Padma Somireddy talks with You & I
You went from IT to interior design. How? Why?
Even as a kid, I was always interested in doing creative things. People noticed and appreciated my work, and I have my father to thank for passing on these precious creative genes! When I got married, I ended up joining the IT sector and worked there for 12 years, but it was only for money rather than satisfaction. Even during that time, I still took time out during the weekends to help my near and dear with their interiors. I really enjoyed those hours and never quite counted them as work.
It was then that my friend’s sister offered me the chance to do up her new house, which ended up being my first paid project. Once that was done, I got a few more offers, and it didn’t take long to make it a part-time job. I started studying in the evenings for formal training in interior design and quit my job once we decided to move back to India. After coming back to Hyderabad, I helped a few friends and family members with their homes before making this my full-time career.
Tell us about the work you do.
I mostly work on independent residential houses and gated villas, as well as a few small-scale commercial spaces.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Interior design grants me the opportunity to meet and interact with a variety of people. I have the privilege of designing a number of things for different clients, and I often feel that the most satisfying part of my job is learning about someone else. Being able to create something special for that person is also quite satisfying. I enjoy seeing my clients smile at the end of each project.
Do you have any advice for young designers?
Becoming a professional interior designer takes much more than just creativity. In order to be successful in this line of work, you need drive, determination and discipline.
You’re quite popular for the way you dress. What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is the perfect way to show your unique traits to the world. I believe in that people should wear clothes, not the other way around. I like to take risks when it comes to style, and I also pay attention to accessories. They truly can make an ordinary outfit look great. And last but not least, experiment. That’s the only way to find out what flatters your figure and to express your unique personality.
Akshaya Tritiya is around the corner. What kind of jewellery do you like?
I love traditional styles that have antique looks to them, such as Jadau, Kundan and temple.
Tell us more about yourself.
I multitask by nature. My husband is my backbone and mentor, and his encouragement (along with my vision) has helped me achieve my dreams. My kids are also very supportive. My passion for design has undoubtedly given me the strength to multitask successfully, both at home and at work.
To unwind, I love listening to music and dancing to those tunes, as well as working out. I’d love to go back and practice Kuchipudi, the classical dance that I studied and performed throughout my childhood.
If I could change one thing about the world, I would teach everybody to feel empathy for others without any sort of bias. To put yourself in the shoes of another person, even for just one moment, greatly reduces the probability of your being unkind or unjust.
I would describe myself as highly determined, motivated, confident, independent, emotional, sensuous, optimistic and passionate. Friendly and joyful are the world my friends would use to describe me. Clients would say I’m a great listener and clear communicator.
..... as told to Anahita