Basalte at Avenue Road NYC: Minimalist Interior Design & Control Living in Harmony
Upon entering the apartment showroom of high-end contemporary furniture distributor Avenue Road, nestled on an upper floor of a building in New York City’s Flower District, one is struck by the minimalist design elements and muted colors that characterize the look and feel of the space and what fills it.
That look and feel, as it happens, gels perfectly with Belgian home automation and control company Basalte’s products, which are in use throughout the facility – beautiful, discreetly placed keypads that adorn each room but are barely in evidence. In fact, the tagline on the Basalte website says it perfectly: “less can be so much more.”
Julien Lemey, Basalte’s New York-based business development manager, hosted us on a walkthrough of the premises. He told us that the relationship with Avenue Road was born because “we love to show our products in places where they can be seen in an actual home setting. The keypads are all one to a room here. We prefer to integrate many functions into one, and there is no wall anywhere here where there are 10 keypads all together.”
Basalte’s signature minimalist design is a result of the collaboration of its founders: an installer and his interior designer wife – “someone who knew how keypads should work, and someone who knew how to make them look beautiful,” as Lemey put it.
The Basalte lines’ look belies the products’ multi-functionality and the ergonomic, intuitive way that functionality has been achieved. Additionally, says Lemey, their designs are inherently upgradable for when more control capacity might be needed at a later date.
With the Crestron- and Lutron-compatible Basalte Sentido line, for example, which was on demo at the apartment, the client can start with a two-way dual keypad, and opt to upgrade to a quadruple four-way keypad at a later date - with either choice coming in an identical square shape and size, and occupying the same wall real estate.
Control is effected via “click-less,” highly sensitive capacitive technology; a single touch of the entire square turns on or off all of the room’s lighting. Additional touch patterns of short or longer duration on the square will initiate different lighting scenarios, and where the two- and four-way keypads’ sections are delineated on their surface, multi-color LED lighting shines through, providing status feedback. The Sentido keypad range of cosmetic choices include a variety of brushed metal finishes, satin white and brushed black, and various textured finishes
Basalte’s Deseo HVAC control keypad/thermostat, similarly, cosmetically matches the Sentido range, for aesthetic consistency, while displaying room temperature and the time of day in a mid-section flanked above and below this data display area by multi-touch controls with the same finish as the keypads.
All Basalte products, including an iPad docking station and a power outlet we were shown, are aesthetic matches to the rest of the lines. Their consistent, simple designs are perfect calling cards for a company that is making its case with designers and architects not only through live-space demonstration venues such as Avenue Road but also through exhibiting at shows those professionals frequent, such as the recent ICFF and the early spring Architectural Digest Design Show, both held in New York’s Javits Convention Center.
“We are a strong company, we have this beautiful Avenue Road space, and we really want to make ourselves known in the U.S. market,” Lemey says.
And all signs point to this display of Basalte ingenuity as being a great start.