Fab Friday with Paula Cecere

Drumroll please…it’s time for Fab Friday!! Before you start getting ready for all of your fabulous weekend plans, I want to share with you all the spectacular details of my chat with Paula Cecere, who manages the GE Monogram Design Center. Paula and I ran into each other at Vicente Wolf’s recent event and I couldn’t wait to learn more about what GE Monogram is up to.

Robin Baron: Tell us about what you do!

Paula Cecere: I’ve been with GE for ten years, nine of them as a member of the Monogram brand team. Prior to opening the GE Monogram Design Center in early 2008, I was a product manager, handling dishwashers and ventilation products, at headquarters in Louisville, KY. I jumped at the opportunity to run the showroom once we signed the lease, and I moved to New York City in October 2007 to oversee the construction of the space. Located in the A&D Building, the center features over 60 appliances in the line including three kitchens – one of them live for demonstrations and special events.

Day to day, I assist designers, architects and consumers with their appliance selection. Between product specialist Corinne Taveras and myself, we handle the gamut of visitors – from those who are just browsing and looking for inspiration to people who bring in floor plans seeking assistance with selection of particular models. Thus, we can spend anywhere from two minutes to two hours with a showroom guest.

GE Monogram Design Center

RB: What do you love most about what you do?

PC: What I love most about the job is the variety – again, handling client inquiries to hosting fantastic parties – as well as the overall management of the space. I am a self-described obsessive compulsive and I take pride in maintaining a sparkling and welcoming facility. I handle everything from arranging flowers to changing light bulbs to making sure the appliances are clean (and, no, it really isn’t difficult to keep stainless steel appliances spot-free!). I really enjoy helping people as they proceed through a kitchen remodel or building a new home, and it is so gratifying when people thank us for helping them through their, oftentimes stressful, projects.

RB: How would you describe your own home décor?

PC: In my apartment in Brooklyn, the furnishings are mostly traditional; however, the finishes are a little more modern. I purchased my apartment last summer and while a few projects remain (namely, a bathroom remodel), I made a point to paint every surface, repair woodwork, install new appliances and closet shelving, and make any necessary repairs before moving in.

Paula’s Brooklyn apartment

RB: What is one thing in your home that everybody comments on?

Damask wallpaper

PC: The Graham & Brown white damask wallpaper in the two hallways. Since the light comes from windows on the opposite sides of the hallways, they tend to be a bit dark. While I painted my bedroom a brighter color (Benjamin Moore rainforest dew), and two walls in the living room a more dramatic color (Martha Stewart washed denim), I needed to add a little flair to the hallways. The wallpaper is paintable but I like it as-is, giving the space a little texture as well as the needed brightness. Two other interesting features, that were existing in my unit when I purchased it, are the French doors separating the living room from the office, and the custom-made radiator covers throughout. Both make my home a little unique from other units in my building.

RB: What does fabulous mean to you?

PC: I actually quite like that word and use it when describing something that is fantastic or superb but with a bit of originality and cache. Something a little more elevated, fun, hip, beautiful, cool.

The greatest thing about Paula is that she finds inspiration all over the place…just like me! Here are some photos she took of places that inspire her. Let them fuel your own creativity! Have a great weekend!

Marco Island, Florida
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Napa