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What Is a Hurricane Vase?

By C. Mitchell
Updated May 16, 2024
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The term “hurricane vase” can apply to a wide variety of deep, cylindrical glass vases. Hurricane vases can be large or small, modern or traditional in their styling. Although hurricanes can be used for flowers, they are more often used decoratively as centerpieces or as design accents.

The name "hurricane vase" comes from old-fashioned hurricane lamps. A hurricane lamp consists of a tall glass mounted on a base. The flames of candles or oil wicks in the bottom of the lamp would be shielded from drafts or winds by the glass towering above them. The shape of the hurricane vases resemble this device.

Candles remain one of the most popular uses for the modern hurricane vase, and it is for this reason that the hurricane vase is often called a candle vase. Decorators will often put pillar candles in hurricane vases not to protect the flames, but rather to add interest to their presentation. Floating candles are also a popular option for a hurricane vase. When filled with water, the vases can be an ideal way to display floating candles. Shimmering stones or flower petals can be added below the candle in a tall hurricane vase for added effect.

The vases are popular in all sorts of decorative settings. Large vases can be a great way to display festive baubles like glass Christmas ornaments. When filled with seashells, they can create a summery look to any room; full of corks, they could be a conversation starter in a home bar.

A lot of how a hurricane vase is used depends on its size, shape, and overall character. The simplest hurricane vases are simply tall glass cylinders, made up of glass in varying thicknesses. Most are clear, but colored glass vases can often be found in craft stores or design studios. More old-fashioned looking vases are usually rounded at the base, then come up into a flared neck. The most expensive vases are made of crystal, often with intricate cut patterns.

Many old-fashioned or intricate vases are decorative vases that can be displayed all on their own. A more modern hurricane vase can also be its own display, provided there is something interesting about it: an unusual shape, perhaps, or an interesting tint to the glass. In the right setting, a vase on its own can be a powerful design choice.

Of course, a hurricane vase can also be used in flower arranging. Hurricane vases are usually wide, which makes them a good choice for large, robust bouquets. They can also be ideal for minimalist arrangements, particularly of tall flowers like orchid sprays or cattail stalks.

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