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James Gauer: Inspiring Small Spaces

Since his childhood, James Gauer has been fascinated by the elegance that can be captured in small spaces. What began as an interest in the pages of his mother’s magazines later evolved into a long and successful career as an international architect designing spaces from New York to Santa Barabara.

As a New-York based architect, Gauer certainly had the opportunity to refine his expertise in designing small spaces. Manhattan’s geographical constraints and shoe-box sized apartments created the perfect challenge and opportunity for him to hone his skill. Recently, James chose to share his design philosophies and techniques in his new book The New American Dream: Living Well in Small Homes. In his book, Gauer gives his inspiring, and relatable, insight that guides even the most novice designer (or home-owner) in maximizing their space. Using concepts such as spatial layering, and helpful sample floor plans, Gauer helps to explain how we can create small spaces with enormous impact.

Though New York provided incredible career opportunities, there certainly wasn’t much space left for relaxation. It was on a holiday bike-tour through Victoria that Gauer, like so many others, was struck by the beauty of the island. He is now happily settled into retirement in Victoria’s inner harbour and enjoying all that Victoria living has to offer. Though he may be winding down his design work, Jim continues to educate the design community on the elements of small-space design.

With increasing focus on infill strategies and densification throughout Victoria, many neighbourhoods are looking for ways to create beautiful homes with minimal impact on the surrounding neighbourhood. It certainly looks like there is a coming shift towards quality townhomes, duplexes and condos in the Victoria market; the perfect opportunity for local designer’s to apply Gauer’s lessons. As we at Maison continue to work within the shifting Victoria market, we can’t wait to apply what we have learned to create awe-inspiring small spaces. Who knows, maybe one of these days we will be able to lure him out of retirement!

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