The sixth annual Bathroom Blogfest is on! From October 24 to 28, more than 33 bloggers and 34 blogs from various industries are particpating in this year’s theme, “Climbing Out,” which focuses on improving the overall bathroom experience for end-users by bringing attention to the various aspects of a bathroom, including the floors, fixtures, design and architectural, the retail experience, and so forth.

Ever since I found out I would be a participant in this year’s Bathroom Blogfest, intellectual topics sprinkled with well-timed humor were dancing through my head. And then reality set in.
  • Me: What if I talked about the jaw-dropping products and European designs I’ve seen over the last…
  • Brain: Nah. If you’ve seen one bidet, or claustrophobic shower encasement, you’ve seen them all.
  • Me: Alrighty then. How about the technological advancements seen in tile, such as anti-bacterial properties, the blending of various materials, the mind-altering shapes and sizes…
  • Brain: Look, we both know once YOU set foot at any tile show, you turn into the Tasmanian Devil. You’re like a kid in the proverbial candy store with tile.
  • Me: I know.
  • Brain: So explain to your readers why you’re like that. Why you get so revved up at shows or when you visit showrooms. They can handle it.
  • Me: I can’t, that would be too…revealing. I can’t expose myself like that. What would they think of me?
  • Brain: That you’re human. You’re a busy working mom living with two young boys and a husband who can’t put anything in the hamper if his life depended on it (and the hamper is literally two-feet away)? You’re right, they’ll skewer you.
  • Me: Well wait a minute, not so fast. I think you’re right. I think I will expose myself!
Now I’m sure you’re wondering what I’ll be exposing, so…drum roll, please.

Each time I return from a show, laden with beautifully arranged settings, designer fixtures and worldy accessories, imagine my disappointment when I come home to this:

Sadly, this is our master bathroom. The bathroom the whole family uses to clean up, bathe, shave…well, you get the idea. With two boys under the age of 10 and a husband who, how shall I put this delicately, only cleans up after himself when he knows he’s in trouble, I’ve given up on doing anything remotely decorative in this bathroom. Everything is just functional. If it works, let it be. Actually, the only thing we have changed since we moved here 11 years ago was the floor tile. The floor used to have a hideous bright yellow tile, installed in a herringbone pattern. Each morning after waking up, I would walk in and wonder if it was my turn to see the Wizard.

Did I mention there are two other bathrooms in the house? One is a guest bathroom, which looks good but needs updating. The other is the “boys bathroom,” for the kiddos. Of course they can’t bathe in there because the tub/shower leaks and there’s a door (which leads to the side of the house) that needs replacing. In the summer, it’s blazing hot in there and in the winter, they’re shivering. Hence, any dreams of redoing our master bath have been put on hold.

In essence, this is the box I literally I want to climb out of because I can’t stand to be in here. Where’s my Zen-like retreat, or my modern spa-like room where I can have a moment to myself? Where are my glistening glass tile backsplashes or my ridiculously large shower with mosaic-accented niches? Where is the promised land of self-cleaning toilets and showers?

Watching HGTV or reading decorator and designer blogs doesn’t help my situation either, it further reminds me of the box I’m stuck with until the boys get older or I win the lottery.

Name Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott Customer Experience Crossroads 
Paul Anater Kitchen and Residential Design
Shannon Bilby From the Floors Up
Toby Bloomberg Diva Marketing
Laurence Borel Blog Till You Drop
Bill Buyok Avente Tile Talk
Jeanne Byington The Importance of Earnest Service
Becky Carroll Customers Rock!
Katie Clark Practical Katie
Nora DePalma O'Reilly DePalma: The Blog
Paul Friederichsen The BrandBiz Blog
Tish Grier The Constant Observer
Elizabeth Hise Flooring The Consumer
Emily Hooper Floor Covering News Blog
Diane Kazan Urban Design Renovation
Joseph Michelli Dr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog
Veronika Miller Modenus Blog
Arpi Nalbandian Tile Magazine Editors' Blog
David Polinchock Polinchock's Ponderings
Professor Toilet American Standard's Professor Toilet
David Reich my 2 cents
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley Pond Scarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy Renshaw Purple Wren
Bethany Richmond Carpet and Rug Institute Blog
Bruce D. Sanders RIMtailing
Paige Smith Neuse Tile Service blog
Stephanie Weaver Experienceology
Christine B. Whittemore Content Talks Business Blog
Christine B. Whittemore Smoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog
Christine B. Whittemore Simple Marketing Blog
Ted Whittemore Working Computers
Chris Woelfel Artcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co.
Patty Woodland Broken Teepee
Denise Lee Yohn brand as business bites