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Clever Considerations Before Refinancing Your Home

Refinancing the mortgage on your home refers to replacing your existing loan with a new one. You simply apply for a new mortgage against your property and pay off the remaining balance of your old loan.

But before you decide to refinance your home, you should consider the following smart things.

Consider Whether Refinancing Will Lower Your Interest Rate

You can certainly find favorable refinance home loan rates, but you should first consider whether refinancing will lower your interest rate.

Lowering interest rates is definitely one of the most popular reasons for homeowners deciding to refinance, but you need to ensure the math pans out, especially if you’re shortening the period of your loan term.

Borrowers with high-interest rates can often benefit from refinancing because shorter-term mortgages typically have lower interest rates than mortgages with longer terms and you’ll pay back the loan in less time. However, your monthly payments are likely to increase.

Refinancing Could Enable You to Improve Your Cash Flow When You Have High-interest Debt

If you want to improve your cash flow and save money in the long run when you have high-interest debt on credit cards, personal loans, and other loans, refinancing can be a good idea.

However, be aware that if you aren’t using the funds to buy, build, or improve your home, you may be unable to deduct the mortgage interest that you pay on the cash-out amount that exceeds your existing loan balance.

So, make sure you use the additional funds appropriately.

You Can Tap into Your Home Equity for Cash

Even if you don’t have high-interest debt, refinancing your home can allow you to access funds for things like home improvements. And you can also use the funds for other purposes, such as paying for your child’s tuition fees.

Make sure you determine what you want the funds for to see if refinancing your home is the best option available.

Be Wary About What You Use Funds For

Following on from the last point, you should never tap into your home equity by refinancing your home loan when you don’t have any clear reason for using those funds.

For instance, if you simply want to splurge cash on luxury purchases, such as paying for a vacation or a sports car, you could quickly find yourself getting into financial trouble.

You would be taking on the liability of additional home debt without actually reducing the cost of your liabilities or adding value to your assets.

So, while it could be tempting to refinance your home to get additional funds at a low rate, always remember that you would be securing luxury purchases against your home.

And with less equity in your property, you would have less equity to tap into, over time, and your depreciating assets could soon drag you down financially.

In General, Avoid Refinancing After You’re Halfway Through Your Mortgage

Finally, it is more than worth mentioning that it’s rarely a good idea to refinance your home when you’re more than halfway through a mortgage.

When you’re in the final half of your mortgage, whether that’s a fifteen-year or thirty-year loan, it’s not a good idea to refinance because you’ll finally be at a point where you’re paying back more principal than you are paying interest.

Generally, it only makes financial sense to refinance once you’re past the halfway point of your mortgage if you’re retired and on a fixed income and you need to lower your monthly payments in order to better manage your cash flow.

Final Thoughts

Refinancing your home can often make sound financial sense, but it’s crucial that you look at your specific situation to determine whether refinancing is the best option.

So, be smart and consider the above things before you proceed.

Must-Try DIY Furniture Painting Ideas

With so many different furniture makeover ideas available online, it can be difficult to decide which style to go with or which products won’t break the bank. This article will cover the 8 best DIY furniture painting ideas for choosing the ideal technique for a stunning and long-lasting finish and the ideal color and appearance. All you need is a passion for DIY stuff! Let’s get started.

The Preparation

Painting old furniture is much more than just slathering a new coat of paint. You need to prepare the surface to get the glazed and long-lasting finish that you’re looking for. Here are a few steps to do before you put on any paint.

  1. Remove Any Old Paint

Always remove any old paint. Think it’s hard? Not at all! All you need is a scraper tool. Holding the scraper parallel to the surface and using steady pressure can help you remove any loose paint while being cautious not to damage the surface.

If you have a surface made of fabric, how to remove paint from clothes will depend on the type of paint used. Water-based paints are easier to remove than oil-based ones. Scrape as much paint as possible, then wash the fabric with warm water and detergent. Most of the paint should be gone after this.

  1. Sand and Fill

After scraping off the old paint, it’s time to do some sanding. This is important because this will give you a smooth canvas to paint on. Don’t overlook crevices. If your furniture is made of wood and has a crack or hole, you can easily fill it up with some wood putty which can be found at any tool store.

  1. Prime 

To ensure clean, equal application, use a spray primer. For uniform coverage, use a white primer underneath light-colored paint and a deeper primer under darker-colored paint. starting with the chair’s base. To prevent drips and overspray, spray gradually for a constant pattern. Utilize a back-and-forth motion that follows the furniture’s contours. Paint two or three coats of the primer and allow some time between each layer so that it can dry completely. Drying times can vary greatly, so read the label on your primer.

Time to Paint

Now that your furniture surface is ready let’s start with the fun part- painting! There are different methods you can use to paint your furniture. Here are some of the options.

  1. The Pour-on Method

This method gives surfaces the popular marble effect. Pick colors of your choice (not more than two to three) and pour them separately into cups. If the paints look too thick, you can always add thinner or even water if you are using acrylic. Then just pour on! Drizzle one color over the over, make some swirls with a small wooden stick, and voila! 

  1. A Color Wash

Want that vintage-looking makeover for your furniture? The color wash method is what you need. Simply pick a color and add enough water to make it runny. This method gives a washed-off effect, so you want your paint to be light and almost translucent. You can add layers of paint depending on the transparency that you want.

  1. The Boat-Effect

This looks great on wooden furniture, but not limited to it. Apply a base color, then when it dries, paint two or three colors with a striped pattern that is a shade or two darker or lighter than the base color. This gives the wooden plank effect that appears on boats and looks phenomenal.

  1. Decoupage

Decoupage, a technique that combines paint methods with colored paper cutouts, can enhance even the most unremarkable items. Nowadays, you can get around this by purchasing ready-to-use ornamental paper designed for this use. See how to convert a once-blah bookcase with teal chalkboard paint and lovely butterflies placed in a clever arrangement inside.

  1. Good Ol’ Spray Paint

If you want to update the wooden chairs in your room but find it intimidating to use a brush on all those delicate contours, just use spray paint. It will apply faster and more evenly with the proper technique than you would be able to with a brush. Use enamel, a fast-drying finish good for cabinets, trim, and furniture, for a long-lasting, durable finish.

  1. The Distressed Effect

Children will be children, which can be hard on their bedroom furnishings. It makes perfect sense to give a damaged look to their wooden bed frames intentionally! After painting, scrape and sand in a few random spots, and then apply wax to seal.

  1. The Memphis Milano Effect

If you love bright colors, this is just perfect for you. Paint your furniture in bright neon colors to make a statement. Have dull walls? Not a problem when you have this beautiful vibrant furniture to make up for it.

  1. Painting Upholstered Furniture

Do you have a patterned upholstered chair? A trendy monochrome change can be achieved using paint. The secret is to spray the upholstery with water to aid paint adhesion thoroughly. Using a small brush, make sure to get into every crevice and lightly sand in between coats. A minimum of three coats will be necessary to cover the design completely, and more if switching from a dark tone to a light one. If you want patterns, you can easily find stencils that you can put on after your monochrome painting is complete and painted over.


With creative painting techniques, you can easily produce very dramatic effects while also coming up with a cohesive design, connecting several rooms, and even carrying the theme, pattern, or color scheme from the painted furniture ideas onto other furniture pieces, fixtures, and fittings. With our 8 best DIY furniture painting ideas, give your old furniture a brand new look!

Thou Swell is a lifestyle and interior design blog named for an old jazz tune, sharing home, garden, and entertaining projects and inspiration. Stop by to find an avant-garde mix of contemporary and traditional design curated with an eye for classic Southern style.


Choosing Artwork That Will Look Great in Your Home

The walls are definitely among the best places to consider when looking to add some oomph to your space. And as you may already know, there are various ways to transform an otherwise boring-looking wall into a captivating focal point that you and your guests will occasionally marvel at. Hanging or mounting elements of art is one of those ways.

However, not every piece of art you place on your wall may have that “wow factor”, if at all it blends well with the rest of your décor. And of course, you may decide to purchase ready-made artwork or do it yourself from scratch.

Whichever your preferences, read on for some tips on how to choose or create artwork that will give your home décor a magnificent look.

Choosing Awesome Artwork for Your Home 

When it comes to choosing artwork for your home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to decide what style best suits your needs when decorating with art. Do you want something modern, abstract, or perhaps classical?

Once you have a style in mind, you need to find a piece that fits that style. But it can’t just be any piece of art; it has to be one that you and your guests will absolutely love. Below are a few tips to help you choose the perfect piece of artwork for your home.

1. Decide On A Style: 

As we mentioned earlier, you need to have a style in mind before you start shopping for artwork. This will help you narrow down your options and make it easier to find a piece that you love.

2. Consider The Space:

You need to take into account the size of the room and the furniture in it when choosing a piece of art. You don’t want something too small or too big. You also need to make sure there is enough space around the artwork so it is properly appreciated.

3. Think About The Colors: 

The colors in the artwork should complement the other colors in the room. You don’t want something that is going to clash with the rest of your room décor.

4. Choose Something With Character: 

It doesn’t have to be much, but it does have to have some character. A piece of artwork that is completely boring will not make any difference. It’s the one that has a lot of character that makes a big impact.

5. Consider Size: 

The art has to fit the space in the room. You don’t want it to take over the space or be too little to make any difference. The dimensions of your artwork also have to complement the rest of your decor elements in the room.

6. Budget: 

Of course, artwork can be really expensive. It’s always good to look for a piece that you can afford so that you won’t regret it. Otherwise, you might end up spending money on something that you don’t even like!

Creating Your Own Canvas Prints from Favorite Photographs 

If you don’t have the time or money to buy any artwork for your home, you can always create your own. And for what it’s worth, you don’t really need to be a seasoned artist either. All you need to do is pick some of your favorite photos, edit them, find a design, and print them on canvas.

Making your own canvas prints from photographs is a great way to add personal touches to your home décor. Canvas prints make great gifts, too!

The best way to go about it is to use a service that offers custom framed canvas prints if you want an impeccable design and superior quality artwork with your best photos printed on canvas. You may also opt for a frameless option.

But if you’d rather do the job yourself, here are some points to help you get started:

  • Select photos that you love. This is the most important step – choose a picture or images that you’ll be happy to see every day.
  • Choose the right canvas type and size. Consider the size of the room where the canvas will be hung, making sure your print will be proportional. Besides getting the measurements right, you’ll also want to choose the right type of canvas.
  • Prep the canvas. This step is important to ensure that your photograph adheres properly.
  • Print your photograph. Use a high-quality printer and photo paper for the best results.
  • Adhere the photograph to the canvas. Use a strong adhesive that is meant for photos.
  • Hang your new canvas print and enjoy your new piece of art!

Artwork can work magic in transforming the look and feel of any room. Thankfully, the above few points can help you choose artwork that will give your home a great look, perhaps alongside a personal touch.

Beyond The Mortgage: 4 Different Types of Homeowner Loans You Should Know About

Rising home prices, a restricted supply of new housing, and an incredibly sophisticated financial system have resulted in plenty of options for homeowners in the US. Whether it is to fund home improvement projects, invest in a second home, or merely unlock value on existing properties, there are a lot of innovative products, if used right, can substantially enhance individual and family finances.

While these offshoots of conventional loans and mortgages have been around for decades, many of them have only recently come to prominence, and still, a vast majority of homeowners remain unaware of their options. In this article, we dive deep into the workings and offerings of America’s $18 trillion mortgage industry, and how consumers can make the most of it under the prevailing market conditions.

  1. Home Equity Loans

Often referred to as a second mortgage, a home equity loan is a type of consumer debt, offered against the equity portion of the borrower’s property. Homeowners can borrow to the tune of 80% to 90% of a home’s appraised value, on a fixed-rate basis, with rates and terms depending on the borrower’s credit score, payment history, and monthly income.

This is similar to conventional mortgages, in that it offers a fixed repayment schedule, comprising both the principal and interest components. On non-payment or default, the property will be foreclosed to recover any pending dues, similar to most other mortgages. The interest rate tends to be on the lower side, since such loans are relatively risk-free for lenders, making them ideal for debt consolidation.

  1. Home-Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

Similar to home equity loans, a HELOC is essentially a line of credit offered against the borrower’s equity on the property. This offers much more flexibility against traditional home equity loans, given that the funds aren’t dispersed lump-sum, but can instead be withdrawn as and when necessary. Borrowers need only pay interest on the amount withdrawn, and not the entire value of the line of credit.

Initially, borrowers need only pay the interest on what has been withdrawn, but once it enters the repayment period, higher payments will be necessary to include the principal amount. Such loans are often provided with a variable interest rate, which means that based on prevailing market conditions, interest rates on the outstanding amount can increase substantially.

  1. FHA 203(K) Loans For Home Renovation

When it comes to home improvement and renovation projects, the Federal Housing Administration offers plenty of assistance for lower-income households in the form of the FHA 203(K) loan. In a government-backed mortgage, the amount disbursed under this scheme is earmarked for the rehabilitation, construction, and repairs of the borrower’s primary residence.

While the above-mentioned options provide remarkable flexibility in terms of the purposes and intent of the loans, the FHA 203K is placed in an escrow account, and can only be released as and when the work is completed, directly to qualified contractors. There are further restrictions on the type of FHA home renovation, with certain luxuries and vanities not permitted, but on the whole, it adds plenty of value to lower-income households.

  1. Interest-Only Mortgages

As the name implies, these are mortgages where the borrower only pays the interest for the first couple of years, usually 5 to 10 years, following which both the principal and interest have to be repaid together. 

This can prove to be expensive in the long run and slows down the rate of equity creation, but for an astute borrower, such mortgages can provide the means to maximize current cash flows, with opportunities to sell, or refinance at a later date, before the principal component kicks-in.

Final Words

For homeowners, things have never been this good in terms of the number of options and opportunities available to them. For disciplined, and discerning borrowers, such unconventional types of mortgages stand to add substantial value to their finances in the long run.

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Creative Ways to Style Modern Furniture Chairs in Your Home

Chairs are not just a want but a need in every home. Whether you’re working from home or additional guests, have come over. Chairs are the savior and blessing to space. Many different types of chairs are available on the market, but which one is right for your home? It’s important to consider style and comfort when selecting a chair, as you will likely spend a lot of time sitting in it. Here are some tips on choosing the perfect chair for your home.

Simple tips for a modern look

  • Choose chairs with clean lines and a minimalistic design. Avoid chairs with too much embellishment or busy patterns. An example of comfort with design perfection is the Aeron Chair from Herman Miller.
  • Select a neutral color palette for your chairs. Black, white, and gray are all great choices that pair well with many different styles.
  • Think outside the traditional dining room and use modern chairs in other areas of your home, such as the living room or bedroom. Creative placement can add visual interest and help achieve a more cohesive look.

Ways to style chairs with fabric

There are many ways to style chairs with fabric. You can use a single fabric to cover the entire chair or multiple fabrics to create a unique look. You can also add trim or tassels to the fabric for extra flair. Here are some suggestions to get you going:

  1. Use a solid-colored fabric to cover the entire chair. This will give the chair a clean, modern look.
  1. Use multiple fabrics to create a patchwork effect. This is a great way to add interest and personality to your chairs.
  1. Add trim or tassels to the fabric for extra flair. This is a great way to dress up your chairs and make them stand out.

Painted chairs – a pop of color

Painted chairs are a great way to add a pop of color to your home. You can use them as accent pieces in your living room or bedroom, or you can use them as dining room chairs. Painted chairs are also an excellent way to add personality to your home office. You can paint them yourself or buy them already painted.

Using different materials to create texture

When it comes to chairs, there are endless possibilities for creating texture. You can upholster a chair in plush fabric for a soft, inviting look or go for something more unexpected like leather or fur. For a modern twist, try using geometric patterns or bold colors. And don’t forget the little details- tufting, piping, and nailhead trim can all add visual interest to your chairs.

Mixing and matching styles

There are endless possibilities when it comes to styling modern chairs in your home. Get creative and mix and match different styles to create a look that’s uniquely yours.

One way to mix and match styles is by pairing a traditional chair with a more contemporary piece. For example, try pairing a classic wood armchair with a sleek metal and glass coffee table. The contrast between the two pieces will add interest and visual appeal to your space.

Another way to mix and match styles is to use chairs as accent pieces in your décor. For instance, place a pair of colorful upholstered chairs in an otherwise neutral room to add a pop of color and personality. Or, use a vintage chair as part of a gallery wall display. The possibilities are endless!


As with any design project, having fun and enjoying the process are important. Modern furniture chairs offer endless possibilities for how you can style them in your home. So use your imagination and try out different looks until you find the ideal one for your room.

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