Tuesday, 16 April 2013

ANNOUNCING: The Estate Collection

Coming Soon: Mansouri Living's latest addition to unsurpassed boutique living at The Perry.
We are thrilled to soon unveil The Perry's Estate Collection. Starting on the 8th floor through the 11th, we are offering 5 sophisticated urban retreats, each with direct elevator access and grand sky terraces where stunning city views take centre stage, sweeping the top floors of this elegant, boutique development.

Register Now at www.theperry.com for priority access to this unique collection.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Success at The Perry / Rethink Breast Cancer Event!

Tuesday February 12, 2013 - Our Pre-Valentine's Day Bouquet Face-Off in support of Rethink Breast Cancer, was a great success!

Watch Global News' video coverage here: Bouquet Face-Off at The Perry

Our 4 Bachelors and 4 Husbands created floral arrangements that surpassed all our expectations. The evening at The Perry raised $3000 for Rethink.  Many thanks to all our generous supporters, and of course, to our Bachelors and Husbands.

(photo courtesy of Nolan Bryant)

Robert Faissal's bouquet below won it for the Husbands

On the bachelor side, Braden Rosner bouquet below won

During the entire month of February, all 8 bouquets will be available for purchase at Kay & Young Florist (136 Avenue Road 416.922.5651)  with proceeds going to Rethink Breast Cancer.

(photo courtesy of Nolan Bryant)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bouquet Face-Off For Rethink Breast Cancer

Bachelors vs Husbands - Whose Bouquet is Best?

Mansouri Living is excited to announce our partnership with Rethink Breast Cancer and Toronto's hottest bachelors and husbands. Eight bouquets have been personally designed by Bachelors: Braden Rosner, Peter Saltsman, Rober Weir, James Braithwaite, and Husbands: Allen Chan, 
John Belknap, Robert Faissal and Dr Trevor Born. 

Starting February 12th, make your Valentines bouquet count by purchasing any one of these designs from Kay & Young's Florist, the iconic flower shop at Avenue & Davenport. Bouquets will be available for purchase throughout the entire month of February with proceeds going to Rethink Breast Cancer. Stay tuned for bouquet photos.

Braden Rosner, Editor/Writer

Peter Saltsman, Associate Editor at Toronto Life

Robert Weir, Celebrity Makeup Artist 

James Braithwaite, Physiotherapist

Allen Chan, Principal at The Design Agency

John Belknap, Owner of John & Sons Oyster House

Dr. Trevor Born, Plastic Surgeon in Toronto and New York

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Review of IDS 13

We enjoyed browsing through the 2013 Interior Design Show last week. 
It felt a little more raw and relaxed than previous years, with the usual suspects merged with some fantastic work by young new designers. 

A few clips below of what caught our eye this year.

Nendo's coffee table installation for Caesarstone - are they taking orders yet?

Reznick Carpets, "Homage to Picasso", inspired by one of his paintings titled, Grand Passion.

This simple and beautiful set of stacked bowels and plates by Designlump, hand made in Montreal.
We love the subtlety of the colour gradation. We see olives in the first one, guacamole in the second, maybe a set of chocolate truffles in the third......

 Tat Chao's carefully crafted assemblies of crystal glassware - transformed into chandeliers, candle holders and tables - could not resist and purchased a pair of candle holders on the spot. 
All of his work was masterful. No two pieces are the same!

 Fun and quirky, as well as nicely assembled and finished: Gilbert VandenHeuvel's chair, made from recycled bicycle parts, see more at www.therecycler.ca - he also has a side table made from gears!

 Kentwood's chevron floor, here in natural brushed oak - a finish we are pleased to be offering at 
The Perry, as seen in most of our project interiors

A new discovery for us: Caviar20 - loved the tagline, "Delicacies for your home", especially a fan of this wall table, appreciate the contrast between the raw wood top and the simple classical legs.

Until next year!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Garden Globetrotting

Generally speaking, our modern-day world concentrates life into the urban jungle. Everyday, we are surrounded by cars, concrete and crowds. Although the city is a dynamic and excitable place, we still crave moments of tranquility within nature. So we assembled some inspiration to remind us to connect back with the earth through a collection of our favourite gardens, both global and local.

We start in a mythical place where the ground is covered in moss within the gardens of Saihō-jia Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan - originally built during the 14th Century. Today, the garden contains 3 tea houses and is situated in the eastern portion of the temple grounds. It is arranged in two parts, with the lower area as a circular promenade around a heart-shaped "Golden Pond" covered in more than 120 varieties of moss and with an upper area containing a rock garden.

Our future travel plans definitely include spending a day sipping green tea and strolling (maybe even barefoot) through the moist, lush grounds.

Saihō-ji Gardens, Kyoto, Japan

Next we add a classic icon to our list: the famous Monet Gardens in Giverny, France. This garden is the epidemy of romance in an old world sense. We wish we could have witnessed the moment Monet first saw the garden through his train window, when he chose to move there from 1883 until his death in 1926 - first renting and eventually purchasing the house and the land outright. He then set out to create the gardens he wanted to paint himself, filling the land with archways of climbing plants, coloured shrubs, a water garden and a Japanese bridge. 

Monet Gardens, Giverny, France

It's innate to fall in love with the backdrops of Monet's work. These scenes are not only beautiful in the visual sense but also activate a peaceful sensation because of the natural perfumes that seemingly float in the air.
Monet Water Lillies, 1919

Our next spot is a local favourite, a small haven in our own city. The Kay Gardiner Beltline Park, an example of successful urban reclamation. An old railway passage previously owned by CNR and sold to the City in 1972, is a pedestrian and bike friendly trail located just south of Davisville, extending from Mt. Pleasant to Allen Road. Most of the trail is completely embraced in trees, and exudes a calm pace, elevated away from the high-speed city.

Kay Gardiner Beltline, Toronto

Similarly, The Highline Park in Manhattan is a more recent transformation of an abandoned freight line, however this time raised from the main street.  After traffic through these raised rails ceased in the 1980s, the line sat abandoned waiting for demolition.  The neighborhood of Manhattan’s West side rallied and saved the line, transforming it into an elongated green roof as an escape from the busy pace of the streets below.  James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro cooperated to turn this aging eye sore into a green place of peace for Manhattan residents in summer 2011.  The resulting park stretches across nine city blocks.

The Highline Park, Manhattan

Another modern day smaller scale marvel is a Greenhouse at Grüningen Botanical Garden in Switzerland. Buehrer Wuest Architekten has designed this stunning greenhouse to grow warm climate-plants like bananas and papayas. Inspired by organic shapes found in nature, the steel and glass greenhouse echoes branches that create a light-filled canopy for these delicious plants to grow in peaceGiant steel beams act as tree trunks and branches that support enormous glass walls and roofs. Different planting areas are separated by glass screens that keep the design open and continuous. The pavilion is so striking and simple that it harmonizes perfectly with the nearby forest.

One more garden which is close to our hearts is The Thornrose - A Garden of Thorny Delights designed by Nevena Krilic and Niels de Bruin, inspired by the tale of Sleeping Beauty. This garden was one of the winning schemes for a design competition for a garden show in the Loire Valley in France. In order to enter the garden the visitor has to find the way around a tall wall of roses. Once inside, an enchanted world presents itself, and one is free to discover the gazebo, where a set of swings awaits, be it for play or repose.

The Thornrose - A Garden of Thorny Delights, Loire Valley, France

We finish our tour with another example of classical perfection: The Gardens of Villa Farnese in Northern Lazio, Italy, just 50 km north west of Rome. The villa itself is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture, graced by the gardens which are equally impressive. 

All components seduce you, with two walled lower gardens containing sculptures and fountains symbolizing the seasons and regenerative cycles of nature. In the West are statues of Autumn and Winter and the Grotto of the Rain and in the North, statues of Spring and Summer and the Fountain of Venus. At the junction of the two gardens is the Fountain of the Shepherd. The upper gardens and a casino were built in the 1580s with an addition of two lower pavilions, 24 herms surrounding the parterres in front of the casino, gardens and fountains at the rear of the casino, and ramps connecting the front and rear gardens.

Villa Farnese, Caprarola, Italy

And now city dwellers, whether in your everyday routine or on a lifetime adventure somewhere exotic, take time to enjoy the earth's garden jewels or any moment of green in your day!

"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."    ~ Hanna Rion

Matcha Tea Ceremony

We sprinkle this magic jade powder even into our everyday water. Matcha - Japanese for "powdered tea" - is a finely ground, powerful antioxidant elixir. It is the only green tea where the leaves are powdered and drank – so you consume the whole leaf, giving you the equivalent of ten cups of regular green tea.

A single cup of matcha contains seventy times the antioxidants of a cup of orange juice and nine times the beta carotene of two cups of spinach. It carries trace minerals and vitamins (A, B-complex, C, E, and K) and chlorophyll.

Matcha is also grown in a special way.  The earliest spring leaves are covered for two to three weeks (‘shade grown’) which causes health-promoting nutrients to concentrate in the leaf of the tea plant.  Shade growing also increases the amount of the amino acid L-theanine in the tea leaf which relaxes the the body, lowers blood pressure, enhances mood and promotes a sense of wellness by enhancing alpha waves in the brain.

The Tea Ceremony Procedure:
  1. Use a ceramic tea bowl and place the bamboo tea whisk into the tea bowl and pour some warm water in to soften the whisk and warm the bowl.  Pour out the water and dry the bowl.
  2. Place 1 tsp of matcha per cup into the bowl.
  3. Pour one quarter of a cup of hot, but not boiling (about 90°C) water over the matcha
  4. Whisk the mixture for 30 seconds with the bamboo whisk to completely disperse the matcha.  
  5. Drink and enjoy!

We also had to share one incredible recipe that was hand made for us by our sister Lily for a recent birthday, a scrumptious matcha tiramisu. Her inspiration, Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

Tip: try to use fresh matcha for this recipe, it will make the green colour tone of your tiramisu vibrant. 


Get your ladyfingers! We love all Italian brands.

Brew one cup of the matcha tea, as mentioned above.

Let the brew cool slightly to keep the lady fingers firm once you dip them.

Next is the mascarpone mixture:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp matcha 

  • Place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl over a double boiler and whisk them (with a hand mixer or by hand). Keep beating for a couple of minutes until the mixture is double its original volume and a pale creamy colour.

    It's easy from here: mix in the rest of the ingredients by folding into the mixture.

    The assembly of the tiramisu is the next stage which is simply a matter of layering. Soak the ladyfingers in the matcha tea and then layer across the bottom of a springform pan, add a layer of the mascarpone mixture and repeat the process. make the last layer one of mascarpone. Smooth with a palette knife.

    One last touch for aesthetics, is to sprinkle the match powder over the tiramisu!