Porto Brings Sustainable Furniture Movement to NC Designer Show Home

May 13, 2008 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) – Among the many beautifully appointed rooms in Preservation North Carolina’s 2008 Designer Show Home in Chapel Hill, the Family Room and Office represented more than just the art of interior design. Michael Perry, co-owner of Porto in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, designed these two rooms to prove that homeowners can be stewards of the environment and aficionados of fine interior décor.

For its 2008 Show Home, Preservation North Carolina (PNC) chose Lise and Patrick Noble’s ca. 1920s Lashley House on the corner of East Rosemary and Boundary streets, one of eight historic properties in Chapel Hill protected by permanent preservation easements. Proceeds from the tours benefitted PNC’s statewide work to protect and promote endangered historic properties.

“Historic preservation is one of the best forms of sustainability,” said Perry, “It’s all about preserving and adaptively re-using existing structures rather than tearing them down and using up more natural resources to rebuild. Since the Designer Show Home was sponsored by and benefits PNC, it seemed perfectly symbiotic to represent the sustainable furniture movement within it.”

Going for a warm, casual look and working with a color palette of chocolate browns, copper tones, and a light, gray-green, Perry and Laurie Hamilton, also of Porto, filled the Family Room with hand-crafted furniture from the store’s collections that meet the high standards of the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC). The SFC is an independent, non-profit coalition that promotes eco-friendly practices and principles throughout the process of manufacturing home furnishings, from wood harvesting to non-polluting finishes and upholstery. Porto is a founding member of SFC.

Eco-friendly, or sustainable, furniture in the Family Room included: Cisco Brothers’ “Cosmo” leather sectional sofa and “Avante” armless chair; South Cone’s “Diva” wine cabinet, “Angelina” bookcase, ‘Manu” plasma cradenza and “Loft” coffee table; an oval, tiered side table by Michael Weiss for Vanguard; and a hand-knotted wool rug by Tracy Porter. Accessories included a ‘50s tortoise-shell glass lamp made of recycled materials by Louis Gaskill, and a 42-inch-square reclaimed tin-molding mirror.

To create a “clean, clubby, yet stylish” ambience for the Office, as Perry described it, he and Hamiton complemented soft, straw-toned walls with rich wood and leather furnishings and framed French advertising fliers from the early 1900s. The eco-friendly furniture included a chocolate-leather club chair by Dovetail and a dining chair-turned-desk-chair by Design Masters. “The dining chair added a note of style and comfort for an otherwise functional necessity,” Perry said. Accessories included desk and floor lamps by Robert Abby.

To make certain Show Home visitors understood the principles of sustainable furniture, Porto placed informational literature in both rooms.

“We need to raise awareness among consumers of home furnishings as well as manufacturers, retailers and designers,” Perry said. “High-quality, sustainable furniture not only does no harm to the environment, but it will also be around for generations to come. It will last, as heirlooms, rather than fall apart and end up in a landfill. And it’s up to consumers to drive the demand.”

For more information on the Sustainable Furniture Council, go to http://www.sustainablefurniturecouncil.org. For more information on Porto and its eco-friendly furniture collections, visit http://www.portohome.com.

Commitment to Sustainability, Community: Porto Named “Retail Star” by Home Accents Today

April 21, 2008 (RALEIGH,CHAPEL HILL, NC) – When Home Accents Today magazine announced its “50 Retail Stars” recent, Porto of Raleigh and Chapel Hill was among them.

Home Accents Today is a premier trade magazine for the home accents industry. The editors’ annual list recognizes enterprising retailers who are experiencing success in their respective markets with innovative strategies and creative merchandising while maintaining a strong presence in their communities.

Members of the home furnishings industry were invited to recommend independent retailers for the honor. The list was compiled and narrowed down by research analysts and editors of the publication.

“Porto caught the eye of our editorial staff last fall when we ran a special issue on green products and sustainable manufacturing in the home furnishings industry,” said Susan Clinard Dickenson, retail editor. “Not only have owners Emily Barrett and Michael Perry demonstrated their commitment to the movement as founding members of the Sustainable Furniture Council, but when we needed a theme-appropriate photo for the cover of that issue, we found it in Porto’s elegant interior vignettes.

“We’re also aware of their fundraising efforts on behalf of Habitat for Humanity/Wake County,” she added, “demonstrative of the community connection that many of our successful retail stars are finding to be a key component of their success.”

Porto recently announced its 2008 Habitat/Wake County fundraiser, which will be held October 10 in the Raleigh showroom in North Hills. Leading up to that evening, over 50 Triangle area artists are “recyling” old chairs from Habitat/Wake’s ReStore into original, one-of-kind works of art inspired by the store’s slogan “Going Green Just Got Elegant.” The chairs-turned-art will be auctioned during the gala in-store event. Porto’s last Habitat/Wake event raised over $14,000.

The “50 Retail Stars” feature is published in the May 2008 issue of Home
Accents Today and can be viewed, beginning in mid-May, on the magazine’s
website: http://www.homeaccentstoday.com.

Porto, located in Raleigh’s North Hills and Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Shopping Center, features only high-end, hand-crafted, eco-friendly home furnishings manufactured through sustainable forestry practices and devoid of content and finishes that are harmful to the environment. For more information, visit http://www.portohome.com.