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Room View with Kevin O’Gara

Welcome to our 6th installment of Room View, a series on Fresh American Style where we’re partnering up with some of our favorite design bloggers and challenging them to make over a room in their home (or dorm!) with Annie Selke products! Last month we featured Julia Dzafic of Lemon Stripes and this month, we had the pleasure of working with Kevin O’Gara, the young Atlanta native (and college student) behind the design blog Thou Swell.

Kevin set out to create a relaxing and serene space for himself at school, taking inspiration from nature and the colors of the tropics. He started with our Bed 101 set—composed of neutral but luxurious foundation pieces—and built on with colorful touches and accents. Read on for our Q&A with Kevin and his take on Bed 101 and dorm décor.

Room View with Kevin O’Gara | Annie Selke’s Fresh American Style

Room View with Kevin O’Gara | Annie Selke’s Fresh American Style

Room View with Kevin O’Gara | Annie Selke’s Fresh American Style

Room View with Kevin O’Gara | Annie Selke’s Fresh American Style


Bed 101  – Layer it Up Set

Greylock Curtain Panel

Massena Rug

Laundered Linen Sky Decorative Pillow

Braided Natural Indoor / Outdoor Pouf

Psychedelia Sea Decorative Pillow


Q & A with Kevin O’Gara

What drew you to the Bed 101 line from Annie Selke?

The Bed 101 line drew me immediately for its high-quality materials, yet affordable price point! I love when luxury staples are accessible, and this new line is the perfect example of this, with classic colors and materials that will never go out of style.

What are your go-to essentials for dorm room decorating?

Dorm rooms are like little decorating puzzles, which makes them truly tricky, but super fun to decorate! Since the bed is the main piece of furniture in the room and usually takes up the most real estate, I always think it’s worth it to invest in lots of layered textiles for this piece. Throw pillows are a must, and usually help set the color palette for the room. My second favorite addition is artwork, which really personalizes the space. Using command hooks makes it easy to hang framed art, and the result feels super polished!

How do you balance college life and design life?

Balancing both has always been a challenge for me, but I’ve built up an arsenal of digital tools that enables me to stay efficient and streamlined while running my blog, sharing Instagram posts, pinning away inspiration on Pinterest, and working on design projects. I am definitely a huge multi-tasker, but sometimes I do have to put my design work on pause during extra-busy times of the school year like finals! And finally, I somehow manage to make time for going out with friends on the weekend in between all of the above…

Do you have a design motto?

A fresh, young twist on Southern style.

What inspires you?

Nature has always been a significant inspiration and growing up in Atlanta has given me such a huge appreciation for greenery since we have so many beautiful trees in the city. I’ve always been inspired by lush jungles and the tropics, hence my love for Henri Rousseau’s paintings. Old movies and period films are also a favorite – I especially love the Art Deco sets of the 1930’s!

How did you incorporate Bed 101 into your design scheme for this space?

For my room I let the Bed 101 bedding set a classic foundation for the room, using the color as an anchor for the color palette. The darker color also set a contrast against the pillows and artwork, allowing for some depth in the design scheme. The mix of textures makes the bed especially inviting, and the wonderful quality of the fabric brought an everyday luxury to my dorm room.

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1 comment

roombodi May 15, 2020 at 2:14 am

This is a great interview! It’s so impressive how you’re able to juggle so many moving pieces in your life and still be so great at decorating. I also love that you’re passionate about art—it probably gives you a great eye for aesthetics. Cheers!


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