Sure, it’s impressive that Kevin O’Gara has tens of thousands of followers on social media; that he writes, produces, and takes all of the photographs for his own popular design blog, which has attracted national sponsors from Target to Home Depot; and that his room makeovers have been featured online by Apartment Therapy and House Beautiful. But did we also mention that he just turned 19?
A jazz lover and self-professed “old soul,” O’Gara named his blog Thou Swell after the classic Richard Rodgers show tune. One of his design idols is Atlanta’s esteemed John Oetgen, because “his work can be so playful yet draws from classical inspiration.” But the recent Westminster Schools grad is still pure millennial. When he heads to Cornell University this fall, he’ll focus on “where the built world and social and environmental impact overlap.” And he knows what that jargon means.