A look at the new Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa; the height of luxury in the heart of the Champagne region in France and how they have incorporated Solus fire pits in their outdoor areas.
The Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa opened its doors in the summer of 2018 and has set itself apart as the first contemporary 5 star hotel in the Champagne region. The original 19th Century Post House where it is said that King Charles X of France stopped over before heading to Reims for his coronation has been re-imagined by architect; Giovanni Pace and interior designers; Argenta Project . The original property was purchased by Boston-based Champagne Hospitality collection, a group of boutique luxury hotels and spas that includes the award-winning Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa in St. Barths.
The Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa is the height of luxury and what one would expect for the enviable location in the middle of the vineyards in hills of Epernay, the capital of Champagne, and the historic villages of Champillon and Hautvillers of Dom Perignon fame. We are fortunate to have our Hemi fire pits to compliment this wonderful outdoor space with the breathtaking backdrop.
The Hemi fire bowl is a popular choice with both the commercial and residential market due to the sculptural design and the additional accessories available to customise the fire bowl. The Hemi is available in a choice of 10 colours, 3 fuel options and the option to use a hard wood table top or metal drinks ring and metal table top, making it adaptable to all spaces and styles.
Get in touch with us to find out more about this installation and our range of concrete fire and water features
We have had the great fortune of teaming up with The Spa Hotel to help create this wonderful outdoor space in the historic town of Tunbridge Wells.
The Spa Hotel is set in 14 acres of beautiful grounds close to the centre of historic Royal Tunbridge Wells, the spa town from which its name is derived. The hotel first opened in 1880 and since then has built a reputation for style, sophistication, relaxation and fine dining.
The Spa Hotel has a long-established history in the town, and with its recent refurbishment it provides a luxurious location to stay, dine and for weddings and events. With 70 rooms, an award-winning restaurant and a new, contemporary Bar and Brasserie, there is plenty for guests to enjoy.
As part of the refurbishment of the hotel, The Spa Hotel have just launched the Spa Temple and new outdoor entertainment area. The Spa Temple is a beautiful piece of design from our friends at Chilstone, providing a focal point in this picturesque outdoor setting and a wonderful place to say “I do”.
We are thrilled to see our Hemi fire pit with metal drinks ring incorporated into this quintessential British countryside setting. The Hemi is our signature fire pit and is popular in both commercial and residential settings. The Spa Hotel have incorporated the Hemi into the new Temple. The sculptural curves of the Hemi mirror the architectural curves of the Temple.
The Hemi is available in three sizes, ten different colours and a choice of three different fuel options; including natural gas, LPG and Biothenol making it adaptable for any outdoor setting. We also have a range of accessories to customise your fire pit including the metal drinks ring at the Spa Hotel.
To find out more about our products get in touch with us.
Photo Credit: Penny Young Photography
The trend for outdoor living is continuing to grow in the UK and Europe. Products such as fire pits are popular as they extend time in the garden or are a feature (that also provides warmth) for guests to sit around on a hotel terrace. Designers and their clients are increasingly specifying them in designs. So what are the considerations?
Solus have put together a guide of useful questions to ask when contacting fire pit companies or as considerations when adding a fire pit feature into a design:
1. What is the difference between the fuel types?
a) Natural Gas (NG): There is an immediate cost to set up a natural gas line to the firepit but the running costs are the least expensive. Natural gas also burns cleanly. It is the most convenient option as it is always available (no tanks to replace).
b) Liquid Propane (LP): Like natural gas it can be hard-piped or run a hose (there is very little setup cost for a hose). Typically LPG is available in a variety of tank sizes that need to be refilled and hidden from view.
c) Ethanol (Bio-Fuel): There is no setup cost. Typically this is the most expensive fuel type. There is less flame control with ethanol (no regulation) and it is the option chosen when either NG or LP are not an option. Ethanol burns with no off-gas or particulates.
d) Wood: Wood can take up significant storage and require a lot of clean up. Costs of wood really depends on where you live. Wet wood, ignition issues, wood smoke, stinky clothes and neighbour complaints are the most frequent negatives one hears of wood fires. Wood sparks as it is burning and is therefore a potential fire risk. Many regions have bans on wood fires due to forest fires or clean air requirements.
2. Certification? What is it and why should you care?
a) Certification (ANSI in the USA, CSA in Canada, and CE in Europe). This means the manufacturer (in this case Solus Decor) has paid an independent lab to test our products and certify them as safe according to the industry agreed standards. Part of the certification process is ongoing random audits to make sure that manufacturing standards remain at or above the certification standard. Ask for the certification documents and the product listing. Be wary of counterfeits or “built to the standard of CE, CSA or ANSI”.
b) One needs to care. Having a product certified means that there is a guarantee that the product has been designed and manufactured in a way that will not be dangerous to the consumer. You wouldn’t buy a gas boiler, furnaceor a BBQ that hadn’t been certified as safe, so why not purchase a safe fire pit as well?
i) When a product is “built to certification standard,” or “built to UL standard,” it is not actually certified. The product has not undergone the initial testing, nor does it undergo the random testing to ensure the manufacturing quality. The product must be certified and not just to the standard.
ii) Combining a certified burner with a non-certified vessel or brick assembly may actually void the certification if installed incorrectly and the safety of the fire pit.
Certification also provides a measure of liability insurance for both home owner and commercial installations.
3. Burner / Ignition types.
A standard ignition that is frequently referred to as a “match-lit burner” in the industry. This burner has an adjustable key valve on the side of the firepit that is used to regulate the gas flow from off to maximum. This burner does not require electricity, just a fuel source (LP, NG or ETH) and is common to North America.
b) Manual with Flame Supervision:
This is the same as the manual ignition, but it has an additional feature that monitors the flames. If the fire pit is blown out, the flame supervision device shuts off the gas flow. With this ignition you light a pilot light that will then warm a sensor. Once that sensor is hot enough the flame supervision system will open the gas flow and ignite the fire pit. This is required in the UK, Europe and some parts of North America. This burner does not require electricity. (only NG or LP).
c) Electronic (Auto):
It requires 110 volts (NA) or 220-240 volts (EU) to be run to the fire pit along with a light switch or timer. It is strictly an on/off burner and is ideal for commercial, common use, or public spaces. Flame supervision is included in all Solus Decor’s electronic ignitions.
d) Electronic with Adjustable Valve (Auto Adj):
This burner is the same as the electronic burner but it has an adjustable valve on the side of the firepit that allows our customers to regulate the gas flow. This means if the fire is a little too warm you are able to turn it down to a more comfortable temperature. Flame supervision isavailable in all of Solus Decor’s electronic ignitions. The extra valve also doubles up as an emergency shut off valve – often a requirement of commercial installations (particularly in California, New York and the UK).
Ethanol burners are a basin into which the ethanol is poured. Once it is filled to the desired level (based upon desired burn time) a long wand is used to ignite the ethanol. When finished the flames can be snuffed out with the lid. This burner does not require electricity and may be placed almost anywhere.
4. How does one determine placement? What factors are there to consider? (aside from aesthetic reasons)
a) Fuel / electricity:
i) The first factor that should be assessed is where can the fire pit be placed and where it will have access to fuel or perhaps more accurately“Where can I run a pipe or hose for the firepit.” This is most importantfor Natural Gas and Liquid Propane burners.
b) The Material (substratum) the firepit will be placed upon:
i) Many firepits (Especially burner without structures around them) cannot be placed on wood decks, composite materials, or grass.
ii) Solus Decor’s firepits are rated to be placed on all outdoor materials (wood, composite, grass, stone, pavers, or concrete). This is because the burners are designed to throw heat up and out to those seated around the firepit.
iii) Many firepits lose heat in an inefficient manner to the bottom and sides of the vessel which means the vessel and the area around it gets hot. It is important to know if a firepit can damage the material it is placed upon. It also calls into question how many btu’s or kw’s are necessary for your fire pit. If 30 – 50 % of the heat and btu’s or kw’s are lost to the bottom of the vessel it is a waste of fuel.
c) Safety Clearances:
i) Safety clearances are the minimum required distance a firepit needs to be from combustible materials such as overhang or furniture. This is part of the certification process and in the CSA / CE documentation.
ii) NG and LP are “controlled flames” unlike wood which is uncontrolled.
iii) Solus Decor’s safety clearances for our firepits are:
1) 16” or 400 mm from the side of the concrete vessel 2) 6’5” or 1.9m from the FLOOR (not the top of the vessel)
5. Warranties, and why they are important.
a) Just in case. You cannot control the weather. These are outdoor products and sometimes things happen. Warranties matter! Ask about the warranty and how long it is.
b) What is the duration of the warranty? Most warranties are 6 – 12 months – basically one season. Solus warranties are the best in the business (3, 5 and 25 years).
c) Product quality and who deals with your warranty. If a company is not willing to stand behind their product and provide a warranty then do you really want to buy that product?
The depth or breadth of what the warranty covers is also important. Solus certifies and build in-house and is therefore able to properly troubleshoot any issues.
1) Concrete: All concrete vessels are cast in-house so providing a warranty replacement can be done in a timely fashion if necessary.
2) Burners: We assemble all of our burners in-house and we are therefore able to troubleshoot issues as well as being able to provide replacement parts if necessary.
6. What media is best in a firepit?
There are four main categories of media for a firepit
a) Lava Rock: A natural and inexpensive media that is used to reflect heat back out of the firepit. Does not contain heat for long. Solus Decor uses black lava rock as its primary media
b) Fire Glass: This is a tempered glass that is then rolled so that it loses its sharp edges. The glass will get very hot and remain that way for some time after the flame is extinguished. There is the potential to trap Liquid Propane if set up improperly (explosive hazard). This is extremely important.
c) Ceramic Logs: Purely cosmetic and will not maintain heat for long.
d) Concrete Media: There are specific formulations of refractory concrete that have been designed to withstand the heat of a fire pit. Solus uses these as “refractory concrete river rocks” around the burner and / or the entire fire pit.
What sort of media (stone, glass or other) can I put in my firepit? Be careful what you find on the internet – there are many inappropriate “fire pit media”. Part of the certification process is that the fire pit appliance is tested with the media. This means the certification says yes to only this media and nothing else (unless it has been certified). There are plenty of media readily available – it doesn’t mean it is all appropriate for your fire pit. Changing the media may invalidate your certification and therefore your insurance.
Heat (BTU or kW) (A BTU or kW is a unit that measures heat produced by a burner/grill/stovetop/bbq etc.)
1) BTU or kW can be used to generalize how hot a firepit is, however it is not completely accurate.
a) A better way of saying it might be that the BTU or kW indicates how much fuel a firepit can consume.
b) How much heat you feel around the firepit can be influenced by the following:
i) Wind: Strong winds can blow the heat away.
ii) Efficiency of the burner: Is it directing heat everywhere or is it projecting heat up and out to those around the fire pit.
iii) Height of the burner: Heat radiates up and out from its source. The lower the firepit the more heat you will feel on your body.
iv) Fuel type: For example, propane burns a little hotter and brighter than natural gas.
2) Many jurisdictions limit how many btu’s or kw’s the burner is allowed to produce.
a) Having a 300,000 BTU burner may or may not be acceptable to your jurisdiction and ergo your insurance company. (Even if it is certified). Additionally, is a 300,000 BTU burner necessary and how much would it cost to run?
What other functions can the fire pit perform? Will it be needed to place drinks on the side while on? Can it be used as a table when not on? Will it have a sculptural presence in the garden? Will it complement the design / furniture / planting scheme and colour?
7. Important questions to ask yourself about what firepit you wish to own.
1) What shape would work best in your space?
2) What are you hoping to do with the firepit?
a) Is it going to be solely for sitting around and using as a firepit?
b) Would you like to use it as a coffee table during the day?
c) Would you like to leave your drink on the firetable as you relax around it?
d) Would you like to use the firepit occasionally as a cooking surface?
*NB The proper use of accessories can really expand the uses of your firepit. Solus Decor’s All Metal tabletop with removable center would allow you to use your firepit as a coffee table in the day and at night you can remove the center, so you still have a drink ring around your flames.
8. What to consider when ordering a firepit.
What style works best for your space? Round? Square? Rectangular? Short? Tall?
What fuel type are you going to use? NG? LP? Ethanol?
What kind of burner / ignition would you like? Manual? Manual with Flame Supervision? Electronic (auto)? Adjustable Electronic (Auto Adj)?
What colour would work best in your space? Solus offers 10 to choose from!
Solus Decor launch “The Pacfic Rim” the new fire and water feature at Chelsea Flower Show
The launch of The Pacific Rim; combined fire and water feature
Solus Decor launched the new combined fire and water feature at Chelsea Flower Show last week. The fire and water feature is called the Pacific Rim, which takes inspiration from our Canadian roots. For years people have asked if they can have the best of both our products. As a result our team in Canada have worked hard over the last year to create the pacific rim. The pacific rim creates a spectacular focal point in any outdoor setting. You can hear the water gently cascading over the metal surface while you enjoy the warmth of the fire.
The Trade Stand
Solus Decor worked with a number of suppliers to create the ideal outdoor setting to compliment the concrete fire and water features designed and produced by Solus Decor. The stand was build by Thorburn Landscapes. This year we have been fortunate enough to work with Envirobuild who supplied us with a fantastic composite decking. The composite decking compliments our products like our fire and water features it is designed to withstand the elements. Anti-slip and reversible Hyperion Decking comes with up to 25 year limited residential warranty against splits, splinters, rot and fungal decay. This low maintenance solution is perfect choice for any commercial space or residential garden deck. We used the Hyperion Pioneer decking in silver birch and we couldn’t be happier with the finished result.
Our planting was provided by Worlds End Nurseries a beautiful oasis in Chelsea. A sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle. Worlds End Nurseries is a family run business that has been serving the local area for decades and if you haven’t visited it’s a must!
The final special touch was bespoke chairs from Brent Comber Originals from our home town in Vancouver. Brent created the perfect seating for our fire and water feature made from hand carved cedar. The Brent Comber chairs share the same curved design as the Pacific Rim, which created an inviting space for guests to enjoy the calming sounds of the water and the warmth of the fire.
We were thrilled to be part of the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show and receive such wonderful feedback about the new fire and water feature; the Pacific Rim . To find out more about the Pacific Rim or any of our other fire and water products get in touch with our team.
Solus Decor are exhibiting for the fourth time this month at RHS Chelsea Flower Show; the most renowned horticultural and outdoor living show across the world.
75th Anniversary of D-Day Landing
RHS Chelsea Flower Show is held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. Royal Hospital Chelsea is the home of the Chelsea Pensioners. The Chelsea Pensioners have become as much a part of the Flower Show as the gardens on show. This year is an extra special year for the Chelsea Pensioners at the Chelsea Flower Show as it marks the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings on 6th June 2019.
The D-Day 75 Garden
The ‘D-Day 75 Garden’ will be exhibited at the Royal Hospital Chelsea during this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 21st-25th May and will celebrate the lives of our Normandy veterans.75 veterans have been invited to take part during Chelsea Flower Show. They will share their incredible stories with the Chelsea pensioners and the public. The garden will then be gifted by the veterans to the town of Arromanches in Normandy. The ceremony will take place on 6th June 2019.
We can’t wait to see this fantastic design created by John Everiss, a multi RHS gold award winner at Tatton and Chelsea. To find out more about “75 Reasons” and see how you can donate take a look at D Day Revisited.
To find out more about Solus Decor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show take a look at our blog with our high lights from last year including the launch of our new metal table top and drinks ring. We look forward to seeing some of you at the show this year. Visit us at trade stand #608 and see new products for 2019.
A look at Salty’s, the hugely popular seafood restaurant on Alki beach near Seattle.
Salty’s restaurant is located on Elliott Bay with sweeping views of the Seattle skyline. The restaurant has been hailed as having one of the best restaurant views by critics. Salty’s on Alki beach is part of a small chain of seafood restaurants with additional locations in Washington and Portland. Salty’s on Alki beach was acquired by Gerry Kingen; founder of Salty’s in 1985 and from then it has gone from strength to strength. Salty’s offer a wonderful menu with a mix of charbroiled steaks and local seafood so you can be sure there is something for everyone, with a focus on local produce and sustainability.
Solus Hemi Firepit at Salty’s
Salty’s have incorporated one of Hemi 48″ fire bowls on the terrace, a wonderful addition to this sensational space and the perfect place to enjoy the view with a drink on a cooler day. Salty’s have opted to accessorize their Hemi with a drinks ring; the ideal accompaniment to a restaurant setting. The drink ring allow space to rest a glass or small appetizer plate while you sit around the fire.
Salty’s have a number of spaces so they are perfect for a variety of occasions; a family dinner, happy hour after work or the perfect spot to celebrate a special family occasion in one of their three private dining spaces.
The Hemi is our signature fire pit and hugely popular in both the commercial and residential setting. The Hemi is available in three sizes with three fuel options and a variety of accessories to make it adaptable to any environment, including our hugely popular new metal table top and drinks ring. To find our more about the Hemi and other commercial installations get in touch with the team.
Spring is nearly here and it’s the time of year that people start to think about getting in the garden. The Society of Garden designers share their predictions on the key garden trends for 2019.
Climate change gardening
Gardening for a changing climate is set to be a key trend in 2019. Sue Townsend creates ecological gardens to cope with the extreme weather conditions experienced by the UK recently. She advises to grow the right plants for the conditions of each garden, to store water and to collect excess water for dissipation through the soil.
House Plants and Hanging Plants
Sculptural and architectural plants will dominate in 2019. Joe Perkins MSGD says “the continuing rise in popularity of houseplants is being translated outside with exotic-style plants with architectural leaves and stems making bold statements inside and out.” Joe also predicts that we will be seeing more hanging plants in our gardens. Not traditional hanging baskets, but plants with foliage, colour and texture which can be used as accessories as an addition to pots and planters.
Interior meets exterior
Both Darren Hawkes and Barbara Samitier think a colourful approach to interiors will creep into the garden in 2019. Hawkes predicts the arrival of bold print, clashing colours and large-leafed plants, advising to “take kitsch into the garden” by introducing bedding plants in bright coloured planters or letting Pompon Dahlias take centre stage.
Meanwhile, Barbara Samitier expects industrial and reclaimed materials and encaustic tiles will be used increasingly in urban gardens.
Karen Rogers thinks the growing demand for teenage garden hang-outs will gain momentum in 2019. Rogers incorporates secluded garden buildings or separate seating areas featuring outdoor fire pits or fireplaces in her designs. She says: “These spaces require clever screening from neighbours as well as good lighting and planting that absorbs as much noise as possible.”
Wild and loose
Nature will take the fore in 2019, says Louise Harrison-Holland of Blue Tulip Garden Design. We’ll see ongoing support for wildlife corridors in the wider landscape: “The move toward a slightly looser, wilder style of garden design will help support this initiative.” She predicts hedging will become the number one choice for garden boundaries next year.
Vibrant hot colour
According to Sue Townsend, sizzling jewel colours are set to make a return to our gardens in 2019. Townsend predicts vibrant, hot colours combined with sultry purples and blues, while Barbara Samitier expects a move away from the blue and pink colour palette in favour of orange and yellow hues.
Jon Sims expects the rise of porcelain in garden design will bring the demand for indoor colour, outdoors. Replica stone will be replaced by hard landscape materials with bolder colours and patterns.
For a garden that suggests luxury, Joe Perkins recommends combining red and purple alongside greys and blue-greys in plant foliage. He too has spotted a trend in younger garden enthusiasts looking to style their outdoor space as they would an indoor room, using bright coloured accessories or furniture. Joe cautions that simplicity and repetition are the key for success here.
Crazy paving, charred timbers and gabion walls are expected to dominate in 2019. Sue Townsend says: ‘“Crazy paving and stepping stones using large irregular slabs– the bigger the better– are making a come-back.” Townsend foresees the continued popularity of porcelain paving which looks like real stone but has a non-slip quality.
Log walls and multiple metals
Barbara Samitier confesses to being obsessed with log walls, saying, “They can act as a feature wall, a boundary or a screen while providing a necessary habitat for insects and a wide range of wildlife.” She also expects we will be seeing more metal in the garden as it’s “such a versatile material that lends itself to so many applications.”
Samitier designs metal arches and pergolas for many of her current projects. She’s incorporated metal walkways, mirrored stainless steel and perforated Corten steel in her gardens for walls and pergola roofs.
Both Louise Harrison-Holland and Barbara Samitier are introducing more gabion-style walls and structures into their garden designs. Louise predicts stone work will be used in a less structured way in 2019. She says: “I have noticed a move away from stark modernism towards a style that still retains a strong geometry but is tempered with a choice of materials in softer tones.”
Prepare to see more charred timber cladding in gardens this year. Jon Sims experiments with Shou-Sugi-Ban and is also introducing rough shutter-faced concrete into his projects. He foresees a greater use of external MDF in gardens as it offers numerous options in terms of colour and shape. It’s durable, too.
Wild and perennial meadows
Many designers experimented with wildflower and perennial meadows in 2018 and this trend is set to continue into the new year. The good news is you don’t need a large plot to incorporate one into your garden.
Sue Townsend explains: “I’ve really enjoyed creating small-medium sized meadows in many of the gardens I have designed this year. The most exciting venture was sowing my first perennial meadow. In a few years, it will provide interest from April to late November with relatively little maintenance.”
Louise Harrison-Holland echoes the sentiment: “A wilder style has been helped along by the increasing use of instant wildflower meadows. I see designers trying to recreate this look with a mix of herbaceous perennials and grasses that have a more permanent structure, helped by the increasing use of shrubs in planting borders.”
For more information about the Society of Garden Designers and its members, take a look at the SGD website.
A look at the luxurious island retreat of Hotel Le Toiny, rebuilt including a Solus firepit, on the exclusive island of St Barts.
Rebuilding Hotel Le Toiny and St Barts
Over the last couple of years the hotel much like the residents of St Barts have proven themselves unwavering in their strength and ability to bounce back following the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017. The island of St Barts suffered significant damage and destruction much like the rest of the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Hotel Le Toiny suffered extensive damage but the hotel and interior designer Bee Osborn quickly regrouped and in doing so have created a resort that is even more outstanding than before. Bee Osborn has created a relaxed, light and airy space using soft creams with luxurious textures in the fixtures and fittings. Hotel Le Toiny is a 5-Star tropical paradise overlooking the Caribbean Sea on the hills of St. Barthelemy The Resort is made up of 22 luxury one and two bedroom suites nestled in of a lush palm grove bordered by Toiny beach. The hotel has been designed with as a sanctuary for guests to relax both indoors and outdoors.
Solus Decor Hemi Firepit at Hotel Le Toiny
Solus Decor are thrilled to be part of this stunning resort. They have chosen to incorporate our Hemi fire pits on their beach terrace, providing a wonderful space for guest to enjoy at night. The Hemi provide gently warmth as the sun goes down and a soft light that adds to the ambiance of this unique setting.
The Hemi is available in 3 sizes, 10 different colours, 3 fuel options and a choice of accessories including a choice of metal and wooden table tops. The Hemi is adaptable for the commercial setting whether that’s a restaurant or hotel.
Have you had enough of the cold, grey weather and searching for some winter sun? Take a look at these hotels with the Solus stamp of approval.
Hotel Le Toiny is set on the picturesque island of St Barths, a collection of 15 private villas set in the hills, providing a luxury private escape. With a private infinity pool and sun loungers across the terrace to provide sea views while you enjoy for each private bungalow. Guests can enjoy the spectacular views beside a Solus hemi fire bowl. The only thing to tempt you away from your private bungalow is the top-tier French-Caribbean restaurant, prime surfing beach below and warm shell massage at the Serenity Spa.
Hyatt Regency Waikiki is just steps from the azure blue waters and soft sands of Waikiki Beach, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa offers magnificent personalized services and luxurious amenities including world-class dining, award-winning spa, interactive cultural activities, 24-hour fitness center, swimming pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Looking for all inclusive luxury without the children? Look no further than Warwick Paradise Island An all-inclusive resort hotel in the beautiful setting of the Bahama. All-Inclusive takes any stresses out of your vacation, leaving you to simply enjoy yourself. You can relax on the resort’s private harbour beach or take in some of the best views of Nassau Harbour .
These winter sun locations all feature the Solus Hemi Fire Bowls in a variety of sizes, which have proven to be an excellent addition to commercial outdoor spaces whether that’s a beach resort in the Caribbean or a ski chalet in the Alps. The Hemi is available in three sizes, three fuel options, a choice of ten colours and a variety of accessories making it adaptable and flexible to any commercial or residential space.
Here are our Top 7 tips to guide your specification:
Check it has a CE mark. If it is a gas or LPG unit it must be CE marked. Many clients will source fire pits in America or China and be disappointed to understand that they cannot be installed in the UK unless they have a CE mark ( link )
Check local authority regulations. Wood is a popular option but there are many urban areas and counties that ban wood burners – check out with local authority. Be particular about the questions as it is sometimes vague as to what is allowed. Some allow wood burners but they may need to be DEFRA certified and/or burn only certain fuels. There are various discussions surrounding its poor air quality and considering an outright ban of new real fire installations.
Natural gas will need to hook up to the mains of the house. Distance from the gas connection to the fire pit and the other appliances ( hot tubs, bbq ‘s and pools ) and the demands on the gas pressure will need to be calculated by a gas contractor.
LPG (liquid propane gas) can be run off the bottle or underground tank. Planning for where to “hide” the tank is part of the design process. It can be placed some 5 – 7 meters from the firepit. It need not be directly beside it.
Bio fuel or ethanol requires no plumbing and simple placement of the fire pit is all that is required.
Manual lit with flame supervision device start – is “old style” pilot light that is lit and the pit ignites once the pilot is lit. Great for most homes. It is extremely safe and cannot be accidentally lit. Solus does not use the “sparker” you find on most barbeques or other firepits – they are notorious for failure and frequently break after six months.
Electronic ignition with adjustable flame height and output. This requires an electrical conduit as well as the gas pipe – available in natural gas and LPG. Warranties are extremely important with electronic units and require investigation.
What is the fire pit being placed upon? If the design is considering a wood or “composite” deck then wood is non-starter. If building a fire pit from masonry then substrate is a consideration as many independent burners, although CE marked, are not to be placed on wood, composite or grass surfaces. Heat from the burners or wood pits direct a lot of heat to the bottom and at the ground (which is also an inefficient waste of heat.).
How often will the fire pit be used? Running costs for fuel would have natural gas at the least expensive, LPG next and bio fuel would be the most expensive unit to run. Wood costs comparison????
Will there be other functions required of the fire pit? How often might your client use it? Do you wish it to double up as a coffee table – will it replace the table. Is your client primarily looking for heat, for ambiance or for large social gatherings? The design of the fire pit, along with optional extras, such as a removable table top or a ring to use for drinks when the fire is in use should be a consideration.
Aesthetics and longevity
No doubt “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and what will it look like in six months or six years is important. Does the firepit look attractive when it is off as well as on? The fire pit needs to function as a fire pit but it will likely be off more than on so it ‘s architectural presence and colour is important to compliment the garden design.
Warranties and guarantees
Does the product have warranties and guarantees that last more than a single season? As a designer, your client will live with your design for years and it stands as a testimonial to your work. Make sure durability and longevity factor into the equation. How easy will it be to contact the company for after sales support? Where the company is based and how they manufacturer their products should be considered to ensure the best quality.
For further information take a look why not take a look at the products on our website or get in touch with us.
With Christmas fast approaching we can’t help but think about the ski season and trips to festive ski lodges. We are featuring some of our favourite ski resorts that we are lucky enough to have worked with.
Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Located at the base of Snow King Mountain, just a few blocks from downtown and 20 minutes from the Jackson Hole Airport, Snow King Resort Hotel boasts breathtaking views of the Teton Mountain Range. As Jackson’s largest venue, Snow King Resort Hotel offers offers beautiful accommodations, in addition to extensive conference and event facilities.
The Snow King Resort have incorporated our elevated halo fire pits into their outdoor seating area to providing a warm and inviting space for guest to enjoy after a day on the slopes. The space works well in both winter and summer while guests unwind with a drink.
The elevated halo is available in ten different colour and three different fuel option; natural gas, LPG and bio fuel. The elevated halo is coffee table height making it ideal for entertaining. The elevated halo is ideal in a commercial space like a hotel or restaurant. The space around the fire provides the perfect space to rest a glass or an appetizer plate.
Aava Resort, Whistler
A mere two-minute walk from Whistler Village and a five-minute walk from the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain gondolas, Aava Hotel offers a space of tranquility amidst the adrenaline and adventure that Whistler has to offer. Aava is a place you can enjoy affordable comfort and modern Style while you enjoy your mountain adventures.
The Hemi’s curved design creates a natural focal point in any outdoor space. The Hemi is available in ten colours and three fuel options. The Hemi also has a range of accessories including the hardwood table top and metal drinks ring and table top making it hugely adaptable for your outdoor space.
Caldera House, Jackson Hole
Caldera House is a boutique Hotel in Jackson Hole, which takes inspiration for the golden era of ski hotels with the design and craftsmanship of Mid Century America. The designers took inspiration from the 60s to create the ultimate in luxury ski hotel.
Caldera House have also incorporated the Hemi fire pit to create a place to gather as guests enjoy a glass of wine and enjoy the sensational views in this wonderful location.
If you would like to create your own mountain retreat get in touch with us to find out more about our fire pits.
Outdoor living at its finest in South East London. A collaboration by LXA Architects and Simon Orchard Garden Design in the picturesque area of Blackheath in South East London.
A wonderful example of fantastic London design spearheaded by LXA architects; contemporary design working together with traditional architecture to create a luxurious space for modern living. LXA Architects transformed a building of five flats into one large, prestigious home. Covering more than 8,000 square feet, the property now boasts a swimming pool and numerous other leisure facilities.
With a building this size and specification it was crucial that the outside space reflected the same luxurious feel and Simon Orchard Garden Design did not disappoint.
Simon has created an outdoor oasis that works seamlessly with the architecture of the building. As part of this design he has created wonderful outdoor living spaces from which one can enjoy the design of the building. A part of this design he has incorporated a Solus Decor elevated halo to create a warm and inviting space.
The elevated halo fire pit is perfect for outdoor entertaining. It truly embodies the idea of outdoor living all year round. Like all our fire pits it is available in ten different colours and three different fuel options; bio ethanol, LPG and natural gas making it compatible for all situations and styles.
To find out more about this project by LXA architects and see more details take a look at their website and to see every aspect of this enticing outdoor space take a look at the full project on Simon Orchard’s website
If your feeling inspired and want to create your outdoor retreat take a look at our full range of fire and water features or why not get in touch with us to discuss your outdoor space.
A look at a contemporary garden design in Essex. M King & Sons have created a warm and inviting space using a Solus Decor fire pit as a focal point.
Today we are looking at a fantastic project in Colchester, Essex, which was a complete make over by M King & Sons who have created a fantastic outdoor space that can truly be used all year round.
M King and Sons, who specialise in ground work and construction in the Essex area. They have used their expertise to create a wonderful outdoor retreat for their client. By removing all the existing hard landscaping they have completely transformed the outdoor space. New ground work, hard landscaping, electrics and gas has created a warm and inviting space for their clients.
Working closely with the client they have created a wonderful space for entertaining. They have worked with mixed textures of grass and and stone and added relaxed outdoor seating around an Elevated Halo fire pit to create a welcoming space.
The Elevated Halo fire pit is ideal for this style of space as it offers the warmth of a fire along with the functionality of a table when used in conjunction with outdoor seating. With their clean profiles and soft curves the Halo Elevated fits well into a wide variety of outdoor environments. The elevated halo fire pit works in traditional and contemporary settings. The Elevated Halo is available in two sizes 36″ and 48″ and 10 different colour options. This variety makes it ideal for residential and commercial installations.
Benefits of a fire pit at Terra Italian Grill, part of the growing Eataly chain in North America.
Terra Italian Grill is part of the growing chain of Eataly stores and is one of the three restaurants that form part of Eataly LA. Eataly LA is located on the popular Santa Monica boulevard; a popular location for locals and tourists.
The Terra Italian Grill is located on the third floor of the building with indoor and outdoor spaces. Eataly have capitalized on the outdoor space with our Hemi Fire Bowls, which create a unique focal point and a place for people to gather all year round.
The Hemi with concrete ring firepit for restaurants
Eataly LA have used the hemi with concrete ring firepit which is ideally suited to the commercial environment. The Hemi with concrete ring provides heat all year and a space for glasses and appetizer plates around the fire.
The hemi with concrete ring is available in the 36″ and 48″, three fuel options including natural gas, liquid propane and biofuel and the benefit of ten different colour options. The flexibility of the product make it ideal for installations in commercial spaces.
Why not book a table at Eataly LA to sample their delicious food and enjoy a wonderful evening with the ambiance of a Solus fire pit. Alternatively why not get in touch to find out more about our fire pits and water features.
A look at our fire pit installation at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. What are the advantages of a fire pit in a hotel environment?
The Fairmont Empress Hotel is located in Victoria in British Columbia with spectacular views of the city’s Inner Harbour. The hotel is steeped in history and first opened its doors in 1908. In 2017 the Fairmont Empress completed a dramatic transformation. They restored the building’s historical character and added the luxurious and contemporary details expected in today’s 5 star hotels.
The redevelopment works at the Fairmont Empress have provided the Willow Stream Spa, world class dining and luxurious guest rooms. However the traditions of the hotel remain. The world famous Tea at the Empress is served in the sophisticated Lobby Lounge as it has been since 1908.
As part of the regeneration of the hotel they have installed Solus Decor Elevated Halo fire pits with views across the Inner Harbour. The fire pits add an element of contemporary design with the backdrop of the historic building. The use of the Elevated Halo fire pit in these public seating areas provide both warmth and ambiance and consequently provide additional guest seating areas throughout the year. Today the Fairmont Empress Hotel is recognized as one of Top 21 Iconic Hotels in the World by National Geographic Traveler magazine.
The Elevated Halo fire pit is ideal for this commercial setting as it provides a focal point to any terrace and the coffee table height offers space for drinks and plates for those around the fire. The Elevated Halo is available in two sizes, three fuel options and 10 colours making it easily adaptable for any commercial setting.