So, you want a fire pit…

Guess what, you are not alone! The humble fire pit has come of age as Aussies all over this vast country look to get a little of the campfire feel back into their homes. They are super for parties providing a nice source of light, warmth and a good focal point for guests to gather (or huddle if its chilly) around as well as giving a great ambience.

You may think the word “fire” pit requires the pit to fuelled by wood, which is for the most part the most popular fuel. However, there are also options for pits fuelled by gels, gas or propane which can be a good option for renters or inner city dwelling as they reduce the smoke emitted from the fire. Bare in mind though if you want to toast marshmallows, good old wood is still the best option as some other fuels may leave a funny taste on that flaming baton of sugary goodness.

Fire pits come in huge variety of designs from built-in to freestanding, circular to square, and weighing a few kilograms to a few tonnes. The free standing options are nice because they give a real campsite vibe and full access as well as being portable. Costs also vary a lot – from modest for basic units to several thousand dollars for custom designed and made fire pits.

Location is a key element for positioning your fire pit, for both safety and enjoyment reasons. For most designs you will need quite a bit of open space around the whole fire pit. Of particular importance is the area immediately above the pit, which should be free of overhanging branches, eaves or anything else even remotely flammable. Embers and ash can fly very high in the air so make sure you gauge the prevailing winds and ensure that embers will not ignite anything in your (or your neighbours) yard.

So how big should you go? It really depends on your personal taste and the size of your outdoor space. Always aim to keep things in the same scale as your yard, if you have a small yard, don’t go for a massive fire pit that will take up the entire yard, it will just look out of proportion. Also consider how many guests you generally entertain and how much of feature you want it to be. A large fire is quite noisy and can require guests to raise their voices to be heard above it.

Formal entertaining at home

Have you considered having a formal occasion in your own home? What about a wedding ceremony and reception? What a great idea.

There are many advantages to be gained by having a small wedding in your home. It’s very economical compared to an event in a venue, and this is not merely because you do not have to pay for a venue. Food and alcohol is the most expensive part, and these will cost much less when you have control over the purchasing. You could use your savings to place a deposit on your own home.

In the familiar surroundings of your home, everyone will feel relaxed and comfortable, as long as you ensure you plan this important event properly. You may choose to have the ceremony in your garden, or near a swimming pool or pergola. Or it may actually be in the house itself if you have the right configuration of rooms. Depending on the home, the wedding can be organised along formal lines, or it can be casual and comfortable. The home will frequently have memories and significance for someone in the bridal party. If you wish such a wedding can be quick and easy to organise. You can limit the numbers you invite by telling people that it is an intimate ceremony at home, and you will avoid offending people.

Brio offers a terrific solution for inside entertaining, with their interior folding systems. These doors are able to be opened up to create a much larger space for your ceremony or reception. Likewise, Brio’s interior sliding door systems offer another form of room division which are able to be utilised to make more space when needed. Bifold doors offer a solution which not only looks good, but is practical and hard-wearing. Once you have opened up your space you can then think about how you will decorate it for your function.

For a home wedding, it is usually better to have more casual food service. It is best to choose between platters, finger food or buffet. Great quality finger food is a much better idea than the cheapest quote for plated food. This will also be less expensive and your guests will enjoy better food.

A detailed budget is essential. For a home wedding, most of the cost will be for food and alcohol, and flowers for decoration.

It is a good idea before you choose a caterer to determine their capacity to give you the type of food you want. Ask around and get recommendations from friends and others who have had these types of functions and used the caterer. Make sure you taste their food and know what it is you want – for instance Asian, or finger food. Arrange a meeting with the caterer to discuss your function. This will give you a sense of how well organised they are and how flexible they are.It is a good idea to hold the meeting in your home, so the caterer can see the logistics of what they are dealing with before the big day. A good caterer will want to check the space for guests, whether there are stairs, and what access there is for equipment such as food warmers etc. Don’t forget about food allergies and people who are vegetarian or vegan.

Most of all enjoy your day by being relaxed and happy.


Patios and BBQ’s and all things summer

There is nothing more enjoyable than a casual and relaxed BBQ with family and friends on your patio. Think about the location of your patio to ensure it is well-used. Lots of sunshine in winter, and dappled sunshine and light in summer, will make for a very pleasant place to entertain. Also make the most of any views that may be seen from your patio. The outlook may consist of your garden or lawn, or it may be over mountains, or a lake or dam. If you have overhanging trees it may be a good idea to ensure they are deciduous, so that sunshine is more plentiful in winter.

Bringing the outdoors inside is one of the specialties of a Brio system. With exterior folding doors it is possible to open up the doors to enable a flow of people onto a balcony, a patio or verandah – or even straight out onto the lawn. As well as more room for children and pets to run in and out of the house, opening up your folding doors will allow the fresh air and sunshine in. Brio’s exterior folding systems are unsurpassed for ease of use, as well as quality. There are a number of options, such as shutterfold, louvrefold and screenfold, and these have a maximum number of six panels each way. Brio’s Weatherfold series is world-class.

Folding door hardware is an important part of the entire look and feel of a Brio system. This hardware is suitable for aluminium and timber doors. Locking devices, seals and flush bolts are available in three premium finishes, these being stainless steel, polished stainless steel and PVD brass. Hinge sets are also available from Brio. Brio door hardware is durable and has superior functionality in the most difficult of environments. It is one of the first choices for architects and end users, and as well as looking great, Brio’s door hardware has strength and resilience. The door hardware has the ability to withstand wear and tear and offers excellent security.

Another secure option is found in the pleated insect screen which provides security as well as being robust and sturdy. Your children and household pets will be free to play and run without concerns about whether or not they will cause harm to the screen solutions that Brio has provided.

Enjoy your patio for a BBQ, and as an extra room in your home. Bring your family to life and enjoy your leisure hours and have weekends that you and your family remember forever.