Interior designer Jaque Bethke goes for drama

  • Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 22, 2013 - 2:01 PM

Interior designer Jaque Bethke doesn’t do timid. She believes in creating “experiences,” the bolder the better.

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Interior designer Jaque Bethke loves to color her clients’ worlds.

“Color makes me smile,” she said. “Red is my favorite color because it’s so stimulating.”

The natural redhead, lead designer for Jaque Bethke for Pure Design Environments, is known for her fusion of vibrant hues, layers of lighting and quirky, cutting-edge design.

If you’ve visited a Parade Home or Luxury Tour home in recent years, and noticed walls covered in deep shades of eggplant or teal, columns made of stacked-glass chandeliers and ceilings hung with the funkiest light fixtures you’ve ever seen, odds are they were designed by Bethke.

“When other designers were playing it safe, I had a reputation for being gutsy,” she said.

The Buffalo High School graduate honed her dramatic style designing hotel rooms in Las Vegas in the 1980s. Later she joined Swanson Homes COI Design team, creating interiors for new construction. In 2009, she opened her own Eden Prairie firm, where her strong design statements have attracted accolades and clients. Pure has grown to 11 employees, including seven designers and Bethke’s daughter, Cassandra Bethke, president, and has won numerous industry awards. Two of Bethke’s local projects are showcased in a new coffee-table book, “Interior Design: Best of Residential Architecture and Design” ($45.95, Sandow Media).

We talked to Bethke about some of her most offbeat ideas, her favorite materials — and one design disaster.

Q Why did you become an interior designer?

A I was the kid who could make something out of nothing — curtains out of jeans, a slipcover out of a coat. When I was growing up, I was allowed to stretch my imagination. When I got the opportunity to work as an intern to design hotel rooms in Las Vegas, I discovered interior design was my passion.


Q Describe your signature style.

A I create subtle details that make a spectacular impact.


Q How do you make your rooms stand out?

A I think in the dynamic of a space being a “living” space. It needs to change with the events or functions that are within the space. That means it needs to smile, laugh, cry, be peaceful, smell and provide a window for the occupant to experience these things. You have to be OK with doing something extraordinary and unexpected, or dramatic. The space is just a space until it is an experience.


Q Why do you use so much glass and other reflective materials?

A Glass is very pliable, sturdy and colorful. It’s been around for so long — it’s organic, yet contemporary. Surfaces that reflect light give the space a different ambience and personality throughout the day.

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  • Interior designer Jaque Bethke

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