Monday, January 30, 2012

What's in a name?

I remember someone telling me once that Heather is a stripper name.

I was shocked, mostly because I was actually named for the flowers that grew in my parents' backyard in California, and I always thought of it in a category with Rose, Daisy, and Iris.  Those old fashioned names are a far cry from a stripper pole.  But it made me very aware of the associations that come along with naming.  (I happen to be one of those people who chooses her nailpolish by the name as much as the color.)

Our younger daughter's name is Eleri, which we thought to be an Irish "Ellery" (and we pronounce it that way.)  (If you are so inclined, more on that here.)

Most people have either never heard of the name or, if they are of an older generation, associate the name with Ellery Queen, a fictional detective appearing in a series of novels in the 1940s.  So I have been interested to see that furniture retailers have picked up the name lately.

First there was the Ellery chair from West Elm.

Ellery Chair

And now the Ellery stool from Anthropologie.

Somehow, looking at these, I can't help but feel we chose the right name for our daughter.  A little tough, but round around the edges.  A little cool, but not overly so.  More complex than first sight might let on.  A bit of a tomboy, but not too interested in getting her hands dirty.  I bet a group of "creatives" sit around a room throwing out names for new furnishings, writing lists of attributes they associate with the name.

My younger brother and I refer to Room and Board sofas by name.

A client recently bought a pair of vintage chairs I found with the name of the maker and the designer attached, and I remember her commenting that she loves that her chairs have names.

I wonder, do you refer to your furniture by name?

1 comment:

  1. Clearly you were on to something with your daughter's name (which, is so cool...this coming from one of the 8+ million Ashleys born in the mid-eighties). While I don't name my furniture, I did recently name my Miele vacuum cleaner Klaus because, of course, he's German.


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