Manzil / Maison | Sarah Delaney

May 2022


"A Sarah Delaney painting is a portal into a conversation"


"Although the medium is not a literal dialogue, the colour, gesture, pattern, and movement within the canvas reflect one expressive moment leading to the next "

I first became aquainted with Sarah and her work when she reached out in 2020 to commission a custom Berber rug (featured in this blog). Sarah had been to Morocco previously and now envisioned a customized peice of wool art for her home. I was instantly inspired by Sarah's creative mind, artistic ventures, and investment in supporting global artisans. I had to learn more about her and the space she was constantly shaping to be her home.

Read on to learn more about Sarah vis a vis a series of fun interview questions...

This amazing photo shoot was captured by Mariel Nelms - A Vancouver based branding photographer.

How does your home make you feel?
Myself. Comfortable. Calm (when it’s clean)

What’s one thing you love about where you live?
It’s got to be the view of the city skyline and mountains in the distance. This city’s proximity to nature is unmatched and a big reason why many have chosen to live here.
You are an incredible artist and painter. Tell us how this all began and what you envision for the year ahead.
Awww, thanks :) I’ve always been a maker. So it didn’t really ‘start’ — it just was. I knew this to be my path even as a child. I went to university for visual art following secondary school and have been making art a priority in life ever since.
I try to push myself into new spaces in an effort to grow. I try to keep an open mind so that new ideas can flow and I do my best to test them. One example of this will be attending a residency in Lisbon this Summer. A lot of unknowns after that.
Describe a typical day in the life of Sarah…
It always starts with coffee with cats. After that, no two days are the same. Generally I’m off to the studio where I will paint until dinner. But I’m fluid in my reaction to dry times, energy levels, weather, creative blocks, inspiration. I allow intuition to guide me if my art needs more or less of me.

You have some special pieces in your home, tell us how you choose what you bring into your space?
All furniture, accessories, and art pieces are very considered. I want to invest in things that we will love for a long time. I hate wasting money. So I actually pin anything I like onto a secret Pinterest board and sit with it for (sometimes) years before making the purchase (ie. sofa, rug, faucets, mirrors, etc).
Our smaller accessories, such as kitchen dishes, and gathered baskets, come to us in a much more impulsive way, often while travelling or thrift shopping. Even our dried grasses or sticks were found while away. I’ve “smuggled” dried flowers into Canada in my hat, and another time declared a 2’ stick (as wood).
We try to prioritize objects that have a story, handmade objects, items from artists where we know the money will go to the individuals instead of bigger companies, souvenirs to remind us of our adventures, and often female owned businesses.

Favourite brands and business you’ve been following lately?
Just looking around my home and I can identify a number of items from companies (people) I’m glad I’ve purchased from and would be happy to support again.
Here are a few (besides raha roho :) )—
Bird Ceramics
I’ve found a lot of makers on Etsy (yes, that’s till exists). Tip: Etsy has been in the news lately for increasing transaction fees. I’m using it now as a resource to source but contacting sellers if I can buy from them directly.

Who has inspired you lately?

I'm inspired by the season shift. The days are getting longer and the trees are bursting with blooms. It feels warmer and optimistic.

In decor, I’m finding myself increasingly inspired my European design. I look at real estate a lot and have been pretty focused on Lisbon. There’s an old world charm that’s present even in their modern flats. The luxurious stone, intricate crown moulding, mixed with light toned flooring, minimal furnishing, and simple cabinetry.

Tell us more about your custom raha roho rug...

I backpacked through Morocco when I was 20. Although deeply in love with the rugs, the lifestyle of sleeping in hostels and couch surfing (on my taxi drivers couch), was a good indication that they were no where in my budget. Almost 15 years later and I finally made it happen, thanks to raha roho.

I love visual language and therefore I am very drawn to the Berber rugs. I was open to the rug makers just creating their own vision in the colour pallet I requested, but Joy explained that they really aim to please and thus prefer to use a blueprint or drawing. So I researched Berber motifs and drew them out. They followed my drawing exactly.

I had the rug made in cream with a Carmel-tan accent colour. I’ve often seen rugs like this with black or grey lines, but the brown makes it that much more unique and fits with the warm tones in our home.



Sarah drew a basic design of her rug using a black pen and paper. we then took this design and gave it to the weavers with the rug dimensions and wool colours to use.


Finish this sentence: “I am happy when…”

I have peace of mind. Most often achieved in the sunshine, with my inspiration cup full and ready to create.

Where can we go to learn more about your paintings and commissions around Vancouver?

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