College of Art and Architecture
phone: (208) 885-4409
fax: (208) 885-9428
College of Art & Architecture
University of Idaho
835 Pine Street
Moscow, ID 83844-2461
Designing Her Own Future
Watching the cable show “Trading Spaces” on The Learning Channel, Veronica Van Arnem knew her calling was interior design.
She began searching for interior design schools, and while her original plan didn’t include staying in Idaho and she flirted with a chemical engineering degree, she found the College of Art and Architecture at the University of Idaho a perfect fit.
“Interior design is something I always wanted to do,” says Van Arnem. “It was where I was happiest.”
The Eagle, Idaho, native first came to the University of Idaho for a Women in Engineering day, but after her first year in chemical engineering, she determined to follow her true passion towards interior design.
That’s not to say the math and science background hasn’t been useful; Van Arnem enjoys working on the architecture minor built into the interior design program -- which gives her a technical background and an edge in a competitive job market. She’s also had to learn to think outside the box and broaden her scope of thinking beyond concept. Another edge she is gaining at the University of Idaho is the emphasis on sustainability.
“It’s a really hands-on program and you get to interact with people,” says Van Arnem. “And it’s a lot fun. The projects are always going to be different.”
Her most memorable project was for the Chair Affair in Boise. Students designed and built a chair to be judged by the Interior Designers of Idaho Association. She also enjoyed working with clients and doing design work during her internship in Boise at Cornerstone Design.
Beyond classes, Van Arnem has taken leadership roles in her sorority, Alpha Phi, and created the Red Dress Poker Tournament to raise funds for Cardiac Care, which raises support and awareness for heart disease. The event continues now as an annual event. She also spends time volunteering at various groups throughout the community.
“I’ve met some really good people, and I’ve had so many good experiences,” says Van Arnem. “I feel like I really got the opportunity to develop as a person and as a student.”
On the brink of graduation, Van Arnem is looking forward to getting married and starting her career in interior design.