First off, congrats to Nate and the rest of the staff that worked really hard (in their spare time, mind you) on getting this new skin pushed out. It wouldn't have been possible without great cohesiveness and teamwork. Good job guys.
Nate did a superb job of capturing the tone and theme of the old forums while still giving us a contemporary feel to our favorite website.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Do not be taken aback when people get defensive or unsettled when you let it be known that you do not enjoy the product of their own hard work. Many hours went in to creating this skin. The staff as a whole put in our thoughts and concerns to Nate about colors, styles, and buttons. You do not have to like the skin. Certainly, Nate and I are open to criticisms of the skin overall. Try to be as descriptive about what you do not like about it, and we will take these statements into consideration.
There is a difference between "bland" and "warm", the latter being the feeling Nate was targeting in his overall design. The skin creates feeling of warmth and invitation. Muted colors tend to evoke these emotions. The few hints of brick red and even subtler hints of yellow spark the more feelings of flare and zing that a few members seem to desire in a site's design.
And hey, we may even have a way for more members to voice their opinions on the skin soon. We know a bunch of you guys are really talented, so why not take advantage of that?
Let's all be respectful. People worked hard on this, and we welcome criticisms that are thoughtful rather than just provoking.