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Case Study: Lakeside Hotel and Spa

Lakesside Hotel and Spa

In a recent blog we looked at the benefits of a fire pit in a commercial environment.  Due to the Covid19 crisis this subject gained a lot of traction within the hospitality business. We have decided to delve further into this with a case study of the Lakeside Hotel and Spa.

 

The Lakeside Hotel and Spa overlooks Lake Windermere, a mere stone’s throw from the water’s edge; a 4 star superior hotel in the Lake District World Heritage site. Priding itself on giving a warm welcome and 5 star service to all who pass through their doors, there is no better location from which to explore the southern Lakes.  Lakeside is fortunate to have the only Aveda Destination Spa in the England. Treatment rooms and relaxation areas, alongside a beautiful 17m pool with views out to the lake and beyond, are exclusive to residents and spa day guests. Visitors can also enjoy a newly-enhanced Spa Garden with its unrivaled lakeside position, allowing you to wander from the Spa to the water’s edge. The addition of a stunning fire pit and warming heat domes makes this garden area a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the panoramic views.

Most bedrooms & suites benefit from a stunning lake or garden views to wake up to. Contemporary design meets classic country house in a rich blend of colour and texture that feels stylish, warm and welcoming.

 

 

A Word From The Team At Lakeside Hotel And Spa

“We are delighted to be back open for resident guests, it’s a pleasure to be able to offer a tranquil haven for folks that have had a difficult few months. Although we have had to adapt our operating procedures to comply with guidelines, ‘keeping it simple’ has been our motto. In order to be confident we are operating a safe environment for both our guests and Lakeside team:

–          We have adjusted our opening hours to 5 nights each week for residents only. This allows for weekly deep clean and for bookings of 4 or 5 nights the room will only be used by one guest in any 7 night period.

–          We are only selling 50% of our rooms over the five day period, making social distancing easier and more natural.

–          We have moved all our dining to be by the Lake, making use of our light and airy conservatory, with tables socially distanced and allocated to guests throughout their stay.

We are as ever promoting the fantastic outdoors activities and attractions nearby including great new walks from the hotel and of course our spacious outdoor terrace, observation deck and spa garden complete with fire pit and heat lamps perfect for Autumn nights.

We believe this is best operating practice for guests’ enjoyment and most importantly for safety of the Lakeside team and residents.“

The Lakeside Hotel and Spa incorporated a Solus Decor Hemi fire bowl with drinks ring into their garden in 2019 but the last year has really enabled them to truly see the benefits due to the current regulations in the hospitality industry. The Hemi is available in three sizes , three fuel options and a range of accessories to make it both customizable and adaptable to a variety of commercial outdoor settings.

 

We are thrilled to see the Lakeside Hotel and Spa’s guests enjoying this beautiful outdoor space with the benefit of the heat from the Hemi fire pit and long may that continue through Autumn and Winter.

 

 

 

 

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How to create your outdoor living space this winter

solus hemi fire pit

The last year has made us all acutely aware of the importance of outdoor space in both commercial and residential spaces. As we approach the winter months we need to create real outdoor spaces with heating and protection from wind and rain.

 

We’ve put together a  guide on how you can create the perfect outdoor living spaces to get you through the winter months.  We’ve taken inspiration from our outdoor living space created for Chelsea Flower show in 2019.   Whilst we were lucky with the weather last year, this is not guaranteed so any design needs to allow for protection from the rain. We’ve put together a shopping list for you to create this space at home this winter.

The Quick Fix

A combination of high street finds with quick delivery combined with the our sustainable and durable fire pits.

outdoor living spae

 

  1. outdoor shelter, Jackson Fencing £1207.80  
  2. Artificial single boxwood tree, Blooming Artificial  £92
  3. Square concrete planter, Getspotted.com £30.99

 

  1. Patterned cushion cover, H&M £6.99 
  2. Murphy Bench, Wayfair £191.99
  3. Green linen cushion cover, H&M £8.99

 

  1. 36″ Hemi fire pit with LPG fuel, £4,074 inclusive of VAT
  2. Fire Table with LPG Fuel, £5,034 inclusive of VAT
  3. 36″ Water Dome, £3,354 inclusive of VAT

 

The Big Investment

This is a luxury space at Cedar Nursery that has dining and relaxing all in one space with the all important protection from wind and rain. This space includes investment pieces for outdoor living for the future, a bigger price tag with longer lead times but made to last just like our fire and water features.

 

solus hemi fire pit

 

  1. Edge stackable dining chair, Cane Line £460
  2. Bio Sun Terrace and Patio Cover, Cedar Nursery from £7,325
  3. Drop Dining Table, Cane Line £2,750

 

  1. Flex Modular Sofa, Cane Line from £2,325
  2. 36″ Hemi fire Pit with LPG fuel £4,074 inclusive of VAT
  3. 90 cm Fiberglass pot, Primrose £171.99

 

Get in touch with us to create your own outdoor living space this winter

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Making the most of your commercial outdoor space

hemi fire pit

There has never been a greater need to make the most of outdoor space than now! We look at how some of our commercial clients have made the most of their outdoor space and how this has enhanced their business.

 

Solus provides quality commercial grade fire pits for hotels, restaurants, resorts and other commercial locations. Our fire pits have the best warranty in the business and outstanding in-house customer service. We ship in museum quality containers almost anywhere in the world. We have CAD drawings for all of our designs and regularly assist architects, designers and developers in specifying a Solus fire pit for commercial projects.

 

We are proud to be part of wide range of hospitality businesses from cafes, restaurants, hotels, bars and event spaces; all of which have been able to increase business as a result of being able to use outdoor space all year round. As the Covid 19 crisis continues, the hospitality industry has been forced to adapt to new ways of working to ensure they can continue to serve their customers and keep their doors open. Outdoor spaces have been adapted to create a safe space for customers to enjoy meeting with friends and family.

We look at some of of our hospitality clients and how a fire pit has enhanced their outdoor spaces.

Hotels

We’re incredibly proud to be featured in a number of hotels in the luxury Fairmont Hotel collection. Our fire pits have been used in both contemporary and traditional settings within the hotel brand and look stunning within the setting and allow these outdoor spaces to be used throughout the year.

Bars and Restaurants

Our fire pits create a natural space to gather with the added benefit of a space to rest a drink. The Streeterville Social has used a number of our fire tables within their large outdoor space.  The Altabira Tavern at Hotel Eastlund has the Hemi fire pit with the glass protection for extra piece of mind and particularly helpful addition for roof terraces that are more exposed to high winds. Lastly we have the Eataly restaurant in LA with the welcoming Hemi fire pit with drinks ring; offering space for drinks and appetizer plates, ideal for bars.

Commercial outdoor space in Cafes

One of our most recent installs is at Armistice Coffee is Seattle, a much welcome addition for their customers who can enjoy their coffee outdoors even on a cooler day and taking you from day to night.

hemi fire pit
Hemi fire pit at Armistice Coffee in Seattle

 

If you are looking to make your outdoor space work for your business this Autumn and winter get in touch with us to find our more about our products.

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In Conversation with Theron Horton Design

solus hemi fire pit

You will have seen fantastic photos of Theron Horton’s design work on our Instagram feed and no doubt dreamed of transforming your own garden into a fantasy space for outdoor entertaining.  We have taken a moment with Theron to discuss his inspiration, design process and how he has been dealing with these unprecedented times.

 

The love of the garden and design started from an early age with Theron. He took it upon himself to help out in the garden, mowing the lawn, raking the leaves and even pruning the roses seemingly with an inbuilt knowledge of what to do. Not content with the practical side of gardening he took his creative flair inside the family house; rearranging and organising the furniture whenever his Dad undertook any redecoration project to enhance the space.  It was clear from an early age that Theron had an innate talent for design and his love of the outdoors led him to creating beautiful outdoor spaces.

After attending UBC Continuing studies programme in Residential Garden Design in 2013 he has seen his design practice go from strength to strength.

The Design Process

The design process is customer -centric. I focus on the client to learn what the well-appointed and arranged Outdoor Living Space looks like for them.  It is essentially a process of guided self-discovery. I help the clients identify what they do not like first.  As part of that process, some desirable elements are identified and those preferences guide our navigation toward more choices for preferences related to the selection of exactly the right elements that comprise the uniquely customized and well-integrated Outdoor Living Space; low-profile glass door and wall systems, pergolas with automated, retractable louvre systems, outdoor kitchen space, pools, spas, sound systems, other recreational and practical components and materials selections for finishing all of those. All of which, of course, relates to the budget.  Everyone has one.  Some are bigger than others but communicating early and often budget implications related to preferred materials selections is vital to a successful Design and Project.

The Gibbons Project

You will no doubt have seen this sensational project on our Instagram feed with the fantastic outdoor spaces that works for every event, dining, relaxed outdoor seating and even a spa area! The family had an irregularly shaped space and felt that it was not being used to its full potential and most importantly it needed to work for the whole family. Theron Horton Design worked with the family to understand key priorities for their project and came up with a list to work with.

In the end my directives were to provide a plan, making best use of space, that would allow for a covered but open air spa with surrounding deck, an open flex space that might be used for lounging on one or two chaise longues or whatever else, a fireplace gathering space with chairs but also some flexibility for additional seating in the circle, a covered but open air dining space for a large table that could be expanded to be even larger and a covered but open air outdoor kitchen with BBQ, large beverage chiller, in-cabinet storage and a comfortable seating/bar area for guest to gather near the person grilling without getting in the way.”

Theron Horton Design provides fantastic visuals to help guide clients through the design process and help them visualise the space, which can so often be the hard part for clients at the start of the design process.

 

We love this space and the materials used, which complement our Hemi fire pit perfectly.

 

Dealing with Covid19

As with every business the impact of Covid 19 has been stressful and worrying at times, however Theron has managed to navigate through this. The nature of the work means that social distancing can be done, and works can continue with relatively little disruption.  Now more than ever our gardens have become a sanctuary and one of the places we can still enjoy seeing family and friends.   They truly need to be an extension of the home and work on many levels and this is something that Theron Horton achieves with his designs. Theron is currently working on a roof terrace design and a hugely exiting development is the opening of his showroom, a great development for the design practice. We can’t wait to see these next projects come to life!

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Outdoor oasis in Denver

hemi fire pit patio

This week we are featuring design studio Atelier Interior Design who created this outdoor oasis for their clients; a sanctuary in the city.

Atelier Interior Design

Atelier is a full service, award-winning interior design firm. Their designs are centered around vibrant color and pattern complimented with textural and sculptural details.  Their style can be described as eclectic taking inspiration from travel and cultural influences that inspire their work.

This outdoor area embodies the eclectic and global inspiration, which is exactly what the client wanted.  The client had moved from a large Victorian style property to this contemporary four story property.  The move was a chance for them to go for a complete style overhaul.  The client had a very eclectic style but wanted to combine this with a more contemporary look in keeping with the style of the property.  Atelier Interior Design was the ideal choice to help them with this style transition.

 

Outdoor Oasis

Atelier Interior Design described how the patio was a fun part of the overall project because the clients really wanted to make it their own oasis in the city with plants and vibrant natural colors like blue and green. They loved the clean style of the Solus Hemi fire bowl.  They customised the look of the Hemi fire bowl by purchasing extra bags of the fire stones to cover up the lava to give it a more natural look.

 

hemi fire pit patio
Patio Solus Decor Hemi fire pit

 

We have a great range of accessories to help customise your fire pit including the fire stones used by Atelier through to table tops and drinks rings to make your fire pit multi functional.

 

 

Are you looking to create your own outdoor oasis? Why not get in touch to see how we can help with a fire or water feature to give that wow factor and create a space you can use all year round.

 

 

 

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Feature Project: Creekside, Washington

This week we are featuring the stunning Creekside development. A treat for the senses both inside and out with interior design by NB Design Group and landscape architecture by Land Morphology.

 

NB Design Group is a full-service interior design firm specializing in exclusive residences, condos and commercial spaces. Located in the heart of downtown Seattle and they worked with Land Morphology to create this luxury property for the ultimate in luxury living.  NB Design group have used a neutral palette in the interiors of the Creekside development combined with high end finishes which mix perfectly with the foliage that surrounds this property.

The beautiful master suite is a calming space complete with it’s own private terrace with a Hemi fire bowl.  A quiet place to escape at the end of the day or with a morning coffee.

There is a fantastic collection of entertaining spaces both inside and out. You can make the most of the beautiful spaces with family and friends.

Land Morphology have created a luxurious outdoor space that surrounds the Creekside property; linking the interior design style seamlessly with the outdoor space.  We love the variety of outdoor entertaining spaces.  From the breakaway seating for a quiet one on one, right through to the combined lounging and dining space for a full scale party.  Land Morphology are a landscape architecture firm with an emphasis on detailing, artful design features, sophisticated horticulture and sustainability all forming part of their design ethos. It is clear to see these elements in the Creekside project. On this project they worked closely with NB Design Group who supplied the outdoor furniture to ensure the perfect transition between indoor and outdoor living.

If you’re feeling inspired by this project why not get in touch to see how you can create your very own luxury outdoor space with a fire pit.  Make your outdoor space every but as important as the interior!

 

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Virtual Chelsea Flower Show 2020

Solus Decor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

This year RHS Chelsea Flower Show goes virtual as the rest of the world has in light of the current health crisis.  We’re taking the opportunity to reflect on our last four years of exhibiting at Chelsea Flower Show and looking back at some of our favourite show gardens.

 

2016

2016 marked our debut at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show and we embarked on a collaboration with award winning designer; Jack Dunkley who designed a fantastic garden featuring a selection of our our fire and water products.  A selection of palms, lavender and ferns set against a white backdrop giving a mediterranean feel to the space enhanced by the sunshine that we were blessed with during the week.

 

 

Speaking to Brad Carpenter, CEO of Solus about the highlights of 2016, he recalls the fantastic field of poppies; a breathtaking display of thousands of handmade poppies adorned the vista from the showground to the Royal Hospital. This combined with the sheer scale of the flower show and the work undertaken by those building the show gardens was inspiring.

 

2017

Solus make their second appearance at Chelsea Flower Show. An independent trade stand, working with outdoor living brands that compliment the Solus Decor brand and ethos. We worked with Greenmatters UK to create this fantastic green wall as the backdrop to our scupper waterfall, which was a huge talking point and many clients asking about how they could create the same design at home. We added this with an engineered decking from Silvadec, which provided a great anti slip flooring for our stand. All of this was built and installed by the fantastic TKE Landscaping.

 

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

 

We took great inspiration from the best fresh garden winner; Kate Gould with this urban inspired garden. Showing how you can incorporate green spaces within the city and allow you to make the most of the outdoors.

2018

A more contemporary look from Solus this year with striking dark panels from Screen with Envy, the launch of our metal table top and drinks ring, celebrity visits to the stand and beautiful sunshine throughout the week and the start of a sensational summer.

 

Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Looking at the show garden highlights from 2018, our team couldn’t help but celebrate the gold award winning feat of the Yorkshire garden featured in 2018.  The end result was incredible but having seen the build from start to finish, Brad recalls this – “It was herculean and I went by a number of times and marvelled, there were guys standing up to their knees in muck, digging away – it was incredible. ”

2019

2019 marked the debut of our first combined fire and water feature at Chelsea Flower Show; The Pacific Rim and what a highlight it was for all of us. The Pacific Rim was a huge hit! We were blessed with beautiful weather and we met fantastic people throughout the week.

Chelsea Flower Show 2019

 

We asked Lisa from Solus Decor what her highlights were having been part of the show experience since 2017.  Lisa described the  D Day 75 garden, by John Everiss as a stand out. It delivered on all levels and was extremely emotive.

Another favourite of Lisa’s was The Silent Pool Garden. Lisa says ” I love the planting, water element, copper swing chair plus the gin!”

We’ll miss seeing you on the stand but we’re excited to share in virtual Chelsea Flower Show 2020. We’d love to hear from you if your feeling inspired and looking to make the most of your outdoor space.

 

 

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How to make a family garden

Family Garden moodboard

Looking for ideas to brighten up the garden and make it a space for the whole family to enjoy. Take a look at look below to help you spruce up the garden so you can all enjoy the extra space as a family.

Top Tips to create a Family Garden

  • Bold splashes of colour to brighten up the garden and make the greenery pop, that will bring a smile to your face even on the gloomy days. Why not paint the shed, upcycle some furniture or paint the front door?
  • A teepee for the kids, a spot to read a book, offer a bit of shade or a place for you to hide !
  • Why not try your hand at growing some veg
  • Kinetic sand, there’s no mess it’s easy to mould and guaranteed to entertain the little ones and it’s a great stress buster for adults too!
  • Comfy seating to curl up in and a Solus Decor fire pit to keep you warm on a chilly day and as the sun sets at the end of the day.

Shop The Look

 

  1. Kinetic Sand, Argos  2. Play Tent, Hema  3. Veg Trug, VegTrug
  1. Carbon Copy Paint, Benjamin Moore  2. Belrue garden chair, Wayfair  3. Yellow Marigold Paint, Benjamin Moore

 

Hemi Fire Pit Cinder
Solus Hemi Fire Bowl in Cinder

 

If you’re feeling inspired and would like help to update your garden, get in touch with us to find out more about our fire pits and water features and make the most of your outdoor space this summer.

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Cool Contemporary Outdoor Living for the Family

Caneline furniture board

We want to help you make the most of your home and outdoor space at this time with this cool, contemporary space for the the whole family.

 

We’re all spending more time at home together as a family and now more than ever we want to help make your home a haven for the whole family.  We’re putting together simple DIY Ideas to revamp your outdoor living space with all items available with delivery direct to your door.  Whether you have a balcony, a small courtyard or a large back garden we know how important this outdoor space will become over the coming weeks and how it needs to work for you all as a family both day and night.

Here’s a cool contemporary idea for a family garden for those looking for that sleek modern style that still works with family life.

 

Caneline furniture board

Make Your Home A Haven

 

  • Comfortable seating to enjoy the garden with the family
  • Outdoor fire pit with Bio Ethanol fuel requiring no installation to keep you warm as the sun starts to set or on a chilly day
  • Side Table for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine!
  • Kinetic Sand, unlike ordinary sand means no mess, easy to mould and doesn’t dry out!
  • Moulds and a bucket and spade in this lovely scandi design
  • Stylish storage and a place to build those sandcastles

Shop The Look

    1. Mega Lounge Sofa by Cane Line – Cedar Nursery , 2. Elevated Halo Fire Pit in Cinder  – Solus Decor, 3. Area Side Table by Cane Line – Cedar Nursery 
  1. Dante Beach Set – Scandiborn , 2. Kinetic Sand – Amazon , 3. Conic Box Table by Cane Line – Cedar Nursery 

 

If you’re feeling inspired and want to plan your garden get in touch with us or  Cedar Nursery for your outdoor furniture to help you make you home a haven at this time.

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Make your garden a tropical oasis for the whole family to enjoy

Make your garden a tropical oasis

How to make the most of your home and create a tropical oasis for the whole family to enjoy.

 

We’re all spending more time at home together as a family and now more than ever we want to help make your home a haven for the whole family.  We’ve put together simple DIY Ideas to revamp your outdoor living space with all items available with delivery direct to your door.  Whether you have a balcony, a small courtyard or a large back garden we know how important this outdoor space will become over the coming weeks and how it needs to work for you all as a family both day and night.

 

jungle garden design

 

Make Your Home a Haven

  • A jungle play area for the kids with the palm leaf outdoor rug with jungle play set
  • Why not try your hand at growing your own herbs
  • Take a seat and relax around the the fire pit with a glass of wine at the end of the day

Shop The Look

 

 

  1. Julianna Palm Leaf cream/green rug- Wayfair  2. Gladom side table – Ikea  3. Jambi Natural woven chair – Habitat
  1. Jungle Animal Set – Hema  2. Oddrun dark green throw – Ikea  3. VegTrug Medium Wall Hugger Raised Planter – Robert Dyas

 

Solus hemi gas fire pit

Compliment this look with our Hemi fire bowl with Bio Ethanol fuel, which allows you the ultimate in flexibility with no installation required.  The best option for a DIY garden makeover and allow to to use your outdoor space even on a chilly day.  Get in touch with us to now to help you make your very own tropical oasis in the garden.

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Sustainability with Solus

Pacific Rim

A look at the growth for sustainability in garden design and garden products and how Solus Decor are working to ensure that this a clear focus in their products and business.

 

You couldn’t escape the desire for sustainability and more eco conscious gardens in the Society of Garden Designer style predictions for 2020; recycling and repurposing items,  planting for wildlife, edible flowers and romantic vegetable plots all featured in the 2020 design trends.  This comes as no surprise as climate change and sustainability is now part of every day discussion and we are all approaching lifestyle and design with a greater emphasis on the need for sustainability in all aspects of our lives.

We have been steadily improving our sustainability in both our products and the company as a whole as we recognise how important this is as an international business and this starts at the very core of the business and the products we create.  We believe that sustainability and durability go hand in hand so we create products designed to last a lifetime to counteract the throwaway culture that has become an increasing problem in today’s society.

We recognise that in the world of building products there is no such thing as a totally “sustainable” material. Rather, we can use materials in ways that provide for the best opportunity for sustainable use. We design our concrete and our products with this goal in mind.

Sustainability at Solus:

Recycling

  • Wood is recycled into wood pellets for high-efficiency stoves
  • Containers are recycled into various consumer products
  • Paper and cardboard are recycled
  • Rejected concrete is crushed and used as aggregate and fill
  • Wash water is filtered,  treated and then reused

Power

Our manufacturing is largely human powered. Concrete is cured at ambient temperatures with no superheating required

Indoor Air Quality

When cured, our concrete off-gases nothing more than trace amounts of water

Local Materials

We utilize largely locally sourced and manufactured materials.

Embodied Energy

When initial and recurring embodied energy are considered together, (i.e. the overall energy to produce and maintain our products) our concrete performs better than most other materials in comparable use according to Canadian Architect.

Office Materials

Wherever possible we use recycled, reusable and refillable office products.

 

Solus worker smooths fire pit

Sustainable Solus Products

Water Features: Traditionally any water feature is another way of wasting water as they require a constant water supply.  However the Scupper, Water Dome and new Pacific Rim is the exception to this, all our water products are self circulating  and simply require a power supply to allow the small amount of water to circulate and provide the tranquil sound of flowing water.

 

Fire Pits: We offer a variety of fuels for our concrete fire pits; natural gas, LPG and bio fuel. Our gas fire pits provide a more energy efficient alternative to a wood fire pit.  They provide a clean flame, that is quick to light, efficient and designed to last as gas burns more cleanly and produces fewer emissions into the atmosphere. The use of gas also eliminates the release of fine particles caused by wood smoke that can cause respiratory issues and prolonged exposure can cause long term health issues. For those looking to avoid gas completely we also offer a bio fuel option eliminating the need for any gas supply but still providing the same warmth and ambiance provided by the gas fire pits with the ultimate in flexibility within your outdoor space.

As we continue to design and produce our signature concrete products, sustainability and durability remains at the forefront of the process and we continue to evolve our processes throughout all aspects of the business.  Get in touch with us to find out more about our products and approach to sustainability.

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In conversation with: Patricia Fox from Aralia

Patricia Fox, Aralia

Meet Patricia Fox, the founder and managing director of Aralia; a top class, award-winning landscape design practice. We sit down to discuss the ethos of the design studio, upcoming projects and discuss trends for 2020.

 

About Aralia

The Aralia design practise take on a wide range of projects of all scales; a large country estates, contemporary roof terraces and outdoor entertaining spaces for both commercial and residential clients. Their aim is to embrace the clients dreams and create high quality, innovative and inviting outdoor spaces that are designer for modern living and stand the test of time.

With a team of experience designers and landscaped architects Aralia can guide you through the whole process from design to construction and tailor their services to provide a bespoke service for every client.

 

Projects in 2020

2020 looks to be an exciting year for Patrica and her team at Aralia. They will be working on their first international project in Pakistan; a luxury development of over 300 Acres. Patricia and the team are hugely excited about this opportunity to take the brand overseas but the rest of the details remain top secret at this stage on this exclusive development.  Meanwhile in the UK they continue to delight clients with their inspiring designs for both contemporary and traditional settings. The building work will commence on a large private estate in Hertfordshire this Spring where we can expect to see a lake, outdoor kitchen and dining space combined with water features and contemporary planting.  There is also a mix of old and new within the other projects for Aralia in 2020;  restoration of a Walled Garden, including new grand water feature leading into existing pond to add the wow factor , a contemporary garden set against the backdrop of a castle on the south coast and a large garden for a listed property which requires both renovation and designing of new contemporary spaces.  An impressive mix projects working with a variety of materials and a famous rock star client in the mix.

roof terrace design
Copyright St George PLC

Trends for 2020

Patricia believes we will continue to see a move towards the inclusion of more contemporary planting, perhaps with a looser style, and with consideration for sustainability and bio-diversity.  Clients will no doubt continue to desire entertaining features such as Outdoor Kitchens & Outdoor Lounges, which has played a significant part Aralia garden designs in recent projects.  Patricia and the team will look to encourage a softer approach, to offset these outdoor living areas with the inclusion of beautiful planting spaces.  Patricia say “lighting we feel will continue to grow at quite a pace, it really delivers and provides clients with not just one, but many ‘garden looks’ that also have merit all year round, even when a client may arrive home well after dusk has fallen.

If you would like to find our more about Aralia and how they can help with your garden project don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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The Top 10 Garden Styles for 2020

Belgian Garden Design

The Top 10 garden styles for 2020 to kick start the New Year. Fresh design, styles and ideas for the garden in 2020.

What garden styles can we expect to see in 2020 according to The Society of Garden Designers?

 

 1: Belgian Design

Mia Witham Garden Design

Mia Witham

Belgian design style, often described as luxurious simplicity, is expected to come to the fore in 2020. Mia Witham of Mia Witham Garden Design says: ‘I am seeing some great garden products coming out of Belgium, which are typically high-end and have great form. I particularly love the beautiful clay pots by Atelier Vierkant, the woven fibre fencing and screens produced by Forest Avenue and the striking garden lights by Wever & Ducre. I’ll be using a lot more of them in 2020.’

2. Less is more

Garden by James Smith - Bowles & Wyer

Garden by James Smith – Bowles & Wyer

James Smith MSGD, Design Director at Bowles & Wyer, thinks the philosophy of ‘less is more’ will become more prominent, saying: ‘I really want to focus on creating more pared back design schemes, but with high attention to detail and finishing.’

Tracy McQue MSGD of Tracy McQue Gardens shares this philosophy, saying: ‘I’m looking forward to planting multiple grasses and a simple palette of perennials to make the lightest of design touches to a very rural project I am working on in Scotland. It’s important that my design ties in with the extended and wild landscape.’

3. Edible Forests & Romantic Veg Plots

Eva Nemeth; garden by Libby Russell

Image credit: Eva Nemeth; garden by Libby Russell

With more people using foraged food for cooking, Mia Witham thinks that edible forests could become the new vegetable garden. She says: ‘I’m currently designing an edible forest for a chef in Suffolk. It is carefully designed, semi-wild ecosystem of plants organised in layers with trees making up the canopy layer, shrubs providing a middle layer and perennial plants covering the ground. It’s an exciting concept and unlike a traditional vegetable plot where annual plants are mainly grown, edible forests require minimum input for maximum output.’

Libby Russell MSGD of Mazzullo + Russell agrees, saying: ‘Productive gardens are still very much on trend’. Libby, with her design partner Emma Mazzullo MSGD, mixes fruit and vegetables together with cut flowers to give a romantic flavour to their productive gardens. ‘As long as there is a very clear underlying design in the garden you can overlay so many layers, provided they create beauty and romance’ says Libby, who sees romantic gardens having a revival in 2020.

4. Re-purpose & Recycle Mark Laurence garden design

Garden by Mark Laurence

Tracy McQue thinks there will more of a spotlight on repurposing of existing materials and recycling garden materials where possible. Mark Laurence MSGD whose consultancy creates adaptive landscape for a changing world, echoes this saying ‘repurposed items give a garden an individual look’, like this heating coil repurposed into a water feature.

5. Planting for Wildlife

Tracy McQue garden

Tracy McQue /Paul Johnston

Creating sustainable, wildlife-friendly and beautiful spaces needs to be at the forefront of everything we do no matter what size or location of the gardens we are designing, says Tracy McQue. She believes that the materials and plants we include, where we source them from and how we re-use elements already in the garden are becoming more vital considerations.

Jane Brockbank MSGD of Jane Brockbank Gardens shares this ideal, saying: ‘People are much more interested in making gardens that are good for wildlife. Awareness of the climate crisis and the loss of bio-diversity has grown enormously, even over the last year, and we are all taking our gardens far more seriously in regards to the important part they can play.’

Libby Russell of Mazzullo + Russell echoes this, saying: ‘Our planting is evolving to use many more ‘wild’ plants that are great for bees, birds, pollinators and invertebrates but without losing glamour or impact. Single roses, species plants, seed heads and grasses are all valuable.’

Tracy McQue garden design

Tracy McQue

Mandy Buckland MSGD of Greencube says she is incorporating ‘meadow areas, native hedging, gaps in fences for hedgehog movement and of course nectar rich planting’. While Tracy McQue advises that water features are integral to the wildlife-friendly spaces, and ideas such as bee-friendly boundary hedges are simple to incorporate into any garden.

Continuing this theme, Jane Brockbank says: ‘We are very interested in using shrubs in a more naturalistic way and we will be looking at how shrub communities work in the wild and take those principles to make them work in more designed settings, much like the ‘new perennial movement’ but for shrubs!’

6. The Patterned Garden

Jane Brockbank garden design

Jane Brockbank

Pattern and texture will be creeping back into our gardens in 2020. ‘Cold minimalism is beginning to look pretty tired now,’ says Jane Brockbank ‘and it also begs the question – “how does this contribute to the wildlife locally and in the garden?”‘ Jane brings pattern and texture into her designs by creating faceted planting zones and by blurring the line between the hard landscaped and soft planting areas in the garden, using gravel planting to create the transition between the two.

Greencube Landscapes

Mandy Buckland

Mandy Buckland of Greencube Landscapes thinks the trend for creating an outdoor room will live on and we will move away from regular formatted paving. She says: ‘There are lots of outdoor ceramic tiles on the market now. We are installing them as garden ‘rugs’ or design features within landscaped areas to create pattern, contrast and textural changes. It is much the same decorating a dining and living room in the house.’

7. Curvilinear Forms

Mark Laurence Garden Design

Mark Laurence

After almost a decade of symmetrically ordered urban gardens, Mark Laurence thinks we’ll see ‘a turning away from the linear, contemporary town garden to something wilder and more curvilinear.’ Mark says: “Curvilinear forms appear more natural in a garden environment and they connect us back to the flow of natural forms in the landscape.” It’s a distinctive move aways from the style of crisp, linear raised beds set against horizontal timber trellis that we have become so familiar with.

Following a similar path, James Smith of Bowles & Wyer has been experimenting with sculptural wall claddings in wood, metals and stone in organic, naturalistic patterns. He says: “I think wall claddings will gain momentum in 2020. They are perfect for maximising vertical surfaces in tight city gardens.”

8. Render Revival

Mark Laurence garden design

Mark Laurence

‘Look out for Monocouche renders in 2020,’ says Mark Laurence. These renders are a rare application in garden design, having been used predominantly by the housebuilding industry. Mark says: ‘Monocouche renders are low maintenance, weather resistant and hard wearing plus they have great texture  but they need professional application. A different look can be achieved with conventional render using mineral pigments (which are applied whilst the render is still green) and layered on in colour washes and absorbed into the surface, keeping the render breathable. I think the red or yellow ochres tones work very well in a garden setting.’

9. Outdoor Play

Greencube Landcapes

Mandy Buckland

‘Young families want to encourage their children to get outdoors, prizing them away from laptops, tablets and TV’s,’ say Mandy Buckland of Greencube. ‘We have been asked to integrate outdoor play in many of our gardens in recent months and have been incorporating blackboards, sand pits, hammocks, balance beams, climbing frames and even mini wildlife ponds. We design them so that they are integral to the garden layout, repeating the material and use or colour.’

James Smith of Bowles & Wyer agrees, adding: ‘Gardens will increasingly become important for families, to connect at social gatherings and for mental health – a welcome antidote to technology and screens.’

10. Ways with Wood

Greencube landscapes

Mandy Buckland

‘It’s not a new material but I think there will be a focus back on using timber next year,’ says Tracy McQue. ‘In the past it has been viewed as a material to use at ground level or for basic fences, but there are many elements in the garden that clever design can incorporate timber into. We use a local Scottish wood supplier when we can and I love the possibilities it gives us when we’re creating a new garden.’

Mandy Buckland of Greencube agrees, adding: ‘There appears to be a continuing rise in popularity of charred timber for decking and the use of Shou Sugi Ban – the ancient Japanese wood burning technique.’

Are you feeling inspired and looking to be in style for 2020? Now’s the time to start thinking about your garden for the summer, get in touch with us to see how we can help with your garden style this summer.

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Relaxation with Water

solus water dome in spa

Studies have shown that being near water and the sound of water can positively impact on your overall happiness, mental health, productivity and self-awareness. Given this it’s no surprise that spas and retreats are using our water features to help guests to relax and unwind as soon as they arrive.

The new Anda Spa at Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis have created the ultimate space for relaxation with their newly renovated spa with the introduction of the relaxing sound of water at the reception. The Hotel Ivy have incorporated our Water Dome water feature at the reception desk of the spa. The Water Dome is a self circulating water feature and simply requires an electrical point making it ideal for a commercial setting.

solus water dome in spa
Hotel Ivy Minneapolis, a Luxury Collection property, with the newly renovated luxury Anda Spa.

 

The philosophy of the Anda Spa is rooted in balance and for all of us living the faced paced life of today we all need to seek out balance. Taking time out at of your busy schedule for a chance to relax and unwind at a spa can help you find the crucial  balance in your life. At the Anda Spa they focus on a deeper sense of well-being, allowing you to reconnect your body, mind and spirit. Personalised spa treatments and rituals are inspired by a sense of vitality which offers you a calmer, more balanced, perspective on life.

Relaxation with Water

These water bowls feature polished metal domes that appear to float inside concrete vessels. Water flows up through the center of each dome to run over the reflective surface of the hand-spun metal and then drop off the edges into the surrounding water creating sound. Like our concrete pieces, each metal dome is handmade and unique. The Water Dome is available in a choice of three sizes, ten different colours and a choice of stainless steel or brass for the dome.

water Dome
Water Dome in Cinder

 

If you would like an add an element of relaxation with water to your commercial or residential space get in touch with us to find out more about our range of water features.

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Winter Sun Inspiration

Solus firepit shown lit outside at monarch beach california

Looking for some Winter Sun Inspiration? The Solus Decor team have been taking some inspiration from our installations around the world.

The days are shorter and the winter coats are out, winter is on the horizon if not already here and it has us dreaming of some winter sun.  Looking at the travel experts advice we have fire pits installed in some of the best winter sun destinations around the world. Here’s a few few winter sun recommendations if you are looking for some inspiration.

California

Solus firepit shown lit outside at monarch beach california

Looking to keep a hold on to warmer days but still enjoy a gentle breeze? Look no further than California, ideal for those looking for a more gentle climate and you won’t get bored with so many things to see and do.  This a shot of our Elevated Halo fire pit at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica with fantastic view of the famous Santa Monica Pier. More than 7 million visitors a year come to Santa Monica as one of the most famous beach cities, noted as one of National Geographic’s top ten and its close proximity to other Los Angeles attractions. Santa Monica Beach offers on average more than 300 days of sunshine a year and has some of the best sunsets on the West Coast.

Hawaii

A wonderful haven with a fantastic climate for those in search of winter sun. You can hop around the islands to see the vast  flora and fauna and learn about the rich culture and history of the islands.

This is an installation at a residential property for a Canadian client, who built their dream vacation home in Maui, Hawaii so they could make the most of the winter sun every year.  They have framed the house beautifully using our halo low fire pits. A wonderful oasis of calm to enjoy the winter months.

Three Solus halo low fire features near modern home and swimming pool in hawaii
Private Residence with Halo Low fire pits in Maui, Hawaii

 

For those looking for a little more excitement and entertainment with their winter sun then the famous Waikiki Beach is what you need. Waikiki beach is on the island of Oahu and is Oahu’s main hotel and resort area and a vibrant gathering place for visitors from around the world. Along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue you will find world class shopping, dining, entertainment, activities and resorts.

With so much in the surrounding area the Hyatt Regency Hotel Waikiki is the perfect beach place to base yourself to enjoy all that Honolulu and the rest of Oahu has to offer. After a day of exploring, the hotel has created the perfect spot to sit back, relax and enjoy the views with a a drink around the fire in the evening. The hotel have used the Hemi fire pits as part of the outdoor area in the Regency club area.

Bahamas

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 Bahamas.  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.

 

St Barths

The definition of beach side luxury, Hotel Le Toiny is a five star luxury resort on the exclusive island of St Barths.

Solus Decor fire pit at Hotel Le Toiny
Solus Decor Hemi Fire Pit at Hotel Le Toiny

 

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 as a sanctuary for guests to relax both indoors and outdoors.

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

 

 

Get in touch with us to find out more about our fire pits at these winter sun destinations.

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Solus Decor UK at The Independent Hotel Show

solus decor gas fire pit

Last week Solus Decor exhibited at The Independent Hotel Show in London and had the opportunity to discuss all things hotels with hoteliers from around the country and further afield.

 

Our fire and water features are used around the world by hotels in a variety of locations; a Caribbean luxury beach resort, a boutique ski Lodge in the mountains of Wyoming, a hip roof top bar in Portland Oregon through to a luxury resort in the champagne region of France. These hotels are all completely different in style and setting but there is one common thread that runs through them all hotels. All these hotels and any hotel around the world is looking to make the most of all their space, particularly outdoor space to ensure they have a profitable business throughout the year.

Hotels, restaurants and bars all want to make the most of their outdoor space and run at full capacity all year, however for many the garden or rooftop becomes a forgotten area when the summer is over. With our fire pits this is no longer the case, when the weather starts to cool at the end of the summer these outdoor areas or outdoor venues continue to be a warm and inviting space for guests to enjoy a cocktail or maybe mulled wine as we approach the festive season!

Altabira City Tavern at Hotel Eastlund, Portland with the Hemi fire bowlv
Altabira City Tavern at Hotel Eastlund, Portland with the Hemi fire bowl

Top questions from hoteliers at The Independent Hotel Show

What is the durability and longevity of a fire pit or water feature?

All Solus products are made from high performance concrete and are designed to withstand both extreme cold and heat that is not unusual for the Canadian climate where all our products are designed and made in our workshop in Vancouver. We have the best warranties in the business! We have been working with commercial designers for 20 years and know how important this is for any commercial project and our burners have a 25 year warranty. Click here for full details

Flexibility?

Our range of fire and water products are flexible and easy to use. Our water features are self circulating, requiring no water supply, simply plug and play! Our fire pits come with three different fuel options; bio ethanol, LPG gas and natural with the option of manual or electronic ignition. In addition to this unlike many gas fire pits our burners are designed so they can sit on any outdoor surface; grass, decking or stone, making them compatible with any style of outdoor space.

Health and Safety

Naturally in a commercial space the question of health and safety is a question. As with any gas appliance this should be installed by a registered gas engineer if you opt for the LPG or natural gas fuel option. Unlike wood burning fire pits a gas fire pit can be controlled and there is no danger of hot ash or uncontrolled smoke harming guests. We also have the option of a glass screen to surround the flame as an additional safeguard as shown here at The Hotel Eastlund in Portland.

Altabira City Tavern, Hotel Eastlund, roof terrace with Hemi Fire Bowl

Altabira City Tavern, Hotel Eastlund, roof terrace with Hemi Fire Bowl

Get in touch with us to find out how you can enhance the outdoor space at your hotel or commercial space this winter!

 

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The House That Black Built Collaboration

Solus Decor Elevated Halo Fire pit

A look at the Solus Decor collaboration with the DIY Champion; The House That Black Built and their garden transformation.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the House That Black Built, it is an interior designer and lifestyle blog featuring Chelsea and her husband, following the renovation of their Victorian villa. Chelsea and her husband are DIY enthusiasts with an excellent sense of style in both their home and everyday lives. They document their DIY projects through the blog and wonderful Instagram feed, which has captured the attention of over 55 thousand followers!

Elevated Halo fire pit

One of the most recent projects that The House That Black Built have undertaken is the garden to their Victorian villa; a place they could enjoy all year round and take a rest from all the hard work inside the house.  After seeing the progress of their work and their design inspiration for the garden we knew a Solus Decor fire pit would be the perfect addition to this cool, contemporary space.  The House That Black Built have incorporated our Elevated Halo fire pit in Shiitake in their low maintenance outdoor living space. The fire pit is complimented by the Everscape Limestone tile from Topps Tiles and outdoor furniture from Maison du Monde, which brings this whole space to life! We love the finished design and how Chelsea has teamed the Elevated Halo with these elements to create a contemporary outdoor living space.

Solus Decor Elevated Halo Fire pit

Chelsea takes you step by step through the renovation process through her blog and Instagram stories; showing both the highs and lows. This warm and approachable demeanor is exactly why she has gained such a huge following and has been recognised by the Amara Interior Blog Awards. If you are thinking of undertaking a garden renovation be sure to check out The House That Black Built.

 

 

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Feature Project: The Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa

Hemi fire pit in Champage

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.

 

Terrace Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa

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

 

 

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Feature Project: The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells

solus decor fire pit at spa hotel kent

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.

Spa Hotel Tunbridge Wells

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”.

solus decor fire pit

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

 

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Questions You Should Ask When Specifying a Fire Pit

Halo and Halo with concrete ring firepits shown together in two different sizes

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?

Hemi fire pit with ring at Salty's Restaurant Seattle
Hemi fire pit with ring at Salty’s Restaurant Seattle

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) Manual:
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).

e) Ethanol:

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).

page4image23768c) 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?

page4image21432There are four main categories of media for a firepit

Solus refractory firestones
Solus refractory firestones

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.

page4image237681)  What shape would work best in your space?

a) Square shapes fill a space more completely.
b) Round shapes are easier for people to navigate around and pull up additional seating.
c) Rectangular shapes can fit more people around them than square.

 

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.

Solus Elevated Halo firepit shown on rooftop deck in Baltimore
Elevated Halo Firepit

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!

Are there any accessories that would make your firepit more useful? Cover? table top? drink ring?

This guide is available to download or print as a PDF.

For further information, contact Solus.

www.solusdecor.co.uk

[email protected]

0208 819 1495