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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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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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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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Feature Project: Hyatt Regency Waikiki, Hawaii

A look at the Luxury Hyatt Regency Hotel just steps away from the world famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Hyatt Regency Hotel is synonymous with luxury and the Waikiki Beach hotel is no exception.

The hotel is equipped with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Ko’olau Mountain Range or the exhilarating city centre. This allows you to take in everything that Honolulu has to offer.  The hotel also features wonderful architecture and design to ensure the guests can enjoy the spectacular views wherever they are in the hotel. All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private lanais.

The Hyatt Regency recently updated their club lounge terrace with Solus hemi firebowl firepits.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

The world-faThe faThemous neighborhood of Waikiki is located on the south shore of Honolulu and was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. It is known in Hawaiian as “spouting waters,”  and Waikiki was introduced to the world when its first hotel was built on its shores in 1901. Today, Waikiki 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.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki fire pits
Hyatt Regency Waikiki featuring Hemi Fire Bowls

 

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Club Lounge
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Club Lounge

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.

The fire bowl creates light and ambiance in the hotter months. The Hemi also provides the additional benefit of heat to the outdoor seating area on cooler evenings. It ensures that guests can make full use of the terrace throughout the year.  The Hemi fire bowl is available in 3 sizes, 10 different colour options and 3 different fuel options. This makes it adaptable to a wide range of settings, both commercial and residential.

To find out more about the Hemi or similar products we would love to hear from you. Or to book a stay in Waikiki get in touch with the Hyatt Regency.

T: 44 0208 819 1495
E: [email protected]
W: www.solusdecor.co.uk

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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 www.bowleswyer.co.uk or follow John on Twitter.

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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