Get Creative: Naming Houses


My husband and I have just returned from two and a half weeks in England, and one of the things we most loved there (other than the gorgeous countryside and the delicious meat pies!) were the names of places. I kept a running list of our favorite names spotted on signs we passed--villages like Puddenhole, Birdlip, Peas Pottage, and Tizards Knap. And we especially loved the fact that in some places, the houses didn't have numbers on them--they were known only by their names. Rose Cottage. Orchard House. Frogmore Farm. The Little House on Gumstool Hill.

Houses with names always seemed a bit magical to me when I read about them in books: Green Gables. Mole End. Toad Hall. The Burrow. When a house is given a name, it's not just a building anymore. It has a personality, a unique identity, a story. The windows are eyes that have seen people come and go and laugh and cry and eat and play. The name tells you something about the character of the house's inhabitants and lets you know whether this is a place of foreboding or welcome.

Take a walk down your street this week and give the houses names (including your own house, if it doesn't already have one!). Even if you don't know who lives there, make up a little story about each home, based on the way it looks from the outside. Does it make your neighborhood feel any different when you treat each place like a person?