A design trend among a lot of blog-type sites is what I’ll call the “textured background.” Here are a few examples that I grabbed from CSS Zen Garden:
You get the idea!
Some common characteristics:
1. The background repeats seamlessly.
2. The colors used in the background are usually of the same hue, just with different values (lightness/darkness) for a subtle effect that doesn’t distract your eye.
3. The main color of the background is usually also the main “base” color of the rest of the site design.
I like this design technique as it is a subtle and easy way to give a bit more personality to a web site. Plus it’s fast-loading.