“This year’s challenge was to create a sustainable healthcare space, and I had spent my entire summer doing just that,” explained Van Arnem.

Veronica van Arnem, University of Idaho interior design student beside a water fountain

interior space design by University of Idaho student Veronica van Arnem



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Veronica Van Arnem

Veronica Van Arnem - University of Idaho interior design student

Veronica Van Arnem

Year: Senior
Major: Interior Design; Minor: Architecture
College of Art and Architecture
Hometown: Eagle, Idaho

Veronica Van Arnem’s team had a clear advantage in the annual Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) student competition this fall.

“This year’s challenge was to create a sustainable healthcare space, and I had spent my entire summer doing just that,” explained the senior interior design student. “I was able to directly apply the new knowledge I had gained during my summer internship to our competition project. We used a lot of the same materials and resources that I had just learned about.”

This summer, Van Arnem completed an internship at Boise’s Cornerstone Design, where she was involved in the design of spaces for the Caldwell Veterans Hospital, Intermountain Hospital and Intermountain Medical Imaging. She also developed designs for a law firm and a church.

Under the guidance of her mentor and the firm’s principal designer, Suzie Hall, Van Arnem created detailed hand and autoCAD drawings, selected materials, and chose furniture. She also made project site visits and gained experience interacting with architects, contractors and other designers.

“It was rewarding to see my designs actually come to fruition and be built,” she said. “That’s something you usually don’t get to experience in school.”

Cornerstone Design’s emphasis on utilizing sustainable design practices reinforced the knowledge she has gained in University of Idaho classrooms. Most important, Van Arnem said, was that the experience gave her the self-assurance she needed about her real-world readiness.

“After this internship, I have so much more confidence in what I’m doing: my designing, my drawing and my ability to create a space that is both sustainable and beautiful,” she said.

“An internship is a great opportunity for any design student,” Van Arnem said. “I don’t think you can really understand design until you do it hands-on in a firm.”