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

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.

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