Ambiance Is 35 Years Old!

Downtown Renewal

From the Asheville Times, December 20, 1977. The exterior of Ambiance Interiors was spiffed up with an awning and sidewalk planters. Display windows were enlarged by cutting through two courses of brick.

Food to Furniture

Also from the Asheville Times, December 20th, 1977
Bob Reagan, Kathryn and her mother pose for a photo for an article in the newly opened Ambiance Interiors showroom.

Ribbon Cutting

From left to right: Sarah Long, Mayor Gene Oschenreiter, Kathryn Long, and Wayne Caldwell.

The Early Years

     Thirty-five years is, in some reckonings, a generation. Time in which to be born, raised to adulthood, and blessed with your own children. Ambiance Interiors was born in 1977. We are a generation old, you might say.

     Ambiance sprang forth from Sluder Furniture Company, founded in 1905 and purchased by Ray and Sarah Long, Kathryn's parents, in 1964. (For a copy of Sluder's history, e-mail Wayne Caldwell ) After Kathryn finished education and European travels she worked briefly in New York, then returned to Asheville to transform the "mom & pop" store.

     First she sold fabrics and wallcoverings from a corner in Sluder's. But an opportunity arose in 1976, when two neighboring buildings came on the market. The family bought them, ordered inventory, and, after a fit of remodeling, opened Ambiance in 27 Broadway. We offered fine fabrics, wallcoverings, furnishings, and accessories, along with excellent design service, so Ambiance was successful from the beginning, and in time occupied 29 Broadway as well.

Kathryn and Linda Today


Kathryn and Linda in front of our new location with a seat cushion made from the peacock feather fabric that brought them together almost 35 years ago.

Linda Constable Joins Ambiance in 1979

A year or so after we opened, a fabric swatch in our show window caught Linda Constable's eye. She was soon hired as Kathryn's first assistant. During our retail shop days, Linda made those windows famous and kept the showroom chic and inviting. Now, thirty-four years later, she is the accomplished professional designer of countless projects - some large, some small, all beautiful. (You never know how a shop display will change your life!)

Ambiance Online