A sea of blue awaits in Dominique Fluker’s home, perched off the California coast in downtown Oakland.
The color doesn’t come from a body of water, though — it comes from the walls. Coated in Sherwin Williams’ Commodore, the rich cobalt hue served as the ideal backdrop to Fluker’s regal style.
“The surrounding neighborhood features a lot of small businesses and is down to earth. My apartment is a bit of the opposite,” Fluker admits. “I like to call it my ‘Oakland Oasis’ given it's a luxurious and plush space but still has a ton of unique character.”
Boucle seats, brass decals, and Black portraits round out the palette, each nuance harmonizing to tell a story — fitting for Fluker, since storytelling is at the heart of her work.
Balancing acts as a content marketer, journalist, and interior stylist of her eponymous brand, the multi-hyphenate understands the beauty in self-expression. And so, her home became the perfect canvas to tap into that superpower, and return the favor to herself.
“My favorite thing about the space is how authentic it is to me. I love how funky and cool it looks but still is so comfortable to live in,” she elaborates. “No room is off-limits, no matter how beautiful and pristine it looks.”
Fluker was first drawn to the one-bedroom apartment because of its central location in downtown Oakland. Here, vibrant galleries, Art Deco storefronts, and bustling restaurants can be found at each turn of the road — the ideal environment for a burgeoning creative.
Luckily, entering the apartment only amplified her excitement. At 680-square-feet, the space still felt vast and open.
“Once I could tour my apartment unit, I fell in love with the large bathroom, walk-in closet space, and balcony,” Fluker recalls.
The papers were soon signed. And since Fluker is a designer herself, decorating was immediately top of mind. Her approach? Organic and streamlined.
“I like to envision an overarching design theme and color palette before beginning the design process,” she explains. “Once the design theme is solidified, I can curate an in-depth vision board.”
As for inspiration, no terrain was off limits. “[I get it] from everywhere!” Fluker says. “Art exhibits, textures and shapes, travel, editorial magazines, and within myself.”
Perhaps the strongest source of inspiration permeates Fluker’s walls. The blue hue was much deeper than an aesthetic choice: “The main goal was to reflect Marvel Studios' Black Panther, Ancestral Plane scene,” Fluker says.
Spoiler alert — in the scene, the main character T’Challa wakes up to a dark, luminous blue sky known as said Ancestral Plane. There, he meets his late father in the form of a spiritual guide, and returns to the world with renewed peace and power.
“My father passed while I was in college, so that scene was significant,” Fluker explains. “I wanted to paint the walls blue to showcase the starry night within the scene and have Black art proudly represent my culture.”
Emphasizing the connection between design and emotion (“I draw decorating inspiration from how I want to feel,” Fluker says), it’s evident that this intention has allowed her those same feelings of peace and power.
Still, the familial feeling doesn't necessarily equate to a homely or grounded style in the traditional sense. Rather, it’s balanced out with that touch of glam Fluker so loves. The furniture in particular served as the perfect vehicle to play up the luxury: “Each [piece] adds a level of sophistication and uniqueness to my home,” Fluker says.
In the living room, ivory CB2 chairs and a matching lacquered linen table offer textural splendor. At foot-level, a Litfad rug sits in colorful contrast, adorned with a tiger.
The wildcat is just a taste of the delicious artwork in Fluker’s home. A penchant for graphic and pop art carries through almost thematically, from imposing portraits to smaller abstract work — each a celebration of Blackness.
“It means everything to showcase Black art in my home,” Fluker says. “I am proud of myself for prioritizing supporting Black women artists and their craft.”
“My favorites have to be Uzo Njoku's large installations in my living, along with TheeBouffants' quirky canvas work sprinkled throughout my home,” she adds.
Open the door to the bedroom, and you’re in a new world. The blue walls are replaced with white, the loud accents with subtle pinks.
“I wanted my bedroom to exude peace, tranquility, and calmness, which is why I opted for more of a neutral color palette,” Fluker explains. “I wanted to feel relaxed in my bedroom and cultivate a space to retreat.”
The space is thus more minimal and more intimate. A poster of her favorite movie (Diana Ross’ Mahogany, to be exact) and a childhood photo perch atop an oaky chest à la Scandinavian Designs. It matches the bed frame, placed centerstage and draped in silky Target bedding.
It’s here that you’ll find her most often — reading, writing, or watching her favorite shows after a soak in the bath.
Open the next door, and yet another world emerges. It’s the smallest “room” in the apartment so to speak, but it’s Fluker’s favorite.
“Balancing a full-time role in tech and a blossoming interior design business isn't easy!” Fluker begins when asked about the story of the space. “During the early stages of the pandemic, I discovered that it was necessary to separate my home and professional lives. I thought, why not curate a fabulous ‘cloffice’ that could also inspire me?”
So, a Wayfair desk and chair were brought in, paired with a Karen Jai marble halo lamp that provides ample light whether Fluker’s working or getting her glam on.
Family photos are the cherry on top, a reminder of her roots. “[They] are incredibly significant to me as I adore my parents and grandmother and am so grateful for their profound and positive influence throughout my life,” Fluker says.
For the closet part of the “cloffice,” Fluker shipped in toile wallpaper from Paris to create an accent wall for her heel and jewelry collection. “I decided to leverage pink and beige notes to highlight my love for femininity and demureness,” she says.
It’s not all about looks, though — the wallpaper segments the space so that there are still some boundaries in the room. “I can pick out my outfit for the day, and work efficiently and comfortably without feeling claustrophobic,” Fluker explains.
Ultimately, you can’t help but feel that Fluker’s home is a reflection of her range. She can do it all, and it translates to her space — balancing luxury with comfort, vibrancy with minimalism, and funk with elegance.
So, with all this, what does she hope her home says about her? “That I am a cultured, complex, and sophisticated woman of the world,” she concludes. It's safe to say that's been achieved.