Sunburst mirrors: A bright spark in a corridor dark

Sunburst mirrors are a fantastic addition to any room, giving it the sparkle that is hard to achieve using any other device. It can greatly brighten up any room; the bedroom, the living room, and even a dark and dinghy corridor. The basic design of this mirror is based on a representation of rays of light emanating from a central disc, resembling the sun. The mirror that the design ensconces is usually a round type, and often has a beveled edge that is visible on the outer rim of the mirror. To add to the authenticity, a convex mirror is sometimes used in place of a flat-plane mirror – this makes it resemble the sun closely.

Sunburst mirrors: Blast from the past

Very popular around the 50s, these mirrors are making a come-back in a big way, with many prominent interior designers setting the trend for their return to the dens and bedrooms of today's homes. This single piece of wall art can actually carry its own weight in terms of the ambience of cheer that it brings. They typical application in home décor is to create an illusion of space; the outward projection of the rays signify expansiveness, and that quality is somehow transmitted to our subconscious mind to make us think that the room is bigger than it actually is. Apart from the obvious usage, these are also great conversation pieces that will help break the ice with your first-time guests.

Sunburst mirrors: Testing your mettle and all that

The common types of sunburst mirrors have either metal or wood frames, as these are the strongest when cut into thin beams required for the effect. The thinner the beams, the more delicate, and often the more expensive they are. Some of the beams are thin and long, and others are twisted into leaf or other symmetric shapes that go all the way round. They can even be long beams alternated with short ones, resembling a typical sun image that a child might draw.

An interesting snippet from the 17th century

A little-known fact about a well-known European monarch – King Louis XIV of France and Navarre: He was a patron of the arts and used to participate in many theatrical productions held in his court. In one such production, the Ballet de la Nuit, he plays the sun, and has so much fun with it that he chooses it as his symbol – nice, but more relevant to this piece, it gave rise to a host of creations based on the sun, including sunburst mirrors. There it is – a simple whim of the longest ruling monarch in European history gives rise to an immensely popular design of mirror.

A distant cousin: The starburst mirror

Several thousands of light years away in reality, but a close relative on the ground, starburst mirrors are very similar in design to sunburst mirrors, and the delineating areas often overlap. In fact, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, making it all the more confusing. However, these are also extremely popular and date back to the 'art deco' era of the 50s and 60s. Like the sunburst mirrors, they too are making a major come-back, and are making their presence felt as a part of modern home décor ensembles.

Sunburst mirrors don't cost the earth

Pricing can be a little on the wide side, with basic metal sunburst mirrors starting at about $50 or less. General rule of thumb: the more intricate the work, the higher the price. Naturally, depending on the material used there are bound to be exceptions. At the higher end, there are mirrors for about $500 to $600. Most come in standard sizes of about 17 inches, but they're available from about 12 inches to 40 inches and above; of course, customizations can throw these assumptions out the window but these are typical.