Second Nature

Savannah Barkley’s West End home and studio beams with botanicals and collected artifacts


In the sun-filled West End apartment of
Savannah Barkley, a rabbit named Sir Milky Quartz sits on a gold crushed velvet armchair. Little does SMQ (for short) know that a small business has been named in his honor. Barkley describes her lifestyle brand as a narrative – a collection and journey born from the process of nesting into home life and one’s personal style. Surrounded by leafy plants, fresh blooms, and a neutral backdrop punctuated with strokes of bright color and glints of gold, Barkley has indeed immersed herself in a defined aesthetic for both her home, in-house studio, and growing enterprise.

Along with two rabbits, Barkley moved from the East Side to the West End after graduating from RISD. Affordability and size were deciding factors, but the feature which appealed to Barkley most about the apartment was the wealth of natural light. “I find it to be really important and inspiring to work with daylight as light plays such a major role as to how we see certain objects,” she begins. “It can often offer new perspectives and bring out qualities in your work which would otherwise not be seen.”

Describing herself as “always treasure hunting,” spaces throughout the home are filled with mindfully acquired accents. Barkley makes good use of the ample vertical space with hanging textiles like strands of pink pom poms and floating shelves that wrap wall corners to display objects. An avid indoor gardener, she maintains many blooms for her handmade range of pressed-plant vinyl bags and pouches, which she sews on a vintage green Elna Supermatic. “There is never a shortage of plants and flowers as I am often always foraging, propagating, and pressing botanicals – so they have become a staple in the ambience and earthy but whimsical scent and feel of this studio space.”

Leaves and heirlooms aside, Barkley says that her absolute favorite thing in the studio is Sir Milky Quartz. “My bun is the inspiration and muse behind my business. He brings warmth and whimsy whenever he decides to pop in the studio for a visit.”

Barkley says that living and making in Rhode Island has really given her a supportive and encouraging platform for growth. “The local community at large is very interested in what businesses are producing close to home and they are not shy about coming out to support,” she says, adding a thank you. “The creative community has really shaped and inspired how I work.”

Editor’s Note: Check the calendar online for pop-up events and follow along at @sirmilkyquartz on Instagram.


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