This month sees the launch of our new Reversible Glass Vase, a dual-purpose vase that allows you to make the most of your bouquet. We love flowers in the Block studio, whether foraged from our gardens or a treat from our favourite florist. Flowers instantly lift the mood of a room on a grey day, a little bit of the outdoors welcomed inside. So a large glass vase was a much needed and anticipated addition to the range.

To understand more about flower arranging and the difference a well-designed vase can make, we called in the experts. Our friend Phillip Corps is a hugely talented and renowned florist. Phil’s work has appeared on screen, anywhere from Poldark to Tom Hardy’s The Krays. He has styled major events and is a firm favourite at the Chelsea in Bloom festival, London’s free alternative to the Chelsea Flower Show. Shown below is Phil’s work at jewellers Kiki McDonough, one of the displays transforming Chelsea's streets at the end of May each year.

As well as adding colour and scent to the home, flowers have always been incredibly trend-driven. This can be dated back as far as the 1800s. Phil shared the story of the popularity of tulips during this time. Tulips fetched the same retail value as a house as people clamoured to buy a bunch. Flowers are a great way to bring up-to-date trends into your home without committing to larger items, and luckily most varieties are much easier to track down these days! The challenge would be to design a vase that could accommodate a wide range of ever-changing floral trends.

Phil spoke of the creative process behind his displays, and the joy he gains from taking time over each arrangement. The interaction with the colourful, natural florals provides a positive stimulus for mental health, as does bringing nature into the home. A great vase acts as a inspirational starting point for a flower arrangement, encouraging the user to slow down and enjoy the process from start to finish. Our new vase would need to be not only functional but have a unique usability, encouraging the user to approach their arrangement from a different viewpoint.

Phil discussed one of the most obvious challenges faced when bringing flowers into the home; the sad fact that they fade and die shortly after. They are a luxury with a short life-span. We needed a vessel that would prolong the enjoyment of flowers within the home. As flowers start to fade, we wanted find a way to breathe new life into the remaining stems.

A dual-purpose glass cylinder vase was sketched, one that could be used one way for a full arrangement or turned around to create a single stem bud vase. Inspired the clean lines of laboratory glass, Tara researched borosilicate as the material for the vase. The linear geometry of the glass would complement the natural florals beautifully, and would accommodate any trend. We were keen to design beautiful geometric object fit to adorn a shelf whether filled or empty.

And of course our colour palette was to be carefully considered, offering an alternative to the standard clear glass vase. A vibrant colour vase provides an inspirational starting point to a creative flower arrangement. However we wanted to ensure our colours would not overwhelm the flowers, allowing them to shine.

Our handmade tall glass vases are available in 4 colourways. The coloured glass vases each contain a carefully considered palette pairing. Choose from Pink and Green, Blue and Green, Grey and Orange or Blue and Red. Shop our Reversible Glass Vases here: www.blockdesign.co.uk/homeware/reversible-glass-vase/

And to get started, we asked Phil to share his 3 top flower arranging tips for your new vase:

  1. Choose a 70:30 Flower:Vase ratio. This will help with overall balance of the design. A vase that is too large for your blooms will make an arrangement look unfinished.
  2. Use odd numbers when selecting your stems. This will provide a natural centre and balance to your arrangement.
  3. Phil often starts with a triangle or pyramid as a starting point for a dynamic display.