Anybody doing research about interior design in Singapore right now will undoubtedly see plenty of beautiful homes with stripped wall panels. These feature panels are called “fluted panel”. In my humble opinion, it is aptly named as the fluted panel because I had thought it was named after the Pan Flute, which is essentially a series of long and short flutes tied together forming ridges and strips. However, further research showed that we have had fluted features around us since the dawn of early architecture!

Picture of a big pan flute (Image Source : YouTube - Edgar Muenala)

In contemporary interior design, fluted wall panels are gaining significant popularity as a versatile and aesthetically pleasing option. These panels, characterized by parallel grooves or curves, add texture, visual interest, and a touch of sophistication to any space. This article explores the various aspects of fluted wall panels, including their popularity, material options, concealed door applications, the possibility of extending them to the ceiling, and the design benefits they offer in terms of textural intrigue. Additionally, we provide a comprehensive chart summarizing the key points discussed.

Popularity of Fluted Wall Panels:

Fluted wall panels have experienced a resurgence in popularity due to their ability to transform plain walls into captivating elements of design. Here are some reasons why they have become a sought-after choice:

(Image Source: Jennifer J Sullins)

    Retro Appeal: Fluted wall panels have seen a revival of interest by blending vintage charm with contemporary design sensibilities, creating a timeless aesthetic. Yes, you read it correctly. Fluting is not a new design element; in fact, it has been around since the dawn of classical architecture. You would find them on columns and walls since the roman started dressing their buildings with this detailing.

    Texture and Depth: The fluted pattern adds texture and depth to walls, creating a dynamic focal point that enhances the overall visual appeal of the space.


(Image Source: Aart Boxx Interior)

    Versatility: Fluted wall panels can be incorporated seamlessly into various interior styles, from modern and minimalist to transitional and eclectic, making them a flexible choice for designers and homeowners alike.

Material Options for Fluted Wall Panels:

Fluted wall panels are available in an array of materials, each with its unique characteristics. Here are some commonly used materials:

    Plywood: Plywood panels offer durability, affordability, and flexibility, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious projects. 

    MDF (Medium-Density Fibreboard): MDF panels provide a smooth surface finish and are relatively more affordable than other materials while maintaining structural integrity.

    PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Panels: PVC panels are lightweight, easy to install, and resistant to moisture, making them suitable for areas prone to humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

    Wood: Natural wood panels bring warmth and character to any space. They can be customized with different stains, providing endless possibilities for design.

    WPC: Wood Composite Fluted are also attractive options for these days. It can be in wood looking finishes or in flat colours such as black or white. The added benefit of WPC fluted panels is that it can be installed on exteriors such as balconies or even external walls.

Concealing Hidden Doors with Fluted Wall Panels:

(Image Source: Much Room Interior)

One of the remarkable features of fluted wall panels is their ability to conceal hidden doors seamlessly. This application adds a touch of mystery and elegance to interior spaces. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

    Camouflaging Door Openings: Fluted wall panels can creatively disguise concealed doors, ensuring a uniform appearance that seamlessly blends with the rest of the wall.

    Smooth Operation: When concealing doors, it is crucial to install high-quality hardware to ensure smooth operation and minimize any potential noise or resistance.

    Access and Maintenance: Consider incorporating access panels or removable fluted panels for future door maintenance or repairs, ensuring practicality without compromising aesthetics.

Extending Fluted Wall Panels to the Ceiling:

Due to their lightweight nature, fluted wall panels offer the advantage of extending the design element to the ceiling. This creates a cohesive and impactful visual statement. Here's why it's worth considering:

    Heightened Visual Interest: By extending the fluted pattern to the ceiling, the eye is drawn upward, giving the illusion of a more expansive space, and adding an extra layer of interest.

    Design Continuity: Seamless integration from wall to ceiling creates a harmonious flow, enhancing the overall design cohesion and making a lasting impression.

Textural Interest through Line Design:


(Image Source : Ciseern)

The design of fluted wall panels, with its repeated lines and grooves, offers a visually captivating and texturally intriguing element to interior spaces. Here are the benefits:

    Dynamic Visual Impact: The lines in fluted wall panels create a sense of movement and depth, capturing and redirecting light in ways that draw attention and create focal points.

    Contrast and Balance: Fluted wall panels can be used strategically to introduce contrast and balance within a space, leveraging the interplay of light and shadow for added depth.

(Image Source: Smartlivin Studio )

Will it go out of style?

Fluted wall panels have become a favoured choice in architecture and interior design due to their visual appeal, versatility, and ability to enhance various spaces since centuries ago. The resurgence came about because of new materials and new ways of integrating with modern design. With multiple material options, concealed door capabilities, the option to extend them to the ceiling, and the textural interest they bring, fluted wall panels offer endless possibilities for creating truly remarkable interiors, it is timeless and if you design it properly, it will not go out of style. Whether you're revamping a room or starting from scratch, considering fluted wall panels can elevate your design to new heights.

Catch this episode of UnboxID, where we share a little about Fluted Panels.

Posted on 9th November 2023

Written by Astley Ng – the designerd.

SIXIDES Editorial Team


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