(My mother and siblings, 1970's.
I'm the one in back on the left.)
When I lived in England as a child, my parents bought a house outside London called "Hutton Mount", which was a perfectly lovely name for a Tudor-ish dwelling except for the fact that it didn't mean anything to our family. It didn't resonate. My parents had just moved to the UK from Stockholm with five young children in tow and they wanted a house name that felt personal and relevant to their new lives. After a bit of deliberation, they decided to rename it "Brussels Sprouts", because my four brothers and sisters and I were all born in Brussels, Belgium and, well, we were all little "sprouts." Well, as you can imagine, this created quite a stir. No sooner had the name gone up than there was a knock at the door: the news had reached some journalists from the London papers and they trooped out with Hasselblads in hand. Within days, various articles appeared in the broadsheets and tabloids. Of course, they had a field day with the headlines: "Americans Name House After Vegetable" and so on. I have the clippings in an album somewhere; if there's any interest, I'll see if I can dig them out and scan them for you.
This little backstory gives you a bit of insight into why when we moved into our new house in 2008, one of the first things I wanted to do was to name it. Piero and I tossed around an endless variety of monikers, but we kept coming back to "The Kenmore Arms." It expressed just what I wanted to convey: that our home would be a modern-day coaching inn where our friends and neighbors would always feel free to stop by for a pint or a cuppa.
I found a little company in Cornwall, England to fashion a slate sign for us and when it arrived in the mail, I felt a pang of panic that it might be too much for our little refuge to live up to, but my fears were short-lived. Whether our house has grown to fit the name or whether the name has changed our perceptions of the house, I don't know. But I can't imagine it being called anything else.
Does your house have a name?
If it doesn't, what would it be? And why?