Which ones to keep and to buy―and which to toss.

By Lisa Smith, Sharon Tanenbaum, and Ashley Tate
Updated February 08, 2007
Kate Sears

You'll want to keep the following vases, shown left to right:

  • A tall, wide cylinder is ideal for displaying a large bunch of long-stemmed flowers, such as tulips or sunflowers.
  • Square vases of any dimension work well for uniform bouquets of carnations or roses.
  • A cylindrical bud vase with a one-inch opening is perfect for holding a single stem, such as a calla lily or an orchid.

Reclaim some of that cabinet space by tossing these vases:

  • Any that are cracked, chipped, or made of discolored glass,” says Meredith Waga Perez, florist and owner of Belle Fleur, in New York City. A flawed vase won’t look good and might cut your fingers.
  • Vases made of colored or painted glass. “Clear glass is multifunctional, so it can be used in a variety of settings,” says Jennifer McGarigle, owner of FloralArt, a floral-design studio in Venice, California.
  • Concave (hourglass-shaped) vases and bud vases with wide bases and narrow necks, because “any vase with a narrow opening and a wide bottom makes flowers look stiff,” says Perez.
  • Round fishbowls. Even professionals find them difficult to design arrangements in.