"I always ask what makes a job run well," Leskovar says. "One, we liked each other. We trusted each other, and everybody's input was taken seriously. We had weekly meetings, which are a huge part of a successful job. And Jane has great taste."
Also useful was keeping an open mind. After tracing the leak in the living room ceiling to a fiberglass shower stall in the master bath, for example, Leskovar entertained a proposal from Smith and her project manager, Stephen Branchflower, to cantilever a bit of the new, tile-lined shower stall over a set of stairs, which also allowed them to give the shower a skylight. "Sometimes you're a little reluctant to do something out of the ordinary," Leskovar says mildly. "That was a new one for us, but it worked."
Shown: In the end, the kitchen was designed around the homeowner's prized sink. "Having it work out is such a bonus," says architect Pi Smith. "It's a great sink—and it hides all the dishes."