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Outdoor Living in London

Outdoor living at its finest in South East London. A collaboration by LXA Architects and Simon Orchard Garden Design in the picturesque area of Blackheath in South East London.


A wonderful example of fantastic London design spearheaded by LXA architects; contemporary design working together with traditional architecture to create a luxurious space for modern living. LXA Architects transformed a building of five flats into one large, prestigious home. Covering more than 8,000 square feet, the property now boasts a swimming pool and numerous other leisure facilities.

With a building this size and specification it was crucial that the outside space reflected the same luxurious feel and Simon Orchard Garden Design did not disappoint.



Simon has created an outdoor oasis that works seamlessly with the architecture of the building.  As part of this design he has created wonderful outdoor living spaces from which one can enjoy the design of the building.  A part of this design he has incorporated a Solus Decor elevated halo to create a warm and inviting space.


Solus Decor Elevated Halo Fire Pit in Cinder

The elevated halo fire pit is perfect for outdoor entertaining. It truly embodies the idea of outdoor living all year round. Like all our fire pits it is available in twelve different colours and three different fuel options; bio ethanol, LPG and natural gas making it compatible for all situations and styles.

To find out more about this project by LXA architects and see more details take a look at their website and to see every aspect of this enticing outdoor space take a look at the full project on Simon Orchard’s website 

If your feeling inspired and want to create your outdoor retreat take a look at our full range of fire and water features or why not get in touch with us to discuss your outdoor space.





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Feature Project: The Brass on Baltimore, Kansas City

Our feature project is the sensational event space, Brass on Baltimore in Kansas City

Brass on Baltimore kansas city
Helix Architecture + Design, The Brass on Baltimore Club
The Brass on Baltimore Club Kansas City
Helix Architecture + Design, The Brass on Baltimore Club
Brass on Baltimore Kansas City
Helix Architecture + Design, The Brass on Baltimore Club

The Brass on Baltimore is a unique event space, which seamlessly combines the old world charm of a historic social club with the modern luxury of society today.

The Kansas City Club as it was formerly know was originally formed in 1882, one of the premier social clubs in the Midwest. Like many clubs at the time the purpose was to cultivate social and business relationships between leading businessmen in Kansas City.  So historic is the building and architecture that is is appears on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was designed in the Gothic Revival style by the Kansas City architectural firm of Smith, Rea and Lovitt, construction of the Kansas City Club Building was started in 1918 and completed in 1922.

The club has now been given a new lease of life to create a unique event space by the Kansas City based architects, Helix Architecture & Design.  Helix have beautifully mixed both old and new in the club to create a luxury event space, whilst retaining the history of the building and looking to the future with contemporary elements.  The majority of the spaces have retained the period features from the early 1900’s where hand-hewn walnut, carved stone, stained glass, and gilded plaster were often used.

The contemporary elements of the building are exemplified on the fantastic roof terrace with expansive views across the city, which also features a Solus Elevated Halo fire pit to create the perfect location for cocktails and canapes, an after dinner drink or a quiet spot for a bride and groom to reflect on their special day.

The contemporary elements of the building are exemplified on the fantastic roof terrace with expansive views across the city, which also features a Solus Elevated Halo fire pit to create the perfect location for cocktails and canapes, an after dinner drink or a quiet spot for a bride and groom to reflect on their special day.

The Elevated Halo fire pit is ideal for commercial outdoor spaces like the roof terrace at The Brass on Baltimore. With their clean profiles and soft curves the Halo Elevated fit well into a wide variety of outdoor environments, from traditional to modern. Both sizes offer the warmth of fire along with the functionality of a table and can be used in conjunction with standard seating. The Elevated Halo compliments the contemporary style of the roof terrace at The Brass on Baltimore with the historic architecture as a sensational backdrop.

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.

Get in touch with us to find out more about the Elevated Halo and our other fire pits

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Garden Trends and Predictions for 2017

What trends can we predict for Garden Design in 2017?






We sat down with John Wyer from Bowles and Wyer to look at what 2017 has in store for their design practice and what predictions he has for garden design in 2017:


Based near Tring on the Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire border, Bowles & Wyer have become leading landscape and garden designers and contractors, working throughout London, Central England, and the South East. John Wyer officially founded Bowles and Wyer with Chris Bowles in 1993 and since then the business has continued to grow year on year.


Currently their work is 60% residential and 40% commercial with a focus on prime central London, which brings its own challenges with both access restrictions and interesting and unusual spaces where one needs to consider not only the horizontal but also the vertical space.






Garden Design Trends 2017
City Garden, Belgravia, London by Bowles and Wyer






Garden design trends 2017
The Lancasters, Bayswater, London by Bowles and Wyer


2017 looks to be an exciting year for Bowles and Wyer with 3 prestigious commercial projects in the pipeline; working with the Cadogan Estate on the Kings Road, Park Crescent West in Regents Park, and Audley House in Mayfair. As always, they will be combining these projects with their residential projects both in the UK and internationally.  As we talked about the projects for 2017 we discussed the differences between commercial and residential and the challenges that they both bring.  John says that “commercial and residential are very different but not always in the way you think”.  In commercial projects, there are many more meetings, more drawings and more information required due to the larger team that you are part of.  This tends to be a more decisive process due to the super structure in place but given the nature of large commercial projects developers often have bigger worries to focus on meaning the landscaping decisions can be pushed down the priority list.



















Garden design predictions for 2017
Hampstead Roof Terrace, London by Bowles and Wyer

On residential projects, it is always about finding the balance between budget and design, Bowles and Wyer make it a priority to spend time educating their clients prior to the design phase; looking at their database of designs and costs per sqm, allowing the client to understand the true cost of each design.  John finds this key in helping clients understand what they can expect from their project based on their budget.





















Looking at 2017 John Wyer is optimistic for the London market post Brexit. He thinks the effect will be neutral if not positive as he believes foreign investment in London will rise and this will likely be reflected in garden design.  Looking back over the last few years garden design has been very much about twin trends: on the one hand right angles and minimalism, and a second trend for up-cycling and stripped back finishes. John believes these trends were partly caused by the influence of design software such as SketchUp and also the effect of the recession.


Firepits in garden design in 2017
Best in show at RHS Chelsea 2016 by Andy Sturgeon, exploring a different geometry



In 2017 John believes that we will be looking at different kind of geometry, moving away from the right angles, incorporating more curves in design and an introduction of more luxurious surfaces; etched metals and coated finishes.  The advancement in porcelain has also made a significant impact on design and we will likely see more of this in 2017 with substantial developments giving many more options for outdoor floor surfaces.


The use of fire and water in landscape design is something that is here to stay.  Bowles and Wyer have seen an increase over recent years in clients looking to incorporate fire pits into their designs, where they might have previously requested a hot tub or Jacuzzi.  The “plug and play nature” of a fire pit is something that appeals to clients. The biggest challenge with incorporating fire into the design is always about matching the cost to client’s expectations.


Design trends for 2017
London Roof Terrace by John Wyer – shortlisted for SGD Awards 2016






It’s safe to say that it looks to be another successful year for John and the team at Bowles and Wyer and with designs like this it’s not hard to see why. We wish John all the best for the SGD awards on the 27th January for this elegant roof terrace design in London.


Find out more about Bowles and Wyer at or follow John on Twitter.

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Specifying commercial fire pits

Outdoor Fire Pit Elevated Halo 36
Elevated Hale fire pit on patio

As a design professional, have you ever had difficulty specifying or recommending a fire pit? Were you ever confused about where to start? We’ve put together a list of questions so you know exactly what to consider on behalf of your client in order to maximize their satisfaction.

Who’s the fire pit for?

  • The primary question is who ultimately will be interacting with the fire pit and how? If you are considering a lounge or a restaurant there are different considerations than an amenity or public space.

Permit considerations

  • Each county, province or state will have its own set of regulations permitting the use of gas appliances. This has become much more of a consideration within the last year across many provinces and states.

Fuel sources

  • There really are only three options: Natural gas, LP (liquefied petroleum) or propane. On occasion there can also be biofuel or ethanol.   If there are issues as to where to run the gas line – a propane tank could be considered. Check if there are any considerations as to the running costs of the gas line though.
Hemi 36 Linen Flame w glass
Hemi 36″ firebowl with glass shield

Some maintenance issues to consider

  • Warranty issues – most commercial products need to last. Many products are just not suitable to withstand the test of time.
  • Electronic issues – how to wire it for electronic start if necessary. Wall switch, timer or lock box.   Manual lit can work – just depends on the staff.
  • Glass shields and barriers might be a good option – and then again perhaps not. This is often a regulatory issue and not necessarily a safety issue. There are just as many issues with glass as there are no glass.
  • Purpose of fire pit – Is it meant to serve as primarily a heating source, an aesthetic statement or to create ambience and atmosphere?
  • Seating height – what seating is around the fire pit – what is the optimum height?
    How will the elements interact with the fire pit and are its components robust enough to withstand wind, heat, rain, sleet and snow?
  • Are fire pits within the budget of the client? How do you measure the quality of the fire pit?

More questions? Don’t be afraid to call Solus Fire and Water 1877 255 3146 or visit