear. The layering or back filling of the GFRC is often what “shales or flakes off as soon as it gets wet causing water to get between the surface layer and the core of the concrete vessel itself.

For instance, this review was left about a common GFRC fire pit manufacturer:

Review of common GFRC firepit manufacturer stating chipping, cracking and peeling

Benefits:

The high compressive strength of Solus UHPC makes it ideal for a range of applications, including architectural elements, structural components, and outdoor features like fire and water bowls. Its durability and resistance to environmental factors, combined with a premium finish, are notable advantages.If you read many of Solus fire pit google reviews you will hear comments from clients who say the product looks just the same as when they bought it 8, 10 or even 12 years ago.  

 

Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete, vs Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Glass Reinforced Concrete (GFRC):

Compressive Strength:

GFRC generally exhibits lower compressive strength compared to Solus UHPC. It typically ranges from 4,000 to 6,000 psi, depending on the specific mix and manufacturing process.

Finish Quality:

The finish quality of GFRC is often more textured than that of Solus UHPC. While it can be smooth, the inclusion of glass fibers may result in a  coarser surface. The finish is still good where a more textured appearance is desirable.

Benefits:

GFRC’s advantages lie in its lighter weight, making it suitable for applications where reduced load-bearing capacity is acceptable. It is often chosen for decorative elements, cladding, and panels due to its versatility in design and fabrication.

Choosing the Right Concrete for Your Project:

Design Flexibility:

For projects where design flexibility and reduced weight are priorities, GFRC offers a broader range of aesthetic possibilities while still providing reasonable compressive strength.

Finish Quality:

Solus UHPC stands out in terms of a refined and polished finish, perfect for applications where a premium aesthetic is crucial. GFRC offers a textured finish, suitable for projects that embrace a more natural or rustic appearance.

Environmental Factors:

Consider the environmental conditions your concrete elements will face. Solus UHPC’s resistance to harsh weather and durability makes it suitable for outdoor applications, while GFRC may be more suitable for indoor or less demanding outdoor environments.

 

Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete, vs Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Conclusion:

When comparing Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) and Glass Reinforced Concrete (GFRC), compressive strength and finish quality reveal distinct advantages that each material offers. While Solus UHPC excels in outdoor applications like fire pits and water features with its exceptionally high compressive strength and premium finish, GFRC provides a lighter alternative with design versatility and a textured aesthetic. Choosing between the two will ultimately depend on the specific requirements of your project, balancing strength, weight, finish quality, and design considerations.

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Are Fire Pits Legal in London, UK?

Are Fire Pits Legal in London, UK?

Are Fire Pits Legal in London, UK?

 

Making the most of your outdoor space can be tricky in London, either due to lack of space, the weather, or living in a smoke-controlled area. However, gas and propane fire pits could be the perfect solution. All of Central London (except for the county of Newham) and most of Greater London are smoke-controlled areas, meaning that wood burning fires and fire pits aren’t legal in commercial or residential areas. However, making your outdoor space warm, comfortable, and beautiful can still be done! 

 

Natural gas, propane and ethanol fire pits are legal commercially and residentially in London and the rest of the UK as they are clean-burning appliances that create virtually no smoke. Outdoor fire pits are subject to a few specific safety regulations and generally must meet CE and UKCA certification. However, this won’t be a concern with Solus Decor as all of our appliances are CE, UKCA, ANSI & CA certified in their entirety (not just the burner). 

Are fire pits legal in London, UK?

UK regulations state that fire pits must maintain a safe distance from combustible materials and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and positioning. Safety is of utmost importance to us and these rules are simple and easy to follow with gas or propane fire pits. Providing a controlled burn that doesn’t spark, there are no flying embers that often cause unintentional fires and injuries. Additionally, their clean-burning nature and controlled flame allow these fire pits to be used in covered patios (with adequate ventilation), whereas wood burning fire pits cannot.

Wood burning fire pits are a well-loved tradition in many British homes. They typically produce more heat, are more portable than other fire pits and are less expensive. However, our clients frequently come to us with complaints of smoke that stings their eyes and the smell it leaves in their clothes and on their hair. Furthermore, wood burning smoke that is considered a nuisance could lead to complaints from neighbours that the local council is obligated to investigate, possibly raising fines (of up to £1000) or rendering your fire pit unusable. Our fire pits, fire bowls and fire tables not only avoid this, but allow heat output to be controlled with little to no storage requirements for fuel such as with kindling and logs. 

 

Luna, modern gas and propane fire pit

Equally, natural gas fire pits require some preparation to be installed as they have to be connected to a natural gas line that should run under your deck or patio. Once installed however, fuel supply isn’t a worry and there are no unsightly pipes or hoses. Propane fire pits also require a connection to a propane tank which UK guidelines suggest should be stored outdoors, in a well ventilated area. This may seem like a hassle that you would rather avoid, but finding firewood storage, wet firewood and maintenance of a wood burning fire pit will require more time and cleaning long-term. A particularly low-maintenance option from Solus are ethanol burning fire pits which don’t require the pipes or hoses that gas and propane do, however we don’t provide this option outside of the UK or EU. 

 

To summarise, gas and propane fire pits are perfectly legal in London and are a modern and clean-burning alternative to your classic wood burning fire pit. Virtually smoke free, safer, and easy to maintain, we believe that they are the best alternative for Londoners that want to make the most of their outdoor space and keep toasty this winter.

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Are Fire Pits Legal in the UK? Rules and Regulations.

Are Fire Pits Legal in the UK?

 

The UK’s weather is notoriously unpredictable, so making the most of your outdoor space can be tricky. If you lack a lot of outdoor space, the weather is unfavourable, or living in a smoke-controlled area, being able to enjoy your garden is difficult. Smoke-controlled areas are widespread in the UK and don’t allow most wood burning appliances, and authorised fuels must be Defra approved and “smokeless”. This is despite the fact that wood burning fire pits are for sale in most garden centres and big box retailers. However, gas, propane and ethanol (biofuel) fire pits that produce little to no smoke are the perfect solution. 

 

Elevated Halo gas and propane fire pit, legal in the UK and smoke controlled areas

 

In England, most of London, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Birmingham are smoke-controlled. In Scotland, Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow are as well. The smoke-controlled areas in Wales are unclear and would require you to contact your local council, but they do exist and it is important to take note of your local regulations. Northern Ireland is a largely smoke-controlled area, banning wood burning smoke in Belfast and Londonderry. Consequently, wood burning fire pits aren’t legal commercially or residentially in much of the UK. However, making your outdoor space warm, comfortable, and beautiful can still be done! 

Natural gas, propane and ethanol fire pits are legal commercially and residentially in the UK as they are clean-burning appliances that create virtually no smoke. Outdoor fire pits are subject to a few specific safety regulations and generally must meet CE and UKCA certification. However, this won’t be a concern with Solus Decor as all of our appliances are CE, UKCA, ANSI & CSA certified in their entirety (not just the burner). 

UK regulations state that fire pits must maintain a safe distance from combustible materials and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and positioning. Safety is of utmost importance to us and these rules are simple and easy to follow with gas or propane fire pits. Providing a controlled burn that doesn’t spark, there are no flying embers that often cause unintentional fires and injuries. Additionally, their clean-burning nature and controlled flame allow these fire pits to be used in covered patios (with adequate ventilation), whereas wood burning fire pits cannot.

 

Hemi gas and propane fire pit, legal in the UK

(our fire pits also perfect for covered patios with adequate ventilation)

 

Wood burning fire pits are a well-loved tradition in many British homes. They typically produce more heat, are more portable than other fire pits and are less expensive. However, our clients frequently come to us with complaints of smoke that stings their eyes and the smell it leaves on their clothes and in their hair. Furthermore, wood burning smoke that is considered a nuisance could lead to complaints from neighbours that the local council is obligated to investigate, possibly raising fines (of up to £1000) or rendering your fire pit unusable. Our fire pits, fire bowls and fire tables not only avoid this, but allow heat output to be controlled with little to no storage requirements for fuel such as with kindling and logs. 

Equally, natural gas fire pits require some preparation to be installed as they have to be connected to a natural gas line that should run under your deck or patio. Once installed however, fuel supply isn’t a worry and there are no unsightly pipes or hoses. Propane fire pits also require a connection to a propane tank which UK guidelines suggest should be stored outdoors, in a well ventilated area. This may seem like a hassle that you would rather avoid, but finding firewood storage, wet firewood and maintenance of a wood burning fire pit will require more time and cleaning long-term. A particularly low-maintenance option from Solus are ethanol burning fire pits which don’t require the pipes or hoses that gas and propane do, however we don’t provide this option outside of the UK or EU. 

To summarise, gas, ethanol and  propane fire pits are perfectly legal in the UK and are a modern and clean-burning alternative to your classic wood burning fire pit. Virtually smoke free, safer, and easy to maintain, we believe that they are the best alternative for those that want to make the most of their outdoor space and keep toasty this winter.

 

Fire pits legal in the UK, gas and propane for smoke-controlled areas

 

 

solusdecor.com

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Solus Decor Fire Pits at The Berkeley Hotel

Solus gas and propane fire pits at The Berkeley Hotel, London

Elevating Outdoor Luxury with Solus Decor Fire Pits at the Berkeley Hotel

 

At Solus Decor we strive to provide ambiance and atmosphere that elevate the space’s appearance. We are passionate about transforming outdoor spaces into havens of warmth and unforgettable experiences. One of our recent highlights is our collaboration with The Berkeley Hotel in London, where we’ve had the pleasure of introducing our exceptional luxury fire pits. Our product has not only elevated the outdoor atmosphere at the hotel but has also exemplified our commitment to craftsmanship and innovation.

 

The Solus Decor Difference

If you’re visiting London or staying at The Berkeley Hotel, we invite you to experience the magic of Solus Decor’s fire pits. The private terrace of the Hyde Park Penthouse overlooks London’s most iconic Royal Park. Featuring prominently on their spacious terrace, our Hemi fire bowl is the perfect place to gather around and share stories, drinks, and laughs.

 

The Berkeley Hotel, Hyde Park, penthouse fire pit by Solus Decor

Credit: Maybourne Hotel Group

 

This winter, The Berkeley Hotel’s brand-new extension known as The Emory will feature another fiery focal point. This project has been defined as “elegantly restrained and exquisitely private” and we are delighted to take part in coordination with Rainey & Best project managers. Solus strives to be the cherry on top to this modern architectural masterpiece, enhancing the atmosphere and warmth of this luxury London hotel.

Crafting Timeless Elegance

Solus Decor is renowned for its unwavering dedication to crafting products that stand the test of time and mother nature. Individually handcrafted with meticulous attention to detail, they are the embodiment of modern elegance and quality. Each fire pit is a piece of art, designed to be both visually stunning and functional, lit, or unlit. We offer a variety of styles, sizes and colours, allowing us to tailor our fire pits to seamlessly fit into the unique aesthetic of outdoor spaces.

The Berkeley Hotel, Hyde Park Penthouse, fire pit by Solus Decor

Credit: Maybourne Hotel Group

Innovative and Quality Design

We take pride in the innovative technology behind our fire pits. Designed with gas-burning technology, they provide clean, smoke-free fire that offers not only warmth but also serves as a captivating visual centrepiece. In addition, they are built to endure the rigours of the outdoors as they are made with Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) and are engineered to age gracefully. Solus fire pits will remain a stunning addition to your home, business or project for years to come. Our fire feature warranties are the best in the business!

Why Solus Decor?

Crafted with exceptional materials, our fire pits serve as a stunning point of convergence that will draw in your guests and leave a lasting impression. Whether placed by a poolside, on a rooftop terrace or within an ambient dining area, our fire pits provide warmth and a soft glow that encourages guests to relax and connect. Their contemporary design, high-quality craftsmanship and captivating flame combine to elevate the overall outdoor experience, making them an essential element to upscale hospitality settings. We have collaborated with many commercial clients within the industry, such as Hyatt, Marriott, Four Seasons to name a few and we are well versed in their needs and expectations.

The Berkeley Hotel, Hyde Park Penthouse, fire pit by Solus Decor

Credit: Maybourne Hotel Group

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