Walking through Ambiente Modern Furniture, Manager Jasper Haugaard talks about the quality of home furnishings in his Biltmore Village shop — and their eclectic origins, which range from Europe, Scandinavia and Indonesia to regions of this country.

The sleek designs of the sofas, chairs, tables and dining room collections reflect a blend of functionality and creative flair, as do accessories such as lamps and rugs.

“Function has come to play a huge part in design,” Haugaard says as he gives a “comfort tour” of reclining chairs with soft leather coverings in an array of colors.

These comfortable, supportive chairs featured in the Stressless line are manufactured in Norway.

In another area of the large showroom is a solid maple dining room set with clean lines, the product of a Raleigh furniture maker who is a friend of Haugaard. Nearby is another dining table from Indonesia with inlaid detail as its design centerpiece.

A long table with the appearance of an Italian white marble top is actually ceramic for durability, Haugaard points out.

A low rosewood occasional table tells the history of its making in the textured grain of the wood from which it is carved.

The work of American furniture makers is prominently displayed along with international selections.

“We have lots of domestic products,” Haugaard says.

In one area of the store is a collection of furniture made in Vermont using solid walnut and cherry, which ages into rich, dark tones.

Other furniture in the store is manufactured in Texas and Virginia.

The clean design of the sofas and other furnishings in the store reflect Haugaard’s family heritage in Denmark. His grandfather, Dan Haugaard, opened the first shop with the name Danco in Massachusetts in the 1960s.

The elder Haugaard is an artist and alumnus of Black Mountain College who offered his work and that of other Danish artists and artisans in his original shop. His work is now in the shop in Asheville along with that of other area artists.

To reflect the broader range of products from other countries and cultures, which it began offering in later years, the company changed the name of its Raleigh store to Ambiente Modern Furniture. The shop in Asheville that opened just over a year ago kept this rebranded name.

Haugaard also has changed directions career-wise with his venture into the family business. After graduating from Appalachian State University, Haugaard worked in the restaurant business as a cook for a while.

When the family decided to open the furniture store in Asheville, Haugaard became its manager, welcoming the move to Asheville from Boone where he was living. He now spends his days operating the business.

He also serves as the buyer for the store, going to the High Point furniture market to make selections twice a year. Choosing eco-friendly furniture for the shop is a priority, Haugaard says.

Along with helping customers with selections, Haugaard and his staff at Ambiente Modern Furniture also offer design services.

Ambiente Modern Furniture is at 9 Reed St. For more information, visit the website at www.ambientefurniture.com or call 828-412-5505.


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