What I miss most from our old house

May 08, 2018

What a beautiful week so far! I can't get enough of this weather. These temps give me all kinds of energy to tackle projects -- we've been working outside a bit and and keeping the windows open as much as possible. 

We recently hit the six month mark in this house (I shared all of the projects I've tackled in that time here) and at least once a week someone will ask if we miss our old house. I think everyone is surprised when we say no. It still surprises us too! 

I know part of the reason we don't miss that house is that friends of ours bought it, so we know it's being well taken care of, loved and enjoyed. And we get to see it often! It gives me warm fuzzies every time we walk in, but I never get sad. I thought for SURE we'd miss it big time when we were in the hotel for months, but even then it didn't bother us. We just figure it's because we love this house SO much and know it was the right decision for our family.

But there are a couple things I miss about that house, and I miss them BIG time. The first one isn't a pretty or exciting thing, and will probably surprise you. But we got used to this little convenience and after nine months and still thinking about them...I decided it was time. 

I know some of you will laugh at me. It's a bathroom item. Any guesses?:
Bathroom with wood planked white walls

Side note: I super miss that cute toilet flusher too. But I don't miss showing confused visitors how to flush. 😂

No, what I miss is the soft-close seats I installed on all the toilets over the years. I know, laugh at me all you want. But they ROCK. They are especially great if you have little kids! (The lid and seat close on their own.) It has been so long now since we've had them and to this day we'll forget and the lids will slam down. 

We visited friends the other night and they had a soft close lid and I decided right then and there I was going to get one for at least one bathroom. So I did just that, ha!:
Installing a soft close toilet seat

This is very similar to the one I used. These are a total convenience item and so as with the last house, I'll just switch them out as we can. They are usually less than $30 for the basic size (in plastic) so won't break the bank, but aren't a necessity obviously. 

It takes just a few minutes to switch them out -- if you've never done it you'll be surprised. You flip up the brackets on the seat (if you ever clean under there you know how to do that) and take the plastic screws out. Then just reverse the process with the new seat. 

I spent an extra $5 on a wooden seat because I just find them a little sturdier. This is now my favorite bathroom because...soft close. YES!:
Dark wood floors, gray vanity bathroom

No I still haven't finished the walls in there. Soon! If you have these seats I think you'll understand why I missed them so. Over the 13 years we lived in our previous house I added so many little details and this was a small one I missed. It's stupid how happy this new seat makes me. Stupid! 😁

This second thing that I miss dearly probably won't surprise you. But this one has been HARD for me. Ohhhh how I miss my plants in the garden! I don't even really miss the landscaping and garden really...just the plants, if that makes sense. I have grand plans (that will take many years) for our new, much bigger backyard, so I know it will be just as beautiful someday. I know I miss them especially because I planted each and every one myself and "raised" them, so it's not surprising. What does surprise me is just how much I miss them!

I miss my hydrangeas a lot already, but I had the builder put in a bunch up front, so I'm satisfied with that for now. I can't wait to see what varieties they planted and how they bloom! The plants I miss the most, especially this time of year, are the peonies I planted. They are one of my top three favorite blooms:
How to grow beautiful peonies

I've been counting down the days till I could safely plant some here, and during that wait I've been deciding on the perfect place to plant them. My big peony didn't do so well last year because I think the trees along the side of our old property were shading it too much. The plant grew and started to bloom like normal but then the blooms never opened up. 

Peonies need a good amount of sun to flourish. If you're interested in growing them, be sure to check out my post from a few years back with tons of tips for these beauties: 
Big fluffy peony blooms

Anyway, I finally decided on a good spot and stalked the nurseries till they were in stock. I grabbed a couple last weekend and planted them in the back:
Tips for growing peonies

They each have a ton of blooms starting so as long as I got the depth OK when I planted them (they are picky about that -- the only picky part about this plant!) I'll have plenty of big blooms in a few weeks. 

These are the two varieties I got. I don't know what version I had before, but it looks similar to the Sarah Bernhardt:
How to successfully grow peonies

My peonies before were HUGE and the most beautiful pink, so I'm crossing my fingers these will be close. I had a couple other peony bushes that never did great and hardly bloomed, and they were the darker reddish pink like the other one here. I think I had those planted too deep and that's why they didn't do as well. 

I planted both of these on a corner off our back patio where they'll get full morning sun and some late afternoon sun as well. I hope to add my first big gardening spot on that corner and I'll show you more of that as I get it dug out. 

Do either of these surprise you? After all that work I did in the old house and I miss toilet seats?? Yes, it's true. It really is the little details that make your house YOUR home. I have realized that many times over during this process. 

Have you moved recently? What do you miss from your old house? Is it something random like mine? Is there something you know you'd miss if you moved? It has all surprised me! 

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  1. I love the vanity in your new bathroom! Can you share where it's from? Thanks!

  2. We switched out the toilets in our house over the last 2 years and they came with soft close. I love them so much! It didn’t take long to totally adjust and now i might have accidentally slammed the toilet at my friend’s a few times.
    I also love peonies and I am pretty sure that the pink ones you have photographed are Sarah Bernhardt. I have a couple of those and they are the medium pink. I have a red one as well (can’t remember the name offhand and it definitely grows more slowly than the pink. If they are planted too low they just don’t put out the blooms. I also have a gorgeous white with dark pink veining at the centre. I think it is a maxima festiva. It smells so heavenly. If you catch sight of one of those, snap it up. It makes a lovely bouquet with the Sarah Bernhardt.

  3. Oh my gosh! I never knew peonies were picky about the depth planted! No wonder I've NEVER had success planting them. They're one of my favorites. Now I'll know what to do (or try to do) to get this right. So, what's the secret? How deep (or shallow) do you plant?

    1. The base of the plant needs to be right at ground level and uncovered. So not too deep or to shallow. :)

  4. I love how plants always change the mood of a room. It always feels like the living or dining rooms aren't complete without a little green! ❤️

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  5. You sent me down memory lane to when I learned to garden after we moved in with my grandparents at age 10! Grammie loved her pink peonies too - she was glad to teach me about her flowers (oh, those orange poppies, purple hyacinth, bright forsythia, pink and white phlox, white narcissus) though very particular and strict about what she let me do. I learned respect for plants! I became a gardener in my own right when we had our own home again several years later but never planted peonies as I felt their two weeks of blooms were not enough to earn them space in my beds. Now I am wondering why I would have thought that! I forgot they smelled so nice but it's all coming back now.

  6. Ditto on dropping the toilet seat lid when visiting folks. Bam! Ooops!

  7. I recently switched out the toilets in my home and one came with soft close and one didn't. I so love the soft close, but often forget which is which and slam down the one that isn't. Wish I'd had the soft close years ago when I had noisy children. I used to cringe when my son was in the bathroom. He would slam the seat, flush, then the sound of water running as he washed his hands. Sounds tidy, but it never is when you mix a boy and water. A slow close seat would have been so nice back then .....

  8. We switched to soft close toilet seats years ago and now when I go to someone else's house I always end up slamming the lid down :( Peonies - my all time favorite flower along with Lilacs. My mom had several Peonie bushes when I was growing up really miss them.

  9. We moved six years ago and I still miss my peonies! We had a large tree near the street taken out last year (the emerald ash borer killed it), which finally gave me enough sun to plant new peonies. They are up this spring and I am so excited!

    I get my peonies from a place called Klehm's Song Sparrow. They are pricey but they are the BEST! And sometimes they have good sales. Peonies hate to be moved and do best when planted bare root in the fall.

    Good luck with your new peonies!

  10. I am with you on the soft close toilet lids. My husband has a disorder that affects his balance and coordination, so he insisted on these lids. I'm so used to them now that I do end up accidentally slamming any lids that don't have them. I think they should just be standard on all toilets:)

  11. My husband used to always leave the toilet lid up, so one day I showed him a video I found that showed all the germs that spray out into the air when you flush, and that convinced him to close it. Huge win! Except now he slams the lid. He just pushes it a little bit and lets it fall (?!?). I guess I would choose a slamming lid over spewing germs, but now I need soft close lids!

  12. I missed my garden and my plants terribly when I moved from my marital home after my divorce. I put every plant in the ground which was no easy task in our area with the clay soil and all the rocks - I nurtured them, I planned the gardens, I broke my back. And then I had to walk away. So sad. I have those soft close seats and you are so right, when I'm at my boyfriend's house where he doesn't have them I slam the lid all the time by accident, ha ha!!!

  13. I am right there with you on the soft close toilet seats!!!! I have always been too cheap to buy them buy and opted for the $5.00 wood....I bought one and the rest is history!!! so worth the investment. Now I have them in all 3 of my bathrooms. (Sorry for all the exclamation points, but they.are.the.best.!!! haha

  14. I've worked so hard on our gardens too! We know we'll be leaving this house some time in the next 2 years, and I'm already sad about leaving all these gorgeous plants I researched, purchased, nurtured and loved! We also really take our time and save money for each project we do, and a lot of things (light fixtures, our kitchen sink and faucet, etc) have been gifts from people. I'm thinking about pulling my sink and faucet out and taking them with me! Of course I would replace them with something I am less sentimental about lol. I won't leave a hole where a sink should be! ;)

  15. I live with 3 men. In our new build, I upgraded to soft close on every toilet as well as "skirted" toilets with a smoother profile in the back. Less curves for cleaning the splashes. ;-)

  16. Peonies and soft close toilet seats. Love them both. We had some very old peony plants in our garden in Germany. They were planted by my great grandmother. We always knew when they were in bloom, summer was not far off. I discovered soft close seats a while back as a means to keep my son from slamming the lid down. Never considered the entertainment factor!

  17. The toilet seats made me laugh. I put wooden soft-close seats in both of our bathrooms, and I do like them. I was reading the May issue of Southern Living while waiting for my boys' haircuts this morning, and they had a nice article about how to raise peonies! :)


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