Luxury Homes Wine Country by Kathy Luebcke
Kathy Luebcke
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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 717 Fitch Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (MLS # 21824593)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,600 sqft   lot 15,686 sqft
    Walk Score® 72
    Listing provided by Alain-Martin Pierret, Healdsburg Sotheby's Int'l Realty
    MLS 21824593
  2. Photo of 19908 Mountain Meadow, Hidden Valley Lake, CA 95467 (MLS # 21824733)
    29
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,591 sqft   lot 23,448 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Jen Mullin, Century 21 North Bay Alliance
    MLS 21824733
  3. Photo of 3091 Pecan Circle, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21824578)
    41
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,261 sqft   lot 8,224 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Sherri Duggan, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21824578
  4. Photo of 1713 Ventura Way, Suisun City, CA 94585 (MLS # 21824187)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,434 sqft   lot 5,998 sqft
    Walk Score® 7
    Listing provided by Brenda Comfort, California Investment Properties
    MLS 21824187
  5. Photo of 263 Forrest Avenue, Fairfax, CA 94930 (MLS # 21824063)
    10
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,022 sqft   lot 6,190 sqft
    Walk Score® 53
    Listing provided by Steve Sekhon, Compass
    MLS 21824063
  6. Photo of 46 Bedford Cove, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21824725)
    26
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,595 sqft   lot 2,448 sqft
    Walk Score® 25
    Listing provided by Stefan Schermerhorn, Holmes Burrell Real Estate
    MLS 21824725
  7. Photo of 119 Mica Drive, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21823063)
    24
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,671 sqft   lot 5,070 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Judith Urbanik, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21823063
  8. Photo of 1371 Sirah Court, Ukiah, CA 95482 (MLS # 21824712)
    13
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,656 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Pat Williams, AMC Realty
    MLS 21824712
  9. Photo of 4096 Peaceful Glen Road, Vacaville, CA 95688 (MLS # 21824567)
    47
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,959 sqft   lot 4.70 ac
    Walk Score® 7
    Listing provided by Julie Coffey, Century 21 MM
    MLS 21824567
  10. Photo of 2047 Dubloon Court, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 (MLS # 21822814)
    42
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,540 sqft   lot 10,350 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Steven Hecht, Artisan Sotheby's Int'l Realty
    MLS 21822814
  11. Photo of Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21816759)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,702 sqft   lot 9,583 sqft
    Walk Score® 66
    Listing provided by Richard Frank, Sterling California Properties
    MLS 21816759
  12. Photo of 901 Meadowlark Drive, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21824703)
    11
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,024 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Michael Hulsey, Windermere Hulsey & Associates
    MLS 21824703
  13. Photo of 1821 Mini Drive, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21821348)
    13
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,300 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 37
    Listing provided by Zee Magee, ARS Realty & Financial Service
    MLS 21821348
  14. Photo of 113 Villa Court, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21824694)
    13
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    968 sqft   lot 1,742 sqft
    Walk Score® 21
    Listing provided by Cecile McNaughton, Greater Solano Real Estate Services
    MLS 21824694
  15. Photo of 927 Broadway Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21824610)
    18
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,717 sqft   lot 8,712 sqft
    Walk Score® 54
    Listing provided by Justina Ortiz, Sequoia Real Estate
    MLS 21824610
  16. Photo of 46650 Fish Rock Road, Gualala, CA 95445 (MLS # 21819506)
    15
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    lot 1.04 ac
    Walk Score® 6
    Listing provided by Cassie Henderson, Kennedy & Associates
    MLS 21819506
  17. Photo of 6319 Newhaven Lane, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21824691)
    38
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,259 sqft   lot 3,014 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Stacey Sandoe, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21824691
  18. Photo of 5031 Feliz Creek Road, Hopland, CA 95449 (MLS # 21824576)
    46
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    2,498 sqft   lot 15.00 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Alain-Martin Pierret, Healdsburg Sotheby's Int'l Realty
    MLS 21824576
  19. Photo of 4610 Aria Place, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21824653)
    32
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,417 sqft   lot 20,255 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Eric Brooks, KW Vaca Valley
    MLS 21824653
  20. Photo of 73 Tamalpais Road, Fairfax, CA 94930 (MLS # 21824596)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,527 sqft   lot 3,899 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listing provided by Dominique Nave-Conroy, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21824596
  21. Photo of 26 Hilligoss Court, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21815749)
    40
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,903 sqft   lot 20,713 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listing provided by Michael Williams, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21815749
  22. Photo of 7771 Healdsburg Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21824455)
    20
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,200 sqft   lot 871 sqft
    Walk Score® 71
    Listing provided by Rick Warner, Bradley Real Estate
    MLS 21824455
  23. Photo of 170 Wilson Way, Larkspur, CA 94939 (MLS # 21824439)
    25
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,685 sqft   lot 9,500 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Chris DeNike, Zephyr Real Estate
    MLS 21824439
  24. Photo of 2324 Jose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21824671)
    8
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    1,676 sqft   lot 4,356 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Luis Ramos, Blue Sky Realty & Investments
    MLS 21824671
  25. Photo of 2100 Tindall Ranch Road, Talmage, CA 95481 (MLS # 21824673)
    19
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,400 sqft   lot 28.36 ac
    Listing provided by Anthony Ford, RE/MAX Full Spectrum
    MLS 21824673
  26. 4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,540 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listing provided by Logan Adams, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21824668
  27. Photo of 8981 Glen Alder Way, Sacramento, CA 95826 (MLS # 21824669)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,003 sqft   lot 7,000 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listing provided by Richard Howells, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21824669
  28. Photo of 763 Penny Royal Lane, San Rafael, CA 94903 (MLS # 21823704)
    27
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,513 sqft   lot 6,499 sqft
    Walk Score® 47
    Listing provided by Jonathan Marks, Alain Pinel Realtors
    MLS 21823704
  29. Photo of 25302 Ten Mile Road, Point Arena, CA 95468 (MLS # 21805863)
    34
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    lot 71.45 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Cassie Henderson, Kennedy & Associates
    MLS 21805863
  30. Photo of 1559 Philip Drive, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (MLS # 21824618)
    42
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,740 sqft   lot 4,356 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by Michael Viani, Redfin
    MLS 21824618
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