I think the look of a site is important.
First and foremost, it should be pleasing to the eye. It should also reflect the general content of the site, so that a simple glance at the screen should give an idea of the type of site it is.
Customising a theme can be simple or difficult, depending on how far you want to go. My philosophy is to take a theme that is as close as possible to my final desire, and then to make the minimum of changes. Head Rambles, for example has been through a couple of modifications. It is now heavily customised to the point where the original theme is almost unrecognisable.
As I said before, I wasn’t too happy with the theme here. I felt it was time for a radical overhaul of the entire site, both in look and name.
Why chose “A Pipe and a Keyboard”? Mainly because it sums up my necessities for writing. It is a personal site, with quite a bit of technical stuff, so the pipe represents the personal, and the keyboard represents the technical.
I chose the design for its simplicity. I like the simple layout, which doesn’t detract from the content, and apart from a few minor tweaks to the font, the only big change I have made (so far) is to substitute the banner image. There are a few changes to be made yet, of a minor nature, such as additional navigation and tweaks like that. I’m not too sure about the image, as yet. I know the pipe looks a little unusual, but it is the pipe I generally smoke, so it deserves its place on the Internet.