Dvorak, a store designer for the Gap, drew inspiration from subway platforms, banks, schoolhouses and other public spaces, particularly those built in the opulent 1920s. As his wife, Laurie Ann Bishop, says, "We both love these buildings. When I'm standing in line at a bank, I'm not bored. I always bring my camera when I go out. I'm looking around and taking pictures."

"Ninety-nine percent of our clients are amateurs when it comes to knowing what they want with a design," says the show's executive producer, Russ Morash. "Here, we were working with a professional who makes decisions like this all the time, and it showed from the first day."

"This is really our dream living room," Bishop says of the chapel, where she and Dvorak have arranged their eclectic furniture—gleaned from flea markets in Paris, London, New York City and Los Angeles. The room's cathedral ceilings peak at 24 feet, creating a yawning space that might overwhelm most home owners. But 15 years of scuttling about in cramped urban apartments kindled big-room fantasies in the couple. At the wrap party for the show's final episode, revelers congregated around the blaze in the new fireplace, a shallow-firebox Rumford design with a 5-foot-high opening faced in Italian slate. The standard-sized fireplace screen that someone scrounged for the inaugural fire appeared a "bit out of scale," Dvorak dryly commented. "I'll have something built. A huge sheet of tempered glass on stainless-steel legs, maybe." Problems with scale had to be solved throughout the house. In the kitchen, Dvorak designed custom-built cabinetry that stretches to the lofty ceiling. He and Bishop will reach the top rank via a 7 1/2-foot stained birch library ladder that rolls on chrome-plated rails. The island's countertop is made of marble slabs recycled from a public rest room. "We sanded it really well," he says with a grin. A 4-by-8-foot chalkboard, the home's message center, gives a schoolhouse accent to a wall.

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