Luxury Homes Wine Country by Kathy Luebcke
Kathy Luebcke
707-280-5753707-280-5753

Napa Man Cave Story Reaches Back into Pre-History…

8-23-man caveWithout risking a theological debate, it’s clear that something Darwinian is taking place when it comes to some recent developments in Napa home refurbishment.

We’re talking about today’s Napa man caves.

As one Fort Myers, Florida newspaper writer put it last week (without the slightest hint of irony), “the concept of the man cave is evolving.”

Today’s Napa man cave has progressed far beyond the original prehistoric versions—which were little more than saber-tooth tiger-proof grottos. Millennia passed before they developed into the 20th century versions, which were actually indistinguishable from garages. They usually had greasy tool benches, half-empty cans of paint, and dusty jam jars filled with nails and screws that the man-inhabitant couldn’t bear to throw out (even though they were destined to spend eternity in those jars). The luxury versions of these early man caves might have been adorned with splintered skis and some out-of-state license plates nailed to the walls—but that would have been the extent of the décor.

Merriam Webster defines these early man caves as “places women hated to go into.” (All right, maybe MW didn’t actually print that entry, but that was the defining feature in the 50s). Boy have things changed since then! Today’s modern woman isn’t deterred by the modern man cave, which is no longer dominated by tool benches and paint cans. Those are still in the garage, but the man cave has moved into the house.
Today’s modern woman doesn’t even call Napa's man caves ‘man caves’ at all. She calls them ‘family rooms’ or ‘TV rooms’ or, in extreme circumstances, ‘sewing rooms.’ Today’s modern woman got rid of the jam jars long ago.

The Fort Myers newspaper article had a terrifically evocative headline: “Modern Man Caves Focus on Solace, Sports and Luxury.” It’s the truth: today’s man caves can have so many gadgets and goodies, women and children frequently elbow the men out of the way. When that happens, the intended ‘solace’ is elbowed out, too. As the article put it, “…they are so cool, everyone wants to use them—kids, wives, in-laws, buddies…”

There may be no way to prevent that, because whole Design Groups are coming into being to maximize the appeal of the man cave. In one of them, the Weber Design Group came up with a “built-in wet bar and zero-corner glass sliders combined with gender-neutral furnishings…” Gender neutrality aside, it is almost universally agreed that a proper Napa man cave must have a massive television screen (the “no tv, no man cave” principal). Without the screen, the man cave becomes “a living room” —and a throwback living room, at that.

If you are thinking of selling your Napa home (but it doesn’t have a proper man cave), being that the man caves of today are such expressions of individual imaginations and taste, it’s probably wise to leave that feature undeveloped. Let the new owners decide how to design their own. Just give me a call—and then after we’ve made the sale (and found you your new Napa home), you’ll will have plenty of fun turning it into your dream man cave. Of course, then you should be prepared to be elbowed out by the kids and the in-laws…


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  1. Photo of 106 Plymouth Cove, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21901378)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,827 sqft   lot 4,199 sqft
    Listing provided by Carol Dean, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21901378
  2. Photo of 152 Del Rio Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21901501)
    27
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,056 sqft   lot 871 sqft
    Listing provided by Jamie Trujillo, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21901501
  3. Photo of 7321 Pleasants Valley Road, Vacaville, CA 95688 (MLS # 21901337)
    50
    2 beds,  3 full baths
    1,818 sqft   lot 140.00 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Jean Deleonardi, KW Vaca Valley
    MLS 21901337
  4. Photo of 567 Spinnaker Court, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423 (MLS # 21901482)
    8
    6 beds,  3 full baths
    2,867 sqft   lot 8,880 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Janice Maschek, Shore Line Realty, Inc
    MLS 21901482
  5. Photo of 125 Currant Lane, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21901167)
    50
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,597 sqft   lot 4,918 sqft
    Walk Score® 20
    Listing provided by Renee Neuman, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21901167
  6. Photo of 497 Regency Circle, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21901497)
    35
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,209 sqft   lot 4,787 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Kathleen Ramos, Stumbaugh Realty Advisors
    MLS 21901497
  7. Photo of 332 Donahue Street, Sausalito, CA 94965 (MLS # 21901500)
    3
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,667 sqft   lot 701 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Pete Zavlaris, Alain Pinel, REALTORS®
    MLS 21901500
  8. 5 beds,  3 full baths
    1,280 sqft   lot 4.79 ac
    Walk Score® 1
    Listing provided by Andrew Nicoll, W Real Estate
    MLS 21901457
  9. Photo of 18765 Dove Court, Hidden Valley Lake, CA 95467 (MLS # 21901498)
    24
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,189 sqft   lot 12,197 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Yvette Sloan, NextHome Yvette Sloan
    MLS 21901498
  10. 4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,698 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Jimmy Perez, United Realty Group
    MLS 21901495
  11. Photo of 1040 Boggs Lane, Lakeport, CA 95453 (MLS # 21901425)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    lot 9,306 sqft
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by Shawn Hermosillo, W Real Estate
    MLS 21901425
  12. Photo of 371 Nicoli Lane, Sonoma, CA 95476 (MLS # 21901412)
    17
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    990 sqft   lot 5,998 sqft
    Walk Score® 57
    Listing provided by Erin Davis, Compass
    MLS 21901412
  13. Photo of 17155 Morgan Valley Road, Lower Lake, CA 95457 (MLS # 21901493)
    37
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,000 sqft   lot 40.00 ac
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Yvette Sloan, NextHome Yvette Sloan
    MLS 21901493
  14. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,136 sqft   lot 7,532 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Chanell Tyhurst, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21900701
  15. Photo of 248 Orris Terrace, San Rafael, CA 94903 (MLS # 21901246)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,337 sqft   lot 6,499 sqft
    Walk Score® 54
    Listing provided by Liz McCarthy, Compass
    MLS 21901246
  16. Photo of 1360 Milton Place, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21900887)
    42
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    1,821 sqft   lot 5,249 sqft
    Walk Score® 60
    Listing provided by BUNHONG YI, CLIMB REAL ESTATE GROUP
    MLS 21900887
  17. Photo of 5973 Lone Pine Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21901387)
    22
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    809 sqft   lot 29,381 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by David Rendino, RE/MAX Marketplace
    MLS 21901387
  18. Photo of 30 Hillcrest Court, San Anselmo, CA 94960 (MLS # 21901394)
    29
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,956 sqft   lot 5,981 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listing provided by Judy Smith, Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21901394
  19. Photo of 284 Scenic Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21900224)
    19
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,112 sqft   lot 2.00 ac
    Walk Score® 8
    Listing provided by Grant Alvernaz, Grant Alvernaz
    MLS 21900224
  20. Photo of 300 South Lincoln Street, Dixon, CA 95620 (MLS # 21901485)
    30
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,903 sqft   lot 7,405 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Marianne MacDonald, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21901485
  21. Photo of 1500 West Watmaugh Road, Sonoma, CA 95476 (MLS # 21900393)
    22
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,094 sqft   lot 42,689 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Mary Szykowny, CENTURY 21 Wine Country
    MLS 21900393
  22. Photo of 8189 Sonoma Mountain Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 (MLS # 21901484)
    35
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    lot 15.48 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Holly Bennett, Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21901484
  23. Photo of 7609 Camino Colegio, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21901402)
    20
    1 bed,  1 full bath
    614 sqft   lot 675 sqft
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Andrew Saltzman, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21901402
  24. Photo of 8185 Sonoma Mountan Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 (MLS # 21900795)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,952 sqft   lot 5.22 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Holly Bennett, Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21900795
  25. Photo of 465 Hillsdale Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95409 (MLS # 21822166)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,696 sqft   lot 10,890 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Paula Lewis, Century 21 Valley of the Moon
    MLS 21822166
  26. Photo of 2150 Yellow Rose Circle, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21827153)
    25
    Price Drop
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,342 sqft   lot 5,698 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Eric Pangilinan, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21827153
  27. Photo of 7318 Michelle Way, Browns Valley, CA 95918 (MLS # 21824125)
    41
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,906 sqft  
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Kelsie Morse, Providence Properties
    MLS 21824125
  28. Photo of 32 Braun Court, Sausalito, CA 94965 (MLS # 21901477)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,241 sqft   lot 1,786 sqft
    Walk Score® 38
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Ellis, Compass
    MLS 21901477
  29. Photo of Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21901481)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,832 sqft   lot 19,798 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Katherine Clark, Bertolone Realty
    MLS 21901481
  30. Photo of 184 Hogan Avenue, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21900192)
    16
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,060 sqft   lot 5,227 sqft
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Daryll Canlas, Coldwell Banker Res. Broker
    MLS 21900192
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