We’ve all had this experience: you get a visit from close friends who bring a wonderful bouquet of flowers… and then you can’t find a suitable vase. Either the colour isn’t right for the flowers, or – if the vase is rounded or bottle shaped – the opening is too small and the bouquet doesn’t fit. Alternatively, in the case of cylinder vases the opening is too large and your gorgeous new flowers look a little lost inside. In the end the bouquet lands up stuck in a large beer mug or in a left-over planter. This of course can also look pretty, but it’s always best to have a couple of vases in reserve – especially because they can be a real decorative highlight in themselves.
In addition: the vase forms which every household needs; creative and practical decorative ideas for vases, with or without flowers; brief information about the materials ceramic vases are made of – and, in our trend report: new vases with a rainbow sheen and stylish stoneware vases in earth colours fresh from the Milan fair.
Vases are an absolute must!
Quite apart from practical considerations, we women love buying vases – after all they’re sure to come in handy one day and they stimulate us to create new decorative ideas in the home. There is hardly any other decorative accessory which comes in such a huge diversity of colours, styles and materials. And because they’re always practical, we can really go to town when it comes to the subject of vases!
shimmering rainbow colours and ceramics in earth tones
When glasses, lip gloss, clutches and now furnishing accessories, too, gleam in all the colours of the rainbow, then we know that we’re dealing with the 2017 trend look. Surfaces change from blue to violet, rose to orange, silver to yellow green or gold, depending on how the light strikes them. As showpieces our designers have dreamt up a number of vases which recently premiered at Salone del Mobile, the international furniture fair in Milan.
In contrast to such glamorous new vases, the second megatrend concerns ceramics. These mostly hand-crafted models make an impact with their individual, often slightly porous surfaces and their natural colours ranging from the grey of the moon to the brown of the earth. In combination, ceramic vases which gleam with a delicate finish create a stylish and exclusive look.
TIP: decorative vases
Real furnishing fans have entire collections of vases and place them all decoratively throughout their apartment as stylish arrangements – even without flowers! This adds diversity to the overall ambience, and acts as a stimulus to creative ideas for the sideboard in your living room, or the windowsill in your bedroom. And if you don’t have any fresh flowers available, vases can also become real eyecatchers with pretty, delicate little twigs, branches with berries or even individual flowers. How about arranging suitably sized flowerpots with succulents or cacti in the opening of the vase? Simply measure the diameter of the vase before you head for the garden centre.
TIP: turning vases into storage containers
In the bathroom we can use them to hold brushes and make-up accessories, while on the desk a small vase shaped like a beaker is ideal for holding pens, scissors etc., provided that it’s at least 10 cm tall. A piece of felt or cardboard placed underneath will protect the surface from scratches. And by the way, vases are the perfect companion when it comes to decorations for Easter or Christmas, or simply to enhance your dining table.
TIP: these three basic forms should always be part of the collection
A tall, narrow vase with a small opening for 1 to 3 attractive flowers and twigs – poppies or roses for example, or corkscrew willow twigs.
A rounded vase with a medium-sized opening – these are ideal for compact bouquets received on birthdays, Valentine’s Day or an autumn flower arrangement in all its beautiful colours.
And finally we need a vase with a large opening for generously sized, open bouquets such as 20 colourful tulips from the farmers’ market in spring, or a sea of dahlias you’ve plucked yourself in late summer.
About the materials:
In addition to transparent and coloured glass, ceramics are among the most frequently used materials for all types of vase. At the moment there’s a strong trend towards rough, porous and structured ceramics in earth tones, which are a great match for all natural furnishing styles. Ceramic materials, their basic substances and production processes are so diverse that the terminology involved is often mixed up. The notes below may help a little.
This is pottery made from clay, quartz and feldspar – minerals which are smelted together during firing in the oven. Containers and crockery made of stoneware remain slightly porous, which means that they aren’t entirely watertight, and for this reason ceramics made of stoneware are often covered with a glaze.
Earthenware consists of the same minerals, but is fired at higher temperatures and is therefore normally watertight even without a glaze.
Porcelain is also a ceramic product, and comes in countless variants. Consisting of kaolin, feldspar and quartz, it is fired at high temperatures together with other materials, and in proportions which are normally kept secret. The result is a finer and denser structure, which means that porcelain containers are watertight.
TIP: in order to avoid water stains, with stoneware or earthenware vases it’s always a good idea to take precautions. Place the vase on a suitable plate first, and test whether any moisture escapes. If it does, you should put a jam jar inside the vase to hold the water for your flowers. For individual flowers you can buy glass tubes from flower shops at around 10 cents each, or simply use test tubes. Flower shops or craft stores can also provide you with a sealing compound for ceramic vases, which will make them 100% watertight. You simply pour some into the vase, swirl it around inside and then let the sealing compound dry. Any remaining fluid can be re-used.
Fascinating: containers have been produced for thousands of years by firing materials such as loam and clay. This means that a ceramic vase will add a touch of traditional craftsmanship to your home. By the way, our vases are for the most part handcrafted and you will therefore be the proud owner of a unique, highly individual piece.