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 131 Isle Royale Circle, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21818518)
    20
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,314 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Thomasine Peters, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21818518
  2. Photo of Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21818743)
    48
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,073 sqft   lot 6,033 sqft
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by Hope Hernandez, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21818743
  3. Photo of 1040 Campoy Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21818577)
    10
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,188 sqft   lot 566 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listing provided by Mary Anne Veldkamp, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21818577
  4. Photo of 2331 Morningside Circle, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 (MLS # 21818783)
    34
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,439 sqft   lot 4,012 sqft
    Walk Score® 28
    Listing provided by Gary L Sumner, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21818783
  5. Photo of 1870 Leaning Oak Drive, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21818774)
    28
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    1,975 sqft   lot 3,106 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Kathleen Ramos, Stumbaugh Realty Advisors
    MLS 21818774
  6. Photo of 3263 Inwood Place, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21818771)
    2
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,409 sqft   lot 2,322 sqft
    Walk Score® 11
    Listing provided by Sofia Waiz, Greater Solano Real Estate Services
    MLS 21818771
  7. Photo of 717 Crestview Drive, Pinole, CA 94564 (MLS # 21818759)
    14
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,161 sqft   lot 8,398 sqft
    Walk Score® 56
    Listing provided by Artavia Taylor, Taylor Real Estate Brokerage
    MLS 21818759
  8. Photo of 1391 Couples Circle, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21818563)
    42
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    3,477 sqft   lot 7,166 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Candice Sullivan, Country Estates, Inc
    MLS 21818563
  9. Photo of 399 Riviera Circle, Larkspur, CA 94939 (MLS # 21818547)
    33
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,750 sqft   lot 7,501 sqft
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by Angela Curley, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21818547
  10. Photo of 1105 Bello Drive, Dixon, CA 95620 (MLS # 21818698)
    40
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,489 sqft   lot 8,490 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Juli Paschal, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21818698
  11. Photo of 799 Dizzy Gillespie Way, Windsor, CA 95492 (MLS # 21816962)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,400 sqft   lot 3,920 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listing provided by Craig Curreri, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21816962
  12. Photo of 359 Seaport Drive, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21818792)
    37
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,238 sqft   lot 1,594 sqft
    Walk Score® 20
    Listing provided by Candice Camden, Camden Realty & Property Management
    MLS 21818792
  13. Photo of 165 Vineyard Circle, Yountville, CA 94599 (MLS # 21818810)
    16
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,154 sqft   lot 1,442 sqft
    Walk Score® 43
    Listing provided by Cyndi Gates, Gates Estates Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21818810
  14. Photo of 1079 Tahoe Court, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21817132)
    48
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,596 sqft   lot 3.26 ac
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Olcott, Keller Williams Napa Valley
    MLS 21817132
  15. Photo of 132 Riordan Lane, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21814133)
    4
    Price Drop
    Open House
    5 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,821 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by Elli Ketcherside, Ryder Homes Realty, Inc
    MLS 21814133
  16. Photo of 13970 Green Valley Road, Forestville, CA 95436 (MLS # 21818797)
    4
    1 bed,  1 full bath
    lot 7.87 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Trish McCall, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21818797
  17. Photo of 153 Riviera Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21818790)
    46
    Open House
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    3,433 sqft   lot 14,161 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Benjamin Faber, Redfin
    MLS 21818790
  18. Photo of 1 Frisbie Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21817327)
    15
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    964 sqft   lot 492 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listing provided by Tim Hiemstra, Napa River Realty
    MLS 21817327
  19. Photo of 260 Ginger Street, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21818804)
    26
    Open House
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,514 sqft   lot 5,092 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Jill Alderson, Century 21 MM
    MLS 21818804
  20. Photo of 82 Longview Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21818751)
    31
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,546 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Bonnie Almarez, Windermere Hulsey & Associates
    MLS 21818751
  21. Photo of 4 Lorraine Street, Ukiah, CA 95482 (MLS # 21801826)
    14
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,220 sqft  
    Walk Score® 51
    Listing provided by Lynn McNamara, RE/MAX Full Spectrum
    MLS 21801826
  22. Photo of 1200 East Railroad Avenue, Cotati, CA 94931 (MLS # 21818788)
    34
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,620 sqft   lot 19.79 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Lauren Camarda, Engel & Voelkers Sonoma County
    MLS 21818788
  23. Photo of 30 Castellina Circle, American Canyon, CA 94503 (MLS # 21818791)
    39
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,652 sqft   lot 5,223 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by David Tate, Century 21 Exclusive
    MLS 21818791
  24. Photo of 201 Floribel Avenue, San Anselmo, CA 94960 (MLS # 21815197)
    24
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    1,936 sqft   lot 10,920 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Aron Cawood, Dolan Realty Company
    MLS 21815197
  25. Photo of 509 South Foothill Boulevard, Cloverdale, CA 95425 (MLS # 21818415)
    38
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,544 sqft   lot 6,286 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listing provided by Annaliese Hiatt Quisisem, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21818415
  26. Photo of 2929 Branch Street, Sacramento, CA 95815 (MLS # 21817021)
    14
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,538 sqft   lot 19,798 sqft
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by David Coombs, Realty One Group Complete
    MLS 21817021
  27. Photo of 4974 Filament Street, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21818779)
    22
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,685 sqft  
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by Kenneth Schrier, RE/MAX Marketplace
    MLS 21818779
  28. Photo of 32290 South Highway 1 Highway, Gualala, CA 95445 (MLS # 21818770)
    11
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,210 sqft   lot 1.58 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Sean Gaynor-Rousseau, Sea Ranch - Gualala Real Estate Co
    MLS 21818770
  29. Photo of 6740 Merchant Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21818777)
    35
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,400 sqft   lot 3.84 ac
    Walk Score® 11
    Listing provided by Kelly Sullivan, Century 21 NorthBay Alliance
    MLS 21818777
  30. Photo of 15115 Konocti View, Clearlake, CA 95422 (MLS # 21818776)
    23
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,248 sqft   lot 8,100 sqft
    Walk Score® 46
    Listing provided by Colleen Chatoff, Chatoff Properties
    MLS 21818776
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