Funny How Life Works

In 1905 Charles L. Sluder started a store on Biltmore Avenue. He sold used furniture and sewing machines. That would have absolutely nothing to do with us except one Saturday, as the family story goes, Ray Long, Kathryn's father, came home and told his wife, Sarah, that he'd "bought her a furniture store." That was in 1964. Sarah knew nothing about bookkeeping and merchandising, but she learned, and, as president of Sluder Furniture, made it into a sound economic concern.

And that would have nothing to do with us except Kathryn established Ambiance Interiors in a corner of Sluder's in 1977. And here we are, thirty-one years later. Funny how life works.

Ray and Sarah Long on their Wedding Day in 1947

(Love letters between Ray, who was in France following WWII, and Sarah, who was at Wake Forest were found when the family cleaned out Sarah's
home after her passing.)

Sarah, Girl Scout Leader Extraordinaire, with daughters Kathryn, Brownie Scout, and Mary, Girl Scout

Sarah, Ray and Kathryn in Greece in the 1970's

Sarah with grandson John Caldwell on his Wedding Day, October 13, 2007.

After his Army days in World War II, Ray worked downtown, at National Furniture on N. Lexington Avenue. In those days downtown was thriving. Ray wrote to Sarah before they were married about how busy they were when tobacco farmers sold their leaf in the fall.

About the time the Asheville Mall opened in the mid 1970's, and downtown began turning into a ghost town, Ray and Sarah bought 27-29 Broadway, not knowing what they would do with it, but just buying "what joined them," and not wanting a honky-tonk next door. Call it wisdom, prescience, or just plain luck, their vision now houses Ambiance Interiors. Funny how life works.

One of their proudest moments was when Save Dowtown ASheville orchestrated defeating a bond that would have paid for bulldozing a big hunk of downtown Asheville. We thought it only fitting that Sarah be buried with her SDA button.

Ray's been gone a bit over seventeen years now, and Sarah a couple of months. Here's a toast to their memory, and our promise to continue their legacy the best we know how.

Click here to read
Sarah Long's obituary.


Wayne Caldwell fans are in luck

Wayne's novel, Cataloochee, was featured in Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2007 issue. The paperback will be published June 10, 2008, and he is working hard on the sequel. Turn-in date is August 2008.

Wayne signs copies of Cataloochee for adoring fans during Ambiance Interiors' 30th Anniversary party last June.
Kathryn's Recent Trip

Before I left for a year in Europe in the early 1970's my mother gave me this travel advice. It has served me well on over twenty trips to Europe, Greece, Morocco, etc...

I still carry this philosophy in my heart, as well as this well traveled card in my wallet.

Sarah and Kathryn Long enjoying snails in Brittany in the early 1990's.

Here are some photos from my most recent trip made with my sweetie, Axel Graumann. We began with a week in Paris, followed by a week in Provence, then a few days along the Italian Riviera, then several days along the Cinque Terre. Our last days were spent at Lake Orta and Lake Como.
In heaven at the Paris' major marché biologique, or organic market, on Boulevard Raspail, between rue du Cherche-Midi and rue de Rennes.
Taking in Monet's
les Nymphéas at the newly renovated musée de l'orangerie
in Paris.
Kathryn and Axel enjoying a Caprese salad at Casa Nobile on the Italian Riveria.
View from Manarola along the Cinque Terre, National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Italian coast.
In this Issue

Remembering Ray
and Sarah Long
A Sequel in the Works
Kathryn's Travels in
France and Italy
30th Anniversary Photos

30th Anniversary Party Photos, at last!

On June 14, 2007 Ambiance Interiors held its 30th Anniversary Party at our store at 27 Broadway in Downtown Asheville. As a testament to
our time-honored design philosophy of comfort and style, the party featured champagne, and bluegrass performed by Woody Platt and the Pisgah Pickers. Wayne Caldwell also read from his debut novel, Cataloochee.
It was truly a wonderful celebration.  

The following photos are
just a few of many from
that evening.

Click here to see more!

Upcoming Issues

Client Projects
The Launch of Our New,
User-Friendly Website

Contact Information

Kathryn Long, ASID
Linda Constable
Amanda Holland
Wayne Caldwell

27 Broadway, Asheville, NC