On Naming Your House

Ever inspired by the great castles, châteaux and estates of Europe, I love that these places all have names which add to their character and history. The first autumn in our home, I was washing dishes at the kitchen window and the most beautiful red fox dashed across our backyard. We live close to a wooded area, but even still, it is a rare and a fortunate occurrence to see this creature. Foxes are clever and playful and have appeared in folklore across cultures. Since that sighting, the fox became our unofficial mascot and an obvious element to tie into the naming of our house. And since I am so heavily inspired by French style and the chateaux which dot the French countryside, our little chateau became ‘Château du Renard.’

Even if you don’t live in a grand manor, why not give your house or apartment a pedigree? It feels regal and I have found that in naming our home, it has taken on an identity of its own, which has helped to inform the design process. You can have fun with your house name by having the name or its symbol embroidered on guest towels or pillowcases, having notepads made for your to-do lists or for guest stationery, or by having a plaque made for near your front door. In the digital world, you can create a location on social media for your friends to check in, and of course, you should have a hashtag, too. Our house also has an Instagram account where I’m documenting its decor and renovating journey.

To come up with a unique name for your home, think about what makes your particular home unique and ask yourself some questions. To start, is there any historical significance to your property or the surrounding area? Are there any particular geographical features that stand out such as bodies of water or parks? Is there a unique design element to your home like a fence or stone work? Or is there any special flora or fauna like a distinctive oak tree or resident wild animals? Then pair any one or more of these unique elements with one of the traditional suffixes such as House, Chateau, Villa, Manor, Cottage, Bungalow, Lodge, Arms, Barn, Castle, etc. You can also use this house name generator where you answer a few questions and it spits out several ideas you can use to workshop your name.

I’d love to know, does your house have a name?

  1. Katelyn says:

    We have named our basement, of course, Ackerman’s Pub, but several years ago we decided start with Rosewood Terrace as the working name. Our patio is rather a high terrace from the rest of the yard and already had rose bushes around it. This has more to do with our landscaping and exterior look than our more traditional style.

    • I love ‘Rosewood Terrace’, I think it’s such a good idea to draw inspiration from the pretty, natural things that give character to your house. In keeping with our French theme, we named our newly remodeled basement ‘The Cellar’ 😉

  2. Melva Breitenstein says:

    As you know, Genevieve, I named our home the Chateau de Remueur (the House of the Riddler) after a memorable visit to Schramsberg Vineyards in the wine country, & falling in love with the bronze of a frog (who “riddles” the champagne bottles) in black tie and tails toasting the harvest moon; it’s called “The Riddler’s Night Out”. It fits perfectly with the French style of our home, & is sentimental:-)
    As you point out, it’s inspirational and so much fun to use the name in the many ways you suggest. I LOVE the name you have chosen for YOUR Chateau!

    • I just love your Chateau — it’s so inspiring! I had no idea as to the genesis of your "mascot." Would love to see a photo of that bronze Champagne-riddling frog! ♥ Marvelous!!

  3. Kathryn Schmidt says:

    After spending time and searching for the perfect name for our new/old lovely Colonial I believe our home has a name! Our back yard is bordered by huge pine trees which delight my husband and I and remind us of the Evergreens of Seattle area where our son lives. The back yard has a lovely rose garden surrounded by a boxwood hedge and a large boxwood wheel adorns the back yard as well. The front yard greets one with boxwood bushes at the sidewalk’s end and boxwoods of different shapes and sizes border the house. This classic Colonial has been our haven since our move in January and thus “Evergreen Haven” is the name we chose to give this lovely old manor. Thank you Genevieve for the inspiration to name our home. I’m excited to have a plaque made and use the name on my mailings as well!! ❤️

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