Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

New Blog Look?

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Martin and Wille are safely tucked away in the south of Sweden as I embark on making some changes to the look of my blog. I say safely because as with all DIY there is some cursing and pulling of hair involved. Nothing is as frustrating as when you want something to work and it doesn't. I'm at that stage now with some issues.

Anyways, I've been wanting to do some changes to the look of Chez Larsson for a while now. I even considered having a pro look at it because I'm so not a web designer but since I can't find what I want I'm back to DIY. Don't worry, I'm not changing the concept of my blog I'm just doing some spring cleaning. It is after Christmas so it must be spring, right?!

So while I'm trying to take photos in virtually no daylight (new banner may be coming up) and getting my head around some mysterious code and photoshop prickle I'd love to hear if you have any requests or ideas on how I can make the blog look and work better.

I feel there's a little bit much going on in the sidebars and I'd like to bunch things up in nice little packages to hopefully make the site easier to navigate and for you to find earlier posts and relevant info quicker than today.

Should I for instance add a nav bar at the top with tabs for some of the stuff that's in the sidebar today? Any simple but cool looking fonts I should know about? Also I'd love to get my hands on a good (looking) search button so if you have a source for one I'm all ears. Actually I'm all ears concerning anything you think might enhance the blog.

So while I'm working away over here I'll leave you with some link love.

Love this Finnish blog. Can't read a word but one can always look at the pictures!

Lovely vintage and fabric inspiration in this Portuguese blog.

Awesome photography and photoshop eye candy in this Swedish blog fave.

Looking for the mini designer chairs I have around the house? Find them here!

Love this photo! And here's the how-to for the garland.

38 Comments

  • MaggieS says:

    I love your blog. I just visited that finish blog you linked to and think the pop out search tab on the right hand side would be an awesome addition in your update. good luck Mx

  • ibabe says:

    Thanks for the links.
    No idea about making it better…

  • Franziska says:

    I like the blog the way it is. I haven’t anything to complain about.

  • Judith says:

    Your idea about tabs at the top for current sidebar stuff is GREAT.

  • LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE…
    But if you feel the need for a change go for it…
    Julie

  • zewa says:

    Hi Benita,
    in fact, I would suggest a few changes:
    1) decide if you want your posts nested between stuff or neatly to the left side (based on western reading approach left to right) and then two columns with neat and easy to digest visuals to indicate the topics)
    From a professional user interface design perspective it would make sense to limit the scrolling. Put your most important links up (and maybe do some spring cleaning to determine if all the links you have now are still that important to you and us). Definitely move your Google search way up to the top right…. 🙂 Currently it is somewhere down on the left…just keep scrolling 🙂
    Also tabs are a great way to add some organization to a page and move all the administrative kinds of things in there, like the things you currently have in your right column and which take up too much real estate:
    • About me and my blog
    • E-mail me!
    • I Twitter
    • My Amazon Store
    • My Flickr Photostream
    • Subscribe
    • The Chez Larsson Shop
    I have a few links for you, which are hopefully not too overwhelming, but an inspiration:
    Clean look and feel and the UI, which makes sense for western readers:
    http://www.writeclickscrapbook.com/
    http://www.cathyzielske.typepad.com/
    The added value here is the calendar and a quick view of recent posts and comments
    http://notimetostamp.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/
    more colourful tabbed approach:
    http://stacyjulian.com/index.php
    Ok, I am about to bring out a piece of paper and turn into the User Interface Design professional, who I am when I am not on vacation, so I am going to stop here. Hope I didn’t cross any boundaries. Let me know if you need more help.
    Zewa

  • åsa says:

    🙂 hej..Ville mest bara säga att du kan ju alltid översätta det sidorna du inte kan läsa till Svenska eller Engelska. Googla adressen till tex http://pikkuvarpunen.blogspot.com/ då får du upp sökresultat.
    Där står det översätt så väljer du bara språk.
    🙂

  • That’s a cool looking one! Will check it out! Thanks!

  • I’ve been looking into the tab thing for a while but Typepad doesn’t really offer anything great unless you have Typepad Pro which I recently upgraded to. Unfortunately the nice looking stuff requires CSS code which I’m a complete newbie at which is what part of the hair pulling is about… I will succeed. I WILL succeed!

  • Judith says:

    TypePad HTML Email
    You know what, I believe you! You seem to be pretty good at
    figuring things out. Sure wish I could offer you some pointers, but if you’re a
    newbie then I’m a not-even-started-bie!
     

  • Thank you so much!
    I know about the left to right thing but I have this issue with symmetry which I need to forget in this case I guess… I have made a copy of my blog and in it I’m trying all different versions and I’m starting to get used to the posts to the left…
    The dotted items are exactly the ones I want in a nav bar and I’ve tried that too but as I mention in another commemt I have “beauty” issues which I need to work on 🙂
    Thank you so much also for the link inspiration!

  • Å, jag vet… Det blir bara så hysteriskt märkligt språk. Använder det i undantagsfall när jag desperat behöver veta (ungefär..)vad det står, Annars nöjer jag mig med vackra bilder 🙂

  • I like the look of your blog now but I love the idea of a nav bar at the top. I always think they make finding things a little easier!

  • jessica says:

    I also agree that the nav bar at the top is an awesome idea, because it would make everything much more accessible and easy to find. I have a ton of fonts; most of them come from http://www.1001freefonts.com. Of course, I don’t know how they would translate to a website, if they would at all! I personally love handwriting fonts, and they have a bunch of them there.

  • Your space is beautiful but I understand the need to simplify. I just finished cleaning mine up this morning and boy is it hard work!!!

  • Isabel says:

    If you would like to understand the blogs that are written in other languages, Google Translate (on the Google Toolbar) can translate them instantly at the press of a button.

  • indigorchid says:

    Ooo, spring cleaning!
    I think I agree with a nav bar, and the tabs – it would “package” the more important items in one handy place.
    I think one major thing would be to make your headers used throughout the sidebar be more different from the text, so that it’s easier to visually navigate, or to see them as blocks of information over just a long list of information.
    Also, I think the sponsors and google-links should be moved together in one place, and I don’t know if it’s possible, but to make the space between the google-links smaller? There is just a lot of empty space between those links at the moment.
    There are some things that have several links to the same thing, which could get confusing, as well as redundant/taking up valuable space (for example, there are text links to your shop, Amazon, and flickr, as well as widget/image-links)(I’m leaning towards using the image-links, because they are quite nice).
    I don’t think you need an overhaul or complete reorganization, and I think your overall look is very pleasing and effectful as is.
    Good luck with tweaking and learning and getting it just as you want it! I’m excited to see it when it’s done!

  • Gosia says:

    Hi Benita, I too love your blog the way it is. Most likely, because I am a newbie blogger, so any addition requiring code interference sounds vastly threatening to me, but I can understand your desire for a new start… I feel it myself. So Happy New Year and to all the positive changes that it will bring.

  • Like most others, I love the simplicity of your blog as it is at the moment. To me it means YOU!

  • Messy says:

    I tried several weeks back to find the post you had done on mounting pictures of Willie on mdf, I think? Anyway I was unable to find them. I looked under any category that might make sense but was unsuccessful. If there is any way to find your posts using key words I would have been able to type in photos or Willie. Not sure if this is possible though? Good Luck.

  • Noel says:

    I too love your blog as it is, but I understand your desire to make improvements. My only request is that you don’t alter the size of your images.

  • katie says:

    i too would just like an easier, more accessible search engine. i have searched thru your site many a time and it was a little hard. i think whatever you do, visually, to your blog will be cool! i LIKE change! and you are the QUEEN of organization and visual eye candy … so i can’t wait!!! you’re so cute to be spring cleaning your blog while the boys are away! your house is just so dang organized that you have TIME to work on something like cleaning up your blog! amazing! wishing i was you ! =)

  • I love what you’re doing. You have created such a welcoming space. You seem like a real person behind the action, not just some anonymous “blogger”.
    If I had to comment on changes, I’d say that I tend to like the main content on the left with 2 right sidebars. But, you’re overall look is so clean that it’s not really cluttered, so you can get away with the main content in the center.
    You might want to consider adding a colored background (something light) to set off your most important sidebar content. Just some thoughts. I know these kinds of things can keep a blogger up at night! I just redesigned my site and was on pins and needles the entire time.

  • Vicki K says:

    Here are some things that I really like about your blog…I like the bright white surrounding the text, I like having the Categories close to the top and easily accessible and I like that I don’t have to have a such-n-such account to make a comment.
    The Recent Posts are not so relevant to me because I can easily click back to see what I want. Maybe everything that pertains to You and Chez Larsson could be on the left side and everything and everybody else could be on the right side.
    There it is, my two cents.

  • Did you find it in the end? If not, here it is: http://chezlarsson.com/myblog/2008/05/mounted-photo-h.html
    It was one of my very first posts 🙂
    It’s one of the things I’m working on, to find posts like that more easily.

  • Rachel says:

    Benita,
    I love your blog! And I usually read it via Google Reader, so I don’t typically click back to chezlarsson.com. I love all teh categories listed, and the Goggle function is a frequent help when I am searching for old posts.
    If you are trying to declutter, have you thought about posting all your links on a seperate page?

  • I have, it’s one of the things I’m working on 🙂

  • Emily says:

    I personally like how CLEAN your blog looks and how it’s mostly white space, I’m sure whatever you do to improve it will be great but it doesn’t need much work. Happy New Year!

  • foobella says:

    I’ve never had a problem with where the columns are. Left or right or in the middle, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as everything is well labeled and the most important at the top, as mentioned.
    The first things I like to see on a blog are the “about me” to give a quick explanation of what the blog is about and a link to a profile or something like that.
    I also like an archive. I like a collapsable archive starting with year, opening to month, and then each individual post. Don’t know of that is possible with typepad, but it’s pretty basic on blogger.
    And when you have lists of links I like the name of the list to be a different color and larger bolder fonts than the list itself.
    I like the idea of the tabs, but if you don’t want to do them, I also was thinking of a cute graphic for each of the below links so they stand out more:
    About me and my blog
    E-mail me!
    I Twitter
    My Amazon Store
    My Flickr Photostream
    Subscribe
    The Chez Larsson Shop
    I have only made so far one myself, but I made an animated graphic for my flickr page using the colors of the flickr logo that I like. Something to set them off and stand out.
    Otherwise, I love your blog. I sat and read it for hours one day. You have so much creativity and inspiration packed in here!

  • foobella says:

    Oh and I like label/category clouds better than label/category lists. I think blogger has a widget that makes them for you. I can’t remember, it’s been so long since I made one.

  • Elie says:

    Looking forward to see the new changes… I’ve been thinking to do some changes to mine as well… haha!!!

  • Messy says:

    No I hadn’t found it. Thank you so much.

  • Dear Bonita,
    tante belle cose – all the best for you and your family for the new year to come !
    With great interest I have been reading your post and all the comments from your wonderful readers.
    It is interesting to know what readers like and want. I myself always think aout how to imporve my blog.
    For the search engine I can recommend: search his blog powered by google – it works great for me whenever I am looking for something on my blog (he blog is not only for readers but also a kind of filing for us bloggers, right?!)
    All the best
    Suzie

  • Skooks says:

    Great minds think alike! I just finished (though, is it ever really “finished”?) completely revamping my little ole blog this afternoon (but have been working on it and hemming and hawing for the last week). After much pulling of hair and nashing of teeth, it is good enough to go public. I guess I won’t venture to suggest what you should change unless you like anything about what I’ve done with my own page (the previous version was pretty similar to yours with the constant scrolling and no nav bar at top), LOL.
    I googled blog help topics like crazy (esp looking for templates that were more visually appealing and organized) and then made up the rest as I went along.
    Hope you are able to figure it out! I’m no expert, but I’m willing to offer some help if you get stuck. 🙂

  • michelle says:

    Hi there – I’ve been thinking the same about mine and have already spent the best part of two days ‘practising’ some changes. I created a new blog to ‘play’ with before I attempt it on my own :o) I’m petrified of losing anything.
    I really like your blog because it’s clear and simple and not too fussy.
    If you come across a good search option let me know. I have one on mine but even when I search for things that I know full well I’ve blogged about I often find them hard to find unless I use my labels.
    Good luck with the update :o) M x

  • Wendy says:

    I love the look of your blog. Fresh,clean,uncluttered,restful.

  • Casey says:

    I would love to see a better search feature. It’s so hard to search for past posts with all the randomness that the google search spits out.