MONTVILLE, NJ - At the Montville Believe, Inspire, Grow (B.I.G.) meeting in February, members learned from Jodi Topitz ways to "rediscover themselves when going from "we to me" - married to single - by restoring a sense of permanency and celebrating their unique style through the uplifting positive impact of color, design and personal mentoring."

Topitz, owner of we2me® Divorce Decor, started by reading the first chapter of her book 'Seriously! As if going through a Divorce wasn't bad enough...' which discusses how she worked through transitioning from her marital home of 20 years into her tiny two room rented apartment. This set the stage for her discussion on divorce, aging and decor.

"I'm super funny and if you can't find the funny in something awful then you may as well give up," Topitz said. "My motto is to be as politically incorrect inside your brain. If it makes you laugh and chuckle and takes you away from your nightmare for a few minutes, you are rejuvenated and then you can move forward and power through."

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Topitz believes that living in a space that is comfortable and nourishing and that feels good is the key. "It's not about how it looks as much as it's about how it makes you feel," Topitz commented.

"I'm not a designer, I'm an artist and I really come from a very different perspective," Topitz said. "I understand the psychology of color, what colors make you smile, what colors agitate you, what colors stimulate you and I will do my best to educate you on all of that."

Topitz feels that the two most powerful things that all humans need is a sense of home and a connection to other people. With that philosophy in mind and against the will of her landlord, she immediately painted the colors of her new apartment deep blue because it is a calming color.

"Blue creates sense of calm, it's natures way of giving us a gift," Topitz said. "Think of the sky, the ocean...soothing, lush rich blue." Topitz points out that contrary to beliefs, dark does not shrink your room. It blurs the edges of the room making the walls move out and the ceiling up like a painting where the background is darker and the foreground is lighter."

Topitz provided many tips about color and decorating techniques, such as:

  • Pick a main color for your room and add pops of other colors that you like such as orange, which is an uplifting color or green, which is a healing color. 
  • Pillow talk...use pillows to enhance your room. Topitz explains they are the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to punctuate a room with color. They have texture, design and art-like qualities.
  • Book smart...use books with the colors that you like and with topics that are interesting to you. Topitz recommends finding books that coordinate with the colors in your space, which can also be an inexpensive way to accentuate colors.
  • Stay grounded...use rugs as another vehicle to define your space. Topitz explains that rugs can designate what each place in your room is for.
  • Think about walls, ceiling and floor when you decorate a room. Take the whole space in and address it all. 
  • Super size it...if you have a small space, put in a large piece of furniture to help make the room look bigger with a dramatic focal point. Topitz explains if you have all small furniture in a small room, it may feel like you're in a doll house.
  • Think out of the box...it's important to connect colors between rooms. Topitz explains it's really important to be cohesive and have one or two common denominators of color in different proportions between rooms.
  • Group therapy...make a grouping on the wall of special photographs, paintings and other favorite items, giving them a sense of gallery-like importance. Topitz's 'group therapy' wall includes things that make her smile like her son's artwork from kindergarten, artwork she has done and photographs that she loves. "It greets me in the morning and I'm comforted," she said. 

"Our possessions all carry with them a positive or negative impact, so you want to bring into your space things that make you feel good and take out of your space things that don't," Topitz said. "I did take some things from my marital home that didn't make me sad. You never take things with you that have a negative emotional attachment, that are dragging you down." 

Topitz reiterated throughout her presentation, "It's not about how your house looks, it's about how it makes you feel." She notes that she's not a designer, but that she works with people's emotions and focuses on how to make them feel good in their space with the colors that work for them. 

"Now that I've told you about my story of transition, I'm here to tell you that if I can do it, you can do it," Topitz said. "With all of the tools that I've given you, embrace your space and use these tools. Remember that color is everything, it is an instant mood altering tool. Understand all the things that color can do with design and placement to make you feel better about your space."

The Montville B.I.G. members generally meet on the first Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Montville Inn (167 Main Road). For more information about Montville B.I.G., contact Aimee Schenkel at aimee.schenkel@gmail.com. 
 
About Jodi Topitz

Topitz is an award winning artist, author, designer and TV host who helps divorced adults and their kids feel happy and comfortable in their new space as they've gone from "we to me" married to single, by restoring a sense of permanency and emotional well-being through the positive, psychological impact of color and design. To read more about Topitz, visit her website at www.we2me.com.

About B.I.G. (Believe, Inspire, Grow) (www.believeinspiregrow.com)
 
Believe, Inspire, Grow offers a visionary path for women entrepreneurs. It is a rapidly growing business support, education and networking organization for women. B.I.G. is comprised of a large community of more than 1,500 intelligent, creative and entrepreneurial women who want to share their business ideas and build upon their professional dreams. The organization offers more than 50 local community meetings each month across five states, ongoing regional networking events, as well as an interactive and informative website.