I've been using an off-the-shelf theme while getting the blog off the ground but it's high-time to showcase a unique, custom design now.
The goal is usability first, then aesthetics.
Some example blogs I like:
Some things to keep in mind:
1. I'd like the homepage to show the 2-3 recent post excerpts, and use teasers for the next 5-6 posts. This is how the current blog renders too. Both copyblogger and chrisbrogan use this approach as well.
2. Every post excerpt/feature should display tweet/like buttons both on the home page and permalink pages. See copyblogger example for a great example.
3. The header/logo can be a simple headline + tagline: ash maurya, Practice Trumps Theory.
4. The first thing on the right hand side should be a mini-bio (About section), unless you think it better to incorporate a headshot in the header. See instigatorblog and dailysense
5. Below that there needs to be a clear call-to-action to subscribe for free email updates, as well as to follow on twitter, like on facebook.
6. Other than those, preserve the other elements on the existing blog for now.
7. On the permalink page, would like a visual demarcation of the post from the comment section. Doesn't have to be over-the-top. See copyblogger and chrisbrogan.