Ideas + Advice


Types of Vases: Every Material & Shape, Explained

Vases are one of the most effortless design pieces that you can use to brighten any space. Whether you've inherited Grandma's crystal or you're looking to upgrade your decor with something new and fresh, here are ten vase types, and some clever uses to springboard your creativity.

1. Clear Glass Vases

Classic and elegant, clear vases are a staple in home decor. Because you can see through the piece, you can have fun with the filler — try vases with jelly beans with artificial tulips in the springtime and pine cones with greenery stems around the holidays. For smaller bowl-shaped vases, consider floating roses or boutonniere-type arrangements for a low-profile impact.

2. Small Planters

From tiny apartment spaces to sprawling open floor plans, planters scattered throughout can liven the room. Go beyond succulents and houseplants and use small planters for desktop organizers, storing tea bags, or corralling small coffee creamers.

3. Pitcher Vases

Dress up your kitchen counter or breakfast nook with true farmhouse charm – pitcher vases can wrangle long-handled utensils or showcase wildflowers from the farmer's market. Arrange in a set of three, each with a different floral type for a wowing centerpiece; add additional color and texture to your vase by tying jute or ribbon around the neck.

4. Metal Vases

From copper to chrome finishes, metal vases can complement rustic or minimalistic design themes. If using a metal container for fresh-cut flowers, remember to insert a leak-proof bag into the hollow before filling it with water to avoid rust issues.

5. Faceted Vases

Faceted vases bring texture to your decor. Vases like this can stand alone as an art piece or be left empty; when using a vase with a textured design, choose simple fillers like sprigs of eucalyptus or dried linum to not overpower the vase's beauty.

6. Character Vases

For whimsical charm and cheeky attitude, character vases fit the bill. Choose one for each family member to display on an entryway shelf or counter and allow them to fill with something personal; use in a home office to add visual relief from the screen and store pens and other desk items; or place on a coffee table or end table and fill with individually wrapped candies!

7. Bottle Vases

From apothecary-style to vintage soda bottles throwbacks, bottle vases never go out of style. With bold colors and timeless designs, you can create clusters of threes or fives, filling a few with stems and leaving a few empty; keep a spare vase on hand to display those fistfuls of fresh-picked flowers brought in by a child.

8. Canisters with Lids

Not just for flour and sugar, try using a complementary canister set for dried floral, utensils or tea towels. Lean the lids against the canisters for a laid-back feel and break your canisters out of kitchen counter jail — use them in bathrooms to store cosmetics and guest rooms to store spare toiletries or emergency phone chargers for guests.

9. Jar Vases

Another timeless classic, the uses for jar vases are as endless as your imagination. Cluster several styles for maximum visual impact; mix and match finishes and textures for boho chic; and for floral arrangements, remember a design rule of thumb: the tallest stems should extend two-thirds higher than the rim of your vase, then fill in around that point.

10. Jug Vases

Great for heavier foliage or small indoor shrubbery, jug vases bring a bold, charming impact. Some jug vases are even heavy enough to stand along in entryways, greeting visitors with wispy artificial or housing umbrellas.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.