Mad About . . .

10 of the best vases

15th October 2020
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One of the best gifts I ever bought myself was a monthly subscription to a bunch of flowers. There have been times over the last few months when that has felt like a massive indulgence but the cancellation of my gym membership (I’m currently using the free Nike Training Club app although I will say their interpretation of what constitutes intermediate level isn’t quite the same as mine…) has more than made up for it. But those flowers bring such joy to my kitchen island, which seems to be the happiest place for them, that it feels justified. Especially as we all often went for days without leaving the house during lockdown and it looks like that may be happening again.

retro glass vases from graham & green

retro glass vases from graham & green

Now you don’t have to pay for a regular flower delivery. If you have a garden, the current fashion is for large branches in vases, which is another look I love so if that works you can plunder that every now and then or perhaps, ask a neighbour if you can have the odd stem from a front garden.

recycled glass vase from zara

recycled glass vase from zara

Failing that, plants are also brilliant indoors although this post is about vases and I will do another for planters sometime soon. And talking of greenery, for every order at the House of Flora, a tree is planted so even if you don’t fancy the green vase below from the Kazi ya mkono range, meaning handcrafted, you might want to have a browse about on the base that you aren’t mindlessly shopping but regreening the planet.

vase from la redoute, green vase from house-of-flora and glass vase from H&M

vase from la redoute, green vase from house-of-flora and glass vase from H&M

So today I thought I would round up 10 of the best vases I have seen recently with the proviso that they all look good empty which I think is key. Your flower budget may be weekly, monthly or just occasionally and since vases invariably live in the tallest, hardest-to-reach cupboard I picked these on the basis that they can still sit on the table long after the contents have gone.

gold petal vase from anthropologie

gold petal vase from anthropologie

One other thing I have noticed with my subscription (which is Bloomon by the way and yes I pay in full) is that there is often one thing that dries well – a stem of pussy willow, or a branch of eucalyptus so I am also keeping those after the flowers have died to create a more permanent arrangement elsewhere.

striped vase by hk living from smallable

striped vase by hk living from smallable

I should also say this post was sparked by the gorgeous glass vases from Graham & Green, which I kept looking at and – key tip this – assuming they were small without looking at the measurements – and then when I visited Sophie last week I saw she had them on her window sill (curse my Victorian house for no window sills) and they are bigger than I thought and I like them even more now.

retro glass vases from graham & green

retro glass vases from graham & green from £32

So I have chosen these vases for scale too. In the same way I don’t like succulents I am a fan of the big vase. A group of small bud vases can look pretty but it’s not the big sculptural thing we are going for here. At least not today.

iron vases with glass lining from etsy

iron vases with glass lining from etsy

Also, if you have room a collection of three vases in a group can look really pretty as well. I always try to include lifestyle images where possible as they just look nicer but do also use them as inspiration for how the stylist has put things together and take the ideas into your own spaces.

colourful glass vases by forest & co via not on the high street

colourful glass vases by forest & co via not on the high street

I have also, without really intending, picked vases that go together so you could create your own grouping from these if you like. The black and white striped from Smallable would look lovely with the amber glass from H&M with either the House of Flora green or the 70s style stoneware from La Redoute. But if you want a more grown up take, put the gold and white from Anthropologie with the stripes and add one of the coloured glass shapes from Not on the High Street. And since we’ve only reached nine, the blue of this vase from made would work with the Graham & Green blue and perhaps the iron outline vase from Etsy.

blue haalo vase from made.com

blue haalo vase from made.com

Remember that narrow bottle style vases work really well with a single large branch so don’t worry about buying something that won’t fit a whole bunch. Weirdly though, do check that you can put water in. Yes I know it’s sold as a vase, but I have a couple of stoneware one that, while they don’t actively leak, do get a bit damp and have made marks on tables. Sometimes they will say you can put water in and often they won’t so maybe start with a mat underneath if you aren’t sure.

 

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  • Catherine 15th October 2020 at 9:48 am

    Oh big vases of flowers from the garden are my absolute favourite thing. Cut flowers followed by dried seed heads and then paperwhites and spring bulbs to keep me going all year round. I agree with you and Longdenlife’s comments about leaks. Lots of my biggest jugs and vases have ancient chopped down plastic bottles sitting inside!

  • Eileen 15th October 2020 at 9:34 am

    Hi Kate, I love this post, I was literally just eyeing my house thinking how much more livable and less claustrophobic the house feels with some fresh flowers. I too subscribe (bi weekly, Freddie’s Flowers) and although I’ve been pulling out the pitchers, I also love a good vase. They’re especially good value to score at vintage or second hand stores, or site. Sustainable, check, mental wellness, check, and beautiful to boot.

  • Longdenlife 15th October 2020 at 8:42 am

    I have a cut flower patch on my allotment meaning that I can pick my own flowers from March through the to the first frosts (which are end of October in Cornwall). Then I forage for foliage, seedheads and twtigs/branches for winter interest. I just love having vases of fresh flowers around the house and especially scented ones on my bedside table (roses, sweet peas etc).

    I agree with your tip on checking if the vase can actually hold water! Alot of vessels sold as vases now are not glazed inside so they will leak water to some extent – I have discovered this by marks on table tops too!

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