Not only does decor make the home look beautiful, but it can also completely transport you to other areas of the globe. With a few effortless motions, a space suddenly has an exotic air from Thailand or Japan. Certain decor makes you feel like you’re reclining on a terrace in the Mediterranean, enjoying an amazing view while drinking a fresh martini. Places like Central America and South America to Tuscany or Paris are all within reach. Vases are gorgeous decor items that can have an international flair. At Pottery Barn, we absolutely love decor, and we know you do too. Our vases are vibrant and distinctive. That way, it’s not hard to find something that fits beautifully into any room.

Our vases are much more than functional. They’re genuine works of art. Pick out vases – or a set of vases – the same way you would choose artwork: trusting your instincts. You don’t need anyone to tell you what looks great and what works, you just know. It feels right to you. That kind of excitement is great for decorating. When you fall in love with something, it shows. The whole room comes alive, and tons of creative possibilities pop into your head.

Vases make excellent accent pieces. That means that you want them to stand out. A room often has two or three different kinds of accent pieces, including decorative pillows, artwork and even certain light fixtures. Their purpose is to point out places where you want your guests to look. There are a few ways to make sure a vase grabs attention. One is to choose a bold color that contrasts with the main room elements. For example, if your wall colors are white or a neutral blue, a red vase turns heads right away.

Another way to draw attention to a vase is by choosing something with a distinctive shape – usually the bigger, the better. A V-shaped flared vase is something totally unexpected in most living rooms, so it attracts your gaze as soon as you walk in the room. Opposite textures or finishes also works well. A shiny piece of glazed pottery stands out brilliantly in a space with softer upholstered furniture. If you have a leather couch, matte finishes or a wood bowl create an artistic contrast.

Vases can also be complementary, which means they blend softly into the background. That’s not a bad thing. Just like in a photograph, you want the eye to notice not just the center of the image, but also small details throughout. Complementary decor does exactly that, building a series of interesting layers that surprises guests the more they look. It makes a room feel harmonious and complete.

Neutral tones have this effect and match virtually any color theme. A set of ivory vases adds subtle beauty when paired with a reclaimed wood accent table and a gray sectional. Place a patterned rug with shades of white and gray underneath a light coffee table to add to the laid-back atmosphere. Sheer curtains let a lot of light in the room to make it seem even more spacious.

Vases are naturally good at creating vignettes. A vignette is an artistic grouping of distinct objects that look good together. Vases, candles, photographs, artwork, bowls and mirrors are a few common components in a vignette. One suggestion is to use pieces of varying heights placed around a central accent. You can set a striking painting on top of an entryway or hallway console table, for example, and add stylish vases and bowls beside and in front of it for an amazing effect. Don’t be afraid to use tall vases and shorter, circular styles in the same grouping.

Is it always necessary to use flowers with a vase? Not at all. You have complete creative freedom. That said, a single flower or frond emerging from a bright vase is beautiful. It combines texture, color, patterns and contrasts while still staying simple enough for even minimalist layouts.