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Chelsea Flower Show 2024

Solus Decor's display at Chelsea Flower Show 2024, with two fire pits and a water feature

Introduction

The Chelsea Flower Show 2024, held in the heart of London, brought together the best in horticulture, garden design, and innovative landscaping. With 2024 marking our eighth appearance at the Chelsea Flower Show, Solus Decor was thrilled to showcase our stunning products and contribute to the event’s outstanding displays. Here are some of our Chelsea Flower Show 2024 Highlights.

Major Highlights

  • Award-Winning Gardens
    This year’s show featured numerous award-winning gardens emphasizing sustainability, innovation, and the use of native plants.
  • Solus Decor’s Contribution
    Our latest designs, including the elegant Water Dome and classic Fire Pits, were prominently featured in several gardens, blending seamlessly with the natural beauty and artistic layouts.
  • Collaborations
    Collaborating with renowned designers and nurseries, our displays highlighted a perfect mix of modern aesthetics and traditional elements.

Water Features: A Prominent Role

Water features were a standout element at the Chelsea Flower Show 2024, adding tranquillity, movement, and a touch of luxury to the garden designs. Our water features demonstrate their versatility and appeal, adding elements not only enhance the aesthetic value but also promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.

Water features played a critical role in this year’s show, underscoring the importance of water management in contemporary garden design. The soothing sound of flowing water, combined with the visual appeal of sparkling water elements, created a serene and inviting atmosphere in many gardens. Our water features, such as the Dome Water Feature, provided both aesthetic and functional benefits, including:

  • Aesthetic Enhancement
    Water features added a dynamic visual element to gardens, creating a focal point that drew visitors’ attention and complemented the surrounding plant life.
  • Environmental Benefits
    Incorporating water features into gardens can help support local wildlife by providing a habitat for birds, insects, and other creatures. They also contribute to the cooling effect in urban environments, reducing heat islands.
  • Therapeutic Effects
    The presence of water in a garden can have calming and stress-relieving effects, making gardens a peaceful retreat for visitors. The gentle sound of water flowing can mask unwanted noises, enhancing the tranquility of the space.

Water features are increasingly recognized for their multifaceted benefits, from enhancing garden aesthetics to promoting environmental sustainability and mental well-being. At the Chelsea Flower Show 2024, these features were used creatively to transform gardens into tranquil havens.

Solus Decor's 48" Dome Water Feature at the Chelsea Flower Show 2024
Solus Decor’s 48″ Dome Water Feature at the Chelsea Flower Show 2024

Special Highlights

WaterAid Garden

WaterAid's Chelsea Flower Show 2024 garden
WaterAid’s Chelsea Flower Show 2024 garden

This garden focused on the vital role of water in our lives and communities, featuring sustainable water management practices and our water features to highlight the beauty and necessity of water conservation. The WaterAid Garden highlighted issues of clean water access, using water to symbolize the flow and purity of water resources.

Flood Resilient Garden

Flood resistant Garden
The Flood Resistant Garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2024

Designed to showcase innovative landscaping techniques for flood-prone areas, this garden utilized water features to manage excess water effectively while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing environment. The garden demonstrated how intelligent design and effective water management can coexist beautifully.

Carrie Anne Funnell’s Water Features

Carrie Anne Funnell's display featuring a large glass water feature

Carrie Anne Funnell’s (https://carrieannefunnell.co.uk/    stand was another highlight. Featuring stunning glass water features that captivated visitors with their vibrant colors and intricate designs. These unique pieces showcased the fusion of art and functionality, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any garden setting.

 

 

Collaborative Stand with Partners

Solus Decor’s stand at the Chelsea Flower Show 2024 was a testament to the power of collaboration. Partnering with Cedar Nursery, Trex UK, Thermalux UK, and Kitchen in the Garden, we created a comprehensive display that highlighted the best in garden design and outdoor living solutions.

  • Cedar Nursery: Renowned for their high-quality plants and garden supplies, Cedar Nursery provided a lush, vibrant backdrop for our water features and fire pits.
  • Trex: As a leader in composite decking, Trex’s sustainable and durable materials were used to create stylish, functional garden pathways and decks that complemented our products perfectly.
  • Thermalux: Known for their innovative outdoor saunas, Thermalux products integrated seamlessly with our fire pits, offering warmth and ambiance to the garden settings.
  • Kitchen in the Garden: Specializing in outdoor kitchen solutions, Kitchen in the Garden showcased how outdoor cooking spaces can be both beautiful and practical, blending effortlessly with our garden designs.

This partnership allowed us to present a holistic vision of modern outdoor living, combining aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability.

Solus Decor's display at Chelsea Flower Show 2024, with two fire pits and a water feature
Solus Decor’s display at Chelsea Flower Show 2024

New Trends in Garden Design

The Chelsea Flower Show 2024 showcased several emerging trends in garden design:

  • Sustainability: There was a strong emphasis on eco-friendly gardening, with many exhibits using recycled materials and promoting biodiversity. This trend reflects a growing awareness of environmental issues and a commitment to sustainable practices.
  • Water Features: Water elements like fountains, small ponds, and streams were popular, adding tranquility and aesthetic appeal to garden designs. The integration of water features in various forms highlighted their versatility and importance in modern landscaping.
  • Compact Spaces: Innovative solutions for urban gardening were highlighted, demonstrating how even the smallest spaces can be green sanctuaries. Designers showcased vertical gardens, container gardens, and other space-efficient designs that cater to urban dwellers.

The Chelsea Flower Show 2024 was a rich tapestry of creativity, sustainability, and innovation. The show provided a glimpse into the future of garden design, where beauty and functionality go hand in hand.

Common Questions from the Chelsea Flower Show 2024

Our Solus Decor reps receive a wide variety of questions, however some came up regularly! Here are a few of our favourite and most important questions:

1. Is the water feature solar powered?

To ensure consistent electric supply for a smooth flow of water, all of our water features are powered through outdoor electrical connections.

2. Is it real fire?

It certainly feels real! We don’t recommend testing it with any items or body parts you care about.

3. Where’s the gas?

Our two Fire Features were powered through propane, with pipe laid beneath the decking. All of our fire features can be powered either through propane or directly to your mains gas.

Conclusion

The Chelsea Flower Show 2024 was a testament to the creativity and passion within the horticultural community. Solus Decor is proud to have been part of this prestigious event, showcasing our latest innovations and contributing to the garden designs that inspire and delight. We look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence in future shows and bringing the best of garden design to our customers.

Solus Decor's Luna Fire Bowl and Tavolo Fire Table at the Chelsea Flower Show 2024
Solus Decor’s Luna Fire Bowl and Tavolo Fire Table at the Chelsea Flower Show 2024

 

For more information on our fire pits, tables and bowls
info@solusdecor.co.uk | 020 8819 1495

Visit our UK showroom
Cedar Nursery, Horsley Road, East Horlsey,
Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3JX

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10 Reasons to Attend the Chelsea Flower Show with Solus Decor

Step into a world of blooming beauty and horticultural wonder at the renowned Chelsea Flower Show, where Solus Decor proudly presents its exquisite fire pits and water features amidst the floral extravaganza. Join us on a journey through the top ten reasons why attending this prestigious event is an unmissable experience for garden enthusiasts, professionals, and nature lovers alike.

Immerse Yourself in Floral Displays:

Lose yourself in a kaleidoscope of colours and scents as you explore meticulously curated floral exhibits. Each stunning display demonstrates the power of nature’s artistry.

Solus Decor’s waterbox display at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2022.
Solus Decor’s display at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2022. The Chelsea Flower Show is held annually in May at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.

 

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Indulge your green thumb with a visit to the bustling marketplace, where treasures abound. Explore Solus Decor’s booth and marvel at the exquisite collection of fire pits and water features, each crafted with precision and elegance to be a work of art.

Celebrate Tradition

Join a tradition that spans over a century, celebrating the timeless beauty of gardens and outdoor living. Join in the celebration, where history, artistry, and the wonders of the natural world converge in a harmonious symphony of beauty and tradition.

Gardening Inspiration

Wander through enthralling garden designs that ignite your imagination and stir your soul. Witness firsthand how Solus Decor’s fire pits and water features serve as focal points, infusing each landscape with style and sophistication.

Solus Decor's Water Box featured on display at Chelsea Flower Show
This display was featured at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2022, using Solus Decor’s Dome Water Feature.

 

Learn from the Experts

Engage with seasoned gardening experts and landscape designers as they share invaluable insights on cultivating thriving outdoor spaces. From plant selection to layout design, these sessions offer practical tips to enhance your garden’s beauty and functionality.

Embark on a Botanical Adventure

Explore a treasure trove of rare and exotic plants from around the world, each more captivating than the last. Experience the magic as Solus Decor’s fire pits and water features harmonize with nature’s wonders, creating captivating outdoor environments.

Connect with Fellow Plant Lovers

Connect with fellow garden enthusiasts, professionals, and industry insiders as you share your passion for all things green. Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or an admirer of botanical beauty, you’ll find valuable connections and shared experiences to enrich your gardening journey.

Solus Decor Waterbox modern outdoor water feature
This year’s Chelsea Flower Show will be held on 21st-25th May 2024, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.

Spot the Celebrities

Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings as famous faces mingle among the blooms. Experience the star power of Solus Decor’s designs as they capture the attention of celebrities and influencers, such as Lucy Willcox’s recent spotlight on ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club.

Get Hands-On

Dive into interactive workshops and sensory experiences that engage all your senses. Participate in immersive workshops led by experienced gardeners and artisans, where you’ll learn practical skills and innovative techniques to elevate your gardening game.

Feel the Love

Experience the warmth and camaraderie of fellow attendees who share your passion for all things green. Connect with Solus Decor enthusiasts who have transformed their outdoor spaces with our fire pits and water features, united by a love for beautiful gardens and stylish outdoor living spaces. The versatility of Solus Decor’s fire pits and water features lends it creating cozy gatherings around the fire to tranquil moments by the water that soothe the soul.

Final Thoughts

As you immerse yourself in the breathtaking displays and vibrant atmosphere of the Chelsea Flower Show, let Solus Decor’s stunning fire pits and water features inspire your outdoor dreams. Join us in celebrating the beauty of nature and the joy of outdoor living, where every garden becomes a masterpiece with Solus Decor’s signature touch.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, the Chelsea Flower Show 2024 promises an unforgettable experience. Join us from May 21st to 25th as we celebrate tradition, innovation, and the timeless allure of botanical excellence. For tickets and to plan your trip, visit the Royal Horticultural Society.

For more information on our fire pits, tables and bowls
info@solusdecor.co.uk | 020 8819 1495

Visit our UK showroom
Cedar Nursery, Horsley Road, East Horlsey,
Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3JX

Visit our RHS Chelsea Flower Show stand
Pavilion Way PW191

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Unveiling Elegance: Our Fire Pits Shine on ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club

Solus Gas Hemi 36 Fire Bowl in Lucy Willcox Garden

Step into a world where fire dances gracefully amidst lush greenery and stylish design. Our fire pits have become the talk of the town, captivating the hearts of gardening enthusiasts everywhere. Recently, on the illustrious stage of ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club, the visionary garden designer Lucy Willcox unveiled her masterpiece, featuring none other than our exquisite fire pits. Join us as we delve into the enchanting tale of how our fire pits brought warmth and allure to Lucy’s personal garden sanctuary.

Lucy Willcox on Alan Titchmarsh's Gardening Club
Lucy Willcox on Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club

Embodying Sophistication
In the realm of garden design, elegance reigns supreme. Lucy Willcox, a master of crafting captivating outdoor spaces, handpicked our fire pits to adorn her latest creation. With their timeless allure and impeccable craftsmanship, our Hemi fire pit seamlessly integrated into Lucy’s design, elevating the ambiance and enchanting all who beheld them. The Hemi fire pit was carefully selected to complement the surrounding landscape, enhancing the natural beauty of the garden while adding a touch of refined luxury.

Functional Artistry
Beauty, they say, lies in the harmony of form and function. Our fire pits embody this philosophy with finesse. Meticulously crafted from premium materials and engineered for performance, they stand as testament to the marriage of artistry and utility. Whether casting a warm glow over intimate gatherings or serving as the centrepiece of grand soirées, our fire pits radiate both warmth and functionality. Designed with safety and durability in mind, they provide peace of mind while enhancing the outdoor experience for homeowners and guests alike.

The Visionary Behind the Design: Lucy Willcox
Central to the enchanting garden featured on Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club is the creative genius of Lucy Willcox. With a passion for blending nature with artistry, Lucy has earned acclaim for her stunning garden designs that seamlessly unite form and function. Through her meticulous attention to detail and innate understanding of space, Lucy transforms outdoor landscapes into breathtaking havens of beauty and tranquillity. Explore Lucy’s portfolio at Lucy Willcox Garden Design to witness the magic she brings to each project.

Solus Hemi 36 Gas Fire Bowl in Lucy Willcox Garden for Alan Titchmarsh's Gardening Club
Solus Hemi 36 Gas Fire Bowl in Lucy Willcox Garden for Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club

Versatile Brilliance
In the world of outdoor living, versatility is key. Our fire pits, with their array of sizes, styles, and fuel options, offer boundless possibilities for customisation. Whether nestled in a cosy corner or commanding attention as a statement piece, our fire pits effortlessly adapt to any setting. Transforming ordinary spaces into extraordinary sanctuaries. From our popular Hemi Fire Bowl, to the practical Tavolo Fire Table, there’s a perfect fire pit for every aesthetic preference. With endless design possibilities, customers can let their creativity soar and create outdoor spaces that reflect their unique style and personality.

A Blaze of Inspiration
The feature on Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club has ignited a spark of inspiration among gardening aficionados nationwide. As Lucy Willcox’s visionary design captivates audiences, our fire pits steal the spotlight, capturing imaginations and fuelling dreams of outdoor splendour. With each flicker of flame, a new chapter in the story of outdoor living unfolds, inviting all to bask in the warmth of elegance and inspiration. From cosy nights under the stars to lively gatherings with friends and family, our fire pits set the stage for unforgettable moments and create lasting memories in the garden.

As our fire pits bask in the glow of admiration on Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club, we extend an invitation to join us on a journey of elegance and enchantment. With a growing community of satisfied customers, we are proud to be at the forefront of the outdoor living revolution, bringing warmth, style, and sophistication to gardens across the country. From their captivating design and sustainable ethos to their unmatched versatility and timeless appeal, our fire pits stand as beacons of sophistication in the world of outdoor living.

Embrace the allure of fire and transform your outdoor space into a haven of warmth, beauty, and enduring style with Solus Decor. With our fire pits, every garden becomes a masterpiece waiting to be unveiled.

For more information on our fire pits, tables and bowls, contact us; info@solusdecor.co.uk | 020 88191495

Make an appointment for a product demonstration at our UK showroom; Cedar Nursery, Horsley Road, East Horlsey, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3JX

Visit our stand on Pavilion Way PW191 at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London 

For more information on Lucy Willcox Garden Design, visit; www.lucywillcoxgardendesign.com

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Fire Glass vs. Firestone – Factors to Consider

Fire Glass vs. Firestone - Factors to Consider

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

Fire Glass vs. Firestone - Factors to Consider

Aesthetics:

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

Heat Distribution:

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

Maintenance:

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

Cost:

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

Fire Glass vs. Firestone - Factors to Consider

 

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

Repositioning your hotel/hospitality business without redesigning or relocation

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

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

 

The Age of Cost Cutting

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

 

The Advantages of a Contemporary Gas Fire Pit

  1. Enhanced Ambiance:

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

  1. Cost-Effective Upgrade:

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

  1. Year-Round Appeal:

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

  1. Easy Integration:

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

 

Repositioning your hotel/hospitality business without redesigning or relocation

 

Conclusion

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

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Attracting Solo Travellers as a Hotel or Hospitality Business

Attracting solo travellers to your hotel, restaurant or bar business

 

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

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

The Solo Traveler’s Oasis

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

 

Attracting solo travellers to your hotel, restaurant or bar business

The Allure of Outdoor Ambiance

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

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

Year-Round Appeal

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

 

Attracting solo travellers to your hotel, restaurant or bar business

Aesthetic Elegance

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

Conclusion

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

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Chelsea Flower Show 2024 – An Exclusive Look

Chelsea Flower Show - an exclusive look

 

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

 

Exploring the Show’s Highlights

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

 

The Gardens and Exhibits – A Spectacular Display

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

 

Chelsea Flower Show - an exclusive look

 

In-Depth with Garden Designers

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

 

Trends and Innovations

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

 

Focus on Sustainability

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

 

Chelsea Flower Show - an exclusive lookThe Art of Garden Design

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

 

The Role of Solus Decor

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

The Society of Garden Designers: A Brief Overview

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

Why Garden Design Matters

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

SGD and Sustainable Practices

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

 

 

Award-Winning Designs

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

 

Collaboration with Solus Decor

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

 

Conclusion

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

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

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

Top 6 essential considerations for installing a gas fire pit

 

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

 

Fuel Type: Propane or Natural Gas

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

 

Installation Space: Safety and Placement Considerations

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

 

Top 6 essential considerations for installing a gas fire pit

 

Size and Style: Selecting the Perfect Fire Pit

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

 

Maintenance and Care: Ensuring Durability

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

 

Top 6 essential considerations for installing a gas fire pit

 

Creating Ambiance: The Art of Fire Pit Design

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

 

Fuel Efficiency and Environmental Considerations

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

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

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Why Some Fire Pits Cost More Than Others

Why some fire pits cost more than others

 

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

 

Factors to consider when purchasing a fire pit:  

 

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

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

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

 

Why some fire pits cost more than others, sizing

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

 

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

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

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

 

why some fire pits cost more than others, accessories

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Pro Landscaper Outdoor Lighting Award 2023: 

 

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

 

Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscape and Solus Decor fire pits

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

 

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

 

Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscape and Solus Decor fire pits

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

 

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

 

Maïtanne Hunt Gardens & Landscape and Solus Decor fire pits

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete, vs Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Understanding Compressive Strength:

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

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

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

Compressive Strength:

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

Finish Quality:

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits:

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

 

Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete, vs Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Glass Reinforced Concrete (GFRC):

Compressive Strength:

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

Finish Quality:

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

Benefits:

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

Choosing the Right Concrete for Your Project:

Design Flexibility:

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

Finish Quality:

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

Environmental Factors:

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

 

Solus Ultra High Performance Concrete, vs Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Conclusion:

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

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Are Fire Pits Legal in London, UK?

Are Fire Pits Legal in London, UK?

Are Fire Pits Legal in London, UK?

 

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

 

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

Are fire pits legal in London, UK?

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

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

 

Luna, modern gas and propane fire pit

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

 

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

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

Are Fire Pits Legal in the UK?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

Hemi gas and propane fire pit, legal in the UK

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

solusdecor.com

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Solus Decor Fire Pits at The Berkeley Hotel

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

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

 

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

 

The Solus Decor Difference

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

 

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

Credit: Maybourne Hotel Group

 

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

Crafting Timeless Elegance

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

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

Credit: Maybourne Hotel Group

Innovative and Quality Design

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

Why Solus Decor?

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

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

Credit: Maybourne Hotel Group

solusdecor.com

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Get Winter Ready; Prepare Your Solus Fire Pit In 12 Easy Steps

Getting Ready for Winter; Checklist for your Solus Fire Pit

Get A Winter Ready Fire Pit; How You Can Prepare Your Solus Fire Pit In 12 Easy Steps

Preparing your Solus gas outdoor fire pit for winter is essential to ensure its longevity and safe operation when it is not going to be used for months (although it can be enjoyed all year round).

By following these steps and the specific instructions provided by Solus or the retailer, you can ensure your fire pit remains safe and functional for years to come.

Step 1: Shut off the main gas supply and electrical switch (if equipped). Locate the shut-off valve and close it to prevent gas flow. This is to avoid accidental ignition. Remove leaves and stones inside the cage (if necessary).

Step 2: Remove all accessories like wood top and glass shield and store indoors. If your fire pit has removable components such as a glass wind guards, consider storing them indoors for the winter to prevent damage and to allow the cover to fit snugly.Clean and dry the components before storing them.

Accessories for a Solus Fire Pit
Accessories for a Solus Fire Pit

 

Step 3: Clean the exterior of the fire pit. Remove all debris, leaves and soot from the fire pit. Moisture, dirt, dust and other surface contaminants must be wiped and cleaned. Use warm water and soap.

Step 4: Clean the burner. Use a soft brush and avoid using abrasive materials that could damage the burner.

Step 5: Clean the Ignition (if equipped). For electronic ignition, use emery cloth or very fine sandpaper (above 400)  and gently buff the ignitor, the pilot assembly and the thermosensor only if they look discoloured or sooty. If they look clean, leave them alone. For manual ignition with a flame supervision device, if dirty, use the same method of emery cloth or very fine sandpaper.

Step 6: Check Pilot Assembly (if equipped). Check and remove any debris and soot inside the pilot cage and within the burner. Any debris can trap moisture during storage and can result in a clogged and blocked orifice. TIP: Using a compressed air duster or vaccum to clean the burner nozzles and pilot assembly really helps to blow any debris or water out and can avoid having to dissemble the pilot and significantly improve the strength of the pilot flame. These can be purchased online or in electronics and DIY stores.

Step 7: Inspect the firepit. Inspect the burner, gas lines, and ignition system for signs of wear, corrosion, or damage. Look for rust, cracks, or loose connections.  This requires you to remove the rocks (put them in a bucket) and pull the burner up via the burner manifold and inspect the connections underneath.  Ignition issues can often be a simple loose connection.  Make sure you put a blanket or some sort of fabric to protect the rim or the surface of the fire table.  The metal stand of the fire pit burner can scratch the surface so please be careful. 

Step 8: Protect Gas Lines. If the gas lines are exposed, consider insulating them with pipe insulation to prevent freezing. Freezing temperatures can cause the gas lines or hoses  to contract and split and potentially lead to damage.

For any replacement parts, please visit our online store; https://solusdecor.co.uk/product-category/replacement-parts/

Part replacement should be done by a professional technician or gas fitter.

Step 10: Cover your firepit with a Solus high-quality, weather-resistant cover. You must keep the burner dry. This is to protect your investment. If you have a table surface, the cover must be tented to ensure water does not pool on top of the firepit which will affect the surface negatively. Ensure the cover is securely fastened to protect the fire pit from snow, rain, and debris.  The all metal covers will also protect the firepit over the winter. If you no longer have your Solus cover or the all-weather cover is old and started to lose its’ shape (water can pool on top of the cover in winter). A replacement can be purchased from our online store.

All weather covers for your Solus Fire Pit
All weather covers for your Solus Fire Pit

REMEMBER to test run. If you are going to use your fire pit this winter (and why not!)…DO THIS FIRST.

It is not uncommon for people to not use their fire pit for some months and then decide to throw a party. Or it is the first time using your fire pit in the Spring. If you are planning to run your fire pit, do a trial run before hand.

Step 11: “Purge” the gas line of air. If the fire pit is started after some time off, air can become trapped in the line or hose. In this case, the firepit needs to be purged.

Step 12: Perform a leak test – reverse and sequence plus. Before the first use, conduct a leak test to ensure there are no gas leaks. Use a soapy water solution to check all connections for bubbles, indicating a leak. If you find a leak, contact a professional for repairs. It is suggested you use compressed air on the burner jets prior to ignition.

And remember for electronic ignition to take off the cover!

 For further information, here is our troubleshooting guide for your winter ready fire pit: troubleshooting guide.

info@solusdecor.co.uk

0208 819 1495

Shop online for parts, accessories, fire and water 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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Feature Project: The Fairmont Empress

solus fire pit at fairmont empress hotel

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.

solus fire pit fairmont empress hotel
Solus Decor Elevated Halo fire pit on the terrace at the Fairmont Empress Hotel

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.

solus fire pit at fairmont empress hotel
Solus Decor Elevated Halo fire pit on the Fairmont Empress Hotel terrace at sunset

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 12 colours making it easily adaptable for any commercial setting.

To see the historic Fairmont Empress book a room or to create your own beautiful terrace why not get in touch?

Solus Firepits for Commercial Projects

Solus provides quality commercial grade firepits for hotels, restaurants, resorts and other commercial locations. Our firepits 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 firepit for commercial projects. Contact us to discuss your project.

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Outdoor Living Inspiration

Solus Outdoor Living Inspiration Janus et Cie

With the Bank Holiday weekend coming up we’re looking at how we can improve the garden and create a space that will work as we move into the cooler weather.  The fire pit is the perfect answer for outdoor living all year round.  Take a look at our outdoor living inspiration schemes; teaming our fire pits with some of our favourite outdoor living brands.

 

Classic Contemprary Outdoor Living Inspiration

This look features furniture from Janus et Cie and engineered decking from Silvadec teamed with clean lines and simple planting and our Hemi fire pit in Halva to compliment the darker tones in the flooring and furniture. A low maintenance look that will look good for years to come

 

Solus Outdoor Living Inspiration Janus et Cie

 

Mediterranean Outdoor Living Inspiration

This two schemes takes inspiration from the Mediterranean in two different ways with furniture by Indian Ocean and Dedon . The first scheme inspired by some of the installations we have seen in the south of France with lighter tones set against a backdrop of sensory planting; olive trees, lavender, mint and rosemary complimented with our elevated halo fire pit in portland to keep you warm as the sun goes down. A relaxed garden ideal for outdoor entertaining.Solus Decor Outdoor Living Indian Ocean

 

A more contemporary take on the rural retreats found in the Italian countryside with this stylish outdoor sofa from Dedon teamed with the Elevated Halo in Shiitake with olive trees and a warm stone floor.

Solus Decor Outdoor Living Inspiration

 

 

Beach Retreat Outdoor Living Inspiration

Solus Decor Outdoor Living Inspiration Dedon

A fun and colourful take on outdoor living teamed with the hugely popular Hemi Fire Bowl. A contemporary take on the classic woven outdoor seating from Dedon. This colour adds the extra wow factor. Patterned encaustic tiles and simple grasses add texture to the overall scheme.

Feeling inspired? Why not get in touch with us to create your own outdoor living space with a Solus Decor fire pit.

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Solus Decor at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show

Solus Decor hemi fire pit at RHS Tatton

Solus Decor had the opportunity to collaborate with award winning garden designer Leon Davis at this year’s RHS Tatton Park Flower show this month. Leon Davis won gold and best in show for his garden.

Solus Decor fire pit at RHS Tatton Park
From Hop to Glass. Designed by: Leon Davis. Sponsored by: JW Lees at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2018

The garden design for RHS Tatton Park entitled From Hop to Glass was sponsored by JW Lees brewery in celebration of  the 190th anniversary of the brewery . The design draws inspiration from the brewing industry, interpreting materials, features and processes in a contemporary style and composition.

The design is in part framed by glass screens, providing a foil for grasses, which are mixed with deep red and amber perennials to represent the inviting flow and texture of a freshly-poured pint.

From Hop to Glass Leon Davis at RHS Tatton Park
Red and amber planting in from Hop to Glass designed by Leon Davis at RHS Tatton

Within the planting is a circular shallow stream, which encloses relaxing spaces to sit and relax combined with the familiar textures and elements that are synonymous with a traditional pub. The curved bench gives the feel of the serving bar and the warm and inviting atmosphere is provided by the Solus Decor fire pit and the brass details around the garden.

 

Hemi fire bowl at RHS Tatton Park
Solus Decor Hemi Fire Pit in JW Lees: From Hop to Glass. Designed by: Leon Davis at RHS Tatton 2018

Leon Davis has incorporated the Hemi fire bowl in the garden design.  The Hemi fire bowl is available in three sizes, three fuel options and twelve colour options. The Hemi fire pit converts into a table with a hardwood table or metal table top depending to suit your style.

To find out more about the Hemi fire pit or any of our other fire and water features get in contact with us.