By Carleton Varney - Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
I have learned a lot about style from my clients over the years. The words of the late Pauline de Rothschild, a trendsetter and icon, were of particular value to me, and I’m passing them on to you: “You can never have enough vases in your home.”
That advice would be particularly apt now, as Valentine’s Day is Tuesday — and that means there will be plenty of bouquets in need of vases.
But year-round, Pauline’s advice has been well taken by me and by many of my associates. Most people look at vases at yard sales and consignment shops and pass them by, never considering purchasing them. As in the flower garden where there are small flowers and tall flowers and bushy flowers and cherry-blossom branches and forsythia branches, there are fat, tall, wide and slim vases to hold them all. Every flower requires consideration. One must house the right flower in the right vase, so one needs a variety of containers of glass, porcelain and ceramic.
Vases come in all shapes and colors, and I always enjoy finding containers in shops and yard sales, wherever in the world I go. If perhaps you are at a Kofski sale in West Palm Beach on Georgia Avenue (next sale Feb. 18) do look at the shelves that are filled with what dealers call “smalls.” Look at all the clearance vases that once were filled with happy flowers. You’ll find a vase or two perfect to hold nasturtiums or thin vases to hold a single rose or maybe a glass container in which to float gardenias or camellias.
Pauline de Rothschild had a pantry room in her homes, most often near the dining room, where she housed all her table accessories — china, glass, silver — and there was always a shelf or two assigned to vases, where a mix of crystal and porcelain were placed.
I will always be grateful to Pauline for her words of wisdom. You can never have enough flower vases, and, I would add, you can never have enough flowers either.