There’s no place quite like Castle Velour.
Opting for a “soft-Hollywood Regency meets Clue” aesthetic, Rupaul’s Drag Race season nine winner Sasha Velour and her partner, Johnny, have added their own unique flair to the “grandeur” of the Brooklyn home they moved into last fall.
“This house has been mostly untouched since 1911, with just a few things updated,” the star tells PEOPLE of the home, which she first came across on a real estate app. “I like to think about all the previous residents of the house. I’m planning on joining them in haunting it forever!”
“A 100-year-old woman is the owner,” Velour shares. “She lived here since the ’50s and just retired down south last year. I’m making it my business to take really good care of her place.”
Nestled in the Lefferts Manor Historic District near Prospect Park, the expansive home features two offices, a photo studio/rehearsal space, three bedrooms and a large basement storage area for Velour’s irreplaceable collection of costumes.
“Johnny and I didn’t just need an apartment, we needed an office, a store, a costume storage facility, a scene shop, a photo studio, a hotel for visiting drag queens, a laundromat and a race track for one very fast dog!” Velour says of her multipurpose abode and Vanya, an Italian Greyhound who she calls the “true diva” of the family.
“I have always lived in very old places, with lots of original details. I think I need that level of grandeur to thrive!” the star tells PEOPLE of adding her “Velourian” twist to the space while maintaining the building’s classic character. “We painted one room blue, fixed a few lamps, and hung a bunch of velour (of course!).”
New furniture pieces from Article and invaluable family heirlooms accent the home’s historic elements.
“We collect what we love, and then try to make it work all together. Instead of trying to unify, I embrace the clashing. It’s a lot like drag. There’s a mixture of modern with historic, kitsch with high-class, restrained with decadent,” the queen explains.
“A lot of the original features of the house [including] fireplaces and doors, reflect the Art Deco trends of the time, and then a lot of my furniture is family hand-me-downs: my grandmother’s brutalist dresser, my mom’s Amish writing desk, my grandfather’s oil lamp and my dad’s 1970s traveling trunk,” Velour continues.
A candy dish originally owned by Johnny’s grandmother and a stone from the beach where Velour scattered her mother’s ashes also have special places above a fireplace in the star’s office.
Meanwhile, glamorous touches like a pair of glittery Fluevog heels gracing a guest room mantel and the Drag Race crown and scepter displayed in her office remind Velour’s visitors that they’re in a queen’s home. “I think it’s important for each room to say ‘gays live here!’ but in a chic way,” Velour says. “I throw in a few nods to camp.”
The family has also made sure each room holds carefully curated collections of pieces from their most beloved artists. In the master bedroom, a dragon accessory created by friend and designer Diego Montoya keeps watch over the fireplace.
In her office, Velour decorated the walls with pieces from Edie Fake’s Memory Palaces. “This book was so influential for me, and I really wanted to be surrounded by the artwork,” she says. “[It] documents real and imagined queer spaces in Illinois, where I grew up.”
Velour’s all-time favorite piece of fan art, a felt portrait of Vanya in the style of a Russian babushka, hangs among family portraits in the ’70s-renovated kitchen.
Downstairs in the basement, Velour has created a “sacred space” to house her extensive costume collection, though she has no qualms about letting eager friends try on the elaborate headpieces and jewelry.
“Out-of-this-world fashion makes you smile and hold your head taller — I don’t want it just sitting on a shelf!” she says. “Not to mention everything down there cost me either a ton of time or money so it’s a living reminder of how much work I’ve put directly into my craft and my art.”
Despite all the invaluable pieces, there are two things in the home that are decidedly the most important to Velour, whose hectic performance schedule has kept her on the move since she was crowned in 2017.
“In the last 2 years, I’ve been gone more than I was in Brooklyn. It may be cheesy, but home is where Johnny and Vanya are,” she says. “I’m so happy knowing they are well taken care of!”