Meet the Tutor: Rute Loureiro

Our Academy's tutor Rute Loureiro believes in the power to change people’s lives and the beauty of bringing the outside in.  

The spaces we occupy are more than just rooms where we eat, sleep and work. They are the spaces where we achieve greatness, fall in love, and have our hearts broken. Interior design is where function meets aesthetics and where art meets science. The feeling of a room is as important as its look, and the pursuit of balance is the challenge of every interior designer.



When Rute Loureiro was a child, she would furnish her dolls house and rearrange her bedroom, constantly seeking a new feeling for the space around her. Later it was interiors magazines that held her attention, but her eureka moment came from the television. A show about interior design was the moment Rute said, ‘That’s what I want to be.’ But parents and teachers did what they often do and steered her towards a career they felt was more stable.

Rute stayed within the realm of interiors and in 2009 she achieved a master’s degree in architecture. She has worked on, “very exciting interior projects since then, mainly for the residential, commercial, and hospitality sectors.”

The “power to change people’s lives” does not go unnoticed for Rute and her greatest joy comes from the feedback from clients and students alike. When designing a space for people she is working beyond colour schemes and furnishings, it is a feeling, a comfort that holds the power. When people are relaxed, they are more “themselves” and this is the philosophy that Rute passes on to her students.

A dining area design developed for a cruise ship.

Image courtesy PPS.



The aesthetic combined with warm colours and natural materials of the Danish, Scandinavian hygge style is a favourite of Rute’s but, never one to limit herself, she is also interested in minimalist with a “touch of industrial and mid-century modern”. With so many influences globally, a healthy curiosity will always pay dividends when seeking inspiration. 

Rute’s prediction for 2022 is a movement towards natural materials such as iron, stone, chalk paint and natural fibres, but mostly, Rute believes in the client. It is important to ‘integrate the client’s personality’ into a space. A home is a sacred space and is often filled with sentimentality and history. Finding a synthesis between a client’s own possessions and a new design is the key to creating that personal space. Many items can be mementos that tell a story about the people who live there. Rute has eyes on the outside too and is interested biophilia. She wants to bring the outside in!

Left: Living room design. Right: Bathroom design - Designs by Rute Loureiro.

Image courtesy Rute Loureiro.


Past masters

When asked who she would like to spend a day with, dead or alive, Rute chooses Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto. Aalto was a proponent of “gesamtkunstwerk” meaning “total work of art.” His work included architecture, textiles, glassware, and furniture design as well as painting and sculpture. But mostly, he is lauded as the man who invented bent plywood furniture. His involvement in every aspect of a design may not be for everybody, but he was a true pioneer of attention to detail. 

It is these masters who paved the way for today’s designers and artists, and they will always inspire the work of those who come after them. 

You never know what your next canvas may be and a perfect example of the unpredictability of the business is a project Rute worked on involving the interior of a river vessel. The brand was very much established, and the company wanted that reflected in the interior of the ship. The challenge was to come up with a design that not only adhered to the client’s brand, but also remained true to the design studio’s principles. The final design was a result of compromise and communication and in the end, Rute was very proud of their achievement. Every job is a new lesson and this one taught Rute the value of teamwork. 



In order to succeed in the competitive business of interior design, there are numerous skills that Rute recognizes as vital parts of any fledgling designer’s toolbox. Problem solving is a crucial element of the work but a keen eye for detail could be the thing that gives a designer their edge.  Interior design has many facets and Rute describes the life of a designer as a “rollercoaster.” She advises new designers to be prepared to deal with multiple clients and contractors and various issues, all at once. It can be a difficult balancing act and skills in multi-tasking are vital, but it is “resilience and perseverance” that Rute believes will get you through.

Rute’s advice to her students is both minimalist and bold.  If you love interior design and you have a true passion for it, be resilient, work hard and “don’t give up. It will pay off.”

Left: Kitchen design. Right: Kid's bedroom design - Designs developed by tutor, Rute Loureiro.

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 specialises in turn-key hospitality projects for hotels and cruise ships.


Read more about interior design.

To find out how you become an interior designer, visit our courses page.

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Written by: Fiona Byrne

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