In Partnership WithNational Association of REALTORS®

The Remodeled Craftsman of a Modern Trash Witch

published Jul 30, 2019
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Though Holly's style is "witchy," it's not goth or dark. It's a modern, earthy aesthetic...with the occasional witch hat or chicken objet.

Name: Holly Conrad
Location: Seattle
Size: 1,150 square feet
Years Lived In: 1

Here at Apartment Therapy, we know how important it is to have a place where you feel at home. But for Holly Conrad, buying a new house wasn’t just about an investment or a change of location; it also meant a fresh start.

Holly is an artist who sells her pieces through her Etsy store, Trash Witch Coven. But she’s known as Commander Holly online, where she uses her YouTube and Twitch channels to talk about gaming, mental health, and rescuing pigeons.

Holly grew up in California where her grandfather, who was an animator for Walt Disney and Don Bluth, encouraged her to pursue her dreams of being an artist. When he passed away, he left her a very generous gift: his house in L.A. The house was the scene of many precious memories, but it just didn’t feel like home. “I never really felt that the house in L.A. was mine,” Holly tells us, “because it was his house, and I felt like I was borrowing it from him.”

At about the same time, Holly found herself at a crossroads. After a divorce, and after caring for a series of loved ones who eventually passed away, she wanted to start over.

And so Holly decamped to Seattle. She liked that it was totally different from the desert environment she grew up in and that it was walkable. Upon arriving, she crashed with a friend for the first couple of weeks in the city. That friend introduced Holly to the real estate agent she’d worked with in the past, Trisha, who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. How did Holly know Trisha was the Realtor for her? “Trisha is a badass, and that’s what sold me on her, a hundred percent,” she told us.

Holly’s biggest requirement was a house with character. She was originally stuck on an old Victorian, but Trisha convinced her to look at some more recently remodeled houses that would require much less maintenance. Trisha found a few houses that suited Holly’s requirements, but one—a recently remodeled 20th Century Craftsman—was the clear winner. “I told her what I wanted, and she found it literally in a day,” says Holly. “It was insane.”

Trisha also guided Holly through the home-buying process, including negotiations, contracts, and financial considerations. “If there was any problem, she would call them up and get them to take care of it. I’d get an email and be like, it’s done.”

After moving in, Holly painted the house black, as she’d always wanted. Her decor is inspired by witchcraft … and chickens. (The chickens are a nod to Baba Yaga, a character from Slavic folklore who lived in a hut perched on chicken legs. Those chicken legs pop up in unexpected places in Holly’s decor like a supernatural Easter egg hunt.) The house has the backyard she wanted to build an aviary for her rescue pigeons, and there are coffee shops around the corner. But most importantly, it’s a place that feels like home. “Having my own space for the first time was very healing,” Holly says. “I think it’s important that everyone has their own space or corner—even if it’s a tiny space—but someplace that you can call your own.”

Apartment Therapy Survey

My home’s style: Slightly spooky natural history, with a bit of Baba Yaga’s hut. Witchy chic!

Inspiration: I love medieval history and Balkan folklore. I also like wood and bright pops of colors, yellow and orange and teal. Things like medieval tapestries and illuminated manuscripts, dungeons and dragons, and other fantasy/medieval art and literature.

Favorite element of the home: The floors and the age of the house.

Biggest challenge, and how you overcame it: Having a space of my own. This house was something of a dream of mine, so creating a space that was just my own was challenging, but eventually I settled on an aesthetic that made me happy and let me feel like it was truly my own space.

What friends say about your home: My friends love how cozy it is and how interesting the decorations are. Sometimes they think it’s strange it’s painted all black, but it’s definitely my style!

Biggest embarrassment: There’s a rat in my basement that ate my old Halloween candy. I have yet to capture his cohorts.

Proudest DIY: Probably my upstairs area. I have a little “nap nook” and working area. It’s cozy and I love it.

Biggest indulgence: Remodeling the upstairs. I had the carpet taken out and wood floors put in because I needed a workspace to stream. I also loved the idea of an upstairs loft!

Best advice: My house is an extension of myself, my style, and my ability to feel at home. Let yourself be you, don’t be afraid to let your own style speak through your home.

Dream sources: Most of my dream sources are from history or are strange witchy sources. I think the decor at Paxton Gate in Portland and at the Nature History Museum in London are all dream sources. As well as the city of Edinburgh, which I lived in for a year while I studied history.


A lot of the furniture, including the bed, shelves, and couches are from Wayfair. The tall table, corner couch, and bar chairs are from a consignment shop here in Seattle, Ballard Consignment, an amazing store you should definitely check out if you’re in town.

Much of the art in my house is from Etsy and fan artists. The Strix and D&D art is by Kayla Cline, Sara Baldwin, and Matthew Benedetto. Lydia Emily painted the pigeon in my bedroom. Some of the wooden triangle pieces are from Infinite Abyss and Stone and Violet. Much of the taxidermy is from Paxton Gate in Portland, OR. Some of the art is inspired by tarot or other esoteric arts.

Thanks, Holly!