Sometimes a guy just has to get away and be a guy. He may crave a retreat where there are no rules about furniture, color schemes or matching accessories. Leather and vinyl can rule in a "man space;" they forgive all spills.
Function frequently follows form in a guy's lair. While some women might dream about a room dripping with shelter-magazine charm, a guy doesn't necessarily give a rat's patootie about fine decor. He may just want to look at things he likes. His space is a place to get away, play and display his treasures.
In honor of Father's Day, we invited guys to show off their sacred "man spaces."
<b>A grand garage</b>
It wasn't until his two kids left the nest that retired San Rafael firefighter Greg Geide realized his long-held vision of building his own shop.
One thing after another kept forcing him to put the project on hold. But after a day of crawling around on his Graton driveway restoring a 1958 Airstream trailer and then complaining to his wife about how sick he was of working outside, she urged him to indulge his dream.
He did 90 percent of the work himself on a 1,000-square-foot shop and garage, occasionally recruiting his fire department buddies to help out with heavy stuff.
Completed three years ago, it is a place not only to work on his classic vehicles, like the Airstream, a 1956 Chevy Nomad and a 1964 Chevelle, but to display his vintage collectibles. He has the sign from Petaluma's old Foster's Freeze and other neon beer signs and clocks, old coin-operated machines and "just about anything that puts a smile on my face."
"I created a space for myself where it's just as enjoyable to go out there and sit down in a chair and have a cool drink on a warm afternoon as it is to go out and work on something," he said. "I feel like I've hit all the right spots."
<b>World-class tiki bar</b>
Only bad weather will keep Chris Williams from the corner stool at his favorite watering hole.
It's an easy one-minute walk to Williams' World Famous Tiki Bar, a fully stocked man-fantasy bar with a prime spot beside the kidney-shaped pool in his Santa Rosa backyard.
"It's all about New England," he said. "I grew up there. My roots are there. I absolutely love it back east but you can't beat the weather here," said the die-hard Red Sox and Patriots fan, flipping on the big screen beneath the palapa on a perfect June afternoon.
He ordered the $6,500 hand-made structure from an East Bay company that imports them, hand-made, from the Philippines and installs them as well.
That was six years ago and as Williams, a retired electrician declares, "I've been sitting in it ever since."
And while he's not averse to chilling out on his own, the retired electrician loves nothing more than to entertain a crowd of his golfing buddies — and frequently their wives — along with his gregarious and fully supportive wife, Teresa, who he met over a Bud Light at Bennett Valley Golf Course 10 years ago.
Williams' Tiki Bar is such an institution, it has its own Facebook page.
When Brad Butler first looked at the rundown Santa Rosa house he eventually bought and restored, he didn't even notice the unfinished in-law unit hidden in the back shrubbery.