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 667 Stoneman Court, Benicia, CA 94510 (MLS # 21813491)
    41
    5 beds,  4 full, 1 half baths
    4,380 sqft   lot 10,433 sqft
    Listing provided by Marcus Hartinger, Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific
    MLS 21813491
  2. Photo of 7956 Oman Road, Redwood Valley, CA 95470 (MLS # 21813495)
    35
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    3,200 sqft   lot 1.02 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by David Ryan, Windermere Platinum Real Estate Services
    MLS 21813495
  3. Photo of 101 Gold Hill Way, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21811375)
    12
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,144 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Tezra Rogers, Pacific Bay Estates
    MLS 21811375
  4. Photo of Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21813490)
    11
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,128 sqft   lot 6,969 sqft
    Walk Score® 43
    Listing provided by Joshua Anello, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21813490
  5. Photo of 1693 Belvedere Way, Wheatland, CA 95961 (MLS # 21813492)
    9
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,045 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Angelica Smith, Amplify
    MLS 21813492
  6. Photo of 631 Grandberg Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21813465)
    32
    1 bed,  1 full bath
    570 sqft   lot 11,700 sqft
    Walk Score® 59
    Listing provided by Arlee Geary, Century 21 Alliance
    MLS 21813465
  7. Photo of 1315 Sanderling Island, Point Richmond, CA 94801 (MLS # 21801252)
    24
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,855 sqft   lot 5,519 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Susan Koide, Bradley Real Estate-San Rafael
    MLS 21801252
  8. Photo of 845 Griffith Drive, Dixon, CA 95620 (MLS # 21812984)
    49
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,678 sqft   lot 8,211 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Sheilah Tucker, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21812984
  9. Photo of 600 Lawndale Road, Kenwood, CA 95452 (MLS # 21813393)
    46
    5 beds,  5 full, 1 half baths
    7,500 sqft   lot 5.00 ac
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Randall Waller, W Real Estate
    MLS 21813393
  10. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,103 sqft   lot 6,469 sqft
    Walk Score® 51
    Listing provided by Rebekka Johnston, W Real Estate
    MLS 21812239
  11. Photo of 1812 Larkin Way, Sacramento, CA 95818 (MLS # 21813484)
    16
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    936 sqft   lot 3,920 sqft
    Walk Score® 74
    Listing provided by Mark Mazotti, Purplebricks Realty, Inc.
    MLS 21813484
  12. Photo of 582 Summerset Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21812966)
    9
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,065 sqft   lot 6,499 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Naomi Walker, Richards Real Estate
    MLS 21812966
  13. Photo of 1040 Rimrock Drive, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21813455)
    36
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,232 sqft   lot 9,605 sqft
    Walk Score® 6
    Listing provided by Sangeeta Kishnani, BHHS Drysdale Properties
    MLS 21813455
  14. Photo of 4190 Sun Drive, Lakeport, CA 95453 (MLS # 21813482)
    43
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,678 sqft   lot 3.42 ac
    Walk Score® 1
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Davis, Coldwell Banker T&C Properties
    MLS 21813482
  15. Photo of 2693 Bradford Way, West Sacramento, CA 95691 (MLS # 21813483)
    19
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,147 sqft   lot 3,311 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Mark Mazotti, Purplebricks Realty, Inc.
    MLS 21813483
  16. Photo of 1711 Autumn Meadow Drive, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21813481)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,462 sqft   lot 4,604 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listing provided by Jimmy Castro, RE/MAX Gold Elite
    MLS 21813481
  17. Photo of 908 Diamante Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21813479)
    19
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,439 sqft   lot 4,273 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Andria Haisley, Shafer Real Estate
    MLS 21813479
  18. Photo of 8380 Peninsula Drive, Kelseyville, CA 95451 (MLS # 21813457)
    36
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,737 sqft   lot 41,382 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Davis, Coldwell Banker T&C Properties
    MLS 21813457
  19. Photo of 29 Forest Drive, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21805210)
    44
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    4,282 sqft   lot 6.00 ac
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Olcott, Keller Williams Napa Valley
    MLS 21805210
  20. Photo of 1013 Shire Court, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21813222)
    49
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,603 sqft   lot 28,157 sqft
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by Loy Jackson, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21813222
  21. Photo of 6441 Meadow Creek Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95409 (MLS # 21812355)
    26
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,686 sqft   lot 8,712 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Nancy Devoto, McBride Realty
    MLS 21812355
  22. Photo of 28463 El Camino, Winters, CA 95694 (MLS # 21813179)
    37
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,018 sqft   lot 7.46 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by William Keller, Coldwell Banker B of V-Napa
    MLS 21813179
  23. Photo of 3211 Broken Twig Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21813006)
    35
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,984 sqft   lot 9,583 sqft
    Walk Score® 8
    Listing provided by Allison Pharis, Vanguard Properties
    MLS 21813006
  24. Photo of 1 Willow Lane, Sausalito, CA 94965 (MLS # 21811478)
    22
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,622 sqft   lot 1,054 sqft
    Walk Score® 75
    Listing provided by Susan Churchill, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21811478
  25. Photo of 503 Pixie Trail, Mill Valley, CA 94941 (MLS # 21813470)
    25
    Open House
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,225 sqft   lot 10,390 sqft
    Walk Score® 21
    Listing provided by Rick Stern, Zephyr Real Estate
    MLS 21813470
  26. 4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,437 sqft   lot 7,510 sqft
    Walk Score® 27
    Listing provided by Raina Duran, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21813474
  27. 4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,036 sqft   lot 6,660 sqft
    Walk Score® 27
    Listing provided by Raina Duran, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21813478
  28. Photo of 1300 Niestrath Road, Cazadero, CA 95421 (MLS # 21813406)
    30
    1 bed,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,152 sqft   lot 40.00 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Helena Gustavsson Giesea, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Sonoma County Properties
    MLS 21813406
  29. Photo of 1670 E Street, Napa, CA 94559 (MLS # 21813477)
    15
    Open House
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,950 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listing provided by David Hidalgo, Century 21 M & M Assoc
    MLS 21813477
  30. Photo of 1431 Minnesota Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21812532)
    37
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,216 sqft   lot 5,227 sqft
    Walk Score® 73
    Listing provided by Rose Marie Rice-Deadrich, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21812532
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