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 7142 Carillon Court, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21829515)
    32
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,586 sqft   lot 7,000 sqft
    Walk Score® 50
    Listing provided by Jonny Sanchez, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21829515
  2. Photo of 2380 Millay Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21821219)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,144 sqft   lot 7,501 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Yousef Khoury, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21821219
  3. Photo of 1133 Kelcie Drive, Ripon, CA 95366 (MLS # 21829530)
    28
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    2,246 sqft   lot 8,503 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by George Hawrysz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices-Drysdale Properties
    MLS 21829530
  4. Photo of 690 Cypress Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21829528)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,864 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Andria Haisley, Shafer Real Estate
    MLS 21829528
  5. Photo of 908 Louisiana Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21829526)
    24
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    922 sqft   lot 2,130 sqft
    Walk Score® 79
    Listing provided by Lizbeth Alarcon, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21829526
  6. Photo of 46841 Ocean View Avenue, Anchor Bay, CA 95445 (MLS # 21708911)
    30
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,956 sqft   lot 12,632 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Karen Scott, Banana Belt Properties
    MLS 21708911
  7. Photo of 109 Upham Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21828280)
    16
    Open House
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,152 sqft   lot 7,083 sqft
    Walk Score® 86
    Listing provided by Vicki Thiessen, RE/MAX Full Spectrum
    MLS 21828280
  8. Photo of 1814 Hanford Street, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829398)
    29
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,591 sqft   lot 5,428 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Robert Ramirez, CENTURY 21 Bundesen
    MLS 21829398
  9. Photo of 379 John Kamps Way, Ripon, CA 95366 (MLS # 21829518)
    21
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    3,194 sqft   lot 8,207 sqft
    Walk Score® 28
    Listing provided by George Hawrysz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices-Drysdale Properties
    MLS 21829518
  10. Photo of 7711 Pythian Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95409 (MLS # 21828582)
    20
    Open House
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,211 sqft   lot 3,903 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listing provided by Kerry Rose, Compass
    MLS 21828582
  11. Photo of 3921 Louis Krohn Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21829517)
    4
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,617 sqft   lot 3,633 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Kyle Beeler, Redwood Property Group
    MLS 21829517
  12. Photo of 3006 Hagen Road, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21829024)
    34
    Open House
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,159 sqft   lot 11,099 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Olcott, Keller Williams Napa Valley
    MLS 21829024
  13. Photo of 1911 Buckingham Lane, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829441)
    27
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,140 sqft   lot 5,279 sqft
    Walk Score® 49
    Listing provided by Jeffrey Lokey, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829441
  14. Photo of 2245 Alysheba Court, Napa, CA 94559 (MLS # 21819478)
    14
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,726 sqft   lot 3,067 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Jeffrey Sickler, Coldwell Banker B of V-Napa
    MLS 21819478
  15. Photo of 1072 Mockingbird Lane, Valley Springs, CA 95252 (MLS # 21829511)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,521 sqft   lot 7,405 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Penny Boutte, Excel Realty Inc.
    MLS 21829511
  16. Photo of 1420 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo, CA 94960 (MLS # 21829372)
    38
    Open House
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,290 sqft   lot 5,249 sqft
    Walk Score® 60
    Listing provided by Phoebe Reyes, Marin Modern Real Estate
    MLS 21829372
  17. Photo of 5044 Eliggi Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 (MLS # 21829512)
    19
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,071 sqft   lot 7,170 sqft
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Katherine Clark, Bertolone Realty
    MLS 21829512
  18. Photo of 922 Sundance Drive, Fremont, CA 94539 (MLS # 21829510)
    50
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    3,707 sqft   lot 14,823 sqft
    Walk Score® 7
    Listing provided by Steven Lederman, Bay Select Realty
    MLS 21829510
  19. Photo of 1360 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21829483)
    11
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    973 sqft   lot 12,001 sqft
    Walk Score® 65
    Listing provided by Shawn Loucks, Town & Country Properties
    MLS 21829483
  20. Photo of 1613 Wishing Well Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (MLS # 21829501)
    14
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,297 sqft   lot 4,282 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Fermin Escutia, Prosper Real Estate, Brokered By eXp Realty
    MLS 21829501
  21. Photo of 1551 Sylvia Street, Hayward, CA 94545 (MLS # 21829509)
    13
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,974 sqft   lot 3,376 sqft
    Walk Score® 53
    Listing provided by Marcela Hidalgo, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21829509
  22. Photo of 5004 Oakbrook Circle, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21829487)
    50
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,554 sqft  
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Renee Neuman, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21829487
  23. Photo of 4813 Duval Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21827217)
    42
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,655 sqft   lot 8,782 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Pamela Watson, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21827217
  24. Photo of 650 Deer Park Road, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21829503)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,722 sqft   lot 1.08 ac
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Ryan Dailey, Compass
    MLS 21829503
  25. Photo of 6300 Alisal Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566 (MLS # 21829508)
    30
    Price Drop
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,680 sqft   lot 7.21 ac
    Walk Score® 6
    Listing provided by Lyn jason Cobb, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21829508
  26. Photo of 4451 North Hwy 1, Albion, CA 95410 (MLS # 21829506)
    19
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,086 sqft   lot 1.45 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Deirdre Lamb, Mendocino Realty Company
    MLS 21829506
  27. Photo of 5763 Dexter Circle, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21829336)
    29
    Open House
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,593 sqft   lot 9,099 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Carole McMahon, Century 21 NorthBay Alliance
    MLS 21829336
  28. Photo of 1946 Bristol Street, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829471)
    21
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,642 sqft   lot 2,648 sqft
    Walk Score® 27
    Listing provided by Steven Cozza, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829471
  29. Photo of 1700 Dean York Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21829470)
    45
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,076 sqft   lot 28,946 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Cassandra Chastain, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829470
  30. Photo of 20 Madrid Court, Novato, CA 94949 (MLS # 21829450)
    22
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,588 sqft   lot 1,015 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Jean Nicol, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21829450
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