Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Man Caves and for that matter, Woman Caves, too!

The term "man cave" is the current rage in real estate, it seems. I watched an HGTV program that featured several homes with different types of caves while I held open Victory Lane - the high def TV over the fireplace was irresistible!

Within a week I found I was showing man caves all over Skaneateles! The husbands of my clients all wanted some form of retreat, and the wives seemed extremely interested in finding a place that met the man's requirements. And frankly, the man caves we have seen are wonderful!

One is an old barn with a basketball court inside. A serious court, with those incredible high barn walls and of course the hardwood floors. A friend built a court in a pole barn years ago, but this one has much more character and versatility. In the winter it's a garage, and the "men" retreat to the basement and a golf man cave, warmed by the furnace.

Another is again in a barn, but features multi-levels of play: foosball, biliards, a bar, a wood-burning stove, and leather couches for lounging and watching TV. Both of the houses are lovely, but these caves add so much room and give so much privacy. And each was constructed, I would think, with very little ready cash. They are rustic, and meant to be so - antlers (a personal ugh, oh well) are used instead of doorknobs. Air conditioning is provided by spaces between the boards.

Women also have their caves. In my mother's day it was called "the sewing room" and my father and I feared to tred there without permission. A friend gave up her in-town storefront for her own studio on her property. Her carpenter husband created a single room with windows and a front porch, heated it with a wood stove, and Kathy set up her business - antiques, crafts, consignment items, and whatever else she comes upon. You can visit Bittersweet Cottage north of Weedsport November 27th through the 29th, 10 to 5, or by appointment. For directions call 834-6110.

Bob's also working at a house with an adorable Boston terrier who has her own cave, as many dogs do, in her crate. He says she hangs out there most of the day, lounging on blankets or in them, making dog noises.

So while "man caves" are popular and the term new, the need to get away from the world is as old as the hills and not restricted to men or even humans. If I were selling a house, I'd try to find in my staging a way to suggest a play room for adults. I think it would pay off big!