A vase should complement an arrangement of flowers and either accentuate, or softly contrast with the colours on show. But rather than being a purely functional supporting act, vases can also become features themselves thanks to their shape, size and material. Think about the kinds of flowers you are likely to have in the house and which style of vase is most appropriate, whether that's a cylinder vase for the occasional bouquet of tall flowers from an appreciative friend, colleague or family member, or a fish bowl vase to display a selection of freshly picked anemones and other short-stemmed beauties from your own garden.
What are vases used for?
Vases are used for decorative purposes, and whilst they are often used to hold and display cut flowers, they can also be a feature of their own accord. Place them on a sideboard in the hallway, on your mantelpiece, or on the kitchen windowsill to brighten up a space.
What size vase should I buy?
Your vase should be large enough to accommodate your bunch of flowers yet small enough to maintain the shape of the arrangement. One way of determining how tall your vase should be is to measure the longest stem, which should be approximately twice the height of the vase. Alternatively, you could cut the flowers to suit your vase, but remember to cut the stems at an angle to prolong their life. Floor vases are usually much larger, of course, but make sure you have enough room to move around freely and that the vase doesn’t dwarf everything else in the room.
What shape and style of vase should I buy?
The right vase will emphasise the best features of your flowers, and luckily there are hundreds of different styles of vases to choose from. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular shapes and styles:
Cylinder Vases: These keep long-stemmed flowers upright and unspoilt. They are often tall, sleek and make lovely table vases as they are perfect for centrepieces.
Tall Floor Vases: These can act as a focal point or simply be used to brighten up a dark corner. Consider adding decorative twigs, branches or flowers to bring nature into your home.
Waisted Vases: Also known as V-shaped and hourglass vases, these allow a little more wriggle room at the top thanks to their flared sides, making them a great choice for flowers with bigger heads such as lilies and chrysanthemums.
When it comes to choosing a vase, think about the texture as well. Vases need not be flat and smooth: look out for pebbled, dimpled, etched and contoured surfaces. This is particularly important if you intend to use the vase as a flower-free ornament or artefact.
What are vases made of?
Vases can be made from a variety of different materials including glass, ceramics, wood and metal. Each material comes with it's own unique look and properties, so think about what material would complement the rest of your interiors and the look you'd like to create. Here are some of the most popular vase materials:
Glass Vases: These tend to be a favourite due to their simplicity which keeps the focus on the flowers. You can find glass vases in a variety of colours and designs, including recycled, hand-cut, and handblown styles, and large glass vases for the floor.
Porcelain and China Vases: These elegant vases come in a variety of different designs, from plain white designs to beautiful intricate patterns. They suit formal arrangements very well.
Ceramic Vases: These have also grown in popularity in recent years and are a more affordable alternative to porcelain vases. They bring an understated presence to a room and work especially well with neutral colour schemes.