For many years, I have been obsessed with huge vintage sunburst / starburst mirrors. (Although they are a staple of high-end decor, on a quick Internet search I could find only this one photo, on the Metropolitan Home website:)
Unfortunately for my obsession, the real deal isn’t cheap. We once saw one at C-Mart, Washington/Baltimore’s fabulous discount warehouse for high-end furniture and fashions at a discount, but even at something like 70% off, it was still nearly $1,000 and waaaaaaay out of my range.
Thus began the long search for replacements within my meager range. Because I purchase nearly everything on Ebay, I created a saved search on Ebay that emailed me every sunburst or starburst mirror listed at under $50.00 within the United States. There were many because the look is having a comeback these days. You can even find modern versions at popular stores like West Elm, CB2, and Fortunoff. Still, a lot of them just looked cheap. And there are a lot of factors to consider, in terms of “arm” ratio, whether there are little mirrors on the arms and if so where and how many, silver versus gold, etc., etc., etc., and none of them quite pleased me the way the gorgeous ($$$$) traditional ones always do. The $49 West Elm version interested me, but as I waited to decide, an interesting Ebay listing finally arrived in my email inbox:
The total price? $10.94! That was 99 cents for the actual mirrors, with $9.95 for shipping. If you get too close, their lack of quality is extremely obvious, but there’s no reason to get too close. After all, they hang high above the kitchen garbage can.
These little mirrors have kept me happy and content for a very long time. Well over a year. And then it happened…. I received this month’s copy of Marie Claire Idees. It had a crazy-wonderful photo of a sunburst mirror made out of pink plastic spoons!:
For one or two insane moments, I actually considered making one of these. It’s … Just. So. Cute! (Plastic spoons … who knew?) And then I came to my senses and realized that, no matter how cute, there probably isn’t a place in my home for decor made from plastic spoons. Oh well.
And now I’m feeling the mirror jones ones again. Though still trying to think of creative — read, cheap! — ways to satisfy it. Recently, Holly Becker at my favorite home decor blog decor8 featured the work of an Etsy seller named AnneChovie who sells lovely paintings of rooms and images straight out of home decor magazines. Her work is quite affordable and she takes commissions, so I actually considered asking her to paint me a big sunburst mirror! (Here’s some of her work:)
But then today, as I was searching around for images, I actually discovered a couple of almost-affordable versions of the real thing. This shop has some in silver and gold that are just over a yard in diameter (a bit small in the traditional sense, though not exactly tiny) for $259 plus shipping:
And this shop has a slightly unusual, modern design for $299, with free shipping. It’s a glorious 50” in diameter:
Overall, not loose-change kind of money, but hardly out of reach…. Let’s just say I’ve added both to my Wists. You never know!
Edited on 7/9 to say that I found another affordable sunburst mirror, courtesy of the August 2007 issue of Domino. Called “Vega,” it’s 45” in diameter and surprisingly only $269 despite coming from Neiman Marcus. Their Website says it’s on backorder till early August, but here’s hoping it will come back in stock. It’s a striking one!