Luxury Homes Wine Country
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 30397 River Road, Cloverdale, CA 95425 (MLS # 21719522)
    9
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,800 sqft   lot 7.03 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Charmayne Alcones, San Felipe Realty & Mortgage
    MLS 21719522
  2. Photo of 809 Rancho Way, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21719519)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,456 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listing provided by Marshall Mello, Sterling California Properties
    MLS 21719519
  3. Photo of 3025 Foothill Boulevard, Calistoga, CA 94515 (MLS # 21717960)
    10
    0 beds,  0 baths
    lot 4.59 ac
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Inna Lehman, Lehman Properties
    MLS 21717960
  4. Photo of 10300 Hwy 20 Highway, Willits, CA 95490 (MLS # 21719542)
    2
    0 beds,  0 baths
    lot 30.83 ac
    Walk Score® 1
    Listing provided by Randy Weston, Summit Realty
    MLS 21719542
  5. Photo of 122 Poppy Court, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 (MLS # 21719488)
    33
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,513 sqft   lot 8,851 sqft
    Walk Score® 14
    Listing provided by Kristopher Lepore, Sonoma Coast Living
    MLS 21719488
  6. Photo of 809 Paula Lane, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21719507)
    36
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,845 sqft   lot 7,118 sqft
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Steven Gavriloff, Westgate Realty
    MLS 21719507
  7. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,148 sqft   lot 5,475 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Leanne Ridley, NewVision Realty Group
    MLS 21719454
  8. Photo of 20924 Powder Horn Road, Hidden Valley Lake, CA 95467 (MLS # 21719536)
    24
    3 beds,  1 full, 2 half baths
    2,016 sqft   lot 14,375 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Erica Bergstrom, Morgan Lane Real Estate, Lake
    MLS 21719536
  9. Photo of 586 Peppertree Drive, Windsor, CA 95492 (MLS # 21719323)
    50
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,469 sqft   lot 6,003 sqft
    Walk Score® 20
    Listing provided by Marshall Mello, Sterling California Properties
    MLS 21719323
  10. Photo of 0 Silverado Trail, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21719531)
    29
    0 beds,  0 baths
    lot 3.04 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Deborah Russell Broman, Coldwell Banker BofV ST Helena
    MLS 21719531
  11. Photo of 529 East Blithedale Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941 (MLS # 21719520)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,250 sqft   lot 5,502 sqft
    Walk Score® 73
    Listing provided by Chip McAllister, Paragon Real Estate Group
    MLS 21719520
  12. Photo of 1204 Colorado Drive, CA 95961 (MLS # 21716793)
    25
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,596 sqft  
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Rhonda Welch, Welton Realty
    MLS 21716793
  13. Photo of 114 Topsail Court, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21719518)
    29
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,740 sqft   lot 8,485 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listing provided by Scott Foster, Delta Realty Group Inc
    MLS 21719518
  14. Photo of 486 Banning Way, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21719491)
    38
    4 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,988 sqft   lot 37,897 sqft
    Walk Score® 26
    Listing provided by Rosita Arriaga, Powerhouse Real Estate & Mgmt
    MLS 21719491
  15. Photo of 6757 Covey Road, Forestville, CA 95436 (MLS # 21719445)
    20
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,938 sqft   lot 19,476 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by Brenda Alarcon, Bradley Real Estate-Santa Rosa
    MLS 21719445
  16. Photo of 15621 Forest View Road, Manchester, CA 95459 (MLS # 21719511)
    28
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    lot 16,117 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Rosemary Campiformio, Kennedy & Associates
    MLS 21719511
  17. Photo of 512 Hastings Drive, Benicia, CA 94510 (MLS # 21717851)
    27
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,071 sqft   lot 9,583 sqft
    Walk Score® 14
    Listing provided by Linda Takacs, Kennon Realty
    MLS 21717851
  18. Photo of 2901 Old River Road, Talmage, CA 95481 (MLS # 21719169)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,300 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Gary Nix, Realty World-Selzer Realty
    MLS 21719169
  19. Photo of 1042 Daroff Court, Vacaville, CA 95688 (MLS # 21719420)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,130 sqft   lot 3,280 sqft
    Walk Score® 26
    Listing provided by Kelly Thornhill, Stumbaugh Realty Advisors
    MLS 21719420
  20. Photo of 318 Earl Avenue, Roseville, CA 95678 (MLS # 21719498)
    13
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,182 sqft   lot 7,362 sqft
    Walk Score® 66
    Listing provided by Michaelene Major, Realty One Group Complete
    MLS 21719498
  21. Photo of 16221 Par Road, Cobb, CA 95426 (MLS # 21719506)
    16
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    lot 7,754 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Timothy Toye, Timothy Toye & Associates
    MLS 21719506
  22. Photo of 310 Murphy Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21719224)
    45
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    888 sqft   lot 9,052 sqft
    Walk Score® 57
    Listing provided by Ann Harris, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21719224
  23. Photo of 1711 Lincoln Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21714645)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,448 sqft   lot 5,201 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Rick Warner, Bradley Real Estate
    MLS 21714645
  24. Photo of 125 Claxton Court, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21718284)
    11
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,232 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 26
    Listing provided by Lisa Carter-Salaices, Century 21 Schutjer Realty, Inc
    MLS 21718284
  25. Photo of 5825 East Highway 20 Highway, Lucerne, CA 95458 (MLS # 21719480)
    9
    0 beds,  0 baths
    lot 33,977 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listing provided by Denise Marino, RE/MAX Lake County Realty
    MLS 21719480
  26. Photo of 5298 Gramercy Circle, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21719396)
    25
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,195 sqft   lot 4,138 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Heath Rose, Real Estate Broker Services
    MLS 21719396
  27. Photo of 548 Monterey Avenue, Boyes Hot Springs, CA 95416 (MLS # 21719038)
    16
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,038 sqft   lot 4,748 sqft
    Walk Score® 75
    Listing provided by Tish Thames, Alain Pinel Realtors
    MLS 21719038
  28. Photo of 212 Foss Creek Circle, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (MLS # 21718971)
    17
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    960 sqft   lot 436 sqft
    Walk Score® 61
    Listing provided by Susan Montgomery, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21718971
  29. Photo of 450 Edgewood Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21719468)
    14
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,418 sqft   lot 4,051 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Joseph McNeany, Bertolone Realty
    MLS 21719468
  30. Photo of 580 Lommel Road, Calistoga, CA 94515 (MLS # 21719501)
    16
    2 beds,  2 full, 2 half baths
    2,400 sqft   lot 160.00 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Joshua Dempsey, Coldwell Banker BofV ST Helena
    MLS 21719501
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