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Feature Project: Hotel Le Toiny, St Barts

Solus Decor fire pit at Hotel Le Toiny

A look at the luxurious island retreat of Hotel Le Toiny, rebuilt including a Solus firepit, on the exclusive island of St Barts.

Rebuilding Hotel Le Toiny and St Barts

Hotel Le Toiny
Entrance at Hotel Le Toiny

Over the last couple of years the hotel much like the residents of St Barts have proven themselves unwavering in their strength and ability to bounce back following the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017.  The island of St Barts suffered significant damage and destruction much like the rest of the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Hotel Le Toiny suffered extensive damage but the hotel and interior designer Bee Osborn quickly regrouped and in doing so have created a resort that is even more outstanding than before. Bee Osborn has created a relaxed, light and airy space using soft creams with luxurious textures in the fixtures and fittings.  Hotel Le Toiny is  a 5-Star tropical paradise overlooking the Caribbean Sea on the hills of St. Barthelemy The Resort is made up of 22 luxury one and two bedroom suites nestled in of a lush palm grove bordered by Toiny beach.  The hotel has been designed with as a sanctuary for guests to relax both indoors and outdoors.

Solus Decor Hemi Firepit at Hotel Le Toiny

Solus Decor are thrilled to be part of this stunning resort.  They have chosen to incorporate our Hemi fire pits on their beach terrace, providing a wonderful space for guest to enjoy at night.  The Hemi provide gently warmth as the sun goes down and a soft light that adds to the ambiance of this unique setting.

The Hemi is available in 3 sizes, 10 different colours, 3 fuel options and a choice of accessories including a choice of metal and wooden table tops.  The Hemi is adaptable for the commercial setting whether that’s a restaurant or hotel.

To find out more about the Hemi and our other concrete fire and water features get in touch with us.  To find out more about the Hotel Le Toiny, why not book a stay.

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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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 ten 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.

 

 

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Solus Decor at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

Solus Decor fire pit at RHS Hampton Court

Solus Decor have collaborated with the award winning garden designer Rosemary Coldstream at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show this month.  Rosemary’s Best of Both Worlds Garden won a gold award at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show.

The Best of Both Worlds Garden was designed for an imaginary couple who have a small garden but differing tastes. To keep each other happy, they’ve split the garden into two equal halves. One side has a country-garden feel and a palette of blues, purple and pinks.  The other side is more contemporary with a simpler mix of green foliage and golden grasses.

About the Best of Both Worlds Garden

Rosemary Coldstream has incorporated Solus Decor’s elevated halo fire pit in the contemporary side of the garden in a sunken seating area.  The planting in the contemporary area in a more simplified palette of yellow, green, blue and hints of red.  The landscaping is linear in its design in contrast to the country style garden.

The garden was created by landscaping apprentices, trainees and students on BALI’s GoLandscape initiative which is supported by the RHS.  BALI’S GoLandscape initiative encourages young people to pursue a career in horticulture. The young designers, landscapers and contractors have been mentored by designer Rosemary Coldstream and David Dodd of The Outdoor Room as part of the Best of Both Worlds Garden project.

Elevated Halo Fire Pit

Rosemary Coldstream has incorporated Solus Decor’s elevated halo fire pit with biofuel in the contemporary side of the best of both worlds garden. The elevated halo fire pit is available in 36″ and 48″ sizes and with three different fuel options; natural gas, liquid propane and biofuel as seen at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show.  The fire pit is ideal for both commercial and residential installations.

Solus Decor Elevated Halo Fire Pit in Cinder

To see the garden in action take a look at this snippet from the BBC commentary on Hampton Court Flower Show with Adam Frost.

Solus Decor elevated halo fire pit at Hampton Court Flower Show
Solus Decor Elevated Halo fire pit in Best of Both Worlds Garden designed by Rosemary Coldstream at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

To find out more out more about the elevated halo fire pit or any of our other products get in contact with us.

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Solus Decor collaborate with Border in a Box at Gardeners’ World Live

Solus Decor at BBC Gardener's World Live

Solus Decor have collaborated with Border in a Box to create a sensory garden for BBC Gardeners’ World Live.

Solus Decor worked with Border in a Box to provide the water element of the sensory border at BBC Gardeners’ World Live entitled the Jar of Life.  The border had a focus on wellbeing using sensory plants with inviting scents, taste, touch and feel. Border in a Box incorporated the Solus Decor water feature as part of the design to contribute to the feeling of calm and wellbeing in this sensory space.

Solus Decor at BBC Gardener's World Live
Solus Decor Water Dome pictured in the garden created by Border in a Box at BBC Gardener’s World Live with a backdrop of screens by Screen with Envy

 

This inviting space created by Border in a Box proved to be a big success at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, winning a platinum award from the judging panel.

 

What is Border in a Box?

Not familiar with Border in a Box?

Border in a Box provide garden border template kits to enable anyone who is new to gardening or time poor the confidence to buy the right plants and know where to put them. Border in a Box allows you to achieve a beautiful border easily in less than a day.

To celebrate the border created for Gardeners’ World Live they have launched the new wellbeing border.

 

 

Solus Water Dome

The Solus Decor water features are made from high performance concrete. They are designed to withstand all the elements whether indoors or outdoors.

The Water Dome is a self circulating water feature making it both simple to install and environmentally friendly due to the recirculating water.

The soothing and relaxing qualities of water are well known. Water evokes the idea of wellbeing and self care that are so important in today’s fast paced lifestyle.

 

Solus Decor Water Dome at BBC Gardener's World Live
Solus Decor Water Dome at BBC Gardener’s World Live

To find out more about Border in a Box at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, why not have take a look at the feature on the BBC presented by garden designer Mark Lane.

To find out more about Solus Decor water features get in touch.

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Metal Table Top Launch at Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Solus Decor, Chelsea Flower Show. Contemporary Design, fire pits, water features

Another fantastic week at RHS Chelsea completed. Solus Decor launched the new contemporary metal table top as part of the our accessory range and here’s a look at Solus Decor’s highlights at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Solus Decor exhibited for third year in a row and as always it was a highlight of the year. We had a fantastic time at the show launching our new metal table top alongside our contemporary fire and water features. The Solus Decor stand at RHS Chelsea Flower Show featured our contemporary fire pits and water features against a back drop of composite decking from Silvadec supplied by  Brooks Bros, bespoke screening from Screen With Envy and electronic awning to offer shade and all weather cover from FlyBird Installations all expertly constructed by TKE Landscaping to create the perfect setting for our luxury contemporary fire and water features.

Solus Decor launch the new metal table top as part of our accessories range:

Solus Decor Metal Drinks Ring Hemi Fire Pit
Metal Drinks Ring on Hemi fire pit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

 

The launch of the new Solus Decor metal table top proved a huge success at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year as part of our accessories range. The new metal table top is ideal for those seeking a contemporary addition to their garden design adding both style and function. The new metal table top is available for the Hemi fire pit and can be used in two ways with the drinks ring only when the fire pit is in use or as a full table top.

James Wong BBC presenter, Solus Decor metal table top, hemi fire pit, chelsea flower show
BBC TV presenter James Wong visiting Solus Decor stand and taking a look at the new metal table top.

 

solus decor, firepits, waterfeatures, sky news., sarah hewson. rhs chelsea.
SKY TV Presenter, Sarah Hewson visiting Solus Decor stand at RHS Chelsea to discuss fire pits and water features

 

Chelsea Flower Show 2018 Highlights:

The Chelsea Flower Show is set in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to the Chelsea Pensioners. Always a delight to see the historic architecture of the hospital and the Chelsea pensioners in their uniforms as the setting for the exceptional garden design exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show.

rhs, chelsea flower show, James Doran Webb, chelsea flower show, contemporary design
A Chelsea Pensioner taking in the driftwood sculptures by James Doran Webb

 

The David Harber and Savills Garden designed by Nic Howard offers both a contemporary and thought provoking take on garden design.

This sensational garden designed by Nic Howard featuring David Harber sculptural pieces definitely caught our attention. Rich and colourful planting leads you through a sculptural tunnel, which draws you in. The garden is designed to show how sculpture and planting can tell a story and encourage reflection. In this garden, the different layers represent mankind’s evolving relationship with the environment.

Savills, RHS Chelsea, Nic Howard, David Harber, Contemporary garden design,
Savills and David Harber Garden designed by Nic Howard at RHS Chelsea

 

An excellent example of contemporary outdoor living; the LG Eco-City Garden designed by Hay-Joung Hwang

The LG Eco-City Garden represented a contemporary look at residential garden design incorporating the our growing dependence on technology in our lifestyle’s  today.

LG Eco City Garden, Contemporary firepit, contemporary water feature, outdoor living, Hay-joung Hwang
LG Eco- City Garden designed by Hay-Joung Hwang at RHS Chelsea

 

A green space for residents, workers and visitors was at the heart of the design of the garden by Kate Gould; New West End Garden

Kate Gould’s garden was a space to breath and relax in the hustle and bustle of the the city with carefully thought out ideas to take the strain of city living. Kate Gould incorporated specialist plants that are able to cope with a high level of pollution and toxins in the city air, paving technology using Kinetic energy produced when people walk on the paving to power the lights and light boxes on the walls featuring a grid of London streets that light up as the sun goes down.

Kate Gould, outdoor living, contemporary garden design, urban living, outdoor space
New West End Garden at RHS Chelsea by Kate Gould

 

If you’re feeling inspired by Chelsea Flower Show  why not get in touch with us to find out more about our new metal table top or any of our other fire and water features and make the most of your garden this summer!

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Solus at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Launch New Modern Accessory for the Outdoor Gas Firepit.

Solus Decor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 exhibiting fire pits, fire bowls, water features and accessories in London, England

We are looking forward to once again showcasing our fantastic garden terrace fire pits as we preview what else is in store for visitors at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London.

This year Solus Decor are excited to launch a new accessory for the Hemi fire bowl. The metal table top  can convert into a drinks ring for the 36 and 48 Hemi fire pit and hence adds a new dimension to the use of this contemporary and sculptural firepit. A simple disk table top is also available for the 26 Hemi. They are constructed out of noncorrosive aluminum and stainless steel. Therefore they are perfect for social gatherings in residential or commercial settings.

Solus Décor Hemi Gas Firebowl Firepit. With metal drinks ring. Shown on the terrace at Predator Ridge Resort Canada. The metal table top turns this firepit into a modern table when not lit.
Solus Décor Hemi Gas Firebowl Firepit. With metal drinks ring. Shown on the terrace at Predator Ridge Resort Canada. The metal table top turns this firepit into a modern table when not lit.

Chelsea is at the forefront of the shows for the garden industry. This year is no exception and we are excited to see the CHERUB HIV Garden: A Life Without Walls designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen. Naomi is working with HIV partnership CHERUB to help raise awareness about young people living with HIV in the UK and beyond. Featuring a Solus Water Dome, Naomi has designed a space that could be recreated within a home garden context. The garden uses specialist planting and design to take visitors on a powerful symbolic journey helping to promote acceptance and understanding about the condition.

Chelsea 2018: The CHERUB HIV Garden designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and featuring a Solus Decor Water Dome.
Chelsea 2018: The CHERUB HIV Garden designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and featuring a Solus Decor Water Dome.

Another must-see garden will be The Myeloma UK Garden, designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell. It will highlight the work of Myeloma UK. A bold 7 tonne, 12 feet high sculpture will rise from the garden as its centrepiece and as a result, promises to be unique and contemporary.

Chelsea 2018: The Myeloma UK Garden Designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell.
Chelsea 2018: The Myeloma UK Garden Designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell.

On the Solus Decor stand on Pavilion Way PW/608, we will of course be displaying and demonstrating a selection of our best-selling fire pits and water features.

Next to us will be Chilstone on stand PW/607. This year Chilstone are proudly celebrating 65 years of handmaking cast stone in Britain and always have a fabulous display.

If you are visiting this year, please come and see both stands. We look forward to meeting you.

Contact us for more information on Solus products. Or visit our website: www.solusdecor.co.uk. Made in Vancouver, Canada. Shipped worldwide.

For more information on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show visit: www.rhs.org.uk

 

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Memorial Garden at Trinity Western University

A scholarship and courtyard renovation honour the life of Jordan Thiessen.

A very special fire pit was installed at the Trinity Western University in British Columbia.

It is in memory of the life of Jordan Thiessen who was a student at the university. During his time at the university Jordan felt that the unloved and uncared for Douglas Courtyard could be a beautiful space. With some planting and a fire pit it would offer a place for students to relax and enjoy on campus.  Something he shared with his parents during a campus visit.

When Jordan sadly lost his life on October 18 2012, just 12 days after he married his university sweetheart, the family wanted to do something in his memory. His parents, Shirley and Carey set up the Jordan Thiessen Memorial Scholarship endowment but they wanted to do more. They recognised the deep impact that the University had on Jordan’s short life. They felt that making over the Douglas courtyard would not only honour Jordan, but it would also benefit all future students. Shirley threw herself into raising funds for both the scholarship and the courtyard project. The Jordan Thiessen Memorial Courtyard was dedicated September 14, 2013. On what would have been Jordan’s 24th birthday.

 

Hemi Fire Pit at Jordan Thiessen Memorial Garden at Trinity Western University

The memorial garden is now a wonderful place for students to enjoy, which gives great pleasure to Jordan’s parents.  If you would like to give to the courtyard project, or to the Jordan Thiessen Memorial Scholarship, please email Shirley Thiessen at [email protected].

For more information on Solus fire pits and water features please contact us.  TF:44 0208 819 1495 E: [email protected] W: www.solusdecor.co.uk

 

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

We are looking forward to setting up the Solus stand and seeing everyone at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Last year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show was a great success on the Solus stand next to the main Pavilion.

We had a perfect view of all the comings and goings, the amazing show gardens, insight into the gardening trends and of course meeting all the lovely visitors!

The Solus stand at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The 2017 Solus stand, featuring our Dome and Scupper Water Features and Hemi and Elevated Halo Fire Pits

Setting up the stand is an important and time consuming part of the process. This year we are showcasing some fantastic screens by Screen with Envy as well as Silvadec flooring provided by Brooks Bros (UK) Ltd. But none of this is possible without Tarquin Ellington and his team at TKE Landscaping working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our stand is ready to go and looking its best for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

If you ever wondered what goes into building a stand for Chelsea, take a look at our short time-lapse film which captured our set up last year: Solus at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017

This year we are pleased to announce that our stand will be on Pavilion Way no. 608 and across from our friends Chilstone. We will be showcasing a new product; a metal drinks ring/table. This fits onto our Hemi fire bowl and creates a contemporary, multi-functional feature. We are also entering this into the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year. We have been finalists in this category in 2016 and 2017 and with any luck can make 2018 the third year in a row.

Solus metal table top with centre open showing fire ring on Hemi firepit
Solus metal table top with centre open showing fire ring on Hemi firepit

If you are visiting this year, please come and see us and our products, we look forward to meeting you.

Contact us for more information on 44 0208 819 1495 or visit our website: www.solusdecor.co.uk

For more information on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show visit the RHS website: www.rhs.org.uk

 

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A Romantic Stay at the Fairmont Pacific Hotel

Fairmont Pacific Hotel creates romantic ambiance in their spa and suite with Hemi Firebowl Firepit

Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Hotel with Hemi Fire Bowl

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon we are taking a look at a luxury suite at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in our home town.

We are well aware of the romantic ambiance a Solus fire pit can can create. We have seen them take centre stage of marriage proposals and romantic wedding receptions. Not forgetting the Bachelor Canada.

The Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel is located in the heart of the financial district of Vancouver. It features a wealth of luxury services and facilities well known with the Fairmont brand.  The hotel is home to the Botanist cocktail bar and restaurant and the luxurious Willow Stream Spa to help you make the most of your Valentine’s stay.

It’s no surprise that the Fairmont Pacific Hotel installed a Solus fire pit as part of their luxurious Chairman’s Suite.

This is a sensational suite. It is ideal for a romantic break, whether you are visiting from overseas or simply treating a loved one to a night of luxury.

If you would like to make a truly lasting impression during your stay at the Fairmont Pacific, take a look at the Chairman’s Suite. Nicknamed the “Rock Star Suite” due to its lavish features including a custom, 8-foot-long Swarovski crystal chandelier. It also features a private elevator, a hand-carved soaker tub and two stunning living room areas. It is all designed in the style of a contemporary Balinese Villa.  The pièce de résistance is an exclusive rooftop patio with views of Coal Harbour and the North Shore Mountains. This exclusive roof terrace includes a private gazebo with a meditation pond, and a Solus fire pit to create the ultimate venue for a romantic stay.

Solus Firepits for Commercial Projects

Hemi Fire Pit in Chairman’s Suite at Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel

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.

Private Terrace with Hemi Fire Pit, Chairman’ Suite, Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel

Get in touch with us to create your very own romantic haven at home. Find out more about our products.

Or get in touch with the Fairmont Pacific Rim to treat your loved one to the ultimate in luxury.

T: 44 0208 819 1495

E: [email protected]

W: www.solusdecor.co.uk

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Outdoor Trends for 2018 including wabi-sabi…

With offices on both sides of the Atlantic (North America and the UK) Solus gets a unique insight into the plans of designers and architects.

This always leads to some interesting observations and noticeable trends. Such as water conscious gardening, embracing imperfections. As well as smart home and garden automation.

The Solus Dome water feature embracing wabi-sabi
The Solus Dome water feature embracing wabi-sabi

Water conscious gardening is the more considered use of water for outdoor settings. This extends from understanding the most efficient uses of water. During droughts and to the most elegant uses in water-rich environments. In drought prone areas, outdoor landscape designs are using more appropriate plants, storing and re circulating rainwater. Also being installed are irrigation systems, that water the roots directly. In more water-rich environments gardeners are using water features and water gardens as part of the design. These features will maximise the ambience of their gardens and outdoor patios.

Smart home automation has been a major trend that is being seen throughout Europe and North America. Products like Amazon Echo and Google Home (that allow you to control everything in your home from your thermostat to your lighting) have made home automation achievable in any home or setting. This trend has been carried outdoors into gardens and outdoor spaces. Firepits, water features, hot tubs, irrigation systems and outdoor lighting are all examples of products that can now be controlled by smart devices. The water features and electronic ignition fire pits by Solus can be hooked up to home automation systems.

 

levated Halo fire table in Portland
Elevated Halo fire table in Portland

The Japanese philosophy of embracing imperfection, called wabi-sabi, has become an industry buzz word of late. For gardens using or recycling materials like concrete, stone and wood and avoiding the use of plastics or synthetics wherever possible. These natural materials are all beautiful because they are not perfect.  They also help reflect the organic nature of a garden. At Solus we embrace this philosophy. Our concrete product features are hand cast and imperfectly perfect.

 

 

If you would like further information on any Solus product please Contact us.

 

 

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Solus has lost its Financial Star – John Rooney

John Rooney
John Rooney, former COO of Solus Decor

In memory of John Rooney.

It is with deep sadness that I announce to our Solus supporters and suppliers that John Rooney – former COO of Solus Decor passed away on Good Friday, April 18th. John had been battling inoperable brain cancer since the summer of 2013.

There are times in the life of every business when the people you have within the company are really the difference makers contributing to your success. John Rooney CMA, MBA and PhD candidate did this for Solus. For this I am truly grateful. I shall miss his wisdom and guidance, his quiet and no nonsense manner to get things done. He could always inject a sense of wry humour when called upon and of course “walk the talk”.

John never forgot his entrepreneurial past even after he became a man of letters. He started MDS Media Display Systems from scratch and knew first hand the trials and tribulations of what it took to keep the wheels of small business moving forward. John and I met at an organization called TEC Canada (The Executive Committee). We were the same age and our companies were of a similar size. John lived, ate and breathed business. He was a classic entrepreneur who could turn a hand to most anything. It was after his CMA/ MBA at SFU where he did so well that he was asked to stay on and become a PhD candidate.

In 2011, he was persuaded to join Solus as our Controller/COO. He worked incredibly hard at Solus whilst simultaneously completing his PhD in Business Administration. His energy level and commitment to both endeavors left me in awe – we were the same age yet he seemed to get twice as much done and have twice as much stamina.

I could always count on John to make sense of the financial picture, injected with a sense of dry and quirky humour. I shall miss my friend John Rooney. May he rest in peace.

A celebration of John’s life will take place at the Segal Graduate Centre, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver on May 1st at 3pm. A natural /green burial for immediate family will follow at Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria. In lieu of flowers , donations may be made at SFU’s Beedie School of Business (Engage > Ways to Give > online then direct the donation to the John Rooney Memorial fund).

“Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Brad Carpenter
CEO Solus Decor Inc.

 

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Backyard Blogger Design Party includes a Solus Firebowl too!

We are very happy to read that Tracey Ayton’s dreams of backyard party bliss have come true!
Her final renovations include a Hemi Firebowl in Cinder

Hemi Firebowl in Cinder with FireStone overlay
Hemi Firebowl in Cinder with FireStone overlay

and it looks fantastic!
Read Tracey’s blog about her design journey and blogger party that will be featured in the May issue of Style at Home Magazine. Read the article and view some more terrific pictures that Tracey, a professional photographer by trade, has taken of her beautiful backyard space here.

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Professional Design & Renovation on the rise – Houzz & Home 2013

We really love what we are reading about the findings in the second annual Houzz & Home report. Their 2013 Houzz & Home survey is the largest ever conducted in the remodeling and decorating categories and includes responses from the USA, Canada and around the world.

Highlights include:
• Significantly more homeowners are moving forward with renovation projects compared to last year
• A majority of homeowners surveyed believe now is a good time to remodel (53 percent)
• 58 percent of those planning projects in the next two years will hire professional help
• 81% of Houzz homeowners say reviews are “very important” when it comes to hiring a professional for their project, only 8% said “lowest cost option.”

This is positive news for interior and landscape designers as well as all design lovers. Design-economics! A healthy design industry means that unique, quality products and services can be kept alive for everyone to enjoy.

It’s interesting to note that the survey revealed that we spend the most money to remodel the rooms that we spend the least amount of time in, i.e. the bathroom!

What are your plans to renovate? Are you ready to re-fit your outdoor room or deck and make every day a “staycation”? Is a beautiful, contemporary gas fire pit part of your plan?

Solus Halo 36 - Sustainable bio-ethanol fire pit .
Solus Halo 36 – Sustainable bio-ethanol fire pit .

Here are the links to Houzz press release and the full report.

Happy reading and planning!
Read the press release
Download the full report

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Solus Lighting Up February 2013 Events!

Solus fire pits are helping to light up two fabulous and informative events for design fans in Vancouver and Toronto this month.

Solus with friends at the BC Home and Garden Show:

We can’t wait to see what our friends at Beneath Your Feet Landscaping and Design will come up with this year at the 20BYF 2012 Halo and Circle gate13 BC Home and Garden Show. They’ll be using a Solus fire pit in Dream Garden #6, February 20th to 24th at BC Place Stadium.  The design and logistics of just setting up landscape displays at this show alone are impressive.

We loved how they used the Halo Fire Pit in their garden oasis last year.  Here are a couple of photos to from the 2012 show.  Rest assured that if you can’t make the show in person, we’ll be sure to post more shots from this year’s landscape extravaganza!DSC_0054

Solus and Eternit paired up at Designer’s Walk in Toronto, Canada.

Solus concrete fire pits paired with Eternit pressed fiber cement chairs and planters have been a big hit with designers, hospitality venues and home owners alike.  All are on display at the Landmark by Crozier show room at Designer’s Walk Resource Centre in Toronto, where you can view and experience the Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl  in the Eternit setting.

36 Hemi Firebowl at Landmark DW TO Landmark is holding a lunch and learn presentation about Eternit on February 14th.  Designer’s Walk is located at 148 Bedford Road.    Click here for more information.

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Solus Showcases New Releases and Trends Part 1

Solus Decor had a very busy trade show season last fall!  Very much like the fashion business, the fall trade shows allow us to announce and display what’s new for the next season of fire pits.  The shows even gave us a chance to have some fun with our concrete fire place surround models.  Here’s a picture of the popular Fraser fireplace surround –  displayed as a 4 sided TV surround!

What we are really showcasing here is our design philosophy – and at the heart of the Solus design philosophy is YOU.  We are constantly reviewing customer feedback from home owners, designers, landscape architects, associate dealers and commercial establishments.

Your suggestions about how to modify or improve our products are taken to heart – then to the drawing board, R & D and then into production.

The new releases for Fabulous Fall 2012 are a reflection of our collaboration with you – our design community and customers.

We’ve already introduced you to our new bio ethanol Fire Pits that allow you to Take the Fire Inside! Now here’s a rundown of our newer contemporary concrete fire pits products.

In production since Spring 2012 the 48” ELEVATED HALO gives you a lot more table space – and even room for drinks and dinner.  It is now available in either a natural gas (ng), propane (lp), or bio ethanol burners.

FIRETABLE.  Also introduced in early 2012 this long linear table has the elegance and sophistication which was demanded by our clients.  It is now available in either a natural gas (ng), propane (lp), or bio ethanol burners.

 THE FIRETROUGH – New for Fall 2012 – A simple, clean and effective linear design.  Available in natural gas (ng), propane (lp) or bio ethanol burners.

48” HEMI FIREBOWL – New for Fall 2012 – This big boy was in demand well before we were able to produce it.  It is absolutely enormous!  Producing 120,000 BTUs this burner comes with a remote start – Available in natural gas (ng) and propane (lp) only.  It is definitely the King of fire!

Stay tuned for part 2, where we’ll run down our new accessories that are sure to enhance your already beautiful fire feature.

Please contact us if you want more information about our current product line – or if you have any more suggestions that we can take to our Solus heart. We’d love to hear from you!

 

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A Tribute to Mr. Solus – Mr Ilie Avram

Written by Mr. Brad Carpenter, on this sad day as Mr. Ilie Avram is laid to rest.  MartesSolus.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that Mr. Ilie Avram – one of the very first employees of Solus Decor, died last week after a battle with cancer.

The life of a small company in the very early years are the most tenuous.  The very thin line between success or failure – and it is the calibre of the people in the company who make all the difference. Solus was a very small business when I joined.  There was Ilie, Tanya, Khai and me.  We had no product lines, nothing that really identified us as anything other than a concrete company who did something unique and beautiful and we weren’t quite sure where it would lead.

Every day for over 12 years when I arrived at work I would say “ Good morning  Mr.  Ilie” and his reply was always the same,  a cheerful “Good morning Mr. Brad.”  There were days that our chat carried on about the previous day’s work or his family.  Sometimes about his soccer results from the weekend – he was not only a passionate soccer fan but still played every weekend.

I am not quite sure how we developed calling each other Mr. but it stayed with us for our entire working history.  I could always depend on Ilie to tell me the truth- if he wasn’t happy with the previous day’s pour – he would tell me.  If he wasn’t happy with a new employee in the shop – he would tell me.

Ilie was a true Canadian immigrant success story.  He arrived in this country from Romania with no English language skills, with job skills that didn’t easily translate and a young family to support.  He had a desire to do better and a desire to contribute.  He did that not only for his newly adopted country but for Solus.   He learned the language and a totally new set of skills.  He joined Solus knowing nothing about concrete or what it took to make a world class product and company.  He grew up with Solus and became a master craftsman – he became the “Mr Solus”  that we are going to deeply miss going forward.

Ilie’s craftsmanship and work can be seen in hundreds if not thousands of installations around the North America.  He embodied the can do attitude of Solus and leaves a legacy that his family can be proud of.”

Brad Carpenter  CEO

Solus Decor Inc.

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Solus Decor Recycling Series – Part 1 – Concrete Elephants!

Since its inception 16 years ago, Solus has been conscious of its waste stream.

Background

Six years ago, we started to seriously consider our recycling streams and our carbon footprint.  We had conversations with a group at UBC who were just launching a program for companies called Offsetters, a carbon footprint management program.   They came to our plant and gave us some very valuable instructional tips.  This led us into a full on attack on our waste streams.  We had just moved to a larger production facility and built spaces and recycling depositories to accommodate our recycling program.

We found that as we became larger, we started to produce more waste.  Our customer base was also increasing and we began  to ship all over North America.  This was an exciting development, as it allowed us to create even more fabulous concrete products, like our line-up of outdoor fire pit products.

Yikes!  There’s a concrete Elephant in the room!

Having been around for 16 + years, we have literally poured thousands upon thousands of batches and therefore, our approach to production is quite scientific. Our formulas and mathematics when it comes to producing our concrete is accurate within 2%.  We minimize the waste whenever and wherever we can, but even at 2%, it adds up over time!  We had to address this.

It began to feel like the “ elephant” in the room.  And it was made of concrete!

Another use for a concrete Elephant!

After studying our recycling history and the countless recycling depositories, bins, crates, odds and sods that we now have at Solus one of our summer students, Sam, posed an interesting question.   How many concrete elephants (in weight) have we recycled since our program went into place over six years ago?

So this became a project for our fresh faced summer student.  How much concrete has been recycled and what does happen to the contents of the Solus’ recycling bins after they are taken off site? … this is what she found.

When there is any excess or reject concrete at Solus, the concrete gets put into a bin and gets picked up by a 1-800 Got Junk.  They take it to a Sand and Gravel company, and gets broken down.  Recycled concrete is used for a variety of construction purposes.

–         Aggregate base course (road base)

–         Untreated aggregate used as foundation for roadway pavement (under pavement surfacing) forms structural foundation for paving

–         Soil stabilization – the incorporation of recycled aggregate and using it in soil to stabilize and change the water susceptibility

–         Recycled concrete can be used as a foundation to lay on the ground around pipes as, is used as an alternative to virgin aggregate

–         Landscape materials

With 3,500 – 4,000 lbs of concrete recycled every 5-6 weeks, there has been an accumulation of approximately 220,000 lbs of concrete recycled since Solus first started recycling concrete in this manner. An additional 60,000 lbs was recycled when a thorough “house-cleaning” was conducted in 2010, giving us these rather grand totals,

280,000 lbs, or

127,000 kg, or

140 tons of concrete recycled!

To put that in perspective, the African Elephant, one of the largest land animals on Earth, weighs on average 9,500 lbs.

= almost 30 Elephants!

Or a herd of elephants!

All of this concrete was diverted from our local landfill.

Our next blog will talk about all the other waste streams and where they go.

Stay Tuned for Part II on the Solus Recycling Series.

 

Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_10883639_cute-little-elephant-cartoon-character.html’>teenbull / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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Fire Pits & Outdoor Rooms Can Increase Real Estate Value!

Fire Pits & Outdoor Rooms Can Increase Real Estate Value!

We all know, or can at least imagine, the comfort and relaxation that comes from being able to relax outdoors in our own patio, deck or outdoor oasis setting.

Being able to prepare a meal outdoors, dine “al fresco” or entertain around a fire pit is one of life’s many pleasures.

Now it seems that adding an outdoor room can also be a boon to our bottom line.

Hemi 26″ Firebowl in deck and stone setting by With Impact Landscaping

New home builders, realtors and renovators are taking note and starting to write about the positive return on investment that outdoor living spaces are offering home owners.

Here is a link an article published recently in Professional Builder on-line magazine.  Well over half of the respondents said that outdoor living was more important today than two years ago.  And fire pits ranked number two, with only decks surpassing them as a best selling outdoor feature.

Real Estate companies through out North America are recognizing the added value a beautiful outdoor space offers.  Here’s an example of the kind of articles we are seeing pop up.  This article is from a company in Illinois – Optimizing Outdoor Spaces for Enjoyment and Value”.

Halo 36 Fire Pit with water, rock and “zen” landscaping by Beneath Your Feet Landscaping

This article on Bob Vila’s site suggests that “Landscaping in general is a good investment and can add 20% to the value of your property…with Outdoor rooms, terraces, and decks being also high-yield structural or hardscaping investments.”

If you are thinking of investing in an outdoor living space and need some more great ideas, take a look through our site’s fire pit images.  There is a lot of information on line and you can also plan to visit some of the many Home and Garden shows that are run through out North America.

Solus Fraser Surround in Outdoor “See-Through” Fireplace by Houston Landscaping

The pictures shown here are of the beautiful Outdoor rooms that Friends of Solus displayed at a recent Home & Garden Show.  We hope you will have fun and enjoy planning your Solus fire pit investment!

Solus Block Surround in Outdoor Living Room “See-Through” Fireplace by Houston Landscaping

 

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Solus Fire Pit Client Brings Home the Hardware!

Solus Fire Pit Client Brings Home the Hardware!

We recently received an e-mail from one of our valued customers that read, “Our home “Serenity” won two Georgie Awards.  Best home in one value category and Best Outdoor Living Space in overall category against all homes in BC.”

Here is a picture from one of their award winning vistas, where you can see a Solus Hemi 36 Fire fire pit in Cinder.

The Georgie Awards®, is Canada’s premier housing awards program that highlights and celebrates excellence in home building and a Georgie Award is recognized as an industry stamp of quality.

You can see more pictures of this beautiful home on the Georgie Awards web site,

http://www.georgieawards.ca/winners/view.aspx?id=2336

Solus is honored to play both a serene, yet fiery role, in this magnificent outdoor living area. Congratulations to the home owners and all involved in creating “Serenity”.

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Solus Dealers: Introducing BonaVista LeisureScapes

Solus Dealers: Introducing BonaVista LeisureScapes

On a recent January day, I had the pleasure of visiting Jennifer Gannon at the Outdoor Living Boutique of BonaVista LeisureScapes in Toronto, Canada.

Although BonaVista has been a Solus Firepit dealer for less than a year, they have carved out a reputation as the “go-to” place for Solus firepit aficionados in the Toronto area.

 


 

“The Solus Firepit line works very well with what BonaVista LeisureScapes provides for our customers,” says Gannon. Her trend-right outdoor living boutique provides exclusive access to the finest in hot tubs, patio furniture, BBQs, outdoor décor, and water care.

 

As a second-generation family business, BonaVista has a 40-year history of exacting standards, innovative designs, and unwavering client focus. Every product in store must comply to this successful, time-honoured formula, and ultimately to their discerning customer standard.

Thank you, BonaVista LeisureScapes

Solus is proud to be in BonaVista’s offering of distinguished products. Visit them at 812 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto and check out the Solus firepit in store. 416.465.6980.
www.bonavistapools.com.

Article Credit: Martes Farrugia