1 November 2010

A recent Article from 'The Hills Times':

'For decades now, naming your house and displaying it prominently has been popular. The choice of name is a deeply personal thing. People call their homes all sorts of weird and wonderful names, although the reasoning behind it is not always apparent. Yvonne Campbell reports.

Just about every boat owner names their boat. It’s good luck. And plenty of people have pet names for their car or bike. Naming the house though, is something else. A sign on a house indicates that this isn’t just an address, it’s a home and it’s welcoming. Drive around any suburb in Sydney and they can be seen in abundance. Nameplates adorn the wall next to the front door or sit above the letterbox or are recessed into a front fence.

Custom House Sign

So is there rhyme to the reason? Meaning to the madness? Apparently so, sign companies say. Beagley Nameplates has a list of suggested house names on its website – some English and others Aboriginal in origin. Many are names which can be seen often – Aberdeen, Camelot, Dover, Glenelg, Lanark and Nottingham all have that decidedly British ring to them. And how about Akoonah? – which is Aboriginal for flowing water. Or Allambee which means to remain a while. According to the website, Carinya means happy home and Mirambeena means welcome.

But what about some of the weirder ones – such as Wombat Bottoms or the old favourite Emoh Ruo, which is ‘‘our home’’ spelled backwards? Tony Fischli from sign company Danthonia Designs said some people named their house after the town or property that they lived on in their youth. He said others combined syllables from the husband and wife’s first names. ‘‘Some house names describe a location or setting, a favourite animal or plant found in the area,’’ he said.

Wombat Bottoms House Sign

Danthonia created the Wombat Bottoms sign for Peter Dryden’s Wollombi property. Formerly called Mirrabooka, Mr Dryden said the wombat connection came from the many burrows found around the creek on the property. He said the bottoms probably stemmed from the fact that when a wombat goes down a burrow, they go head first, hence the ‘‘bottom’’ is the last thing you see.

Mr Fischli said that sometimes there was a historic, cultural or family connection and some house names were based on what the building was used for in the past. But it’s not just the name itself which home-owners seem to become focused on. He said people used the poetry of the name and the artistry of the hand-crafted sign to express their special feelings about a place called ‘‘home’’.

Guruwan House Sign


Danthonia has created a website that allows people to design and order their own house sign on-line. Mr Fischli said people using the site typically bought signs in the $200 to $300 range, with the next largest category of purchase being in the $600-$700 range. ‘‘Design preferences vary wildly, especially in the house sign marketplace. Many people choose floral or tree artwork to enhance their sign, or else bird artwork. ‘‘Signs with no artwork are also popular, although the majority definitely choose to have artwork,’’ he said. Examples of Danthonia’s house sign designs can be seen at danthoniadesigns.com.'

Old Fashioned House Sign
A nod to the old country - This house nameplate in Sandringham, Victoria, was designed using 'The Sign Designer' website.

Rivendell Property SignA Tolkien-inspired property sign on Inverell's Woodstock Road

Custom Carved SignA unique house sign for a monkey enthusiast in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Boomerang House SignA boomerang-shaped house sign in Ballina, New South Wales

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