House names – should you have one? Depending on where you live, the chances are you’re likely to already have an existing house number and road name, but many people like to have a home name too. A house name can evoke a sense of pride, belonging, and uniqueness. It helps give a home character and helps infuse your abode with personality and style. In this post, we’re exploring the benefits of house names, offering insight and ideas into how to choose the right name for your home and looking at the legal issues to be aware of if you choose to change an existing house name.
House naming has ancient origins, dating back to civilizations as diverse as the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. In these societies, houses bore names to denote their occupants’ status, lineage, or aspirations. Names such as “Villa Pompeiana” or “House of Thebes” were more than mere labels; they conveyed a sense of history and significance. Today, many houses with traditional names are relics of a bygone era, preserving the echoes of the past, whilst others are a reflection of modern times with creative house name ideas.
Benefits of House Names
There can be many benefits of having a unique name for your home sweet home, vacation rental or guest house.
The Charm of Tradition
Maintaining the tradition of naming your house can bestow upon it an aura of timelessness. It connects you with generations that have lived under its roof, forging a link between the past and the present and creating a sense of elegance. In this modern world of transient living, a named house stands as a testament to permanence and the value of history.
Personalization and Identity
Naming your house allows you to infuse it with your unique personality. A well-chosen name can mirror your interests, values, or even your sense of humour. Whether it’s the whimsical “Casa Serendipity” or the stately “Havenwood Manor,” a house name can be an extension of your identity, making your abode truly your own.
A named house becomes a conversation starter, adding a touch of intrigue to your social interactions. Guests are often curious about the story behind the name, providing an opportunity to share anecdotes and create memorable experiences. It fosters a sense of familiarity and community, enhancing the bonds with your neighbours and friends.
Naming your house can be a way to leave a lasting legacy. It allows future generations to connect with their roots, preserving the heritage and history associated with the place they call home. House names have the power to transcend time, ensuring that your story endures.
Having a name for your house could help your property to stand out. A name might get it on the map and make it easier to find, whether for a delivery driver, friend or visitor. Interestingly, having a creative name for your property might even help you to sell your house, as this survey found.
How To Choose a Name For Your House
So how do you come up with a cool name for your home? When you’re trying to find a good name for your house, there are various different factors you can focus on, from your home’s unique qualities and style, to where you live, local history and your likes. Thinking about some of these factors can be a great way to springboard ideas for a memorable name.
- Architectural and Home Style: Consider your home’s type and architectural style. Does it have Victorian elegance, modern minimalism, or rustic charm? Is it a house, villa, flat, apartment, bungalow, barn conversion, old rectory, old school house, old post house or a mountain cabin? Are there any prominent features that make your house stand out, such as a picket fence, it’s on a corner, the colour of the property, shutters or a winding drive? For example, “Corner House,” “White House,” “Pink Cottage,” or “Picket Fence Cottage.”
- Location and Surroundings: Think about your home’s surroundings. Is it nestled in serene countryside, located near the sea, at the end of a long and windy lane or amidst the bustling cityscape? For example, “Salty Breezes Cottage,” “Ocean View”, “Windy Bottom,” or “Lofty Mansions.”
- Flora and Fauna: Do you have a particular tree, plant or flower in the garden, perhaps that’s been there a long time, that could be an ideal name? For example, “Lilac Cottage,” “Orchard House,” or “Birchwood House.”
- Historical Significance: Does your home have a rich history or any notable events associated with it? Are there any significant local events in ancient times that could inspire a new home name or did it have a particular owner in the past that’s relevant?
- Local Landmarks or Place Names: Are there any local landmarks or place names that could inspire a meaningful house name? For example, “Park View,” “River Cottage,” or “Highland Mist.”
- Personal Meaning: Reflect on your personal connection with the house. What emotions and memories are associated with it?
- Family Name: Is there a name connected to your family – either present or in the past – that could be incorporated into the name of the house to provide a personal touch?
- Literature: Literature is a popular source of inspiration for distinctive names. Do you have a favourite book or author that you’ve always loved? For example, “Pemberley,” “Green Gables,” or “Netherfield.”
- Mythology: If you’ve always been drawn to mythology or folklore, there are lots of ideas that could become a catchy name. For example, “Avalon Retreat,” or “Olympus Cottage.”
- Language: Do you speak another language or is there a foreign country that’s significant to you? Explore how your potential house name could be if it were written in a different language.
As you continue with the creative process of brainstorming your home’s name, it may be helpful to experiment with wordplay. You could try combining words that don’t usually go together or use alliteration or puns to create memorable and catchy names.
If you’re still struggling to come up with a name that seems a good idea, you could always try using an online house name generator to get you started with finding cool house names.
Dos and Don’ts When Choosing a House Name
While the allure of house naming is undeniable, there are practical considerations to bear in mind. A complex or esoteric name might confuse visitors and delivery personnel. Additionally, you may encounter bureaucratic challenges, as official documents may still rely on numerical addresses rather than names. Therefore, striking a balance between creativity and clarity is essential. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Do Keep It Relevant: Ensure the name reflects your home’s essence, location, style and history.
- Don’t Be Too Obscure: While uniqueness is good, overly obscure names might be hard for others to remember or understand.
- Do Test It Out: Say the name aloud to see how it flows and how it feels when you introduce your home using it.
- Don’t Rush: Take your time; finding the perfect name may require some contemplation.
- Do Seek Feedback: Ask friends and family for their input to gain different perspectives.
- Do Check For Similarities: Try and ensure there are no very similarly named properties in close proximity that could cause confusion.
Legal Issues Associated With House Name Changes
It’s important to check if there are any legal requirements or guidelines for naming properties in your area, especially before you make a significant change.
In the UK, if your house already has an assigned number and road name, you legally still need to display the number somewhere on your property and use it in your address. For example, on your address, you’d put your house name first, then the number and road name on the second line.
If your property has no house number allocated and it already had an existing name that you want to change, you’ll need to put in a request to your local Council, who are responsible for street naming and numbering. Only the property owner can change the name – it cannot be changed if you are simply renting the house or if you are still in the process of purchasing it.
Once you’ve put in your application for a house name change, it’s important not to do anything further until you have received a positive acknowledgement that the change is okay. The council will liaise with Royal Mail on your behalf, to ensure there are no duplications or similar house names in your area that could prove confusing. They will also make sure that your new house name is registered with the National Land and Property Gazetteer, Royal Mail, emergency services and with the council so that the property can be contacted and located when required. Be aware that there may also be a fee to pay to make the change.
Celebrating Your New House Name
Once you have finalised your new house name, it’s time to let people know about it!
Add the new name to your address labels, have a new decorative house sign or plaque made to make it official (don’t forget to add your house number too, if you have one) and consider having a housewarming celebration to introduce your home’s new name to friends and neighbours.1