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Cool Contemporary Outdoor Living for the Family

Caneline furniture board

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

 

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

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

 

Caneline furniture board

Make Your Home A Haven

 

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

Shop The Look

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

 

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

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Sustainability with Solus

Pacific Rim

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

 

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

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

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

Sustainability at Solus:

Recycling

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

Power

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

Indoor Air Quality

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

Local Materials

We utilize largely locally sourced and manufactured materials.

Embodied Energy

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

Office Materials

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

 

Solus worker smooths fire pit

Sustainable Solus Products

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

 

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

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

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Winter Sun Inspiration

Solus firepit shown lit outside at monarch beach california

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

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

California

Solus firepit shown lit outside at monarch beach california

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

Hawaii

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

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

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

 

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

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

Bahamas

Looking for all inclusive luxury without the children? Look no further than Warwick Paradise Island  An all-inclusive resort hotel in the beautiful setting of the Bahamas.  All-Inclusive takes any stresses out of your vacation, leaving you to simply enjoy yourself. You can relax on the resort’s private harbour beach or take in some of the best views of Nassau Harbour.

 

St Barths

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

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

 

Bee Osborn has created a relaxed, light and airy space using soft creams with luxurious textures in the fixtures and fittings.  Hotel Le Toiny is  a 5-Star tropical paradise overlooking the Caribbean Sea on the hills of St. Barthelemy The Resort is made up of 22 luxury one and two bedroom suites nestled in of a lush palm grove bordered by Toiny beach.  The hotel has been designed as a sanctuary for guests to relax both indoors and outdoors.

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

 

 

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

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Feature Project: Salty’s Seattle

Salty's Seattle

A look at Salty’s, the hugely popular seafood restaurant on Alki beach near Seattle.

About Salty’s

Salty’s restaurant is located on Elliott Bay with sweeping views of the Seattle skyline. The restaurant has been hailed as having one of the best restaurant views by critics. Salty’s on Alki beach is part of a small chain of seafood restaurants with additional locations in Washington and Portland.  Salty’s on Alki beach was acquired by Gerry Kingen; founder of Salty’s in 1985 and from then it has gone from strength to strength. Salty’s offer a wonderful menu with a mix of charbroiled steaks and local seafood so you can be sure there is something for everyone, with a focus on local produce and sustainability.

Solus Hemi Firepit at Salty’s

Hemi firebowl with drinks ring at Salty's Seattle
Hemi firebowl with drinks ring at Salty’s Seattle

Salty’s have incorporated one of Hemi 48″ fire bowls on the terrace, a wonderful addition to this sensational space and the perfect place to enjoy the view with a drink on a cooler day. Salty’s have opted to accessorize their Hemi with a drinks ring; the ideal accompaniment to a restaurant setting. The drink ring allow space to rest a glass or small appetizer plate while you sit around the fire.

Salty’s have a number of spaces so they are perfect for a variety of occasions; a family dinner, happy hour after work or the perfect spot to celebrate a special family occasion in one of their three private dining spaces.

The Hemi is our signature fire pit and hugely popular in both the commercial and residential setting.  The Hemi is available in three sizes with three fuel options and a variety of accessories to make it adaptable to any environment, including our hugely popular new metal table top and drinks ring. To find our more about the Hemi and other commercial installations get in touch with the team.

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 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 ten different colours and three different fuel options; bio ethanol, LPG and natural gas making it compatible for all situations and styles.

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Contemporary Garden Design in Essex

outdoor fire pit in Essex

A look at a contemporary garden design in Essex. M King & Sons have created a warm and inviting space using a Solus Decor fire pit as a focal point.

Today we are looking at a fantastic project in Colchester, Essex, which was a complete make over by M King & Sons who have created a fantastic outdoor space that can truly be used all year round.

M King and Sons, who specialise in ground work and construction in the Essex area. They have used their expertise to create a wonderful outdoor retreat for their client. By removing all the existing hard landscaping they have completely transformed the outdoor space. New ground work, hard landscaping, electrics and gas has created a warm and inviting space for their clients.

 

 

fire pit in Essex
Outdoor Living space with Elevated Halo fire pit

 

Working closely with the client they have created a wonderful space for entertaining. They have worked with mixed textures of grass and and stone and added relaxed outdoor seating around an Elevated Halo fire pit to create a welcoming space.

 

 

The Elevated Halo fire pit is ideal for this style of space as it offers the warmth of a fire along with the functionality of a table when used in conjunction with outdoor seating. With their clean profiles and soft curves the Halo Elevated fits well into a wide variety of outdoor environments. The elevated halo fire pit works in traditional and contemporary settings. The Elevated Halo is available in two sizes 36″ and 48″ and 10 different colour options. This variety makes it ideal for residential and commercial installations.

 

Solus halo elevated gas fire pit
Elevated Halo Fire Pit

If you would like to create your own outdoor retreat get in touch with us to find out more about our range of fire and water features.

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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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Making the most of a roof terrace

If you have a roof terrace or balcony, how can you make the most of it? There are some inspirational ideas out there to add value to your outside space.

Create warmth and use your outside space all year with a fire pit.

In a small space, it is still possible to add a functional but stylish fire pit that is safe to use. The Firecube is ideal and with different fuel options, it can conform to safety requirements. An optional table top also means it is multi-use.

Solus Décor Firecube

For larger terraces or balconies, fire pits and tables will create a social area with seating positioned around. The Elevated Halo is a great example and used in residential and commercial spaces.

The Gwen Hotel, Chicago featuring a Solus Decor Elevated Halo fire table

The Gwen Hotel, Chicago featuring a Solus Decor Elevated Halo fire table

 

Solus Dome water feature
Solus Dome water feature

Water features are also an option on a terrace and can create a calm and tranquil environment. They can be an oasis in the city and integral as part of the mindful living trend for 2018*. Look out for self-circulating and “plug and play” products. This means there is no plumbing and water is not being wasted. The Dome is a great example.

There are many designers who are experienced in designing roof top and terrace gardens which do tend to be in cities where outside space is at a premium.

 

 

Amber Freda Landscape Design have created some amazing spaces in NYC and their website has a portfolio of these as well as offering informative blogs such as flowers for a city roof top garden.

The Garden Builders in the UK have also worked on transforming roof spaces in London and their blog 7 roof terrace ideas showcases some of them and offers expert advice.

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

*Source: Country Living

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A Romantic Firepit Proposal in Massachusetts

outdoor firepit
Hemi 48″ firebowl at Briarcliff Motel. Photo: Graham Fortgang

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we are looking back at one of our favourite fire pit stories.

When we set out on our Fire Pit journey we knew they were a talking point and in addition to that we knew that they were a key element in creating the right ambiance for outdoor spaces and of course this in turn ticks all the boxes for romance.  The idea of sitting around fire light is an age-old tradition and is the scene for many romantic tales.  Solus have added a contemporary twist on this and in doing so have made it that much easier to create the perfect romantic setting.

We were thrilled to have been part of the back drop for a romantic proposal at the Briarcliff Hotel in Massachusetts.  Our Solus Hemi 48″ Firepit in the beautiful grounds of the Motel was chosen as the romantic spot where Keith proposed to Jamie at the Briarcliff Motel, located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

romantic outdoor fire Pit
Jamie showing off her beautiful diamond ring
romantic outdoor firepit
The Happy Couple sitting by the Hemi Fire Pit

It turns out that the groom, Keith, had seen the above picture of our Hemi 48″ firepit on the Briarcliff Motel’s Facebook page and made a special request for them to set up this area in preparation for his marriage proposal. He got down on one knee and popped the question at the romantic fireside setting with the beautiful backdrop of the Berkshire Mountains. In case you’re wondering, Jamie absolutely said yes. That’s the happy couple at left – you can see Jamie showing off her beautiful diamond solitaire.

It gives us huge pleasure to know that the Hemi firebowl has become a significant part of the attraction for people choosing the Briarcliff Motel.

It creates a beautiful atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy the great outdoors all year round.  Guests can relax around the fire while watching a beautiful sunset and stay toasty warm. As Valentine’s day descends upon us it is time to find your very own romantic spot and if it happens to include a fire – send us a photo.

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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New Product of the Year Award Finalist 2016 at the Chelsea Flower Show!

Finalists for New Product of the Year Award – Chelsea Flower Show

Solus Decor UK is very pleased to have been selected as a finalist in the New Product of the Year Award 2016 at the Chelsea Flower Show.

CGPotY-tag-Finalist-1.jpg

 

A Fire Pit for Everyone

This is our very first year displaying at the Chelsea flower show. We are pleased to be participating in this prestigious event. We met so many people who visited our display – all with different sized gardens and patios. Our Firecube 16 is versatile for all of these applications. Small enough to fit a cozy apartment or small garden, this fire pit has the advantage of a biofuel (ethanol) burner. For larger gardens and outdoor spaces, the Firecube looks wonderful displayed in tiered clusters of 2 or 3 or placed in a seating area in multiples. The Firecube is also available with a Natural Gas or Propane burner. This makes it very convenient to burn for extended periods of time. Firecube 16 is compact and modern with a surprising amount of heat output for its small size. Clean-lined and functional, it fits easily into gardens and spaces of any size. It also transitions into a table when paired with its concrete lid.

Firecube 16 is compact and modern with a surprising amount of heat out put for its small size

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FAQ’s about Fire Pit Certification and Warranty

Questions you should ask when selecting your fire pit about certification and warranty:

 

Is your fire pit Certified as an Appliance?

Fire bowl

What does this mean?

New requirements are that both the burner and the vessel or enclosure must be certified to CSA/ANSI or CE standards and tested as such.

Most fire pit companies buy a “certified CE burner off the shelf and simply insert it into their vessel or brickwork.  This means that the burner and vessel have not been tested in relation to each other. This is changing in the field due to regulatory and insurance demands in the field. Many European countries are introducing new regulations for fire pits to be fully certified as appliances. The rapid availability of fire pits in big box retailers and online has spawned a wave of regulatory and insurance changes.  Therefore the code and compliance of fire and fire pits in residential and commercial settings is becoming more stringent.

Why does this matter?

Simply inserting certified burners into bricks, concrete, metal, or other materials (as was done commonly in the past) is on the way out. This is because the burners and vessels are not tested and/or certified in relation to each other. The heat of the burner can react differently with different materials and the quality of the vessel. Improper ventilation or improper shut offs can also be dangerous and are also considered in the CE certification process.

What has happened to instigate this change?

In many jurisdictions the gas fitter or inspector has rejected burners that have been set into non-certified vessels or enclosures built on site. The gas fitter or inspector must sign off on the installation and will be looking for the “tags” for the whole appliance – not just the burner.

Solus fire pits encountered this challenge in North America and it is becoming apparent that the same things is happening in Europe as the popularity of fire pits increases.

Why don’t more fire pits companies certify?

Certification is painful, expensive, time consuming, laborious and requires deep technical expertise. Furthermore it has to be done in relation to each product that you manufacture, therefore if you have metal and concrete vessels you have to certify for each material – not just the burner.

Ask about Warranties and ask for details:

When shopping for your fire pit, ask specifically: What are the details and length of time for the warranties? Who handles the burner warranty? Who handles the warranty on the vessel?

Having undergone the entire certification process we introduced the best warranty in the fire pit world. As of 2016 Solus manual lit burners carry a 5 year warranty, 25 years when purchased with a cover.  They are made of brass, don’t rust and we are the manufacturer.  Solus concrete carries a 5 year warranty when purchased with a cover.   Our electronic systems carry a 3 year warranty when purchased with a cover.  This is an extension of the 6 months or 1 year cover normally given by electronic fire pits.  Solus warranty – the best in the business.

 

 

 

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Solus fire bowls by New York’s Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reviews the Solus

Playing With Solus Fire

By LAILA KEARNEY

Fire pits have evolved from caves and campsites to become a central part of outdoor living. In a survey of 166 landscape architects, fire pits ranked as one of the most requested residential outdoor features of 2013, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects. The pits are increasingly designed to use gas instead of kindling for environmental reasons and safety, while still bringing heat and art to the outdoors.

The Hemi is 36-inches in diameter, 16.5 inches tall. Solus Decor's Hemi 36 pictured here in the colour Arbutus.
Solus Decor’s Hemi 36 pictured here in the colour linen.

Blazing Bowls

Hand-cast concrete décor company Solus built its first fire bowl six years ago for a client wanting flames to rise from within her cascading swimming pool in coastal Victoria, British Columbia. Fire pits have since become the Vancouver-based company’s best-selling product, said company president Brad Carpenter. Solus pit designs include this Hemi fire bowl. The Hemi pictured is 36-inches in diameter, 16.5 inches tall and can be built to use a propane burner or, more commonly, a natural-gas line that runs beneath the surface of the product.

 

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Can a fire pit add value to your home?

Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl Photo credit: Houston Landscaping
Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl Photo credit: Houston Landscaping

About 3 million outdoor firepits/fireplaces are installed every year in North America according to the Hearth Patio & Barbeque Association, as part of an overall trend toward more extensive outdoor living spaces”

Reinforcing this growing popularity is the results from a recent Residential Landscape Architecture trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects, which found that fire pits are the 3rd most popular outdoor feature after lighting and dining.

“Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly.”

When considering a firepit you can expect to see a range of costs – from a few hundred dollars for a small portable fire pit that will last for a few years, to a few thousand for a luxurious fire pit that makes an architectural statement and will be a permanent feature of your home. There are also several fuel options for your fire pit – such as natural gas, propane or ethanol (bio fuel).

The convenience of natural gas or propane gas fire pits are well known. In many communities wood burners are either not allowed or banned during many parts of the year that you would probably want to be outside by a fire. The mess a wood burner creates can be substantial.

Other considerations include non combustible clearances to overhangs, the amount of heat you may or may not need and how your outdoor seating may interact with the firepit.

Like fireplaces, there are numerous questions about firepits and a Solus Decor Design Consultant would be happy to assist you with your project.

Give us a call at 1+ (877) 255-3146 or visit our firepit gallery at www.solusdecor.co.uk/photos/

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Modern Canadian Export makes twist on British Tradition

Fire bowlWe have some proud news to share! We’ve recently expanded to Britain in hopes of bringing the Canadian tradition of sitting around a warm fire pit to the British. We later plan on expanding our Canadian-made fire products to the rest of Europe. It’s very exciting because we are the first to market modern fire pits to Britain as this is a completely new concept for them, unless they’ve spent time in Canada.

Like any new feat, we definitely have some work ahead of us. We will have to educate the Brits about the idea of relaxing or entertaining outside, around a convivial fire with friends and family. So far, landscape designers have been excited about the possibilities of adding fire pits into their designs.  As for consumers, we soft launched our fire pits and water bowls at the famed London Hampton Court Palace Flower show in July. A lot of people asked ‘What is that?‘ as they’ve never seen them before. We’re more than confident that they are going to love them since their culture is so ingrained around prestigious gardens. Now we’re giving them a reason to enjoy them longer into the fall thanks to the heat provided by our fire pits.

In order to help tackle this new market, we recently entered a contest for small and medium sized businesses with the Globe and Mail to win $100,000. Although we didn’t win, we were featured in their Report on Business. Experts in the area of manufacturing and international retailing chimed in to give advice on how we could approach this new market with a new product. Although the advice might be a bit dry to include here, we’d like to ask what you think? How do you think we could introduce this Canadian tradition to Canada’s former colonial parent?

 

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Retirement deck renovation features Hemi firebowl on HGTV

Solus Decor is yet again pleased to have the Hemi 36″ firebowl featured on HGTV’s Disaster Decks! In the Deck Anne Hates episode, designer Paul Lafrance helps a retired couple, Anne and Paul, rebuild their 30 year old decaying deck that was becoming not only mossy, but dangerous.

The goal was to build an oasis of a deck that Anne and Paul could enjoy their retirement on. Thus, it would be a no-brainer to include a Solus firebowl that adds an artistic architectural element to any outdoor space.  We think Paul Lafrance did a stunning job making the Hemi firebowl the focal point of this beautifully designed deck, which will now provide warmth and ambiance throughout their golden years.

A LITTLE ABOUT THE HEMI 36″ FIREBOWL

The Hemi firebowl creates an instant gathering place for relaxed conversations, dining atmosphere or backyard campfire marshmallows. (Yes, you can actually roast marshmallows on them!).  In addition to their beauty, they are a wise choice for a deck one has invested in as they are built to withstand the extreme climates of Canadian weather due to them being made of our ultra high performance concrete which is unique to Solus.

ALL SOLUS FIRE PITS ARE CSA CERTIFIED

Unlike many fire pits on the market, all Solus fire pits are CSA certified as appliances (not just burners) to match new regulations in BC, ON and AB.

Enjoy these photos from the Deck Anne Hates episode on HGTV

Hemi on HGTV

Hemi on Disaster Decks

Hemi on HGTV

Hemi on HGTV

Hemi on Disaster Decks

 

If you’d like more info about the Solus Hemi firebowl for your outdoor space or upcoming renovation, talk with one of our design consultants at 1 877 255 3146 or visit www.solusdecor.co.uk.

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Disaster Decks features Hemi firebowl on nautical-themed deck

How many of you have had a deck that was falling a part and for whatever reason, chose to cover up the damage as a short term way of dealing with it?  That’s exactly what happened with Barb & Brent Hates. Not having the knowledge or know-how to fix it up, they, believe it or not, used boats to cover up the damage on their rickety, old deck.

In this episode of Disaster Decks featured on HGTV, Paul Lafrance and his team gave Barb & Brent Hates a nautical-themed deck that shows off their waterfront view. In order to allow the Hates to spend as much time as possible on the deck during the year, they chose to include the Solus 26″ Hemi firebowl. This will keep them toasty warm while enjoying the waterfront view and entertaining friends, neighbours and family. The addition of the plinth (below the bowl) elevates the firebowl to the height of their chosen deck furniture.

A LITTLE ABOUT THE SOLUS 26″ HEMI FIREBOWL

Smaller in size than the 36″ Hemi firebowl but packing an equally big punch, the 26″ is perfect for smaller deck circumferences while not compromising on heat.

Watch the complete episode of Disaster Decks on HGTV and view photos from it below.

Hemi on Paul Lafrance's Disaster Decks

Hemi 26 featured on Disaster Decks

Hemi 26 firebowl on Disaster Decks

 

If you’d like more info about the Solus Hemi firebowl for your outdoor space or upcoming renovation, talk with one of our design consultants at 1 877 255 3146 or visit www.solusdecor.co.uk.

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Disaster Decks features Elevated Halo for ageing deck reno

Picture a beautiful, century old, brick schoolhouse that was converted into a home for a family of 5. Sounds like an architect’s dream, right? Now imagine the shape of its 100-year old rotting deck. Not great, huh? For Linda & Asad Hates, this was the embarrassment that took away from the charm of the home they adored. Their rotting deck had holes, a broken hot tub and benches with makeshift railings. Fortunately, in the Linda & Asad Hates episode of Disaster Decks, Paul Lafrance came in to help give this charming schoolhouse’s deck a dream renovation job which included the Solus Elevated Halo 36″ fire pit.

A LITTLE ABOUT OUR ELEVATED HALO FIRE PIT

The Solus Elevated Halo 36″ Fire Pit is a modern interpretation of the primordial campfire raised to coffee table height to invite conversation and to place a drink or canapé on the surrounding table surface. Handcrafted in smooth high-performance concrete, this serene outdoor fire pit cradles its flame in a beautifully, sculptural concavity. A peaceful floating slab, the Solus Elevated Halo’s glow invites reflection and intimate gatherings.

Enjoy these images from the Linda & Asad Hates episode on Disaster Decks

Disaster Decks features Elevated Halo

Disaster Decks features Elevated Halo

Disaster Decks features Elevated Halo

Disaster Decks features Elevated Halo

Disaster Decks features Elevated Halo

Disaster Decks features Elevated Halo

If you’d like more info about the Solus Elevated Halo for your outdoor space or upcoming renovation, talk with one of our design consultants at 1 877 255 3146 or visit www.solusdecor.co.uk.

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Fire pits for 2015 – 10 things Solus thinks you need to know

Solus Hemi 36" firebowl

The fire pit experience has certainly evolved from the days of sitting around an old tractor tire ring heaped with wood.  Although this still has a magical mystique to it, your average urban back yard, patio or deck just can’t safely, (or in some cases legally), accommodate this “uncontrolled” fire pit style.

1) HOW DO YOU LIGHT A GAS FIRE PIT?

Lighting a fire pit

There are numerous options – the most simple and popular fire pit is a match lit (also described as manual light) whereby you turn the skeleton key valve which releases the gas and at the same time touch a barbecue starter to the top of the fire pit stone (propane or gas burner) and voila!  Fire!  In the case of ethanol (biofuel), you light the “wand’ and insert it into the receptacle that houses the liquid.

2) CAN I LIGHT IT WITH A REMOTE CONTROL UNIT, OR BY FLIPPING A SWITCH?

Yes of course – with a Solus electronic start burner. This is typically used for high-end residences or commercial locations, which can allow for an electrical hook up from the pit to a wall switch, timer or smart home/ commercial controller. With the right third party controller, it is even smart phone capable and is applicable for either NG (natural gas) or LP (propane).  Electronic ignition for biofuel burners is not an option at this time.

3) WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF A MATCH-LIT (MANUAL-LIGHT) SYSTEM?

Well – it is generally simpler to operate and a very reliable burner. It allows you to adjust and regulate the height of the flame and therefore the amount of heat.  It is the recommended choice for residential settings. For those households with children, it allows the parent to take the key away and therefore the ability to keep the fire pit turned off when required.

4) WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF THE ELECTRONIC IGNITION?   

In most commercial settings regulations will require this but not always.  In a common area for a condo we often recommend a timer so that it automatically switches itself off if a resident walks off and leaves it unattended.  For resorts or restaurants we generally recommend a lock off switch so it can be turned off at the end of the night.

5) MY FIREPLACE HAS A GLASS SHIELD – DOES MY FIRE PIT NEED ONE?

Our general answer is no – in our opinion it is not necessary for a residential setting. In some cases (certainly not all), commercial locations will require a glass shield as the local authorities will insist on it.

6) IS THERE AN OPTION TO PLACE A FIRE PIT IN AN AREA WHEN WE CAN NO LONGER RUN GAS LINES AND ITS PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE TO DO SO?

Yes it is possible.  There are two options – Biofuel, which is a denuded ethanol based product, is sustainable and causes no off gassing.   Or you could also put in a propane burner and hook it up via a hose to a standard propane tank (like you use for your barbecue) We have a concrete tank holder that serves nicely as an end table which was built to hide the ugly tanks too!

7) DOES A LARGER BTU BURNER NECESSARILY MEANS BETTER AND/OR HIGHER HEAT?

The answer is NO, not always. Higher BTU’s does not necessarily mean more heat. As in all things designed  – good design is subtle.   Most gas fire pits are a simple pan with a series of gas ports housed underneath the burner pan.  The gas hits the pan, spreads out under it, and appears over top to erupt from your lava/rock bed. Much of the fuel is lost in this transition.

Solus burners are designed differently.  With cross jet ports that are extended out and above the burner plate.   They are not designed to hit the burner plate underneath and therefore we don’t lose heat to the bottom of the vessel.  It produces a more realistic flame pattern and much taller and robust flame.  They also come with a five-year warranty – pan burners usually come with a one-year warranty.

Finally – if you are looking for variable heat –a manual skeleton key valve is the way to go.  Although smart phone fire pit starters are sexy, they don’t have any variable heat control on them – therefore electronic units are either on or off. Many certified units are 150,000 BTU’s and if they are electronic there is no way to regulate the amount of heat by turning them down. They can only be turned on or off.

8) NG (NATURAL GAS) vs. LP (PROPANE) vs. BIOFUEL vs. WOOD… WHAT SHOULD I CHOOSE?

What fuel source is best for the circumstance depends on many things such as:

Many municipalities and jurisdictions have an outright ban on wood burning firepits even though they are sold widely at big box retailers in every state and province in North America. Even if wood burners are allowed they are often banned for a period of the summer due to pollution warnings (often in California, New York, Massachusetts) or in extremely dry conditions where there is an outright fire ban.

Your other options may be dictated by whether natural gas is available or affordable, and whether or not you want to have your fire pit in an enclosed area. (see FAQ #6 for more detail).

9) WHAT’S WITH THE ROCKS?  WHY DO YOU HAVE BOTH LAVA AND STONE IN MANY OF YOUR PHOTOS?

Lava stones
Most fire pits are sold covered with lava only.  However, it doesn’t mean that it is the best solution. Lava, when it gets wet often “pops” – not unlike popcorn. Due to the porosity of the lava rock it will pop and come out of the pit! This can not only be scary but potentially dangerous.

Our solution after lots of hands-on research are the refractory concrete stones that are placed on top of the lava stone to contain and weigh down the lava when it is wet.  You will note that the “stone” is refractory (kiln dried) based concrete, designed exclusively for us (modeled on river stone).  A warning – Do not put landscape stone into the fire pit – the natural fissures in the rock will split and could potentially shoot back out of the fire pit like a projectile.

10) SOLUS PRODUCTS ARE HEAVY – CAN’T YOU MAKE THEM LIGHTER? IS IT HARD TO SHIP THEM AROUND THE WORLD?  

There is no doubt that many of our products are heavy.  We don’t believe in lightweight concrete because it doesn’t withstand the test of time.  Lightweight concrete often “shales”, flakes or crumbles with cold or variable temperatures. Solus concrete is a “designed” and highly engineered product made to withstand weather (see ASTM standards for strength and our own ASTM report).  Its design allows us to cast thin and elegant concrete that does not look like something out of prehistoric times or a “Fred Flintstone” cartoon.   In combination with our brass burners we have THE product.

Our production crew who finish, wrap and crate our Solus products are very fastidious. Our successful ship rate is over 99.5%.  Having shipped products to Australia, Azerbaijan, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and all points in North America, our team knows a thing or two about getting it there – in perfect condition. We cannot afford otherwise.  As a surety to the client, contractor and proud new Solus owner, we photograph each and every piece that leaves our facility.  These are then sent to each connected party in the delivery. With the weight advice we can make suggestions and can guide you through how many people you will need to handle the delivery and placement of your new fire pit.

SOMETIMES WE PREFER OUR CUSTOMERS DO THE TALKING:

David Wadors testimonial

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Solus featured in Taste of Life magazine

We are very pleased to be featured in the October 2014 issue of Taste of Life magazine. They featured our Elevated Halo fire pit in their Better Living section on fireplaces.

The highlight for us was this comment:

One of Solus’ customers shared the elemental appeal that fire has over even the most impenetrable of personalities: “When I turn my firepit on, my teenagers come sit around it and spend time with us all by themselves. It’s the only time they do that. They put down their phones, their games and their computers and just watch the fire.”

Taste of Life magazine
Solus featured in Oct issue of Taste of Life magazine
Elevated Halo in Taste of Life Magazine
Elevated Halo fire pit featured in Taste of Life magazine
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6 tips to plan a last-minute Labour Day BBQ

The White Party
Plan your own White-themed Labour Day Party

Labour Day is one week from today and as you know, it’s our last long week-end in Summer to celebrate with a BBQ before the weather goes dreary (well, for some of us!). In case this is your last chance to gather friends and family around a fire pit, we thought we’d give you a few tips on how to effortlessly put together a last-minute Labour Day party.

1) Send a ‘Save the Date’ invite now
Chances are, 99% of your guests are on Facebook so why not create a Facebook Event now to get everyone to RSVP as quickly as possible? You can always fill in the details later, but the goal is to get them to ‘save the date’ ASAP. Obviously, text or call those who don’t check Facebook regularly.

2) Make it a ‘whiteout’ themed party
Staying in line with the Labour Day tradition, we suggest making it a ‘Whiteout’ themed party where everyone must come in as much white clothing as possible. As the old adage goes, no white pants (or shoes, or clothing) after Labour Day so why not have fun with this and encourage everyone to come in white? This may be their last chance after all. You could also work this colour theme into your decorations (napkins, table clothes, foods) should you choose.

3) Make it BYOF and BYOB
Having a Potluck is a great way to take a lot of the responsibility off your shoulders and most guests will be more than happy to bring a dish. In order to make sure you don’t end up with 8 dishes of guacamole, assign everyone a category to have an even assortment of dips, snacks, side-dishes, salads and desserts. For guests that aren’t ‘food savvy’ ask them to help with drinks. See if they can also bring coolers and ice so drinks can stay outside and you can minimize the people walking in and out of your home.

4) Main course – Your bring it, we grill it!
With the amount of dietary restrictions (gluten-free, vegetarian) and food preferences (organic, grass-fed, free-range) guests have these days, it’s almost impossible to know what guests will and won’t eat. A better way to entertain is to offer a ‘you bring it, we grill it’ option so that everyone is satisfied with their meals. Perhaps have some hot-dogs and veggy-dogs on hand just in case. Do offer the condiments and buns though. For the ‘gluten-free’ guests, have some gluten-free buns or iceberg lettuce available for lettuce buns.

5) Don’t forget the marshmallows
One of the benefits of having a fire pit is that you can cook marshmallows directly over it just like a real campfire. A note of caution, there might be some gooey mess to clean up the next day in the burner, but hey, at least the party will be fun. Designate some kids to find some sticks beforehand so they are all ready for when the kids (or parents) arrive. Also, if you have any vegetarian guests, you might consider picking up some vegan marshmallows as well (yes, there is such a thing). Obviously, exercise the same amount of caution roasting on a fire pit as you would a real campfire. As for hot dogs or skewers, we recommend using the actual BBQ.

6) Set up ample seating around your fire pit
Lastly, in case you haven’t already, set up ample seating around your fire pit as you’ll surely want to take advantage of this social feature to warm your guests as the sun sets. A fire pit is such a great way to have guests spend time with one another. In case you’re unsure, here are 6 ways to  position seating around a fire pit.