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.

Porto Announces Its 2008 “CHAIRity” Art Event to Benefit Habitat for Humanity

March 3, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – To celebrate the role artists play in advancing cultural and social development, and to align that role with the contribution Habitat for Humanity makes to society, Porto, a fine home furnishings store in Raleigh and Chapel Hill (www.portohome.com), has announced its second gala fundraiser for Habitat/Wake County, which will be held in the Raleigh location in North Hills on Saturday, October 18.

Porto is now inviting Triangle area artists to “recycle” used wooden chairs — in stock at Habitat/Wake’s ReStore Center in Raleigh — into one-of-a-kind works of art. The chairs are free to artists, who will be asked to translate this year’s theme: “Going Green Just Got Elegant,” a Porto slogan that reflects the stores’ commitment to sustainable furniture manufacturing.

The chairs-turned-art must be completed by August 30 and delivered to Porto. They will then be exhibited in public spaces around Raleigh for a month leading up to the evening of October 18, when gala attendees will bid on these unusual works of original art (some in a silent auction, others “live” via an auctioneer). Seventy-five percent of the winning bid for each door will be donated to Habitat/Wake County. The remaining 25 percent goes to the artists.

How artists use the chairs and translate the theme of the “CHAIRity” is completely up to them. Functional or not, construction or deconstruction – whatever they want to do with their chairs is up to their imaginations. They may even “reinvent” a chair into something else entirely.

Porto held its first Habitat/Wake County fundraiser a little over a year ago and raised over $14,000, which was used to purchase materials for a Habitat house that is now occupied by its new owner. Members of the Porto team helped build the house as well.

Artists who want to participate should contact Kim Weiss at blueplate pr (919-272-8615; kjw27612@yahoo.com) no later than April 1. Anyone interested in participating in this year’s CHAIRity — as hosts for the chairs-turned-art, as sponsors to provide food or wine for the gala, or in another way – should also contact Kim Weiss as soon as possible.

Habitat/Wake County’s ReStore is located at 2420 Raleigh Boulevard. Habitat has set aside at least 30 specific chairs for this purpose.


Porto To Participate In “Feather Your Nest” Home & Garden Show

February 27, 2008 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) – To help shake off the winter drabs and welcome the possibilities of spring, Porto, a fine home furnishings store in Chapel Hill and Raleigh, will present a sample of its collections and offer tips and techniques on sprucing up home interiors for the new season during “Feather Your Next,” a home and garden show to be held at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill on Sunday, March 16.

Porto co-owner Micheal Perry, who spends most of his time in the Chapel Hill store in Eastgate Shopping Center, will be on hand to meet show-goers and discuss what he sees as spring trends. He will also offer information on the increasing popularity of “environmentally friendly” furniture, which is produced by manufacturers who practice environmental stewardship. Porto is a founding member of the Sustainable Furniture Council and has made it a practice since the Raleigh location opened in 2004 to carry only manufacturers who practice environmental and social responsibility.

The spring show will also feature fabrics, flooring, wall covering, window treatments, lighting, kitchen and bath ideas, floral design, and home entertaining, as well as an “Ask The Experts” area.

The historic Carolina Inn is located at 211 Pittsboro Street. Tickets are $10, which includes hors d’oeuvres and a wine tasting, gift bags and raffle give-ways. Doors open at noon. The event is sponsored by The Carolina Inn, MW Design and Chapel Hill Magazine. For more information, visit http://www.carolinainn.com.

Porto is located in Raleigh at 4151 Main at North Hills and in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Shopping Center, 1800 East Franklin Street. Hours are: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., and 
Sunday from 1 – 6 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.portohome.com.