A Kitschy “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse-Inspired” Maximalist Apartment — House Tour
Name: Johnny Matcham
Location: Tower District — Fresno, California
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting
Johnny grew up surrounded by vintage. His father collected vintage radios, cameras and old advertising signs. His mom had a large collection of cookie jars and vintage kitchen decor. His grandparents had a house full of kitsch treasures: tiki mugs, risqué lady figurines, and novelty bar ware. Growing up, Johnny’s bedroom was filled with vintage art and toys. He can still picture the life-sized Easy Rider poster he had in his bedroom as a kid, and the countless enamel signs his dad would bring home after working at a local landfill. Clearly, it’s obvious why he loves vintage things. “I guess it’s just in my genes,” he says.
Today, things aren’t much different in his small Fresno apartment. Like his childhood room, it’s filled with colorful vintage art, fun toys, and mid-century furniture, many of which he’s found at Yoshi NOW!, the local vintage store where he works. The apartment definitely has its challenges, such as wall-to-wall carpet and plain white walls. But that just pushes Johnny even more to fill the walls and shelves with fun, colorful, and weird stuff that makes him happy. “As an artist, I have to be surrounded by colorful visual eye candy to keep me inspired,” he says.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Maximalist
Inspiration: Pee Wee’s Playhouse, mid-century design, pop art
Favorite Element: My 1950s fiberglass shade lamp and my 1950s Havana travel poster that I only paid a quarter for.
Biggest Challenge: Trying to fill every nook and cranny with things that make me happy.
What Friends Say: “Holy funk!”
Biggest Embarrassment: The fact that my pantry is not stocked with food products but all my crazy kitschy stuff that I have yet to work into my decorating scheme and the wall-to-wall carpeting.
Proudest DIY: My made-from-scratch dining table
Biggest Indulgence: My vintage toy and kitsch collection.
Best Advice: Less isn’t more. More is never enough!
Dream Sources: Thrift Stores, yard sales and swap meets.
Dining table — DIY
Chairs — Krueger’s bowling alley chairs