The vase: wedding gift, housewarmer and sorry-I-screwed-up present. It's a natural/easy gift because vases -- although they complement a room -- never really have to match anything. And they can jump from bedroom to living room to kitchen to bathroom.

"Vases are really sculptural art, not just a receptacle for flowers," says Muleh owner Christopher Reiter. But, really, they serve a simple function: to hold.

"Vases are vessels that bring form and beauty into our home and add a touch of beauty of grandeur to any space," says Douglas Burton, co-owner of the home furnishings store Apartment Zero. "Whether fitted with flowers, rocks, sticks or reeds, vases complete an interior and create the finished touch to a room."

Good-looking vases don't have to be made of crystal. One plastic vase at Sprouthome.com starts out flat and molds into shape when filled with water. Kenneth Cobonpue's Seaside Bottle is made from crushed sandstone and resin. And PopVase is made from recycled paper. The user unfolds it to create a residence for homeless flowers.

-- Janelle Erlichman Diamond

Lin Utzon for Rosendahl gray glass vase, $105 at Apartment Zero, 406 Seventh St. NW. Seaside Bottle of Philippine sandstone designed by Kenneth Cobonpue, $29 at Muleh, 1831 14th St. NW and 4731 Elm St., Bethesda. Milk-Bar jug, $27 at Ispirato, 2620 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Green glass vases, $3.99-$5.99 at Nora's Arlington Gift & Garden, 2727 Wilson Blvd. Plastic spiral vase, $24.99 for two at Sprouthome.com.PopVase, $21 for three at Eco-Artware.com. All flowers provided by Caruso Florist, 1717 M St. NW.