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Vase shape names

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Knowing vase shape names helps you stylishly display floral arrangements

If you think a vase is just another glass piece, you’d better think again. If you’ve ever noticed, containers and decorative vessels come in all shapes and sizes. Knowing your vase shape names can help you receive the exact container you’d like, which can make your home, office, or any space look totally chic.

Historically, vessel styles were typically influenced by Greek styles. Because of this, the names are typically Greek. However, modern designers, like Ralph Lauren, create their own, such as a Hollywood Hills Bud Vase, which is sleek, chic, and will look good holding just about anything.

Greek Vases

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The hydria container was originally used to collect water, hence its resemblance to the word hydrate. This piece features three handles: two on the sides and a large vertical handle on the neck. As weird as it sounds, the hydria vessel was also used as ballot boxes and urns, proving that this decorative piece is extremely versatile.

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Vases weren’t always used to put beautiful flowers on display. Take the amphora design, for instance. These containers were typically used to store and transport items like grain or wine. These feature long and slender necks, as well as two handles. You could also place decorative rocks or stones in an amphora, as long as it is clear. This creates a beautiful centerpiece for a table.


This stylish receptacle had a variety of uses. These containers are large and feature wide, open mouths for easy accessibility. Kraters were often used to mix wine and water. Today, they could hold flowers, as well as decorative objects. They could also hold liquid, for an activity such as watering flowers.


A psykter is a unique-looking decanter, as it has a large bulbous body with a short little neck. It also sits on a high cylindrical foot. Back in the day, this container was typically used in conjunction with the krater. The krater was filled with snow, and the psykter was filled with wine. The psykter would sit inside of the krater to keep the wine nice and chilled until it was time to be enjoyed.

Modern Vases

Interior of light modern kitchen with green flowers in vase placed on table near cabinets in light apartment with hanging lamps


Trumpet-shaped pieces are perhaps one of the more popular modern decorating accessories. They are quite dainty in their design and feature small necks that taper towards the base. These pieces are often made out of a variety of materials, including ceramic, porcelain, glass, and metal. Trumpet vessels are perfect for the novice decorator, as flowers typically fall into gorgeous designs when you place them inside.


Bud vases are also fairly popular and are typically easy to find. These containers are the same size from the top to the bottom, and often resemble rectangles. Flowers typically fan out when placed inside this container and because of its size, you don’t need many flowers to make the style look full.

Hourglass Vase

As its name implies, the hourglass container looks like an hourglass, as it is cinched below the rim. The mouth of the vessel is typically wide, which makes arranging stems inside quite easy. Flowers typically fan out beautifully when placed inside this container, making it simple to create gorgeous arrangements.

Impress your friends and family by knowing your vase shape names. With so many decorative containers out there, you’re sure to find the right one to suit your decor.


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