What it is:
Fluted décor is characterised by concave, parallel, usually vertical channels which, as well as being incredibly tactile create a wonderful a play of light across the surface.
In this award-winning Fluted (Media) Centre from the Beverley-based Galvin Brothers the fluting is broad, almost column-like. Light entering the room will throw different shades and shadows depending on the time of day and the season, resulting in a dynamically changing appearance which is never the same any two days of the year.
On glass and reflective surfaces such as the new range of fluted tiles from Porcelain Superstore, or glassware from Naken, you see the same effect but with the addition of a reflected, refraction of light which throws splinters of colour across a table or room.
Fair to say we’re big fans of fluting.
What we have noticed
Consumer interest in “fluted” products has increased significantly over the last half a year, and we think it’s a trend which will continue to grow.
While it’s not showing up so much as a search term on Pinterest just yet, data from Google Trends shows that searches for the term have been growing for the last six months and are consistently higher than at any time previously.
Also, taking a sample of interiors media, mentions of the term ‘fluted’ have more than doubled in the last 12 months*.
Matthew Galvin, of Beverley-based Galvin Brothers, who produce handcrafted furniture, said: “We launched our Fluted (Media) Cabinet about three years ago. And since day one it’s been a strong seller.
“No question it’s a trend right now. In the last 12 months we have been seeing copycat products popping up all over the place to the point where one big British brand has created something I thought was ours!
“Were we ahead of the trend? We don’t really follow trends, we work through conceptual processes in our studio and it kind of came out of the ether to us. It was a bastardisation of the fluting seen on classical and neoclassical columns — used to hide the joins on pillars — and we had an impulse that we wanted to roll it out flat across the front of the cabinet as a graphic device.”
*Data compares occurrences of the term between February 2022 and February 2023 issues of Homes & Gardens, Living Etc and House Beautiful.
Why is it trending?
The ‘fluted’ trend ties in well with existing sensibilities for sustainability and biophilia – recycled glass and natural wood and stone being among the materials of choice. Plus, the play of light brings an additional aesthetic to the fore. There’s also an increase in interest in art deco interiors – specifically in the 25 and above age range (Pinterest).
So, ‘fluted’, as well as the tie-in to peoples’ values and lifestyles also look really good on Insta! Win-win.
Where did this trend come from?
Fluting has been used in woodwork and pottery for millennia and in neoclassical times was a design device used on stone columns to help hide the join between blocks.
It made the jump to glass in the mid-19th century – it was developed by the Chance Brothers in Smethwick, Birmingham, and later developed by Pilkingtons (Sash Window Specialist).
Fluted glass came into its own in the 1920s as part of the Art Deco era because not only did the vertical lines work brilliantly with the geometric deco styling of the age, but the pattern of the glass diffused light beautifully, and it was often included in sconces and pendants.
Is it here to stay?
There’s no denying it’s an attractive trend which ties into a lot of current sensibilities. We are seeing it move from being a style for glass tableware into wooden furniture, tiles, kitchen islands and more. Yes, we think it’s going to get bigger throughout 2023.
Abbas Youssefi, Director of Porcelain Superstore, says they are already seeing demand for their new fluted collection soar.
He said: “If any collection epitomises modern glamour, it is this one. The striking fluted finish plays with the light to create a statement finish.
“The pandemic has fuelled an appetite for interiors that wow not only in real life but social media too and these gorgeous tiles with their subtle matt glaze are scene stealers.
“And while these might be our newest addition, we are already seeing demand for them soar.”