Quilt Cools Down the Visual Impact of HVAC With a Design Warm to Home Decor

06.12.24 | By
Quilt Cools Down the Visual Impact of HVAC With a Design Warm to Home Decor

Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo once noted, “What’s interesting about collaborations is the possibility for one plus one to equal three.” And that notion of addition through the process of partnerships is on full display between San Francisco industrial design duo Mike&Maaike and their work for heat and cooling technology startup, Quilt.

With a portfolio spanning categories from furniture and product design, technology devices, environments, and transportation – including collaborations with Google, Coalesse, and Steelcase – the studio’s familiarity with imparting technology with an immediate degree of “that’s nice!” approachability is what might set apart Quilt from other home climate solutions.

Mom hanging out with son as he reads, each relaxing in bed in bedroom with blue walls and Quilt climate system wall mounted and painted to blend into blue walls.

A dining room with a wooden table and benches, a chair, and various decorative items, including plants, a bowl of fruit, and a vase with flowers. For comfort, the room features a modern climate system with a split air conditioner mounted on the wall.

As a cooling unit, each Quilt delivers a BTU range from 2,000 up to 19,700; as a heater, the system delivers between 2,500 and a maximum of 20,500 BTU/h.

Presenting itself as a decor-friendly trojan horse, Quilt’s approach is intended to improve adoption rate of their highly energy efficient ductless heat pump technology with something more akin to picking out built-in cabinetry. Mini-split ductless systems by default are generally adaptable to small quarters, and a common sight in Asia and Europe already. But as designed by Mike&Maaike the system breaks out from the monotony of monochromatic white or black spans of plastic housing typical of mini-split units for a form intended to be customized using wraps or paint to match to wall colors.

A child sits on a kitchen countertop and a woman stands beside him, both engaged in light conversation. The modern kitchen, equipped with a Quilt heat pump and featuring a window, shelves, and various kitchen items, creates a cozy atmosphere.

Even out of the box in its White Oak veneer front panel option, the design offers a warmly benign presence (an all white unit is also available).

A child holding a toy car stands by a white shelf with books, a lamp, and space-themed models. The shelf is beneath an air conditioning unit from the home's climate system mounted on the wall.

Viewed from the side, the fluted detailing lands very much on trend.

A Quilt technician in a blue shirt using a level tool to check the alignment of a wall-mounted Oak veneer covered mini split unit. A plant is partially visible in the foreground.

Quilt says when turned on, the unit is “quieter than rainfall” at 27-47 decibels depending upon fan speed.

Even so, when it comes to any appliance the wall, most would agree “less is more.” Thus, Quilt’s 38-inch-wide indoor unit has been reduced down to a height of 7-7/8 inches (in comparison a comparably equipped mini-split measures 13 inches), reducing its visual imprint and making it easier to accommodate in tight spots such as above windows or doors.

A small round OLED touchscreen remote placed on a wooden table next to a ceramic vase with a green plant and a blue notebook. A white cable is connected to the device connected to control the Quilt heat pump.

The system is operated using the Quilt Dial, essentially a smart thermostat that can be installed in-wall or used plugged in and left bed/tableside. Designed for room-by-room control, the wedge-like design is topped with a 326ppi OLED touchscreen display, an unobtrusive control system that’s even less conspicuous than the widely adopted Nest Thermostat.

Person holding a smartphone displaying a home automation app with controls for various rooms, showing temperature settings of 70 degrees for living room, bedroom, and other areas. The interface seamlessly integrates with your home's climate system to ensure optimal comfort.

And just like Nest, the Quilt Dial is mirrored by an app equivalent. Available for iOS and Android, the app allows for features you would expect of any modern HVAC solution: on/off controls, scheduling, energy savings, and efficiency monitoring. Because the truth is once we’re settled on the sofa or in bed, we’re less apt to want to make that trek over to a physical thermostat when our phones are always nearby.

Outdoor scene with a dog sitting on a wooden deck in front of a modern house with wooden paneling. Large potted plants are placed near a slatted matte black Quilt heat pump compressor unit under a window next to the glass door.

Quilt claims an operating sound rating of 55 decibels outside, meaning it should be a silent presence. More importantly, the system is rated as an Energy Star Most Efficient system with a SEER2: 25 rating, Heating Seasonal Performance Factor 2 of 11, and Consortium for Energy Efficiency Tier 2 rating.

Mike&Maaike have given an equal degree of thought about the presence of the Quilt heat pump outdoor condenser unit. Quilt claims the slatted matte black modern design is so attractive it registers much “like an electric car in your driveway” – a statement piece. That’s perhaps a bit of an overstatement, but in comparison to our current heat pump outdoor condenser situated outside our own home currently, Quilt’s design is undeniably more intentional in its visual impact with its architectural approach.

As someone currently investigating options in hopes of switching out an outdated furnace-based HVAC system without incurring too much damage to both the house and bank account, Quilt arrives as interesting option. Each outdoor unit is sufficient to power up to two indoor units, meaning it is possible the $6,499 per room price tag (before rebates) might come in competitively or even lower than other multi-room heat pump systems, noting the cost includes professional installation by Quilt alongside all of the listed hardware above.

A woman sits on a couch in a cozy, well-lit living room, reading a book. The room features a white fireplace, a side table with books, and a quilt draped over her legs. The climate system maintains the perfect temperature for her comfort.

A nice atmospheric touch is the inclusion of built-in accent lighting with changeable colors and brightness.

Quilt is currently accepting reservations, launching first in Bay Area households, with installations beginning in late Summer 2024, followed by Los Angeles in Fall/Winter 2024, with new markets opening up dependent upon reservation numbers based upon geography.

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Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at