How We Named Our Rappahannock River Cottage Rosehill Cottage

Wondering how we named our river cottage? I’m sharing our process and where we’ve finally landed!

When we bought it, I knew I wanted it to have a name. That just feels right for a house in the country, right? I always think of driving through rural areas and small towns, seeing every house, no matter how big or small, with a sign outside that says its name. I imagine Hallmark movies where the grandparents’ home is referred to fondly by its name. I love the idea of saying where we’re going for the weekend, referring to the house by a charming name rather than just saying we’re going to the river.

But, if you follow our river house on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that there have been a few iterations of the name over the past two months. It’s taken a while to land in the right place. Here’s the story.

How We Named Our River House

While our house is on the water, it doesn’t look like a typical river house or vacation home, which is exactly why we fell in love with it. It feels more like a cozy, pastoral, British-inspired cottage, tucked amidst towering century-old trees. The name had to match that.

I toyed around for a hot second with ‘River Watch Cottage,’ naming it for the street. But that felt too nautical. Then, I was struck by the most obvious bolt of inspiration: the rose garden and the rose bushes that are sprinkled across the property. Rose Cottage! That had an Anglophile vibe, and it references one of the defining characteristics of the home.

For a few weeks, that’s what we called it. But something always felt off. Rose Cottage kept sounding ‘pink’ to me. It felt like shabby chic decor. Both fine, but not my aesthetic. Perhaps the one syllable name was rubbing me the wrong way. It felt forced, too literal.

Then, while Adam and I were in the Hudson Valley in October, we went to a farm winery outside Rhinebeck. We sat down for a cider, overlooking the fall leaves,  and my eyes settled on logo engraved on my glass: Rose Hill Farm.

That was it. Rose Hill! We are, in fact, on a hill, so coupled with the rose garden, it’s perfect. I went back and forth on one word v. two, and decided that I preferred the way Rosehill Cottage looked. A quick Google search turned up that, yes, there has, in fact, been a Rosehill Cottage, it’s Kate Winslet’s cottage in The Holiday. That’s perfection, right?


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1 Comment

  1. November 5, 2021 / 6:12 am

    I love that so much! I have a running list of names for our future house. My grandparents had a beautiful house in Locust Valley called Friend Field, which I adore, and when they moved to a smaller house, they named it Thimble Hall. I adore Rosehill Cottage as a name, and can’t wait to see more of the interiors!!!

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