I’ve always enjoyed the svbtle design. Shortly after it became a thing, the wp-svbtle theme was made. It does a really nice job of replicating the look and feel of the svbtle.com site. In the wp-svbtle readme, it even states that it’s an extremely unoriginal idea, but that’s kinda the point.
As you can tell, I’m using wp-svbtle here on longren.org now. I made a small change to the theme to allow featured images (post thumbnails) on posts. Pretty much all my posts from the last year+ have a featured image set, and I still wanted those to display, even while using wp-svbtle. You can see the featured image for this post in the top left, it’s a circle and clicking on it will take you to the post permalink.
After I made the modifications to allow featured images, I sent a pull request to the official wp-svbtle repo on GitHub. Could be a while before it’s merged (if it’s even merged at all), the wp-svbtle repo hasn’t been updated in over 4 months. So, we’ll see.
If development on it has truly stalled for good, I’ll probably update my master branch to include the featured images support. Right now, you can find it in the “post-thumbnails” branch at my GitHub fork.
Also, if you’re interested in WordPress in general, why not check out my book, WordPress Multisite Administration? 🙂