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. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,223 sqft   lot 5,227 sqft
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Yohannes Gebrekidan, Alliance Bay Realty
    MLS 21801403
  2. 2 beds,  1 full bath
    727 sqft   lot 3,250 sqft
    Walk Score® 68
    Listing provided by Pamela Jenkins, Century 21 M&M and Associates
    MLS 21801346
  3. Photo of 1025 Vintage Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21801390)
    39
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,430 sqft   lot 5,850 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by DONNA STARKS, RE/MAX GOLD
    MLS 21801390
  4. Photo of 1930 Rose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21801380)
    7
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    977 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 69
    Listing provided by Kelly Kline, Premier Realty Associates
    MLS 21801380
  5. Photo of 54 Vine Street, Vacaville, CA 95688 (MLS # 21708687)
    27
    5 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    4,202 sqft   lot 1.29 ac
    Walk Score® 28
    Listing provided by Nicole Solari, The Solari Group
    MLS 21708687
  6. Photo of 473 Rosso Court, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21801389)
    29
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,229 sqft   lot 2,252 sqft
    Walk Score® 66
    Listing provided by Paulo Corro, Heritage Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21801389
  7. Photo of 114 Shelley Drive, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21727343)
    35
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,932 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Beth Brittenbach, Century 21 Schutjer Realty, Inc
    MLS 21727343
  8. Photo of 16927 Schiller Court, Sonoma, CA 95476 (MLS # 21800710)
    31
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,740 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by Phoebe Brookbank, Coldwell Banker B of V
    MLS 21800710
  9. 2 beds,  1 full bath
    847 sqft   lot 5,097 sqft
    Walk Score® 86
    Listing provided by Lani Cooke, Heritage Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21801388
  10. Photo of 1152 Church Street, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21801378)
    44
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,597 sqft   lot 6,922 sqft
    Walk Score® 79
    Listing provided by Cyndi Gates, Gates Estates Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21801378
  11. Photo of 33721 So. Highway One Highway, Gualala, CA 95445 (MLS # 21801368)
    22
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,073 sqft   lot 33,106 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Sharon Burningham, Coldwell Banker Coastal Properties
    MLS 21801368
  12. Photo of 942 Grant Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21801238)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,477 sqft   lot 5,002.00 ac
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Frenchelle Franklin - Bowie, RE/MAX Gold Elite
    MLS 21801238
  13. Photo of 9216 Si Oliver Way, Windsor, CA 95492 (MLS # 21801375)
    7
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,200 sqft   lot 3,812 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listing provided by Greg Levy, Levy & Associates Real Estate
    MLS 21801375
  14. Photo of 1327 Legend Circle, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21801322)
    16
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    1,982 sqft   lot 6,046 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listing provided by LaGuan Lea, Lea Pannell Realty
    MLS 21801322
  15. Photo of 389 Catalina Way, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21801373)
    27
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,449 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 6
    Listing provided by Scott Brown, eXp Realty of California, Inc
    MLS 21801373
  16. Photo of 405 Woodman Creek Road, Laytonville, CA 95454 (MLS # 21801372)
    24
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,225 sqft   lot 7.45 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Sharon Noah, Realty World-Selzer Realty
    MLS 21801372
  17. Photo of 1867 Carignan Way, Yountville, CA 94599 (MLS # 21801366)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,400 sqft  
    Walk Score® 47
    Listing provided by Cyndi Gates, Gates Estates Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21801366
  18. Photo of 1021 Sheridan Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21728673)
    5
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,075 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by Clinton Dickson, I.C.E. Realty Services
    MLS 21728673
  19. Photo of 1724 Vermont Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21800679)
    40
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,417 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listing provided by Julia Culpepper, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21800679
  20. Photo of 1865 Windsorville Way, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21801369)
    19
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,866 sqft   lot 7,889 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Debbie Duncan, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21801369
  21. Photo of Fort Bragg, CA 95437 (MLS # 21801209)
    35
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,200 sqft   lot 1.30 ac
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Gale Beauchamp, Gale Beauchamp Realty
    MLS 21801209
  22. Photo of 2781 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 (MLS # 21801365)
    39
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,696 sqft   lot 110.53 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Laura deRutte, RE/MAX Marketplace
    MLS 21801365
  23. Photo of 322 Yellowstone Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21801355)
    12
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,367 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listing provided by Tezra Rogers, Pacific Bay Estates
    MLS 21801355
  24. Photo of 9233 Magnolia Way, Windsor, CA 95492 (MLS # 21801317)
    23
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,384 sqft   lot 6,573 sqft
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Marnie G. Teri V., NextHome Wine Country Premier
    MLS 21801317
  25. Photo of 240 Sugar Loaf Drive, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21801358)
    27
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,562 sqft   lot 10,481 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Evan Gorder, Evan Gorder
    MLS 21801358
  26. Photo of 1426 Driftwood Circle, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21801363)
    41
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,942 sqft   lot 5,079 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Robert Chung, Legacy Real Estate & Associates
    MLS 21801363
  27. Photo of 285 College View Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21727423)
    23
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    985 sqft   lot 871 sqft
    Walk Score® 63
    Listing provided by Bret Menze, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21727423
  28. Open House
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,012 sqft   lot 3,254 sqft
    Walk Score® 34
    Listing provided by Michelle Perez, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21801359
  29. 4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,856 sqft   lot 10,838 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Maria Yee Johnson, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21801360
  30. Photo of 125 Mountain Meadow, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21801169)
    22
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    3,610 sqft   lot 18.48 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Mary Anne Veldkamp, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21801169
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