In this blog, tutor and Interior Designer Rute Loureiro tells us what got her interested in interior design, why she enjoys working with students and gives industry advice.
Tell us a little about your career/education or progression within the industry.
I am a creative passionate about life. I hold a Master’s degree in architecture and I’ve been working within the industry since 2009.
From early on I understood that interiors were my passion, and I have worked on very exciting interior projects since then, mainly for the residential, commercial, and hospitality sectors.
What were you doing before you started tutoring at the Academy?
I was working at PPS, a top leading architecture and interior design studio specializing in turnkey projects for hotels and cruise ships, and I also had some projects on my own, mainly residential.
Image courtesy PPS .
What got you interested in interior design?
I honestly think my interest in the built environment and interiors has always been there. I would say it had to do with my perception of how interiors can affect people's lives and the power they have to do it positively.
I think I was very conscious of that from a very early age. I remember trying to create cozy environments when I was ‘furnishing’ my dolls’ houses with any materials I would find around my home.
Later on, as a teenager, I started to look at interiors magazines. I would change my bedroom, trying to implement some ideas to create a space that would feel more ‘me’ (with a rather tight budget and a lot of creativity, I must say!).
When I was 16, I remember watching a TV program about professions. They showed a typical day of an interior designer and I immediately said, ‘That’s what I want to be!’ It simply clicked.
I was later convinced by my teachers and parents to do architecture instead, but fortunately I was able to work in interiors right from the beginning of my career. I have learned a lot with the interior architects and designers with whom I have worked.
What do you enjoy most about being an interior designer/teaching interior design?
This one is easy, and my answer applies to both working in interiors and teaching interior design: it’s the power to change people’s lives and make a difference. My work never goes unnoticed. Genuinely, I feel I can help people through a renovated room that will make them feel cozier, more comfortable—more ‘themselves’—or through the support and feedback I provide to my students, mentoring and helping them succeed as interior designers.
What interior design styles do you lean towards?
Well, it’s hard to pick just one. I would say minimalist with a touch of industrial and mid-century modern. I have a very particular affection for the Danish and Scandinavian aesthetics and pieces of furniture, as well as for warm, neutral color schemes, so I would say that the hygge style does resonate a lot with me.
I also like to work with natural, less processed materials (wood, iron, stone, chalk paint, natural fibers, etc.). I believe this will be one of the trends for 2022.
But more important than the style I think is being able integrate your client’s own personality and profile into what you do, so I like to work with pieces the clients already have, small mementos that tell a story about the people who live in that space.
Image courtesy Rute Loureiro.
Do you think there are must-have skills for interior designers? If so, which do you believe are relevant for the industry?
I would say the ability to solve problems creatively and with a keen eye for detail when it comes to designing, and resilience and perseverance when managing a project.
Sometimes the work as an interior designer might seem like a rollercoaster. You will have to handle multiple things at the same time, you will have to deal with a lot of different people, so you must be prepared for that.
Do you have any funny or peculiar interior design experience you would like to share? And what did you learn from that?
One of the projects I took part in when working at PPS was for a river vessel operated by a company that already had a very strong brand image and obviously wanted that translated into the ship’s interiors. However, we didn’t feel the concept they proposed was the most appropriate one.
It was quite a challenge to be able to design something according to what the client had envisioned and that, at the same time, was truthful to the studio’s design principles.
The end result was rather surprising and interesting, and we were very proud of it and of the compromises we were able to reach. I have learned that when we work closely together as a team, anything is possible.
What interior design trend excites you most?
The use of natural materials and perhaps also biophilia, bringing nature into the inside.
If you could spend a day with any interior designer, dead or alive, who would that be and why?
Although I am a fan of minimalism and Mies van der Rohe was the master, I would have to say Alvar Aalto. The way he worked with wood was incredible and his interest in experimenting with form, functions and materials is truly inspiring.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start their own interior design business/career?
If this is something that you really love and have a passion for, be prepared for hard work and don’t give up. It will pay off
Image courtesy Rute Loureiro.
Rute Loureiro graduated with a MA in architecture. She has been working as an architect for the past 10 years, both in multidisciplinary studios and at her own practice. She has a special interest in conservation and restoration, as well as in interior and furniture design. In recent years, she has worked for an interior architecture and design studio which specializes in turn-key hospitality projects for hotels and cruise ships.
To find out how you become an interior designer, visit our courses page.