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 8350 Lombard Way, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21726664)
    25
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    882 sqft   lot 6,599 sqft
    Listing provided by Annaliese Hiatt Quisisem, RE/MAX PROs
    MLS 21726664
  2. Photo of 3109 Rocklin Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 (MLS # 21726747)
    12
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    978 sqft  
    Walk Score® 62
    Listing provided by Sarah Carlson, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wine Country Group
    MLS 21726747
  3. Photo of 5787 Levie Lane, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21726685)
    42
    3 beds,  4 full baths
    3,098 sqft   lot 2.25 ac
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by Trish McCall Team, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21726685
  4. Photo of 812 Taylor Street, Winters, CA 95694 (MLS # 21726742)
    14
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,435 sqft   lot 6,181 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listing provided by Sandy Vickrey, Realty World Camelot Winters
    MLS 21726742
  5. Photo of 512 Tamalpais Drive, Mill Valley, CA 94941 (MLS # 21726736)
    21
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    1,808 sqft   lot 3,406 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Christopher Toomajian, Redfin
    MLS 21726736
  6. 2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,432 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 10
    Listing provided by Cory Schell, The Kelly Company
    MLS 21726740
  7. Photo of 332 Coast Street, Willits, CA 95490 (MLS # 21726637)
    19
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    896 sqft   lot 7,841 sqft
    Walk Score® 83
    Listing provided by Roxanne Lemos-Neese, Coldwell Banker Mendo Realty
    MLS 21726637
  8. Photo of 8389 Liberty Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21726558)
    19
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,392 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 66
    Listing provided by Shayne Bowen, Samson Group
    MLS 21726558
  9. Photo of 1022 Linda Vista Way, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21716538)
    31
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,581 sqft   lot 5,998 sqft
    Walk Score® 52
    Listing provided by Diane Shafer, Shafer Real Estate
    MLS 21716538
  10. Photo of 4697 Green Valley Road, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21726732)
    6
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,462 sqft   lot 1.08 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Kelly Dagul, Security Pacific Real Estate
    MLS 21726732
  11. Photo of 918 5th Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21726729)
    17
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,140 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 68
    Listing provided by Vickie Jackson, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21726729
  12. Photo of 3006 Hagen Road, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21718745)
    36
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,159 sqft   lot 11,099 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listing provided by Jannette Hall, RE/MAX Gold Napa
    MLS 21718745
  13. Photo of 13431 Green Valley Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21726692)
    23
    5 beds,  2 full baths
    8,800 sqft   lot 38.50 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Kimberly Sethavanish, Century 21 Alliance
    MLS 21726692
  14. Photo of 2376 Chad Court, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21725809)
    48
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,164 sqft   lot 8,516 sqft
    Walk Score® 26
    Listing provided by Che Hill, Che Hill, Broker
    MLS 21725809
  15. Photo of 1690 E Street, Napa, CA 94559 (MLS # 21722768)
    26
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    880 sqft   lot 10,303 sqft
    Walk Score® 70
    Listing provided by Andrew Paulson, RE/MAX Gold Napa
    MLS 21722768
  16. Photo of 15 Avocet Court, Novato, CA 94949 (MLS # 21726704)
    14
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,683 sqft   lot 6,408 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Philip Wright, Wright Realty
    MLS 21726704
  17. Photo of 600 Rowland Boulevard, Novato, CA 94947 (MLS # 21726627)
    28
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,000 sqft   lot 7,575 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listing provided by Kristie Martinelli, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21726627
  18. Photo of 1051 North Pine Street, Ukiah, CA 95482 (MLS # 21725568)
    22
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,229 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 62
    Listing provided by Karena Jolley, Coldwell Banker Mendo Realty
    MLS 21725568
  19. Photo of 4695 Old Adobe Road, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21726689)
    48
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,248 sqft   lot 299.36 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Karl Bundesen, CENTURY 21 Bundesen
    MLS 21726689
  20. Photo of 34 Hop Ranch Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (MLS # 21726481)
    29
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,068 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 45
    Listing provided by Mary Anne Veldkamp, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21726481
  21. Photo of 8875 Quarterhorse Lane, Lower Lake, CA 95457 (MLS # 21726715)
    16
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,248 sqft   lot 11,326 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Timothy Toye, Timothy Toye & Associates
    MLS 21726715
  22. Photo of 31 Drakes View Circle, Greenbrae, CA 94904 (MLS # 21726711)
    30
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,727 sqft   lot 1,973 sqft
    Walk Score® 63
    Listing provided by Jennifer Pfeiffer, Zephyr Real Estate
    MLS 21726711
  23. Photo of 208 Mesa Verde Street, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21726710)
    40
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,442 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 57
    Listing provided by Cathleen Rojas, RE/MAX Gold-Vallejo
    MLS 21726710
  24. Photo of 1617 Nancy Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21726688)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,338 sqft   lot 8,076 sqft
    Walk Score® 49
    Listing provided by George Theodorides, Vanguard Properties
    MLS 21726688
  25. Photo of 132 Skyline Court, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21723196)
    35
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,562 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 43
    Listing provided by Hamed Nawabi, Intero Real Estate Services
    MLS 21723196
  26. Photo of 2042 Devonshire Drive, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21726695)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,321 sqft   lot 4,447 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by William Keller, Coldwell Banker B of V-Napa
    MLS 21726695
  27. Photo of 104 Hawkesbury Way, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21726658)
    16
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,945 sqft   lot 5,998 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Evelyn Harris, Home 4 All Realty, Inc.
    MLS 21726658
  28. Photo of 2099 Mount Olive Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21726690)
    45
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,752 sqft   lot 10,624 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Susan Franks, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21726690
  29. Photo of 3798 Manzanita Drive, Nice, CA 95464 (MLS # 21726701)
    22
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,500 sqft   lot 7,841 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by Diana Dahl, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21726701
  30. Photo of 208 Via La Cumbre, Greenbrae, CA 94904 (MLS # 21726700)
    25
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,770 sqft   lot 9,108 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by William Osborne, REALHome Services and Solutions, Inc
    MLS 21726700
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