Eclectic Home Tour – Not a Minimalist

Happy New Year! I thought it would be fun to revisit the most popular Eclectic Home Tour of 2021 so can we have a drum roll please … This self professed maximalist takes collecting to a whole other level! He scours flea markets, thrift stores and estate sales for really cool vintage finds then brings them home and displays them in a way that will make you say WOW! Today’s Eclectic Home Tour of Not a Minimalist takes us inside the house of a self professed maximalist who knows how to have fun with his collections.

Eclectic Home Tour of Not a Minimalist - see how Daniel Mathis displays his amazing vintage collections including these state plates

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You know you’re a collector when you still have the rocks and key rings that you collected when you were a kid! Daniel Mathis is not a minimalist and says, “that’s not because I don’t appreciate minimalism–in fact, I dabbled with it for a while. But I ultimately realized that for me minimalism was a constant battle because collecting is in my blood…and so why fight it? It’s what I love to do. So, I just completely gave in to my passion, and have been collecting with reckless abandon ever since.”

Tour this collectors home filled with unique decorating ideas like this vintage photo gallery wall

On weekends, the thrill of the hunt calls and Daniel trades in his suit (he’s a lawyer) and hits the thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets in search of his next great find (Clark Kent’s got nothing on this super thrifting man)!

Cool collections make a home

Tour this collectors home filled with really unique vintage displays

Daniel says, “One of the collections I’m known for is my swirled tourist pottery. I had seen Nemadji pottery for years and HATED it; in fact, I hated it so much that I began to love it! I envisioned it all together in a large group and couldn’t get that out of my mind. So, now I’ve got maybe 400 pieces. About the time I started collecting Nemadji pottery, I noticed a large, heavy swirled pottery piece at an antique store. I knew it wasn’t Nemadji, but had no idea what it was.  I couldn’t leave it behind, and that’s how my Ozark Tourist Pottery collection started. It turns out that pottery is much more rare than Nemadji, so adding pieces to that collection takes time.”

Love this collection of vintage Ozark Tourist Pottery

Only a die-hard collector would risk his life for a good collection and no hornet nest is safe around Daniel. I love the way he displays them in a shadowbox.

Love this collection of hornets nests in a shadowbox

A 1930’s Montgomery Ward department store building converted into apartments in downtown Oklahoma City is where Daniel calls home. The two-bedroom, 1200 square foot apartment has soaring 15 foot ceilings and he says, “the epic wall space gives me a huge canvas for my collections and displays.”

Beautiful space filled with unique collections

Original art makes a big impact when grouped together.

Vintage charicture collection

Even something as simple as old sock darners become art when displayed in bowls.

Vintage sock darner collection

Says Daniel, “My best find of late is definitely a collection of portraits painted by a local man in the 1980’s. He passed away not too long ago at age 90, and when the sold his estate one of my local Instagram friends (who I didn’t know at the time) messaged me to say hey, I know you like old portraits, and I just left an estate sale that has some. When I saw the pictures she sent, I literally levitated off the couch and flew over there about 30 minutes before they closed. I left with 50 portraits. I’ll probably never find an epic art haul like that again!”

Notice the genius way he hung the portraits … with binder clips!

Love this colorful collection of vintage portrait paintings hung with binder clips!

Another fun collection are these old metal first aid kits.

Tramp art pops against the white walls.

Daniel jokes that he likes the old portrait photographs because they don’t judge!

Check out the groovy vintage sheets!

Another fun collection are the 1930’s moth and butterfly specimens.

“I collect a lot of things”, says Daniel, “and I often migrate towards the ignored because those items are usually widely available and cheap! Once everyone starts collecting something, I start looking for something new. I think that’s what makes it fun. I also encourage my friends who like antiquing and thrifting to start one collection–it just makes the hunt more fun when you have something in particular to look for.”
Some more things Daniel likes to collect include crosses and crucifixes,

Vintage religious crosses collection

Colorful pottery flower frogs,

Vintage porcelain flower frogs

and shell encrusted boxes and other objects (he even repairs the ones in less than perfect condition).

Vintage shell encrusted boxes

Daniel says, “I have to work hard to display my collections in a way that doesn’t get cluttered and messy.  I don’t always succeed (LOL), but when I do I think it’s because my collections are all grouped together, so they become a single installation, rather than random items all over the room. That way I can manage several collections in a single space. I also try to tie everything together by balancing color, texture, and scale. If something doesn’t work, I move it until it feels right. It’s more art than science for me–in fact, my collecting and home decorating is my creative outlet. It’s purely for fun, and it brings me so much joy.”

What do you collect? Please share in the comments so we can all read!

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  1. Wow, I loved looking at all his neat and eclectic items. I loved the moth and butterfly specimens and the first aid kits. I like to collect vintage irons. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. I collect small, ceramic flower/bud vases and planters. Inexpensive but love the colors and kind of 50’s look. I have open shelves in my kitchen and arrange them mostly in that area. I change the look by season and display some plates to add to the look. The hunt is the best part. I currently have about 80-100 pcs. so do not go looking often; running out of space to display them!

  3. I love to see the collections- tells so much about the home owner! I’m a collector of a few things myself. Love how they are artfully displayed!

  4. I love the way Daniel puts his collections together! He is right, organization with an eye is key to showing them without a messy vibe. Dusting is a way to revisit the things you love!
    I collect many things, mostly simple things, vintage tomato pincushions, sequined fruit, nests, cream/brown and green/brown Mexican pottery, brown transferware, just to name a few.
    Loved the tour!!

  5. Wow, that is very interesting. I loved looking through it all, it was very fun. I collect yardsticks, old canes, pottery items, dictionaries, buttons and wooden spools, just to name a few. It is fun to have things you like to collect. Thanks the tour was wonderful.

  6. I love these kinds of tours! So fun to see how people take old things that are not considered overly valuable and show how we miss so much beauty in every day items.
    Really fun tour!

  7. I love this post—so fun! I collect colorful pottery, but sort of stopped or eased up when I ran out of storage space. I love the portraits! His collections are amazing. I wish I had his talent and guts for display. Lots of holes in the walls! We thrifters love the thrill of the hunt for any treasures!

    1. An alternative to nails are those Command Velcro strips! My photo gallery staircase wall has dozens of pictures and zero holes! These are great for when you need to move something too-no patching needed!

  8. Daniel’s collections are joyful, interesting and very artfully displayed. His home is a joy to see! My own eclectic collections include things like carnival chalk ware, midcentury dishes, vintage textiles, Victorian photos, boudoir dolls, and vintage Christmas. So, I appreciate his ability to arrange his diverse collections with such flair.

  9. This is truly a fun, eclectic house tour – so much to see! I love how he displays his collections, but have to say the hornets’ nests might be my favorite – such a fun way to preserve nature’s beauty!

    I don’t collect too much because, let’s be honest, I don’t want to be responsible for all that dusting. haha I do have a fun little collection of old wooden shoes I’ve found over the years at thrift stores. I also have a nice collection of vintage Pyrex – including many pieces that belonged to both of my grandmothers. <3 I also like old quilts – but that's practical IMO. haha

  10. One of the things I collect is kaleidoscopes. But I had to stop, because I ran out of room in their space. 🙁

  11. I loved looking at everything!! I think my favorite was the flow of all the collections. Nothing seems out of place. I enjoy collecting vintage wooden beverage boxes. One time I bought a soda one at a swap meet with my Dad and the locals were going crazy about it. The one man was telling me how special it was because his Dad had worked there years ago. I felt bad and offered it to him, but he said he knew I’d enjoy it. He was right!

  12. Happy New Year! What amazing collections of finds. Everything is so organized which makes it even more beautiful

  13. What a cool home! My collections consist of metal Statue of Liberties, thermoses (over 100), vintage toy washing machines & the list goes on. Such good therapy!!!
    Love your posts! Happy New Year!

  14. Awesone! Coming from a family of collectors who collect everything from riding crops to old barb wire, I can appreciate his passion. Thank you.

  15. I loved this tour, Kelly! I admire his resolve to embrace what he loves. I actually never heard of someone being a maximalist before! I probably fall somewhere in the middle of both ends. I’ve been thinking of starting a collection of those pretty carousel horses that are plentiful in thrift stores, maybe I just will!

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