Most Creative Lighting Throughout 2023 Winner

Check out the beautiful lighting that won Most Creative Lighting Throughout in the 2023 Design Awards.

by Jamie Thomas

Dec 2023

Most Creative Lighting Throughout 2023 Design Awards
Photo courtesy GMI Design

Winning Designer

Fernanda Edwards, GMI Design

Project Goal

Transform a cluttered and dated bathroom into a relaxed modern spa with lighting designed to create a sense of space and relaxation.

What was once a cramped and dated bathroom was transformed into an indoor oasis for an older husband and wife, with a focus on creating a sense of space where the real thing was limited.

“The bathroom was a major pain point for them because it was very dark and very cluttered,” says Fernanda Edwards of GMI Design. “It had a lot of things that made the bathroom feel very small, and one of the clients [is] claustrophobic.” Edwards explains that this claustrophobia meant that this bathroom—the master bathroom—was practically off-limits.

“This was the bathroom connected to their suite, but she wouldn’t use it. She would go to other bathrooms in the house.”

The cluttered bathroom was made to feel even smaller by its dated decor. “The cabinetry was dark brown,” says Edwards. “The floor was 12-by-12 old ceramic tile that was brown, the walls were brown, the countertops and cabinets were brown [and] there wasn’t any outside light coming in.”

Edwards’s remedy to the lack of windows was to use lights that create the sense of natural sunlight and space throughout the bathroom, complementing the new spa-inspired decor. Edwards researched lighting that would not only achieve the goal of opening up the space, but help combat feelings of claustrophobia. “I came upon [Lightglass—a product which simulates windows and skylights] that helps people to feel like they’re outdoors,” Edwards says. “It’s important for people to be able to have interactions with natural light because it affects their body and its circadian rhythm.”

Bathtub with unique light fixture above
Lighting in renovated bathroom
Cabinets and lights in renovated bathroom
Photos courtesy GMI Design The bathroom was transformed into a personal spa space, complete with a bathtub with therapeutic water jets and indoor lighting designed to evoke the natural light that was sorely missing.

The artificial skylight doesn’t just simulate outdoor lighting, it also functions on a timer so that it changes throughout the day to evoke morning, daytime and evening—as well as offering the option to adjust it manually when needed. Along with the skylight, Edwards designed the rest of the room’s new lighting to offer unique use-case properties that can also be adjusted to fit the mood of the room. “Having multiple sources of light is important.” Edwards says. “The client has all the areas covered. When they need mood lighting for taking a bath, when they need bright light for makeup—everything that they needed lighting-wise was definitely achieved by having multiple sources of light.”

For Edwards, the feedback from the homeowners has been the most rewarding part of this project. “They have a space where they can truly relax,” she says. “It went from a place that was negative to their mental and physical health to a place that helps them with both and their overall quality of life.”