BY HARRY KIRSBAUM
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGIE BAAN
ay you want something different.
Say you want to redesign your
kitchen, or build a library, or design
a new room, but you're not sure how
to go about it.
You'd call Jodi Caden.
She gutted her Bloomfield Hills home down to
the load-bearing walls, Monster House-style.
Caden, 33, has been designing since she was
potty-trained, when her mother promised to buy
her a toy kitchen set from Toy's `R Us.
"I was trained the next day," said Caden, who
recently struck out on her own, starting the
Caden Design Group. At press time, she's work-
ing on her new Birmingham showroom and meet-
ing with clients.
An artist for most of her life, she was selling
her paintings as a senior at North Farmington
High School; she graduated from Michigan State
University in 1993 with a business degree.
She began designing cabinetry, kitchens, bath-
rooms, wall units and anything else for the home
at Designs Unlimited in West Bloomfield right
out of college.
She recently entered a kitchen design into the
"Sub-Zero/Wolf' kitchen design competition,
winning first place for regional design.
"It was a contemporary kitchen for a client in
Rochester, made out of beech wood with a gran-
ite top," she said. "The backsplash was frosted
glass and ribbed stainless steel. It had a wine
cooler and a big Wolf range."
Striking out on her own is "one of the toughest
decisions I've ever made in my life, because I
was very comfortable there," she said. "But at
this age, I either was going to stay there forever
or go out on my own, and try to make something
Designing rooms for people is "like breathing"
"When I go into someone's house to do a
kitchen or a wall cabinet, I don't just design it,"
said Caden. "I try to bring my artistic background
into it and pull together the entire room."
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