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Choosing the Right Artisan Furnishings for Your Home: An Interview with Kathryn Long of Ambiance Interiors

By Kathryn Long

*The artisan furnishing featured next to this interview was designed and built by Christopher Perryman of Goldsplinter Woodworking Studio.

Tell us a little about your company and the services you offer.

What do you say about a company that's been doing interior design for thirty-seven years? That we've seen it all, that we know what we're doing, that people trust us with their homes. That's one of the higher compliments a business can be paid.

For more information check us out at www.ambianceasheville.com.

We take on projects of many different scopes. One of Linda Constable's specialties is transforming existing spaces. She and Kathryn Long, ASID, both work on renovation/remodel projects. And Kathryn works with clients and architects from the beginning to create clients' dream homes. Tessa Eaton, Allied ASID, is both project manager and designer, working with both Linda and Kathryn.

Can you briefly explain what artisan furnishings are?

Artisan furnishings are custom, individual pieces hand-built by craftspeople. I include fireplace designs, stair railings, etc., that are attached to a house as well.

When you're working on interior design for a home, how do you decide if an artisan piece is right for a particular room/space?

Before actually beginning to create an interior design for clients it is essential to listen and understand the mood they want for their home. If, for example, a new fireplace surround will be needed (as is often the case, since many "mantels" are not properly proportioned), then that presents an opportunity.

If there is a certain shape or size needed for a kitchen center island, then that is another opportunity.

What are some common design styles that artisan materials would work well with?

Common design styles that work well with artisan pieces include moods ranging from contemporary to rustic. In the mountains, many clients' homes provide very inspirational ideas, because building materials are sometimes reclaimed and/or rustic.

Arts and Crafts style is also a logical fit, since philosophically that movement promoted hand-made objects.

How do professional interior designers find artisan pieces? How can nonprofessionals find them?

Professional interior designers are often contacted by craftspeople. Since my degree is in art, I tend to pay attention to these contacts.

The internet has made it really easy for anyone to contact craftspeople. Check out:

www.handmadeinamerica.org
www.goldsplinter.com
www.southernhighlandsguild.org
www.riverartsdistrict.com

There are still wonderful galleries that represent artisans who love to accept commissions for custom pieces. Two of these in Asheville are:
www.grovewood.com
www.newmorninggallerync.com

What advice would you give to homeowners are redecorating their house and want to include some artisan furnishings?

If homeowners want to include artisan pieces, work with either an interior designer or an experienced gallery representative if you want to incorporate a custom piece. Otherwise, having the wrong scale or inappropriate design style could be very disappointing.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Ambiance Interiors
189 East Chestnut Street
Asheville NC 28801
828.253.9403
kathryn@ambianceasheville.com
linda@ambianceasheville.com
tessa@ambianceasheville.com<
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