It is all dependent on your perspective. My design is also along the same lines are yours in some respects - showcases content, not flash etc. I call it clean. Others may call it dull
. I use thumbnail images to liven up my articles, but the point of the blog is for my writing.
Like I said, write a few articels first, and then it'll be easier to get feedback. Every website without articles looks dull. The point of a blog is to have blog entries, not to have some whizbang header.