I've mentioned it before, and I'll gladly do it again. Whenever you start planning your blog/site's design, start simple. The easiest mistake to make is find a million pictures to fill up every nook and corner of your page. It works only if you're someone like Doug Bowman, but if you're him, chances are you'll have much better tricks up your sleeve! :P I know that designing a site is probably not the most exciting part of the deal for most people, but once you get the hang of it, if you have the eye for good looks and you know what you're doing - any of those, and you'll enjoy creating the look of your site. After all, what good is your site if it doesn't look/do anything different.
I read somewhere that Google's minimalistic look started a revolution which had people running helter skelter to make their look as simple as they could. I'll agree that Google did start something of a deviation from the norms, but to attribute it to Google would be wrong. Minimalism has always been known to attract. The simplest of things, though the most complicated to make, has pulled it the majority. Gaby's comment states an interesting survey result, and should confirm what many people have sub-consciously noticed. People might evolve, tastes might differ, but what is aesthetically pleasing will remain common. Black (only for text), White, Green, Blue are colours which will always soothe the eye, whereas Red, Yellow, Pink (the bright ones) and many others are ones which will hurt the eye and make it hard to read things, eventually pushing away viewers.
Minimalism really does work, everywhere it is used. It follows from the simple theory that 'the mind accepts simple things faster'. Don't let your viewer's do the hardwork. Put in a few more minutes and simplify whatever you're doing, be it anything - computers/non-computers related. But when it comes to designing, it's best to stick to the 'black on white with light background colours' formula. Remember, the look should shift attention to the content, not away from it.
I've listed below a few sites which pull off the minimal look brilliantly. Have a peek, and see if you get any ideas!