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, can conform to safety requirements. An optional table top also means it is multi-use.
For larger terraces or balconies, fire pits and tables create a social area with seating positioned around. The Elevated Halo is a great example used in residential and commercial spaces.
Water features are also an option on a terrace and can create a calm and tranquil
environment – 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 which mean 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 tend to be in cities where outside space is at a premium.
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.
It always leads to some interesting observations and noticeable trends such as water conscious gardening, embracing imperfections and smart home and garden automation.
Water conscious gardening is a movement towards the more considered use of water for outdoor settings. This extends from understanding the most efficient uses of water during droughts to the most elegant uses in water-rich environments. Particularly in drought prone areas outdoor landscape designs are using more appropriate plants, storing and re circulating rainwater and installing irrigation systems that water the roots directly. In more water-rich environments gardeners are installing water features and water gardens to maximise the ambiance 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. Solus Decor’s water features and electronic ignition firepits can be hooked up to home automation systems.
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 all are beautiful because of their imperfections and they help reflect the organic nature of a garden. At Solus we embrace this philosophy with concrete product features that are hand cast and imperfectly perfect.
For further information on any Solus product please contact us.
One of the more unknown benefits of a water feature is that it reduces noise pollution. This is heavily dependent on the type of water feature that is installed. For instance, a stagnant pond is only going to provide minimal noise reduction whereas waterfalls and bubbling fountains are known to absorb noise to a greater extent. Part of the noise reduction is because it has its own soothing sound that an individual is likely to tune into. So it allows them to block out the sound of a barking dog, or the bustle in a lobby.
In addition to reducing noise, a water feature also helps filter the air in two ways. The first is by attracting dust particles due to the negative ions emitted from the flowing water. The second is through the formation of water vapors that help filter the air.
Another benefit of a water feature is that it acts as a focal point for gathering. This happens regardless of the water feature being a pool, fountain, waterfall, or pond. Since people are naturally attracted to water, it means that the conversations will continue longer and the individuals within the circle are more likely to bond.
Along with a water feature providing a focal point, it also provides individuality to the landscape. This occurs through the the size, shape, colour, design and placement of the feature. It also provides movement to an otherwise still area in the form of the water rushing and with wildlife visiting the water feature.
Another benefit is that the water features require minimal maintenance – as long as they aren’t a swimming pool. Essentially fountains, waterfalls, and ponds continuously recirculate the water from within. This not only limits the amount of water used but also reduces the chances of bacteria growing out of control. Of course, some maintenance must be done initially like filling up the water feature upon installation, but the majority of it is relatively maintenance free.
Perhaps one of the more appealing aspects of a water feature is that it raises the real estate value. This is because a water feature enhances the look of the property as it creates a harmonious and relaxing atmosphere.
Overall, a water feature is the answer for you if you’re looking to benefit the environment, the landscape, or yourself.
This article was written by CADdetails.com, the leading provider of manufacturer-specific building product information, high-quality CAD drawings, 3D models, BIM files, and projects. All of their high quality, digital content is available for download here 100% free of charge.
Summer is here and we have put together some ideas on how to incorporate a Solus fire and water product into your garden scheme this summer.
If you are looking to add a little calm and relaxation into the garden then the Water Dome is the perfect addition to your garden. It is self circulating making it simple and easy to install in any garden scheme. The Water Dome is shown here in brass and cinder teamed with a lounger from Crate and Barrel allowing you to lie back and enjoy the relaxing sounds of the water. To add some extra detail we have incorporated accessories with elements of metal to compliment the Water Dome, also available at Crate and Barrel.
If you are looking to add the element of fire into your garden and keep the chill away on those summer nights, the Elevated Halo is a brilliant addition to an outdoor seating area. The Elevated Halo is coffee table height making it ideal when enjoying a drink with family and friends around the fire on a summer evening. The Elevated Halo is shown here in portland, a neutral tone that works well with both contemporary and more traditional outdoor spaces. We have combined the Elevated Halo with an L Shaped outdoor sofa from Crate and Barrel, a large cantilevered parasol by Skyline Design available at Lux Deco and accessories from Crate and Barrel.
To find out more about our products and to add an element of fire and water to your garden this summer get in touch.
Querini Stamppalia Foundation,Venice. By Carlo Scarpa.
Photo Jean-Pierre Dalbera.
IBM Plaza, Honolulu.
Court of Lions, The Alhambra, Granada. Photo by Carlos Jiménez Ruiz.
‘Dome’ in Halva & stainless steel.
‘Scupper w Basin” in Halva & Stainless
1/twelfth.a new solus monthly
A few changes.
Solus has been creating concrete objects for the past 19 years. That’s a long time. In an effort to keep things fresh, we’ve decided to change things up a bit. This revamped newsletter/blog is just one
of many exciting things we will be trying in 2016, including a new website and some new products. So, please subscribe and share! 🙂
1/twelfth will be an exploration of things that interest us in the world of design and the built environment. Our bias is towards concrete, but we will also explore designers and makers of cool things around Vancouver, in BC & Canada, and the rest of the world too. So, on to our 1st post!
Projects that incorporate water create tranquil and engaging spaces. The Alhambra in Spain, Carlo Scarpa’s geological constructions and the IBM Honolulu Plaza are all examples of how water can be used in architecture and landscape as a formal and functional element. Water beguiles us with its mercurial nature and sound. Water is fundamental and this is why we have started to design and make water features.
Our water bowls will alter the feeling and working of spaces by adding a visual focal point, reflecting light and adding sound. They can be a beautiful and functional part of a drainage, pond or pool system. And if you don’t have a larger set up such as this, we have self contained models too.
Self Contained water features allow you to incorporate the experience of water into a setting which does not have an existing water source.
Once you assemble your water feature and add the required amount of water you simply plug it in and enjoy it. This type of configuration holds and circulates all of its own water and only requires a standard electrical connection for the internal pump. Minimal maintenance is required to keep the bowl clear and the water level steady.
We offer 2 different self contained designs in 26”, 36” & 48” sizes, each has a unique nature. The ‘Scupper with basin’ creates a continuous curtain of water flowing from a wide metal spout and The ‘Dome’ highlights the rippling movement of water across a reflective surface.
In our next installment we will look at a few more examples of watercourse projects and some of our solutions for landscape integrated water features.
One of Solus’s founding principles is social responsibility. We believe it’s important to support and nurture the city in which we live and as such, have just participated in another Vancouver fundraiser, Project Empty Bowl held on June 11th. Here we happily donated a Solus Water bowl for auction.
If you’re not yet familiar with Project Empty bowl, it’s an annual fundraiser put on by A Loving Spoonful which is a volunteer-driven, non-partisan Society that provides free, nutritious meals to people living with HIV/AIDS in Greater Vancouver.
The evening was joyous with food, music and friendship all for the sole purpose of raising funds so that A Loving Spoonful can put specially prepared meals on the tables of those unable to provide for themselves due to their medical condition. Each attendee at this event receives a special handcrafted bowl as a reminder of their generous contribution to this very worthy cause. We like to think our Solus water bowl was also symbolic for this purpose.
Solus Water bowl:
The Solus water bowl was auctioned off and won by Jay Boucher of Vancouver. We’re happy that our donation helped towards the $95,000 raised. Have a sneak peak at our new water bowls in action!
Are you looking for the perfect contemporary piece to decorate a hotel lobby, entryway to a winery or patio on a golf course? Or perhaps a treat for yourself to accent your garden, walkway or the front of your house? Introducing the latest in West coast landscape design, Solus water bowls.
We launched the Solus water bowls at the Vancouver Buildex show in February and the response was so outstanding that we knew we had a new gem on our hands, and had to launch them immediately.
Solus water bowls not only offer the perfect, tranquil ambiance to your outdoor space, they are also easy to install. So easy in fact that we call them ‘Plug & Play’, as you just need to add water.
Currently we offer two styles; domed or scrupper (seen below) which come in different sizes. The scrupper water bowl is available with the 26″ bowl. The dome water bowl comes in three different bowl sizes; 26″, 36″ and 48″. The flexibility of sizes make them the ideal match for either a cozy front yard or a spacious outdoor space.
In addition to their beauty, Solus offers fantastic customer service. Just check out our testimonals.
For more information, feel free to call us toll free 1 877 255 3146 or visit us a www.solusdecor.co.uk.