April 21, 2012

The revamping of Chronically Vintage

This past Thursday was an especially busy one for me, though I rarely ventured further than the living room sofa. You see, that day - as I discussed in this post on the topic - I decided that as this blog is now three years old, it was time that I bought it its first pair of patent leather shoes.

Or at least gave a thorough makeover, blogs, after all, having surprisingly little use for shoes.

It wasn't that there was anything wrong with the old template and design of this blog (after all, it had worked well for the past three years), it's just that I felt like I wanted the look of this blog to better express what it is that I say and do here (especially since I started posting more of my vintage outfit photos this year). By that I mean I wanted a template/background in neutral hues, with a wider post body area, a more streamlined (and clickable - at long last!) header, and a navigation bar with a few select pages at the top of the template.

Though I don't usually classify my tastes as being minimalist on the fashion, crafting, or home decor front, when it comes to blog and website design, more often then not I find myself pulled rather strongly to paired down, simple designs that let the author's words and the images they mingle throughout their posts to be the star of the show.

Generally speaking, I'm not one for blogs that look like mangled MySpace Pages or that have ten mile long sidebars. I don't like don't like overcrowding or too much flash. I want to see what it is the person whose work I chose to read is saying.

Think about a single rose in a delicate vase on a table covered in pale white linen verses a sprawling rosebush with dozens of flowers on it. Both can be beautiful, but your eye will naturally be drawn more to the lone rose on a soft background. It's eye-catching because it's streamlined and very aesthetically pleasing.

It seems the older I get, the more I try to veer away from lengthy sidebars. It's one thing if that's where a person opts to put sponsorships and thus it becomes substantially large, but just filling sidebars up with scores of links, images, lists, quotes, notes, and sometimes even music playlists can all too quickly make them seem overcrowded and possibly even distract readers from being able to focus on your posts themselves - not to mention make finding more important elements like a blog's archives challenging.

To that extent I was delighted to finally be able to move my blog link section to a dedicated link page all its own (which has the added advantage of allowing me to better categorize the links I include, instead of just listing them all alphabetically in one giant assembly of blogs). I also scrapped some other sections that were no longer in keeping with the style I'm going for here, and am at long last happy with how my sidebar looks.

In addition to editing the sidebar and implementing a new (customized) template, I've also created a few static pages (such as an about page), to help visitors and friends quickly find out more about this site, connect with me elsewhere, or get in contact via email. I'm in the process of working on a FAQ page, which will include some of the most frequently asked questions on various topics that I routinely receive. I hope to have that page up within the next couple of weeks or so (I'll likely edit and add to it as time goes on and other questions appear often enough to warrant inclusion).


1950s paint ad, couple painting their house

{I mulled over the colours I was going to use for the site’s new look for quite  a while – weeks, if not months, I’d say. Time and time again my instincts veered towards a serene palette of neutral shades that would be unlikely to clash with the vintage photos and images used within blog posts, and so I decided to go with my gut and apply three of those very hues to the new and improved Chronically Vintage. 1950s paint ad via paul.malon on Flickr.}


I love the palette of gentle grey, clean white, and classic navy that's now adorning this site, and feel that they are colours that channel a subtle vintage vibe (grey and white, for example, call to mind old school B&W photographs), while also doing a very nice job of not overpowering the posts or images that the site is filled with.

I was up for about 30 hours straight on Thursday (onto Friday), but even as I feel into bed (the sun long up), I had to fight off the feelings of excitement and happiness that were washing over me in the heels of the site's snazzy new makeover.

While I certainly wouldn't say that the site now looks radically different, it's clearly not the same blog it was when this week started. There's a tiny bit of tweaking still to be done here and there, but overall Chronically Vintage now has the look and feel that I suspect it will retain for a long time to come.

I hope that you like these changes as much as I do, and would love to hear what you think of the new look and feel of Chronically Vintage.


  1. The advantage of using a minimalist aesthetic in blogs is that it helps people to focus on the thoughts and pictures you highlight in your post. Toward that end, I would agree that this new design is an improvement, but perhaps you could consider adding a little spot of interest in your header, something with color or a catching design of some sort. Overall I do think the changes you made were well thought out and successful! (Feel free to delete this comment after you've read it if you don't want it hanging around this particular post for eternity.)

  2. I love the links page! It def. makes the pg cleaner looking and thank you for including me in it! The only thing I want to see more of is your pretty face! xox

    Happy Saturday!!! Bunny

  3. I like the new look very much. I think the wider post area makes blogs with more written information, like yours, much easier to read. I confess I need to do some tidying up on my own blog. When I first started, and hadn't a clue what I was doing, I was just relieved it looked vaguely presentable and didn't dare try to tweak it, as the one time I did, I messed it up completely!
    Thank you for the lovely comments you leave on my blog, they are very much appreciated.

  4. Very clean and simple. I like it! But I will say, I am a sucker for a nice heading-it lets me know immediately what the blog is going to be about and feel like. Are you going to do a heading or keep it zen? Oh, I also wanted to let you know I am loving all the photos you are taking of your wardrobe!

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  5. i really like this new look: its sharp, clean and bright. i love the lobster font too. your thoughts on lengthy sidebars, music playlists and overcrowded main pages made me think oops, that sounds like my blog! i feel a spring clean coming on.

  6. Hi sweet ladies, thank you very much for your feedback. I really appreciate all of them (props, Fallen from favour, for knowing that the font was Lobster right off the bat!).

    Regarding the header, at moment adding an image/photo isn't something I'm feeling pulled towards towards doing. I'm not opposed to the idea though, it would just need to be a matter of finding (or having someone make) the right image(s), and for it/them to be really subtle and in keeping with the neutral hues (and, as The Glamorous Housewife so perfectly said it, "zen" feel) of the blog's new colour palette.

    One thing I forgot to mention in my post was that I increased the font size of the text that appears in all of the posts. I'd thought it was a little small before, and recall a couple of years back that two people mentioned they thought it was a tad hard to read. I filed their comments away in the back of my mind, and hope that those people are reading CV still because, the font is now a considerably larger 13 point size.

    Thanks again - oodles of hugs & cheerful weekend wishes going out to all of you!

  7. omg :)) so nice, clean, and easy to use :) i love it! haha now if only i could figure out how to even work my basic template i will be in good shape haha

  8. looking good! Definitely appreciate the simple, easy to use format...

  9. I. love. it! You have done a wonderful job. Of course. :) It looks fabulous. Easy to read, and i love the links feature. And you are right. Minimalist works very well sometimes, and this is definitely one of them. You are such a talented woman, and this shows off your talents more so!

  10. I like the clean new look. And the links page is fantastic!